Tag Archives: hope

My Bitch of a Bladder

I should start by clarifying that if I’m upset with any part of my body (referring to it as a bitch), it would be my brain, since my neurological disease has been wreaking havoc in different parts of my body for a long time. I’m writing this in case there is someone out there that is dealing with some of the same issues… maybe knowing someone else feels your pain can be comforting.

I have written about my bladder issues for many years. I Really Need to Pee! was written way back in April 2012, and SomeONE with MS talks a lot about the invisible symptoms living with daily bladder inconveniences. My symptoms were initially urinary dysfunction/retention, which meant I wasn’t able to empty my bladder completely, so I’d end up with countless bladder and kidney infections.

After a few failed attempts to “dilate my urethra”, and many years of having to self-catheterize, I had surgery in 2005 where an implant (a pacemaker-like device) was effective in helping my MS brain send signals to tell my bladder to empty. It helped me for many years, but bladder issues have been prevalent in my journey with MS for as long as I can remember. Since that initial surgery 11 years ago, I’ve had four more to replace it or to change the battery.

Last year I started having a different kind of problem with my bladder. Continue reading

Advertisements
Tagged , , ,

Change Is Good

It’s been a while since I posted on my blog. I’ve wanted to, and have had plenty to share, but you know how it goes, life gets busy. So here I am, to give an update about how I’ve been loving (or disliking) my MS life.

After Dr. Chippendale, my neurologist of 20 years, passed away from an aggressive cancer last April, I knew it was going to be impossible for a new doctor to fill his shoes. That being said, I’m doing my research and refuse to settle for a neurologist that doesn’t have a wonderful bedside manner and knows his/her MS. Period. I’ve always preached to fellow patients about the importance of having a neurologist that is not only trustworthy and knowledgeable, but someone they would consider a friend. The relationship you have with your doctor will be one of the most important relationships you will have while battling this dreaded disease.

The last time I was examined by Dr. Chippendale, it was determined that my MS was “worsening”. I knew I had been dealing with some new symptoms Continue reading

Tagged , ,

How I Lost Hope and Found Grace

If you know me, you know that hope is my favorite word. It’s tattooed on my arm, it’s the name of my MS Walk team (Team Hope), it’s in my favorite bible verse (Jeremiah 29:11). It’s also the name I chose for my baby boxer when I brought her home in 2002 at 8 weeks old.

I vividly remember the day that I introduced Hope to my son Jake, who was only 9 years old at the time. I told Jake that I had a big surprise for him, and then walked him into the living room with his hands over his eyes. When we got to the couch, I said, “Open your eyes!” And there was our new puppy laying in a little ball, asleep on the couch. Jake had a look of pure excitement on his face. “Is this Hope, Mama?” he asked. “Do we get to keep her?” He already knew that her name would be Hope, of course.

Baby Hope (8 weeks)

Baby Hope at just 8 weeks old.

Hope was a huge part of my life, and both my son and I were beyond devastated when she died on Jan. 7, 2014, at 11 years old. Even if you don’t have a dog or have never experienced the unconditional love and companionship one has to offer — something I find very therapeutic for MS — you’ll understand why I’m sharing my story of Hope.

Boxers tend to be a little more on the hyper side and stay puppy-like for two to three years, and Hope was no exception. But that only added to her charm. I potty trained her, took her to puppy obedience class with Jake, and all-around adored my “second child.” When Hope was three, we added another baby boy boxer named Baron to our family. Hope went from being like Baron’s mom, teaching him what he needed to learn, to becoming more like his sister and companion. They were best buddies.

Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Inked in Hope

Everybody needs hope.

My favorite word is hope. Anyone who knows me well, knows that’s my word. About two years after my MS diagnosis, I clung to that word knowing that I needed something to get me through the tough times that were ahead.

My favorite verse from the Bible says: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to  harm you, plans to give you a HOPE and a future.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

I named our boxer puppy “Hope” nine years ago.

I named my MS Walk Team “Team Hope” in 1999.

People have asked me before what I’m hopeful for. I hope for a cure of course. But I also hope that I don’t lose vision in my one good eye. I hope that I can one day see and play with my grandkids. I want to be able to walk, travel around the world, and continue my Continue reading

Tagged , , ,