I’ve been getting inspired to resume my Dates. I struggled with whether or not I wanted to pick them back up again, but friends have been asking me about it and I’ve been getting excited about coming up with ideas again. Let’s just start by picking up where I left off in the last post.
I had taken myself to the ER for some scary coordination, speech impairments and vision changes. They did testing and scans and gave me the probable diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis and referred me to a neurologist. If you want me to talk more about my symptoms, let me know, and I’ll do a post about it if it would be helpful. While waiting for my neurology appointments, May 2020 brought more changes.
We said goodbye to my beloved Shiba Inu, Sake. He was the sweetest dog ever. He was with us from 3 months old to a week shy of his 15th birthday. We miss him every day. Unexpectedly, another sweet soul found his way into our hearts and our life. We adopted an Akita from a rescue. He has brought us so much joy. We named him Bodhi.
This guy still has quite a bit of puppy energy and needs SO MUCH exercise. We usually walk about 3 miles a day, and do additional play time. The walks were really great for me in the very early days following my ER diagnosis. It was time he and I both started to cherish and it kept me consistently exercising my right and left side independently. Bobo is one of the coolest, funniest most loving and loyal dawgs I’ve ever had. He’s become my best friend. The first couple of weeks were clunky. He’s the largest dog I’ve had, and he tested me quite a bit in the beginning. Akitas are notoriously stubborn and independent. I didn’t think I was equipped, but we work on it consistently and are doing great.
June and July was when I started my appointments with the neurologist and went through additional testing to confirm my MS diagnosis. I went in for full spinal MRIs with and without contrast. I had blood tests and a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) with additional blood testing. I NEVER want to have a lumbar puncture AGAIN! The procedure and post-procedure spinal headaches were the worse! My wonderful girlfriends drove me to and from my appointment and stayed over to take care of me. They brought dinner and Prosecco and made it a girls’ night. My oldest son helped me so much over the next several days until the spinal headaches went away.
I started treatment in mid-August with a drug called Ocrevus. It’s a twice a year infusion treatment. The first dose is broken in half and administered 2 weeks apart. A typical treatment appointment is 5-7 hours, depending on whether or not allergic reactions are experienced. My first half was rough, but the second half went well. My Mom went into the Emergency Room the day I was getting my second half of my treatment. We were estranged (she did not know about my MS), so I found out because her neighbor called to inform me. It was my birthday weekend and my friends, who had taken such good care of me, took me out of town to celebrate my birthday and my first infusion.
The next couple of months were so hard. My Mom had an inoperable mass in her abdomen and insisted on home hospice. She passed away within a week of returning to her home. My family and friends were amazing support to my Mom and to my brother and me. The relationship my Mom had with every one in the family was really complicated. I think each of us will always have something to sort out about our individual relationship or lack of relationship with her. We still haven’t had her service due to COVID concerns, but it has finally been arranged and will happen just shy of 1 year since she passed.
2021 has vaporized!!! Even my 10 year old can’t believe that we’re more than halfway through the year! I don’t know what has happened to this year. I adopted another dog February 2021, another Akita (Momo), and at the time of this post, I find that it is best and safest for the rescue to find her another home. Maybe I’ve been just surviving normal Mom and head of household stuff all year, as well as the consistent 1 step forward, 2 steps back process with my newly adopted dog. We adore her so much, but she attacked my 6 year old a few weeks ago. I’ll never be able to trust her. The rescue will find her a home with no kids, or much older kids and I’ll be part of the process so I know she lands in a loving home.
Other than that, I feel like I’ve been in stasis just chipping away at this thing that needs to be taken care of, or that. This thing needs to be caught up on, or that. I feel like 2020 was heavy for so many reasons, but 2021 has been drudgery. Don’t get me wrong…there have been great moments of 2020-2021, but when I just think quickly it feels like the last couple of years have consisted of survival and it’s a blur that flew by so fast. This leads me back to the importance of the Dates with Myself.
It’s time to pull myself out of this survival thing. My focus has changed from the original intent of the Mission. Now I need these Dates with Myself to spice things up and add adventure as a form of self care. I feel like a cave dweller stuck in my solitary world. I still do things with friends, ride my bike and workout at the gym. But, my routine has become a little bit like a prison. I need to shake things up, and wake up from my 2020-2021 hibernation. I need to start really living again. Does anyone else feel that way? Also, to close the loop on the MS treatment, I’ve had 2 full treatments now and it’s been amazing. If someone hit me on the head and it caused amnesia, I would have NO idea that I have MS. It has eliminated about 99% of my symptoms.
I’m not going to be crazy about making it to 50 Dates because life happens and my emotional motivation for this mission has really changed over 2020-2021. I am committed to no less than 25 though. I’m hoping that with each Date to 25 it will become one of those small consistent habits that just continues to #50. 😁 I have a list of ideas, so I just need to chip away at that and starting to live life as more than a cave dweller.
Thank you for reading! On to Date #18!!