Saturday, August 9, 2014


For real??  My last post was almost a YEAR ago?  Wow.  This truly is a neglected blog.

Well it was a rough year, as I'm sure you can guess give my last MRI update.  I was doing well for about a month, and then...well...what goes up...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Scripting a New Rosetta Stone

I know I’m a little behind in the news, but what??  The Common Core State Standards for English no longer requires schools to teach cursive...and at least 41 states are going along with this.  This isn’t where I read about it, but here’s a link to the release at abc News.

Are we witnessing the extinction of a written language before our very eyes?  How many grand-kids will need their parents to read them handwritten letters from their grandparents because they’ve never seen cursive?  Okay, I see the flaw in my logic there already.  Who the hell writes letters anymore?  And yeah...even though I know cursive, I couldn’t read my grandmother’s handwriting half the time anyway... 

Still, it’s a valid point.

Core standards exist for a reason and yet they don’t mean diddly-squat.  Roughly three years separate each of my siblings and me, but we were all taught different English standards.  Is there one period after a sentence or two?  (Two.)  Do you include that last comma before the ‘and’ in a list?  (YES - I hate, hate, hate when that comma is exluded!  It doesn't make any sense.  None at all.)  And there are generations before me who were taught to put commas EVERYWHERE (please don't - much like when drinking, use commas with discretion).  Writing and grammar are so confusing now because changes to the core standards created an inconsistent environment where some people use one set of rules, others use a different set, and others suit the set to their own standard.

I get that things change.  Our world is evolving.  History and science are constantly in flux as we learn new things, and the definition of planets change so those of us who grew up in adoration of Pluto are left feeling deflated now...but this is English.  It is our language.  It is how we communicate.  How can the rules differ so vastly so quickly?

Personally, I think cursive should be taught.  We will have a split society in which some people have this secret, almost clandestine style of writing, while the rest can type a million mph with their thumbs.  Oh, and those of us who can script...we can also type  a million mph with our thumbs made its huge roaring entrance in the 90s.  Ug.  I swear, it makes me want to snag a quill and an ink well, and throw my pc and stupid smart phone out the window.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

MRI Update

A lot has happened, so this is a quick (yeah right) follow up.  The MRI scan showed no change in the brain lesions from the last MRI (that's good) and the brain lesions don't highlight with contrast (also good).  Cervical spine was clear - I have a slightly bulging disc, but it's not causing any trouble.  My doctor did find a lesion on my thoracic spine that stretches over several vertebrae.  She believes this is causing the issues I'm having with my bowel/bladder function, back and leg pain, and leg weakness.  We did a lab to test for NMO (Neuromyelitis Optica) due to the lesion's location and size.  I received the results of that today - it was not conclusively negative, but they did not find the antibodies they would expect to find (that's good - and my doctor expected it to come back negative).  In addition to the lab, she ran an aggressive 5-day course of IV steroids to calm things down.  My last day was Sunday. 

The steroids were tough.  My BP was down all five days, so it was hard for the nurses to stick me.  But I got through it.  I've gone through this before and usually I'm a ball of non-sleeping hyperactivity.  This time, I couldn't sleep, despite taking heavy sedatives, and I was exhausted the entire time.

Meanwhile, Barnes called on Friday and got me in yesterday.  At this point, with the new scan and the "new" lesion, my home doctors are on the same page, so this was just a consult and reiterated what I already know.  The doctor I saw there agrees with my home doctor's diagnosis and offered some strength and balance training tips.  Barnes was an interesting place, but going there it wasn't as necessary as it once was.  I have MS.  She did say that it's possible the autonomic dysfunction with my heart is related to my MS, but it is not being caused by the thoracic lesion.  She recommended that I stay on my current treatment course (fludro-cortisone and compression stockings).

Last night, I slept 12 hours (yay!) and, even though I woke up sore from the car ride, my back and legs do feel a little better.  I haven't noticed a changed in the bowel/bladder yet.  The nurses said that since the symptoms had been coming on over the last 6 months to a year it could take a few weeks for the steroids to start working.  My BP is still down and I'm dizzy, but I'm feeling more optimistic than I was.

Also, since having the hysterectomy, I've been more prone to heat intolerance and have had some trouble with temperature.  Until now, I've always been cold and heat has only aggravated my MS a handful of times.  Now I'm either hot or cold, and swing from extreme to the other without much of a comfort zone.  So, we did an estrogen test to rule out any side effects on the surgery (I still have my ovaries).  My estrogen levels are fine (that's good).

So I guess overall, after a long period of uncertainty, things are coming together, and I finally have answers.