Why Are You Posting Again?

Hey, that’s a good question. The past year has been crazy busy. Perhaps a few highlights might explain why tumbleweeds have been skimming across the pages.

Our daughter was accepted as a member of her high school’s Constitution Team early last year. While they had a class at school during the school year, they also met at least two times a week after school & on the weekend and throughout the summer. They won the district and state competition in January 2012, and then the national competition in Washington DC in May. This brief paragraph cannot properly convey the dedication and commitment of everyone involved – her teammates, coaches, and all the parents. It was truly an amazing experience, especially for the kids.

25th Anniversary We the People National Champions

Our daughter is in the b&w houndstooth dress on the far right

Our son graduated from high school and joined the Air Force. He left for basic training (boot camp) in San Antonio, TX on the first of November. My husband, daughter, and I spent the last week of December in San Antonio for his graduation. He then spent the next six months at tech school learning his job – Geospatial Intelligence – and came home for two weeks in June/July of this year. He’s now in Germany and I miss him, but am very proud of him. It’s weird being a parent.

Airman Woods

Airman Woods, Geospatial Intelligence

I turned 40 in October. To celebrate, my husband and I spent a long weekend in Iceland. While there, and on my 40th birthday (!!!!!), we saw Björk perform in the newly renovated Harpa. Words cannot express what that experience felt like; overwhelmingly beautiful is what comes to mind. I so very much wish I could travel back in time whenever I wanted to re-experience Björk’s concert. I also wish we had spent more time in Iceland. The travel bug bit us, and what perfect timing with our kids leaving home and starting their own life journeys.

Check out my album of iPod photos and my album of Canon photos.

Me + Björk

Me + Björk

At work, my team planned and executed five meetings in 12 months. Three of our largest meetings were held in a short span of eight months. We have never had such a tight meeting schedule. I took on new responsibilities and spent many long hours at work. While challenging, and stressful at times, I learned new things and had the opportunity to build confidence in my writing & editing skills.

Our pug Klaus, sad about Mama working so much

In July of last year, my Mom and I spent a weekend with her Dad, my Grandpa. His health was deteriorating and his wife needed someone to stay with him while she was gone for a family wedding. It was a lovely weekend, although Grandpa did remark that he knew why people were coming to see him. It had been a few years since the last time I saw him. He passed in November.

Grandpa's resting place

Grandpa’s resting place

Throughout all this I was not diligent about my diet, yet I did not experience a relapse or exacerbation of any MS symptoms. I simply maintained as best I could. I have been relapse-free, and drug-free (i.e. pharmaceuticals), since being diagnosed two and a half years ago.

So why am I posting again?

Primarily because, and forgive me for however strange this may sound, I feel more accountable to myself when I am actively blogging. Life has been living me the past year. It’s now time for me to sit back, breathe, and turn it around so that I am living my life. Plus, I now have a little more wiggle room in my schedule.

Once again, I am Returning to True Intentions. But with an additional year and four months of wisdom and experience behind me.

Hey! A year more of wisdom/experience can make a difference, however small!!


Pulling My Head Out of the Sand and Coming Out of the Closet, In One Fell Swoop


I think I’ve finally arrived at the acceptance and getting on with it phase of what one goes through when learning they have a non life threatening disease or chronic illness. It took one year and four months to get here, but I have arrived.

Basically, it went something like this:

I’m living my life, albeit feeling as if I’m trudging through mud for some time, and one day my eyesight goes all wonky. The wonkiness persists for a few days and when there’s no sign of it letting up, my husband and I go to urgent care where my blood is taken. Results indicate I’m perfectly healthy. But my eyes tell me otherwise. I go to the eye doctor, where everything appears to be fine. But they aren’t! We enter the closet. Yeah, I think we entered together. Internet searches galore, and husband mentions what I’m experiencing to a colleague who tells him about someone they know who has Multiple Sclerosis (MS). We shut that closet door.

Once we suspect I might have MS, we look for neurologists with immediate openings in their schedules. But first, I must get a referral from my primary care physician. I don’t have one. My employer switched health care providers a few years ago and I never bothered to find one. So the scramble to find an available PCP begins. We find one, book an appointment, and at said appointment my blessed husband pushes for that referral so we don’t waste any time with further testing. An appointment with an available neurologist is made and within a week’s time I have an MRI  and spinal tap. A week after the spinal tap, we receive my diagnosis of MS… a month after my eyes went wonky.

I am fully aware of how very lucky I was to receive my diagnosis so quickly, and after experiencing my first relapse. I am so very thankful for this. I can’t imagine how torturous it is for those who experience relapse after relapse without a diagnosis. In all honesty, if it hadn’t been for my husband, I would have gone along with the further testing the PCP wanted. More likely in an attempt to delay the inevitable diagnosis.

It truly is a gift to know what is “wrong” with you. But as is said (in cartoon PSAs?), knowing is half the battle. In this case, the other half is figuring out what to do with that knowledge.

So, let’s see. I’m still in that closet. The door is locked and I’m communicating with the outside world through the walls of my closet. I’ve decided to treat my MS naturally and I’m really excited about what I’m learning. I want to share it with the world. So I fluff my feathers and start a blog. It’s going to be great! I’ll document everything I learn and help others newly diagnosed with MS and interested in treating it naturally. But some time passes and I’m not sure I like the idea of relegating myself to MS in that way. There’s more to me than MS. I don’t want to be defined, judged, and/or perceived by others in the light of MS. So I’ll just bury my head in the sand floor of my closet here, continue treating my MS naturally, and be angry that others might be judging me as a diseased person. People like boxing others up and slapping labels on them. I didn’t want anyone applying the diseased label to me.

Head. In. The. Sand.

That’s called denial. I could pretty it up however I wanted by telling myself things like, “I’m just a person who happens to have MS.” A true statement indeed, but in a roundabout way it becomes a belief system entrenched in denial. Especially to an MS newb. I’m new to this for goodness sake! I can’t yet own that statement in the right way.

Enter A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, by Eckhart Tolle.  I’m really quite appreciative of what this book did for me. It reminded me that I can’t do a damn thing about other people. They will box me up, put a label on my box, and shove me on a shelf in their mental craziness. No matter what. They did it before I was diagnosed with MS, and they will continue to do so. I’m sure I was already in a box on their shelves. My diagnosis provided them with the opportunity to create another pretty label and put it on my box.

It can be hard to resist a pretty label.

Fast Forward One Year

To now. All that above the headline was drafted in July 2011.

Hindsight is truly 20/20. Reading the post now is funny to me… I was putting a label on myself! The closet was a nice big giant box I stepped into, and apparently shut the lid on myself. Like I said, pretty labels are hard to resist.

I’ve chosen to go ahead and publish this year-old draft because I think it’s part of the process some of us may go through when adjusting to our new reality. And the part about labels is important. And then the new part about applying labels to yourself is even more important. To hell with people who box you up, slap on a few labels, and then put you on a shelf. The real problem is when you do it to yourself, limiting potential options and solutions, closing doors you didn’t even know were open!

Don’t do that to yourself.

The MS label is a limitation. If you don’t look beyond it, your options for treatment will be limited to the ones your doctor provides. MS is an auto-immune disease. Auto-immunity is caused by chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is caused by a myriad of things, one of which is diet. Which of these myriad of things apply to you and what can you do about it?

You are now free to begin a wonderful journey of learning and discovery as you choose how to treat yourself.


Why wheat/gluten issues have increased:

Why wheat/gluten issues have increased: it’s biochemically different than 50 years ago http://ow.ly/dgxFq