Too many thoughts, too little time.

Archive for April, 2015

The Worst

There are about 90 different MS symptoms. I don’t think there are many, if any, people who have them all, all the time. They come and go. My left foot drops, the signal to pull my foot up when I take a step isn’t getting through. That’s happened for a long time. I don’t think about it much, though it’s probably why I trip so often. My left side goes numb, but, again, it’s not a big deal. Annoying? Sure. But, that’s about it.

You know what bothers me the most? What makes me cry?

The cognitive stuff.

If I were a beauty queen, who had been disfigured in a house fire…it would be insanely hard to look in the mirror every morning.

If I were a sports star, partially paralyzed in a car accident…it would be really hard to no longer be able to grab the ball thrown at me.

If I were loved for my millions, and lost it all over night…it would be awfully difficult to swallow my pride and pay for the McDonalds in quarters.

I’m smart. That’s been my thing.  It’s been easy for me. My sister loves to introduce us; “I’m Evil Sister, I’m the pretty one. This is Baby sister, she’s the nicest. And this is Katie, she’s smart.”

And, I’m not anymore. I’m not smart, I’m not talented, I’m not super pretty, I’m not that nice of a person, I idon’thave this great bubbly, outgoing personality. I was smart. But, I’m not anymore.

Brad says I am. He says my brain is just having trouble. Couldn’t anyone say that, if that’s the case?

I don’t feel smart when I can’t say the word “California”. When I have to call coffee “that warm drink, with the caffeine.”

I don’t feel smart when I get stuck on a word, when I sound like a broken record, when I sit there for what feels like minutes, but is probably only seconds saying “Well, after dinner, I was gonna go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, g-g-g-g-g-g-o, go…” and I have to stop and retry “After we eat I wanted to stop by the store.”

It’s been more than a handful of times that I’ve cried in the shower because I can’t remember how to wash my hair. And, even if I could, I can’t remember if I’ve already done it or not.

When trying to explain long division, for the 800th time to my son, and I can’t find the words,let alone remember how many times 9 goes in to 54.

I told Brad, it’s like the knowledge is there. It used to just be in file cabinets. I’d walk to the carefully labeled drawer, and pull out what I needed to know, and I was smart. Now? There is a tornado in my brain. Everything is swirling around, too fast to really see it. I grab for the first file card I find. If I’m lucky it’s what I need, but odds are against it. And, even if it does happen to be one I need, I have to read it quick, otherwise it gets sucked right back out of my hand.

I wake up in the morning, and the words I need are swirling, and the to do list, and the meal plan, and the “please remember”s, are all swirling. Right along with “Hey, don’t put paper by the stove, you’ll set it on fire.”,”don’t grab the hot pan, I know you can’t feel it, but you’ll get burned anyway”, “Don’t be mean to him, he loves you”, “your tooth brush is the purple one”. Those things used to be written, in big letters, where I could see them all the time. And, now, they are just swirling. One big mass, that I can’t make sense of.

I fake it pretty well, I guess. But I know how hard it is.

So, today, I’m just gonna sit, and watch it all swirl.

And, tomorrow, I’ll keep grabbing cards, and trying to be smart again.




Pit Bulls and Apartments


I’m looking at apartments. A lot allow pets. A good portion of those have breed and size restrictions. The size thing, I can kind of, sort of understand. But, I feel like maybe they should have kid restrictions too, because my 108 pound 9 year old jumps and clomps around far more than my 57 pound dog.

I live in a nice neighborhood. Lots of families, lots of dogs. The people directly behind us have 3 Chihuahuas. Those damn dogs have bitten my kids more times than I care to count. If we walk into our back yard, they growl.They used to run over and try to bite us, luckily the owners now have a fence. And, every time, Cassie runs over, picks up the dog, pets it, smothers is in kisses, laughs about how they “think they are vicious big dog” and takes them in the house. When is is nice out, and the windows are open, like now, you hear those dogs bark, ALL.DAY.LONG.

Two houses down is crazy lady. She has 3 dogs. I don’t know what they are. They are white, and really fuzzy and probably 30 pounds. She lets them out in the fenced yard all day. And they bark. Non-stop. Morning till night. She’s had animal care and control called on her more than once.

At the end of the culdesac is 4 dogs, in 4 houses. The two itty bitty dogs growl and bark nonstop. There is a pit bull. She barks when I walk by with Trixie. Not usually when I’m by myself though. I’ve never heard her any other time. The 4th house has a beagle. That is tied out, and runs, full speed, at who ever passes by. He pulled his tether out of the ground once, while Brad and I walked by. And he was growling like crazy. Then, he attacked Brad. Tore his hand up. I can carry on…the puggle that tried to bite Trixie when it broke free, and it’s neighbor, the little bitty terrier that, was never mean (even when it broke free), but both those dogs bark all the time. There is a gigantic…Akita? Maybe? Who barks when we pass. That’s it. He lives in a house with a fenced yard. This fence is the most laughable fence ever. But, he stays. The man with the labrodoodle, I see him out walking when I am. His dog is quiet the whole time. There is a family with a boxer, that is so well trained, they tell her to sit as we walk by and she does. Doesn’t move a muscle or make a sound.

I see a woman out quite often when I walk Trixie. She has 2 pit bulls. The dogs never make noise. The walk nicely on a leash. But, when we see each other, she waves me ahead, while she takes a few steps back, or a different route all together, with the explanation her dogs don’t do well with other dogs.

So, what is the score here? 11 loud, annoying (and often mean) dogs that would be allowed. A labrodoodle, who might make it on breed but not size. And, 6 large, quiet,well behaved dogs who wouldn’t be allowed.

I always hear that pit bulls are bad because if they bite they will cause so much damage. By that logic, we should ban SUVs as well, because if they hit another car they will cause so much damage. and, you are far more likely to die, or be severely harmed by an SUV than by a pit bull.

I was nervous about Trixie, you hear so much bad about them. When was she going to flip and kill us in our sleep? I started doing research. My ex has a blood hound. This dog makes Trixie look like a baby. He is SO big, and SO lazy and laid back. I’ve watched a lab play tug of war with his ears and him sleep through it. Blood Hounds were the original “dangerous killing machines”.

I looked at the deaths that have been caused by pit bulls. As far as I’ve found, not ONE has been by a lone, female, spayed, family pet. I don’t have the research in front of me, but I don’t think any of them have been caused by a lone, neutered, male, family pet either. A VAST majority have been intact males. Often in groups of two or more. The “pets” involved are usually owned by a family. And, kept on chains in the back yard.

Trixie loves tug of war and gets aggressive while trying to win. But, never mean. Once, she got something off the floor…a grape? an M&M? something she wasn’t supposed to have. I said “Trixie! No!” and I rushed over, pulled her jaw open and took the food away. I still have all my fingers. I’ve been trying to get her to hold a piece of food on her nose. Sometimes, she gets over eager and takes it too soon. I haven’t let her have it. Again, still have all my fingers. We’ve taken her on 11 hour car rides and she doesn’t make a sound. She’s stayed in hotels…again, she is silent. When walking down the halls etc. she is perfectly behaved. We got in the elevator once with a man taking breakfast up to his room. Bacon, sausage, eggs. She sat and waited for our floor. I don’t remember what happened, but,she jumped up on Brad, and she got Brad’s wrist in her mouth. You should have seen this dog try to figure out how to get down, without falling, or closing her mouth. Her worst habit is she jumps on people to kiss them when they walk through the door. Adults that visit are used to it. She knocks over a lot of 3 year olds. I have strange kids come up to me CONSTANTLY when we have her out. Always asking to pet her. I always say they can. And, she just licks.

There are a lot of bad owners. And, unfortunately, the bad owners have bad dogs. Often, aggressive dogs. But, I think a lot of the good owners, who have aggressive breeds, or even just big breeds, are anal about how they behave. We know our dogs won’t get too many chances. We KNOW the damage they can cause, and we don’t actually want other people to get hurt. When the dog nips, we don’t laugh and say “awww, she thinks she is protecting me!” If we know the dog has tendency to be mean to other dogs, we don’t let them around other dogs. We take steps back off the trail to let the other dogs pass. We use a muzzle. We make the dog sit, before we let the random 4 yr old come up to pet.

Unfortunately, we are stuck until people pick a new breed to hate. Maybe we don’t get an apartment, we end up renting a house. I just wish people judged the dog on how they act, not what they are. Trixie has all her shots. She’s never shown aggression towards people. She is fixed. She is quiet. We take her out with us all the time. When places have outdoor seating, we take that, and she comes along. She sits by the table, and waits for scraps. That’s it. If we could bring her to meet the owner/manager/whatever, I don’t think we’d have any problems getting a place. But, instead, there is a blanket ban. And, that sucks.


I stepped on the scale this morning. 198.6.

The last time I weighed that I was 18 and had just had a baby. I steadily gained for the next 5 years or so. Getting to about 275.  I kicked out my ex and lost about 25 pounds pretty easily. But, without working on it, my body seems pretty content to stay at 250. When I met Brad I was 225 or so, I was working out a lot at the time, eating like crap though.

Then, we settled into that new relationship rut. You know, where you want to sit on the sofa and stare at each other. Of course I didn’t go to the gym, what if I missed time with him? Because I hadn’t changed my eating habits, the Mountain Dew and the milk shakes quickly caught back up, and I was 250 at our wedding. I was really unhappy with that. So, I started over. Made little progress over the next 8 months.

I got my fitbit for our first anniversary, and then I really started trying. The first year was great, I lost a lot, quickly. The second year, I felt like it was 1 step forward and 2 steps back. I felt like I wasn’t losing any weight. I was, but it was the same 5 pounds over and over. But, i decided if I had to work THAT hard to not gain 5 pounds I sure couldn’t give up, otherwise I’d balloon up in no time. A broken foot, mouth surgery, and an MS diagnosis and I still tried to lose weight.

The MS thing scared me. And, it isn’t a weight related disease. But, I realized, I fall a lot, did I really want to be 300 pounds and flailing around in the parking lot because I’d fallen and couldn’t get back up? Did I want to sit on the scooter thing at the store on days I can’t walk and have people think “You wouldn’t be so fat if you just walked around the store”? Did I want my husband to need help when I needed picked up? No, to all of those.

So, I amped up my efforts in Jan.

I’ve lost 25 pounds since the beginning of the year. I now weigh less than my driver’s license says I do.

I’ve lost 52 pounds total, so far.

I’m the smallest I’ve ever been as an adult.

This is the smallest my husband or kids have ever seen me.

I bought clothes in the children’s department recently.

My husband picks me up and carries me around for fun.

I had to change my eating habits, because I can’t exercise every day. I try, but if I overdo it, I’ll pay for it.

Yesterday, I went out for lunch with my aunt, who is very overweight. She recently lost about 25 pounds as well, but, that still leaves her very heavy. We walked in to the restaurant, and she walked so slow. We ate, and eventually left. We walked up to pay, but there was a line, so, we just stood still for several minutes. Then we left, we walked from the register to the handicapped parking. When we sat down in the car, she was out of breath.

That made me really sad for her. She has struggled with her weight the whole time I’ve been alive. She’s had health problems because of it. As we drove back to my house, I realized, again, I have the same genetics. I’m not somebody who will every be “naturally” thin. I really am a string of bad choices and lazy days away from 350 pounds. And I’m short! It won’t take much for me to be bigger around than I am up and down! I thought losing 50 pounds was hard, I don’t want to have to face losing 250. I don’t want diabetes. I don’t want to walk that slowly (though, life is a bitch, because no matter how much weight I’ve lost, on bad days, guess what? I walk that slowly.)

So, I came home, and I threw my left overs in the trash, and made a healthy dinner. Though, I was proud of even having left overs.

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