Saturday, December 20, 2008

Housing crisis

I don't feel even remotely close to qualified to analyze the crisis our country is in. But last night I was watching "Dateline", and they had a couple of segments about the housing crisis. Chris Hanson was on the scene to show officers evicting people from their homes. I started watching out of curiosity, and was quickly moved to sadness. When things are going good in your world you tend to have blinders on. At least that's how it is for me. I know I am blessed and I am very thankful to be where I am. But seeing families evicted from their houses was heart wrenching. Kids, unsure of what's going on. All they know is they are being forced to leave the only place they've known as home. This just breaks my heart. I could go on and on about this I'll just leave you with this. Enjoy the ones you're with this holiday season.

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's starting to feel a lot like Christmas

Whew, what a busy week! It started on Sunday of last week. We went to a Christmas orchestra concert. Emilys' mom Nancy is in the orchestra, it's also the same orchestra Emily is a member. She is on sabbatical until she is finished with grad school. The concert was a good time. Then on Tuesday we went to a dinner/Theatre at the Jacob Henry Mansion. It was all the ,usic from "Whitw Christmas", Emily's favorite Christmas movie. I wasn't sure what to expect at first, but by the end I was having a good time. Things didn't stop there. We went to CLC for their Christmas production, "Christmas Presence". My niece Grace was in the first scene as a ballerina. The show just built from there. The singers and band were on fire. The only bad thing of the night was the fact that the Bears were on and I wasn't glued to the TV. Thankfully we were able to get the score at intermission. I caught the last few minutes plus over time on the radio during our drive home. So three Christmas productions and a Bears winner really made for a good start to the holiday season. Every Christmas season I have one movie I have to watch "It's a Wonderful Life". I watched it last night and it just put the cherry on top of the past eight days. So let's bring on Christmas!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Saying goodbye to my 20s

Today is officially my last day as a twenty something. It's been an interesting decade. Early on I was legally able to go to the bars and drink. I didn't abuse that privilege much, but definitely took advantage of it. At 22 my dad was diagnose with cancer and by 23 he had passed away. After that I began having some health problems. I went from walking to a walker to a scooter to a wheelchair in my mid-twenties to today. I've gone from attending the Olympics in 2002 to going to Italy in 2003. In 2006 I spent time being bed-ridden to being in the hospital and also spent time in a couple of nursing homes. Looking back it's been a fun and interesting 10 years. When I was 18 I never thought I'd make it to 30. That seemed to be so far away. Now here I am a day away from 30 and I'm excited. I have no clue what this decade will bring, but I'm excited for the journey. It was good to know you 20's, now I say hello to my 30s.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful

Today is always a good day to take an inventory of our lives and realize what we're thankful for. There are so many people to thank: Emily, her parents Steven and Nancy, my sister Kim and her husband Joe, my mom, good friends Bob and Carmen, my two beautiful nieces Grace and Bianca. Those are just a few I'll name offhand. They all have helped me on good days and bad and have cared for me just for being me. I wouldn't be where I am and be who I am without them. So, to all of you guys I say thanks! There are many others that have been great influences in my life. From the guy that helped me in the parking garage the other day to the person that leaves a comment on my blog or facebook. There is no way I could name every one by name, but to you I say thanks! I hope every one that reads this will stop and take a minute to thank those that you are thankful for. Enjoy those that you are with today and let yourself not worry about calories.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What a Friday

I woke up today not feeling well. Not really sure why, but I was extremely stiff to boot. I figured I'd eventually feel better. I just decided to relax and watch TV. Shortly after my body started to freak out and I slid back in the chair involuntarily. I was stuck there in pain for a minute with no way of getting up. Quickly sweat began pouring down my face and panic in my heart. Thinking I may pass out or even worse. I started yelling for helpl and continued for nearly an hour. FInally my voice was heard and help was on the way. Our building manager, maintenance guy, and a couple neighbors came in and sat my chair up. Also, an ambulance was on the way. Once the EMTs showed up they quickly took my vitals and asked a few questions. The most poignant being if I wanted to go to the hospital? I declined and just asked for help into bed. I am still in bed resting and feeling better. I guess I was just bored and needed some excitement today. I definitely got that!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Memorial

This past Sunday was Matt McGraw's memorial. I went with a heavy heart and a pit in my stomach. Matt's mom just fell in my lap and cried once I got up to her. She said how she wishes he would have gone to the wedding. He was going to meet us at Adrian's wedding in Nashville and catch a ride with us back to Chicago. He never showed! After comforting Pat the best I could it was on to his brothers. This really sucked! No words could comfort, just some hearty hugs had to suffice. After being there with them it was on to speak with some mutual friends and his cousins Steve and Jason. They were in the band 'Product' with Matt back in the day. Over the years I spent some good times with them. After spending time talking to everyone and recounting our Matt stories the memorial started. After a video montage that brought tears and smiles a brief word was brought by Pastor Jerry and then some time was spent with friends and family sharing stories. A couple of tearjerkers were in the mix, but mostly it was stories that brought laughter. To end the night, 'Product' reunited plus one cousin to play one of their songs, it was great hearing the song and thinking back to when Matt was there. Thanks to Matt's producer a track recorded days before his death was played with Steve and Jason singing with Matt. Even thinking back now I get a little choked up. All in all the night was a great tribute to Matt. I think about him all the time and miss him like crazy. Just being around everyone and remembering the good times has helped ease the pain. Matt will always be remembered by the way we live our lives, to the fullest.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Remembering Matt

I received the news Monday morning. My good friend Matt Mc Graw had been found dead in his apartment in Los Angeles. I still can't believe he's gone! I hope blogging about his life and our friendship helps ease the pain just a little bit.

Matt and I became friends a while back. I'm not even sure how we befriended each other, but I'm glad we did. Matt was always a free spirit and I loved that. Early on in our friendship he took off for California in his old Justy car. Although I hated having a friend just take off, I loved that nothing would keep him down. He was Yin and I was Yang. Over the years our friendship continued to grow. With my love of running a sound board and he and his cousin's having a band (Product) there was a match. I've went to a lot of their show's, helped set up their instruments and on occasion run the soundboard. I just loved being able to have my hand in a friends dream. While I enjoyed being involved with all of that, I must say I enjoyed our time sitting around with a cup of coffee and sharing in deep conversation. It was rare to sit with Matt and not have the conversation get a little deep. Those times just sitting at MoJo's coffeehouse are probably what I'll miss the most.

My mind is swimming thinking of all the times we shared. Matthew, you will be missed my brother. To everyone Matt touched you are in my thoughts and prayers as I know this is a very difficult time. I am glad we still have your music to help us feel you are near.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Judge Beans

Last night Emily punched in the address to Judge Beans in her GPS and was on her way. After driving the two miles there was no Judge Beans. In fact there wasn't even a building in sight. She actually felt a little uneasy in the area she was. She decided we were going to have to go a different route for dinner. She decided to keep it easy and just get McDonald's. So in a matter of minutes we went from some good BBQ to fast food. Yum! Today for lunch we made it to a famous BBQ joint, Jacks BBQ. You know its good when the meat doesn't need sauce and the brisket didn't. Being as it was a beautiful day we drove over to an outside outlet mall and spent some time there.
All in all its been a nice relaxing day.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Here in Nashville

We made it down here. The trip wasn't too bad. There was a little rain in Indiana and Kentucky, but that was it. We finally got in our room as there was a mix up with our room not being wheelchair accessible. They quickly rectified the problem and got us into a nice wheelchair friendly suite. Emily just left to get dinner from a local BBQ joint Judge Beans. My buddy Garrett raved about them the other day. I'll let you know if that raving was warranted.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Father in law

Wednesday my FIL had a mild heart attack. I was in shock when I heard the news. My mother in law called with the news and was quick to let me know he was doing fine. Emily was in class Monday night that's why I found out first. Plus as Emily likes to point out I'm her moms favorite.:) We went to see him last night and he was in good spirits which was encouraging to see. He's supposed to get out this afternoon. I hope he continues having a speedy recovery. Let's keep him in our prayers.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I'm mobile!

I know I'm home most of the time and don't need this option. That's just it I'm home all the time and got bored. Thus I'm a mobile blogger. Plus we've gone on two trips this year and will be in Nashville next weekend and this makes it easier to blog on the go.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My kind of town

Emily and I went out for dinner on Tuesday with a couple of her friends, also bridesmaids. Her friend Becky was in town from California. Being as I have never met her this was the perfect opportunity. Emily hates parking in the city, which most people do. On top of that having to deal with me and the wheelchair make it even more difficult and stressful on her. After some figuring out and advice from Christines friend we found a place not too far from Becky and her sister Peggy that has a parking garage a few buildings down. The whole process was seemless and stress free. Meeting Becky and her sister Peggy was a treat, they were so nice. On our way home from dinner Emily stated that she would be up for going to the city again. I used to love going to the city of Chicago and now both of us feel at ease about doing this again. So Bob, don't be too mad that our first trip wasn't to see you. We'll come back soon enough.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Down to one year

Today, 10/10/08, is one year from our wedding date. I know it seems far away, but everyone tells us it'll fly by. During the summer months Emily and I really worked hard to get all of our plans done. We just have a few items to take care of before the big day. When this whole process started I wasn't as excited as Emily. I know I've stated it before that I would be fine going to the courthouse and tying the knot. I know a bigger wedding is what Emily wants and deserves. We've gone through so much in the past three years that I now look forward to our big wedding day. I saw parts of a TV wedding the other day and it made me think of our day. I couldn't help but be excited to see Emily in her beautiful wedding gown. In fact I feel a little emotional right now. I'm such a lucky man to have such a strong, beautiful, loving woman by my side. Emily, I hope to spend the rest of my life making you half as happy as you make me. I love you, and can't wait till 10/10/09!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Weekend wrap

What an enjoyable weekend! I guess it started on Thursday with Emily and I going to our wedding photographer to approve our engagement proofs. We were really impressed with how good we looked! :-) Saturday, we went out to Schaumburg for a dinner with our good friends Carmen and Bob. Carmen just had her birthday a couple of weeks ago and Bobs was six months ago. So it was a bit late for him. After our delicious meal and our good conversations, Emily and I made our way home for a good nights rest before the big sports day. Sunday started off with our typical Starbucks breakfast which led right innto the Bears game. I know the Lions aren't a good team, but the Bears dominated from start to finish. The weekend came down to this, if the Sox won it would be considered a great weekend and I'd be preparing for Game 4 today. If they lost, I had a great weekend with Emily and friends, but wouldn't be happy today. Thankfully the White Sox accomplished what their city counterparts could not do, win a game! :-) I'll end it with this: a woman in the crowd held up a sign at the Sox game that read, 'Hey Cubbies leave the playoffs to us!'

I still want to marry your daughter Steven!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

You can put it on the board

Last night the White Sox finished battling through three win or go home games. It was definitely stress filled, but worth it in the end. With the 'blackout' in the crowd, John Danks was lights out. Jim Thome crushed a mammoth home run which ended up being the difference in the game. I don't know what they'll do in the playoffs, but just going to the dance under such odds helps hammer a point home. Anything is possible! The last time both Chicago teams were in the same postseason was in 1906. 102 years and we're both finally back together. It's so exciting to be a Chicago sports fan. Let's all enjoy the next month of baseball.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Three years

Emily and I have been to gather three years today. We've been through so much during this time. Some crazy, some sad, some happy. I'm glad I've gone through it with her by my side. I love her so much. I look towards our wedding day and can do nothing but smile. I love you with all the pieces of my heart!

This is me

I'm different than the person I used to be. When I'm alone I don't feel any different, but I know I am. I don't see too good, my hearing is not that great, and my speech is slow. I haven't found my comfort level with being around others yet. I thought I had. Last night I realized I had not. It was time for me to go to Bible study and I started to freak out. Thinking about having to talk in front of people and not being able to hear everything, I got myself worked up to the point of not feeling well. I ended up not going. Talking with Emily about everything I broke down. She is so good to me. We talked through everything. She said I won't feel accepted by every one until I accept myself. So that's my goal to be fully comfortable with myself. Emily made me realize it's all on me. Have I gone somewhere and people pointed and laughed? No. Has anyone made fun of me because of how I talk now? No. Have I fallen out of my wheelchair in front of people? (Except for that one time she dumped me out on the street) No. Get over yourself! I know I've battled this for some time, but I feel like I've had little bit of a break through.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Last night's Bible study

New situations always stress me out a little bit. Being uncertain of my surroundings, and how people will be around me. Looking back I know it's stupid to feel that way, I guess I must not be fully comfortable with myself yet. I've grown more comfortable with where I am and am almost there, but. at least went. Anyway, there were over 80 people there last night. The organizers had stated when they were first planning this they had hoped for around 20. It was cool to see this large group and their hunger to grow deeper in their faith. After watching the video introduction of this eight week Bibles study we split up into smaller groups. I enjoyed being in a smaller group and really hearing where every one was in their knowledge of the Bible. I did feel a little out of place when everyone introduced themselves and what Parish they attend. Being as I'm not Catholic I didn't have a name to share. I could have said St. Emily I guess, :-)! Either way I'm glad I went. I felt challenged to dig in and start reading the Word. I'm nervous that I won't, but hopefully fear of looking stupid in our small groups will be enough to get started. Emily's parents, Steven and Nancy were very gracious and helping me get around and introducing me to people. Thanks guys!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Where was Noah?

We looked, but couldn't find him.
On Saturday I had a ticket to the Sox game and with Friday's washout was ready to go see a doubleheader. I think God had other plans as both games were rained out. We'll just have to use our tickets on another game now. With Sunday came the clearing of the skies and excitement for the Bears game. All I can say about that is I'd rather listen to Kyle Orton talk about a loss then hear Rex Grossman come up with another excuse. After that game I thought it would've been a lost weekend. Thankfully the White Sox did play and won both games. Hopefully they can widen their lead over the Twins this week. While I am a devout White Sox fan, I'm not a Cubs hater. Although I hated ESPN for interrupting the Sox game, it was exciting to see Carlos Zambrano's no-hitter. So I'd say baseball rescued the weekend on Sunday.

On tap for this week: Emily and I will be getting our engagement photo taken at Fred Fox Tuesday and Wednesday I'll be going to Bible study with Emily's mom. Most weeks I don't get out of the house until the weekend, so this will be a busier week for me.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Conquer Chiari

Not sure what Chiari is, go here to learn more. A friend of mine has been battling this for some time now. It kills me to hear about her struggles. So I'm going to do my part by keeping her in my prayers and help shed light on this disease. Conquer chiari is not only a statement, but a website to inform about this disease and help raise funds for further research. Also, they are trying to make September chiari awareness month as a national event. Right now a few states have adopted this. I don't claim to know that much about the disease or of the struggles, but want to support my friend Becky in the battle.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Making Strides

An old high school friend of mine participates in the American Cancer society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. Her mother has been cancer free for eight years now, and she walks in honor of her. I've seen the negative affects of cancer, that's what my father died from 6 years ago. Also, my mom and my sister Rhonda have battled their way through different types of cancers. . So I ask you if cancer has touched your life in one way or the other or you just want to do your part in this crazy world and you're able to do so please donate to this worthy cause. A link to my friends team "In The Pink" is available to donate through them.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

September 2, 1941


My dad would have been 67 years old today. He passed away on June 17, 2002. My family and I will never forget that date. But today I always look back fondly over the time I had with him. He taught me so much: how to be a man, always forgive, how to love (actions speak louder than words), determination goes a long way. Those are just a few of the examples he left behind. Yes, I am sad he's gone, but I am thankful I got to have him in my life for 23+ years. I just hope I keep living life by the examples left behind.








Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Blah, Blah

I figured with Emily going back to work after the summer break would be just what I needed. So far I'd say I was wrong. I am trying to get into a routine, to no avail at this point. Feeling as dry as I do I tried reading a book to get me jumpstarted, but only got a couple of chapters in before setting it down. Now I've been working with Photoshop and learning the intricacies of that hoping that will get my brain going again. I'm just taking the philosophy of writing what I know. I have scheduled a couple of White Sox games next month with my good friend and groomsman Garret. Maybe getting out of the house will be just what I need? Either way it can't be bad. Especially if the White Sox make the playoffs. On that note I'm out for now, I'll let you know what helped get me out of this blah state.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bible Study

Here in a few weeks I'll be going to a Bible study with Emily's mother every Wednesday night for a couple of months. I don't usually get out of the house without Emily, but we both enjoy the times I can do so. Years ago I used to be heavily involved in church and was always into Bible study. Over the last few years Bible study has been a foreign subject to me. Sure I get my doses of Bible and church via Joel Osteen on TV and my home churhc CLC's webast about every week. But I'm excited and kind of nervous to open a Bible and dig in a little bit. We'll see how things go. No matter what it'll be good to get out of the house and get back in to a little bit of the good word.

On another note I get to watch my niece Grace for a few hours tomorrow. I've always been a little nervous to do so, but Carmen entrusted me to do so two weeks ago. Things went phenomenal. Grace is four years old so we watched cartoons and had a little bit to eat. Time flew by and my confidence soared. Going into tomorrow I am not nervous at all but just excited to hang out with my niece. And then on Thursday I have an appointment with my neurologist in the city. This will be my sister Kims' first time taking me to an appointment since her beautiful daughter Bianca qas born. So let's hope she remembers what she's doing with helping me in and out of her car.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

It is what it is

Thursday the 14th Emily goes back to work and we can get back into a normal routine. I hadn't planned on taking off this long from blogging but I guess I needed it. I figured with her going back it was time for me to get back too. This summer has been great! I've always liked traveling, and this summer was a good springboard to future farther travels. We first went to Indianapolis for a long weekend to celebrate my buddy Joshs' wedding. Next, we traveled up to Minnesota to go to the Mayo clinic. Not only was it cool to be in Minnesota for the first time, but being up there and hearing what they had to say was just what I needed to kick my butt into gear and just live. I've been trying to do that. In October we will be taking a trip to Nashville, Tennessee to partake in my friend Adrians' wedding. So for not traveling since 2005 this has been a good year for getting on the road again.

Saturday night Emily and I went to one of her friends weddings in Homer Glen. After getting dressed up and getting to the car I felt horrible. I was having a hard time with the wheelchair and transferring into the car. So in typical kid fashion I threw a fit. I didn't want to go, I stressed about being a limp noodle and an adult bobble head. Finally mustering enough strength and with Emilys' help I got into the car. Once Emily was able to get into the car I complained some more. And once on the road she had some words to share. "It is what it is" she said to me. What if you are a limp noodle, bobble head! No one cares. It doesn't bother her or those around me. It came down to me fearing what others thought of me. I've been that way my whole life. After talking about it, I decided to go in to the wedding and let what ever happens happen. During dinner my shaky hand took and I spilled soup on my shirt a few times, but I did not let it phase me. When the salad and entrée showed up my hands and head were still shaky , but I just pushed through and ate. Every one at the table was not pointing and laughing at me. It did not phase any of them. In fact quite the opposite, we were all laughing and having a good time. Upon leaving I felt like I had taken another step. Emily and I are both stubborn people, but I'll give her this one. It felt good to not care about my preconceived ideas of how people will react. Boy, it feels good to live without undo stress. So this is how it feels to be free!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chilling Out

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Comfortable

Going up to Mayo clinic I knew was a great decision. Before I went up there I had so much hope we would get to the bottom of my health issues. Maybe I had unrealistic expectations even. What I got was kind of unexpected, but exactly what I needed. They gave me a diagnosis I had heard many times before. But hearing it this time I knew I was ready to stop searching for the needle in a haystack. I didn't get the answer I wanted, but the answer I needed. Since then I've been trying to just live life. I battle with the idea of still searching for a another answer every day, but everyday I put that thought to the side and just go forward. Last night we went out with a group of friends for Spanish tapas. We had a great time and after we left I felt normal for the first time in a long time. I didn't feel like my friends didn't know how to act around me, I was treated like a normal human being. That was wonderful! Being comfortable in your own skin makes those around you feel more comfortable too. To top all this off, today I thought to myself, I'm finally at a place of accepting I may never walk again. I'm totally fine with that. A week and a half ago I gave up the search and decided to live, today I am at peace with where I am. I guess I'm finally comfortable in my new skin.

Friday, June 27, 2008

That was quick!

We really started our search for place to have our wedding ceremony/reception on Wednesday and have made our decision already today. After looking at 3 places we decided to go back to our first choice. White Eagle in Naperville easily won out. The author places were nice ..but White Eagle was the only place for us. When this whole process started I was very hesitant. I was fine getting married at the courthouse and having a barbecue reception. Emily wanted none of that. But now after making our decision and putting a hold on the place my nerves and uneasiness are pretty much gone and now I am excited to get the planning going. We have some time as we will not get married until October 10, 2009. Usually teachers get married during the summer, but neither of us are fans of the heat. So Emily picked the date on a weekend where she has one of those fabulous Monday holidays off. As I am writing I guess she won't go with Mrs. Beal until the next school year. Oh well, her loss on a wonderful last name.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wedding planning and a thought

Yesterday Emily and I visited a couple of locations we are interested in for hosting our wedding ceremony and reception. We were impressed with the first place, White Eagle Golf Club in Naperville. They will be able to house our ceremony and reception, keeping the day fairly seamless. We really liked the look of the facility and the options they have. After our time there we ventured over to Di Nolfos in Homer Glen. Once again a very nice facility that is able to host our ceremony and reception. They were very nice and have their act together, but I just wasn't feeling it like I did at White Eagle. We are still going to look at a couple more facilities and then make our decision. I am officially swimming in numbers and details. This is an exciting and nauseating experience! When we got back last night from our last facility, Merle, a parking security guard at our building stopped by to talk to us as always. It was the first time I spoke with him since Minnesota. He had already heard the details from Emily, but wanted to see how I was doing. During our conversation he said exactly what I had been feeling." It has to be a relief to finally have a confirmed diagnosis." That was good of him to say, being as I was hell bent against it being MS and didn't mind sharing my opinion with people I was so afraid of being judged and to not have my exact feeling confirmed.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Like I said...

Right time, right place. We met with a neurologist up here on Wednesday. We spent around two hours in his office. He was very thorough in his evaluation, both of me physically and of my thick binder of health history and test results. His determination was that I'm dealing with MS. There are some things that can't be explained like how my body loves being in hot water when others with MS can't handle hot water. When he was telling me it has to be MS, a lightbulb went on for me. I felt to be at a place of acceptance. Hearing this diagnosis from the best of the best made the words really resonate with me. I wasn't angry or distraught. At that moment, I felt like I was given the keys to live again, to not to let my disability keep me down, but to really enjoy all life has to offer. So seeing as we were down early up here, Emily and I decided to take a few days for a vacation. We will head home on Sunday and start to face each day with vigor. Thanks for all of the prayers and support during our trip up to Mayo.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

We're here

What a beautiful day to travel! Awefter 7 hours in our spacious rental car we made it into our hotel room for a few minutes of unwind time, for me at least, Emily unpacked and is out getting dinner. What a great woman! She my Superwoman. Anyway, we'll rest tonight and go to my first appointment tomorrow at 11:45. My nerves are long gone, I'm content and confident to be here. When you're at the right place at the right time it just feels right.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Back from IN on to MN

What a busy weekend! We arrived at our hotel in Indianapolis Thursday night, that gave us a full day to rest up before the weekends activities. Friday night was the rehearsal for the widening. We ran through things numerous times. Two of the guys had to carry me up and down the stairs. To make sure they were in unity while carrying me they practiced with me at least 10 times. Not sure if it was the stress of fear of being dropped but that activity wore me out. After resting my weary body all night I woke up refreshed for the wedding activities. With my buddy Josh married and the reception behind us it's back to the hotel for a night of rest before heading back to Chicago.

As I'm typing right now my body is feeling the affects of the trip. I am pretty wore out. Oh well, I have to keep pushing. Tomorrow Emily and I are back on the road heading to Minnesota. Mayo Clinic awaits. I've received numerous packets of information from them and am already impressed. They are very detailed. The first packet of information let me know my first appointment will be 11:45 am Wednesday. Also, they let you know most evaluations take three to seven business days, some odd cases will take longer. Knowing I'm definitely odd and an odd case I am ready for anything. Once we get settled in up there I will update more. I ask for your prayers for our travel and pray for every one working on my case.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

That little boy-made me cry: UPDATE

This is an update from my friend Carmen's site:

I received this message last night from my friend regarding Dakota: HE SURVIVED SURGERY! They were only able to get 80% of the tumor. He is in recovery. This is all we know at this point. I just wanted to pass along what details I had. Thanks for much for all your prayers in this ongoing battle for this little guy's life. I'll pass on details as I get them.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Mayo

The next week or so is going to be pretty busy. This weekend I have my adopted neice's birthday party, I can't believe she's going to be four. She also has a dance recital on Sunday. After a few days of rest Emily and I will head down to Indianapolis for my buddy's wedding, which I'm standing up in. We'll be down there for four days. Sunday the 15th we'll head back to town for a day to rest and to pack. Tuesday the 17th we're back on the road headed to Minnesota. I've got an appointment for Wednesday the 18th at Mayo Clinic. I'm not sure what to expect, so I'm nervous to go there. I always knew that this is probably where I'd end up. Nerves aside, I'm really excited. Please pray for safe travel and for the doctors that will be working with me. On top of all this, my sister is having her first child. I am so excited, but sad that it looks like I'll be on the road when she is born. Oh well, she'll get smothered with love the rest of her life by her uncle Randy. On that note I'm out for now.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This made me cry

My good friend Carmen forwarded this letter to me this morning from one of her friends. As I was reading my eyes filled with tears. Nothing tears my heart more than kids having struggles and challenges so early in life. Please read the letter here and pray for him and the family. Kids having challenges thrust on them so young just tears me up. It makes my challenges seem so insignificant. I've had the joys of playing sports, driving a car, traveling without hindrance of a chair. I think about this topic everyday I'm at therapy when I see kids as young as three struggling to walk, have trunk control, or even hold a pen. Let's not only pray for the young boy and his family in this letter let's keep all the young kids with challemges and their families in prayer. If you have a story to share with a challenge in life that we can keep in prayer pass it along.

Friday, May 16, 2008

2 Docs & a Shake

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Turning the page

I like to look back on my life from time to time and assess where I am. I love where I am now. I have an amazing partner by my side in Emily, good family, and a few close friends. I'm not sure how much I've dwelled on the past. I am thankful for the challenges I have had in the past. Going through them has only made me stronger. But I feel today I am turning the page and going to the next chapter. I don't fully know what the chapter is but I'm excited to read on. With some physical challenges growing more difficult to deal with I know it's time to turn the page. I love getting to share my journey with you all. Let's see what's on the next page.......

Monday, April 28, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

1st Vlog Update

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Engaged

Friday, March 14, 2008

Doctor's faith

Yesterday was my appointment with Dr. A, my ID doctor. It had been nearly 4 months since my last appointment with him. As with all appoitments any more I go win with no expectations. This time I brought hope in my pocket though. Hope that we could look into treating me for something. As I've shared recently things have gone downhill for me somewhat. So, in sharing what has been happening with Dr. A he did tell me he definitely could tell I've regressed in some areas. He decided to try me on an oral form of the IV medication I was on for most of 2006. He said he's not giving up on me. This is the doctor that tells me most every time I see him he can't wait to have me walk into his office. I say if a doctor who has only known me for a couple of years has the faith I'll walk again, why should I ever doubt that. Thank you God for putting Dr. A on my path during this part of the journey.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Good word

This morning I woke up feeling better physically than I have in awwhile. Even mentally I felt better prepared for th e day. The question I posed yesterday finally wasn't on my mind. I woke up knowing I would walk again. What a great feeling to wake up confident as opposed to curious. At least a couple of times a week my sister sends me a scripture of the day. I feel like today's was very fitting after yesterday's blog. Here it is.

Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD. Psalm 27:14
Sometimes our fears creep in because it seems like God is taking too long to answer us. Is he out there? Hold on--he will answer you, so you must trust him while you wait.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Will I walk again?

This is a question I've been asked many times. But I think what gets me most is when I ask myself that very question. It's been on my mind a lot lately. My standard answer to others is "for sure, it's just a long process, but I will walk agin". I wrestle with this thought often, during the good and bad times. It's not like I'm slipping today and having a bad day. It's just that I can't shake this question. I'm never going to give up, slow down, or acept this as my fate. I know deep down in my gut there's an answer to this. I'm not sure when, where, or how it will come, but it's out there. I know I've come this far with good ol' dtermination and an all loving God who let's us try things on our own if we so choose. Maybe I haven't allowed Him into this process enough, or at all sometimes but I know that's the only way to get my answer. Please join me in prayer for the answer.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Don't sweat

Learning to not swaet the small stuff is a tough process. I've always been a worrier, someone that stressed over the smallest of things. Over the last few months I've gotten better just relaxing and not stressing so much. But in the past few weeks I've allowed myself to succumb to my old nature and stress over meaningless things. Emily quoted me today on our way to a wonderful birthday dinner for my sister's father-in-law. She remembered me telling her when we first started dating and she would share her frustrations from work. I told her that she is allowing herself to be stressed and really at the end of the day what does it metter. She could choose how she responded to those situations. She should choose to relax and not sweat. I need to take my own advice. Sometimes I come up with a good one. I'm choosing to relax and not sweat.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Slow & Shaky

I feel like such a bum. I haven't posted all month. I'm not really sure why I've let myself slip into a lazy mode this year. It's been this way in all areas of my life. I've been a slacker in some areas of therapy too. Yes, I've been working out, but not like I know I need to. The past few days I've changed that and have been waking up with purpose and working out harder, with determination. That's been the SLOW part. Neurologically I've been regressing more over the past few months. My head has become shaky and my right arm too. It used to be just my left arm that was shaky. Then moved to my left arm and eyes. Now it'sboth arms, eyes, and my head. It's been difficult, but in every other obstacle thrown my way I just figure out how to navigate around the challenge and keep going. Now that's the SHAKY part.

Friday I had an appointment with my neurologist and she definitely noticed a regression. I'll be back there in six weeks to check me out again and gather a game plan on going forward. One thing I haven't shared before was about my aqua therapy. Each time I get into the 90 degree plus water my body feels better when I get out of the pool. Now this shouldn't be the case with MS. Hot settings such as that should wipe me out. I shared this information with my doctor and she didn't want to believe me. So, we're back on the case to find the answer. I've never believed MS as the correct diagnosis and even more so now. On top of the pool stuff I've been taking medication for MS and I've gotten worse. Oh well, just aother day in my crazy life.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Open book

Since I've been pretty much an open book over the last couple of years I figure why stop now. I'm not sure if it was bad pizza or what??? This morming I woke up with this strong sense of failure. Since discontuing the Chinese herbs months ago my whole diet changed for the worst. I tried eating healthy, but it seems the harder I tried the hader I fell. This morning just slapped me in the face. I'm not only hurting myself, but Emily in the process. The longer I allow 'crap' foood into my body, the longer I stay in the chair, thus putting more work on Emily. Plus, I'm not being supportive of her desire/need to get healthier. Those are my two cents this morning.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What's up?

What's up with me? This has been a funky start to the year so far. I'm really hoping after this weekend life will get back to normal or some semblance of normalcy. My sister's wedding is this weekend and that should be it for out of the norm living for a while. Don't get me wrong I'm so excited for her and her day. Our condo search has ended in a comforting decision. We will put that on hold for the time being and get things in order and go into home ownership more prepared. Going through the process caused me to want to buy in the future so if for no other reason that's why we went through that. Those have been the two main things consuming my life this month. As for my physical update: I'm still going to therapy twice a week. I do aqua therapy twice a month, which has been really good for me. I'`ve been doing more standing and a little walking. I just keep working hard and believing I'll walk again. What a journey!

Monday, January 07, 2008

My return

During the holiday season Emily being a teacher had a couple weeks off. Today is her return to work. I decided I'd take a sabbatical myself. I let myself sleep in, not getting up at the customary 4 am hour, but nearly 10 am most days. Take time away from the computer, I would check email and my sports reading though. Now this morning as I type I feel invigorated with writing again. So the season of rest seems to have served well. I thought about rehashing my holidays for you, but I decided I would keep my focus forward. Staying in the present and future tense at this point of the new year. Let's stay focused and determined all year. Accomplish all that our hearts desire and our minds can fathom.