I have not written my blog in several months and I feel bad about that. Now it is time to catch everyone up on what has been going on here in my little part of the MS world. To be completely honest, very little. Summer has arrived which means that I have been home with the kids trying to come up with daily activities to keep everyone busy. Unfortunately, as I am still awaiting the SSA to decide if I am too disabled to work and my wife has been working her ass off to keep the roof over our head and food in every one's belly, there is little money left over to arrange activities for the kids and afford the gas to get them there. We have been able to arrange a few things.
A few months ago I came across a set of golf clubs at the Salvation Army Thrift Store. I grew up in a golfing family even though I was the black sheep (still am) that never really took up the game. Granted, when I was much much younger, my father would take me to the driving range on occasion to hit some balls. Most of these trips were me watching him hit the balls since he has the ability to pretty accurately hit anywhere he wants to with amazing skills whereas I could occasionally hit them to a marking yardage spot. When I got this set of clubs (granted they were woman's clubs) I discovered that my youngest children seemed to show a keen interest in using them and learning the game of golf. This made me swell with happiness as I have recently (past several years) felt the desire to involve myself more and more into the world of recreational golf. The funniest part of this is that golf is very common amongst us in the fire/rescue world. It seems like whenever a firefighter gets ill (cancer) or dies in the line of duty, they get a golf tournament named in their honor. The last one I played in before my retirement was for my friend Z who I worked with in the City of Manassas Fire and Rescue Department. He discovered he was ill in February and was dead by June. Myself and a few of the other Chief's in the area had a large tournament to benefit his family shortly after he passed. To say the absolute least, I played horribly.
Once I mentioned to my father that the children were becoming interested in learning the game, he made a surprise visit to our house one Sunday (my wife's birthday to be exact) to bring down a set of children's golf clubs for my daughter as I had found a set of children's clubs from the Salvation Army store the weekend before for my son. That same day I found myself a new set of clubs that fit me a lot better than the set I had and these ones were for a male, so now my wife had a set of clubs. Everyone now had their own clubs making things so much easier when it came time to drive balls.
My father's visit was not merely for him to bring down golf clubs for the kids, but apparently whilst going through his paperwork he found a whole life insurance policy that had been taken out on me when I was 8 years old which would now be worth somewhere between 150-200k dollars. Since he knew that we had the opportunity to purchase a property from our landlord for $50k less than asking price to include a rental property bringing in $600/month with perfect tenants as well as a 5 bedroom house all on 4.5 acres of land, he figured that this policy would be able to provide the capital we needed to finally purchase the house. Unfortunately, he forgot that he had cashed out the policy in 1998 and thus rendering the paperwork that I was holding in my hand completely useless. It's the thought that counts I guess. Unfortunately, we lost the opportunity to purchase the property and are still staying in the tiny little 2 bedroom rental that we have been in for almost 2 years. Not great, but at least it is a home.
That same weekend that my father came for a visit I also stepped on the door to the deceased rabbit cage that we have been using as the "cat penalty box" to housebreak the cats that refuse to use the litter box. Me being the macho guy that I am (when I need to be) cleaned it up a bit and put a 4x4 gauze pad on it and secured it with medical tape. Of course, after my father left on Sunday evening, I was forced by my wife to go the the ER and have it checked out to ensure that it was clean and nothing foreign was left in it. Two weeks later I thought that it had been healing pretty well and went Geocaching with my wife and son (they are BIG into this hobby now). Unfortunately this particular cache was in the woods and I must have stepped wrong as immediately afterwards my foot with the gash in it was throbbing and the pain was quickly becoming unbearable. Still, two nights later I was still able to stand, albeit on one leg, whilst cooking a massively delicious dinner for my family. After dinner, my wife assisted me with cleaning the wound and we discovered based upon it's appearance and years of medical training that it was severely affected. YAY! Another trip to the ER.
Upon arrival at the ER, my assigned PA happened to be a member of our church. When things like this happen it ALWAYS makes things ten times more interesting than they would have been otherwise. For instance, I have a tendency of not always being politically correct nor using language that is acceptable for all those in attendance. I have found that my linguistic skills become more unpopular when severe pain is involved. One big problem I have is that I am allergic to anesthetic medications (ie. Novacaine, Lidocaine, Betacaine, Cocaine, etc.) which means that local anesthetics to dull the pain that I will be feeling when the PA takes a scalpel and cuts open the infected wound on my foot to drain out the infection will not be used and will allow me to fully experience ALL the pain and fun. Before the lancing of the wound began, a high dose of antibiotics was going to be administed at my suggestion to the doctor. Rocephen was to be the antibiotic de jour and was to be administed in a large muscle for maximum effectiveness and since all medical paths seem to lead to the ass being the muscle of choice, I prepared for the painful injection. The nurse wanted to be a nice person and make the injection a little less painful by mixing in some lidocaine. Thankfully, after she had made the mixture and before injecting it she asked me again about any allergies I might have. At this point she practically ran out of the room with the needle to dispose of it and hide her complete embarrassment. My wife and I took this as an opportunity to laugh hysterically at how close I had come to death all because of a little cut on my foot. We also laughed about how the insurance policy that we just found out was no longer in force almost would have been a really good thing to have at that moment.
Several weeks have passed since that ER experience, and I am able to happily able to report that my foot is 99% healed with no further medical intervention necessary. I can also report that I have not really experienced any further medical complications due to the MS. I have also finally scheduled an appointment with my neurologist to touch base on my progression and to re-evaluate my medicine since it is probably overdue. We will also most likely order a new MRI to see what the internal progression of the disease is. To say that least I have been slacking. However, since MS affects my memory terribly, I blame my slacking on MS not allowing me to remember all of the things that I should do. Thankfully, today, MS allowed me to remember to write my blog. Unfortunately it is a few months overdue, but hey, my 2 readers didn't miss much.
On that note boys and girls, I shall end this blog for tonight and perhaps consider laying down in bed and hope that sleep will eventually come. I will listed to my sugar gliders prance and dance around all night and most likely bark at each other into the early hours of the morning. Goodnight (or good morning if you are reading this when the sun is up) and I look forward to any correspondence that you may wish to write. After all, this may not be your life, but it might be something like it....