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Saturday, September 29, 2012

flu day sucks

This is the second week in a row now that I haven't been able to sleep through flu day.  I can't sleep, yet I feel ridiculously awful.

I've taken some left over pain medication from when I had my wisdom teeth out.  Here's hoping it produces sleep tonight.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The hand...

There is a tradition we used to do at camp.  Each night, its nice for groups to reflect on the day.  At summer camp, we called it a "cabin chat."

On the first night, my favorite activity was the hand introduction.  Each person talked about 5 parts of themselves, all related to fingers.

The thumb - what makes you human.
The pointer finger - what guides you.
The middle finger - what annoys you.
The ring finger - what you are committed to.
The pinky - something random about you.

I was thinking about this tonight - I don't really know why.  My answers always change, often based on the group of people I am with.  I share different things with children, with my staff, with my peers.  It also depends on my life situation.

Today, my thumb - I experience emotions.  Every emotion, and sometimes every possible emotion in an hour time period.  I'm happy, sad, angry, scared, confident, excited and more.  It's all me, and its all very human.

My pointer finger - I struggle with this one lately.  If I was sharing this with a group, I wouldn't have anything right now.  I'm looking for something to guide me.  I need to find something that is worth it these days.

My middle finger - I'm annoyed when I'm misunderstood, or just blatenly ignored.

My ring finger - I'm committed to finding my way again.  I seem to have lost it recently, but I'm going to find it again.

My pinky - I miss my Subaru.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


I usually do my Avonex shot at night, and then take some Nyquil and sleep through the worst of the side effects.  I'll take it either Friday or Saturday night, depending on my weekend plans.

This weekend I went car shopping Saturday morning.  (I got a Focus, which is not anything that I am happy with, but it was cheap and I'm desperate).

Then my best friend in the world was moving today (Sunday), so I didn't want the flu then.  So I did my shot at noon time on Saturday.  This was the first time I had done it at a time other than bedtime.

It SUCKED.  I felt miserable all day and could not fall asleep for the life of me.  Then, today my back was so sore, I wasn't all that helpful moving.  I didn't even have my subaru to fit lots of stuff in.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

“A boss creates fear, a leader confidence. A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader asks questions. A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting.”

I've had a hell of a week, namely with the highest sort of management at my job.  Fortunately for me, my supervisor, and her supervisor, agreed with me.

It all boils down to the fact that I had to reprimand his son, who works for me.   I knew that wasn't a good idea to begin with.  And it got all blown up ridiculously.

Now, its over - and not resolved, but over.  I really was kind of wishing I'd get fired over the whole thing.  I'm not one to think, "oh, I'll just sue!" but really, this would have been the best wrongful termination suit ever.

And in the last 24 hours, I've really grown to like this boy with the incredibility annoying father.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I'm a quitter

I quit therapy today.  Well, sort of.

I didn't actually quit as much as just not make an appointment next week.  I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to make a follow up.  My reasons are very valid, but not entirely everything.

I think the whole process is so complicated.  I have MS.  I'm dealing with it.  That should be enough.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It's the kind of ngiht

I'm sad
I feel like all is hopeless
I just want to cry

To solve all this, I shall go to bed.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Thoughts for the night

If you want to feel rich, count all the great things you have that money can't buy

friends - really great friends, the kind that I know I can call on when I really need something.  The kind that can pull me up when I need it, and that I know will call on me when they need it.  The ones from long ago, the current ones, and the ones that I know are forever.

family - even if they can make me crazy, they are there.  In all sorts of weather, and they love me, unconditionally

knowledge - not just the book kind that came out of school, but the real life experience I have had.  The lessons I have learned, even if they came about the hard way, make me who I am.

children - there's been amazing children I've met in my life.  They've left a footprint on my soul and I really appreciate what they've done for me.

camp - as a child, this place defined me.  All I wanted to be when I grew up was my counselors.  This place molded me, and taught me about life.

love - it's cheesy, but those I've loved are worth it.  'Tis better to have loved and lost, then to never have loved at all - or something like that.

inspiration - those thoughts, ideas, things that keep me going.  It's those things I can turn to when I'm having a tough time.

health - eh, I can't count that anymore


I found my missing envelope of money!  Well, technically my assistant found it.  But either way, I didn't have to sell myself on the street corner to replace the $400.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

September 9, 2012

You're especially easy to please today, dear Sagittarius, but also very willing to do the pleasing. A general trend in your life recently is a larger focus on relationships and the joy you feel when you are with someone one on one. This is a good year for enhancing or attracting a partnership. Later today, you are especially in touch with your own motivations, as well as others. Trust your perception now.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Boundary Breakers

I'm a bit of a blogging fool today.  I guess that's cause work is finally not crazy and I'm enjoying the low key do-nothing day that is not flu day.

Another boundary breaker:

Is there anyone you trust so much that you wouldn't be afraid to have him or her know every single thought you have?

OMG, absolutely not.  I can't even imagine having someone in my life that I could trust that much.  I can't even fathom how anyone can feel like that about anyone else.  I don't even blog, on this anonymous blog, every single thought I have.  I mean, duh, there'd be 500 entries a day, but there's plenty of thoughts that I even censor on here.  Eek.  That's such a scary thought!

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives; some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't.

What do I want to be when I grow up?

That's easy.  It's always been easy.  Camp.  As soon as I worked out that one could make a professional life through camp, that's what I wanted to do.  I went back to school and got a degree in Camp Management.  Camp is was my life.

Now the possibility of camp, or least what I think of when I think of camp, is slipping away.  I feel that MS has made that all but impossible.

But, just because I can't do camp the way I've always done camp, doesn't mean camp has to be completely eliminated.  I just need to sort out what that means.  I'm pretty sure I can find something to get me excited again.

another day...

Just when I think things are settling down, something happens.  I can't find my petty cash envelope for the month.  This sucks.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Little nothing book

I found my little nothing book tonight.  There were a few things I had to add to it, and I'm pretty impressed with how long it is.

Every good camp director has a little nothing book.  It's filled with inspirational stories, quotes, pictures and general good mood things.  

I started this in 1995.  It's come a long way since then.  There's a lot of stories about Girl Scouts, camp, love, life. 

 I guess it's time to add Multiple Sclerosis to that list.  I'm quite sure there's good quotes I can add.  In the meantime, my favorite story (it's long, but well worth it).

Three Letters From Teddy

By Elizabeth Silance Baynard
Teddy's letter came today, and now that I've read it, I will place it in my cedar chest with the other things that are important to my life.
"I wanted you to be the first to know." I smiled as I read the words he had written and my heart swelled with a pride that I had no right to feel. I have not seen Teddy Stallard since he was a student in my fifth grade class, 15 years ago. It was early in my career, and I had only been teaching for two years. 

From the first day he stepped into my classroom, I disliked Teddy. Teachers (although everyone knows differently) are not supposed to have favorites in a class, but most especially are they not to show dislike for a child, any child.

Nevertheless, every year there are one or two children that one cannot help but become attached to, for teachers are human, and it is human nature to like bright, pretty, intelligent people, whether they are 10 years old or 25. And sometimes, not too often fortunately, there will be one or two students to whom the teacher just can't seem to relate.

I had thought myself quite capable of handling my personal feelings along that line until Teddy walked into my life. There wasn't a child I particularly liked that year, but Teddy was most assuredly one I disliked.

He was dirty. Not just occasionally, but all the time. His hair hung over his ears, and he actually had to hold it out of his eyes as he wrote his papers in class. (And this was before it was fashionable to do so!). Too, he had a peculiar odor about him which I could never identify. His physical faults were many, and his intellect left a lot to be desired, also. By the end of the first week, I knew he was hopelessly behind the others. Not only was he behind; he was just plain slow! I began to withdraw from him immediately.

Any teacher will tell you that it's more of a pleasure to teach a bright child. It is definitely more rewarding for one's ego. But any teacher worth her credentials can channel work to the bright child, keeping him challenged and learning, while she puts her major effort on the slower ones. Any teacher can do this. Most teachers do it, but I didn't, not that year. In fact, I concentrated on my best students and let the others follow along as best they could. Ashamed as I am to admit it, I took perverse pleasure in using my red pen, and each time I came to Teddy's papers, the cross marks (and there were many) were always a little redder than necessary.

"Poor work!" I would write with a flourish. While I did not actually ridicule the boy, my attitude was obviously quite apparent to the class; for he quickly became the class "goat," the outcast - the unlovable and the unloved. He knew I didn't like him, but he didn't know why. Nor did I know - then or now - why I felt such an intense dislike for him. All I know is that he was a little boy no one cared about, and I made no effort on his behalf.

The days rolled by. We made it through the Fall Festival and the Thanksgiving holidays, and I continued marking happily with my red pen.

As the Christmas holidays approached, I knew that Teddy would never catch up in time to be promoted to the sixth grade level. He would be a repeater.

To justify myself, I went to his cumulative folder and from time to time looked it over. He had very low grades for the first four years, but not grade failure. How he had made it, I did not know. I closed my mind to the personal remarks.
First Grade: Teddy shows promise by work and attitude, but has a poor home situation. Second Grade: Teddy could do better. Mother terminally ill. He receives little help at home.
Third Grade: Teddy is a pleasant boy. Helpful, but too serious. Slow learner. Mother passed away end of the year.
Fourth Grade: Very slow, but well behaved. Father shows little or no interest.
Well, they passed him four times. But he will certainly repeat fifth grade! Do him good! I said to myself.
And then the last day before the Christmas holidays arrived. Our little tree on the reading table sported paper and popcorn chains. Many gifts were heaped underneath waiting for the big moment.  Teachers always get several gifts at Christmas, but mine that year seemed bigger and more elaborate than ever. There was not a student who had not brought me one. Each unwrapping brought squeals of delight, and the proud giver would receive effusive thank-yous.

Teddy's gift wasn't the last one I picked up, in fact it was the middle of the pile. Its wrapping was a brown paper bag, and he had colored Christmas trees and red bells all over it. It was stuck together with masking tape. "For Miss Thompson - From Teddy" it read.  The group was completely silent and for the first time I felt conspicuous, embarrassed because they all stood watching me unwrap that gift.
As I removed the last bit of masking tape, two items fell to my desk: a gaudy rhinestone bracelet with several stones missing and a small bottle of dime store cologne - half empty.

I could hear the snickers and whispers, and I wasn't sure I could look at Teddy. "Isn't it lovely?" I said, placing the bracelet on my wrist. "Teddy, would you help me fasten it?"

He smiled shyly as he fixed the clasp, and I held my wrist for all of them to admire. There were a few hesitant oohs and ahhs, but as I dabbed the cologne behind my ears, all the little girls lined up for a dab behind their ears.

I continued to open the gifts until I reached the bottom of the pile. We ate our refreshments and then the bell rang. The children filed out with shouts of "See you next year," and "Merry Christmas!" But Teddy waited at his desk.

When they had all left, he walked toward me, clutching his gift and books to his chest. "You smell just like Mom," he said softly. "Her bracelet looks real pretty on you too. I'm glad you liked it."  He left quickly. I locked the door, sat down at my desk and wept, resolving to make up to Teddy what I had deliberately deprived him of - a teacher who cared. I stayed every afternoon with Teddy from the end of the Christmas holiday until the last day of school. Sometimes we worked together. Sometimes he worked alone while I drew up lesson plans or graded papers.

Slowly but surely he caught up with the rest of the class. Gradually there was a definite upward curve in his grades. He did not have to repeat the fifth grade. In fact, his final averages were among the highest in the class, and although I knew he would be moving out of state when school was out, I was not worried for him. Teddy had reached a level that would stand him in good stead the following year no matter where he went. He had enjoyed a good measure of success and as we were taught in our teacher training course, SUCCESS BUILDS SUCCESS.

I did not hear from Teddy until seven years later when his first letter appeared in my mailbox.
Dear Miss Thompson, I just wanted you to be the first to know. I will be graduating second in my class next month.
Very truly yours,
Teddy Stallard
I sent him a card of congratulations and a small package, a pen and pencil gift set. I wondered what he would do after graduation. Four years later, Teddy's second letter came.
Dear Miss Thompson, I wanted you to be the first to know. I was just informed I'll be graduating first in my class. The University has not been easy, but I liked it.
Very truly yours,
Teddy Stallard
I sent him a good pair of sterling silver monogrammed cuff links and a card -- "so proud of you, I could burst." And now, today - Teddy's last letter.
Dear Miss Thompson, I wanted you to be the first to know. As of today, I am Theodore J. Stallard, M.D. How about that!!!???
I'm going to be married in July, the 22nd to be exact. I wanted to ask you if you would come and sit where Mom would sit if she were here. I will have no family there as Dad died last year.
Very Truly yours,
Teddy Stallard
I am not sure what kind of card one sends to a doctor on completion of medical school and professional boards. Maybe I'll just wait and take a wedding gift, but my congratulations can't wait.
Dear Ted, Congratulations! You made it and you did it yourself! In spite of those like me and because of us, the day has finally come for you.
God bless you. I'll be at that wedding with bells on!
Miss Thompson

In the book of life, the answers arn't in the back. -Charlie Brown

I've had MS almost 2 years now.  It'll be my two year anniversary on the one year anniversary of my mom's death.  That's gonna be kinda weird.  But, as far as MS is concerned, I've learned a lot.  I enjoy talking to folks who are newly diagnosed, or close to a diagnosis.

Since I got MS, I have learned that sometimes, I just have to suck it up and move along.  I can't expect to always feel good, but if I can keep my head on right, I feel better.

That's not always easy.  I catch myself feeling sorry for myself far more often than I would like to.  I catch myself using MS as an excuse when I'm tired or lazy.

But, things are getting better.  I would say I have more good days than bad days now.  I would say the biggest challenge for me with MS is my mental health, but I'm learning how to cope.  The physical symptoms are easier to deal with then the mental ones, but I'm learning.

I attribute a lot of that to my therapist.  She's pretty cool. 

Her name is Danielle - Danielle D'amato -  if anyone is looking for a great therapist in Massachusetts.  There's been quite a few times when I see something, and I can only see it in this tunnel vision mindset.  She calls it a black or white thinking, but then she brings up another side of it, or another way of looking at it, and I leave feeling shocked.  Except, she's right and its all in the way I am approaching something.  And all of a sudden things feel so much clearer and much more logical.

She has many locations, mine in Western MA and then another near where I used to live.  Then, she's opening her own place someplace completely different.  It's kind of impressive.  I personally would be terrified of all that, but it seems to suit her.

She's young.  I figure kind of idealistic.  The way I used to be - her about therapy, me about camping.  I miss that thought process.  When I thought anything was possible.  Then this whole MS thing hit, and all that idealism was shattered.  I feel like maybe, its coming back.  Perhaps with a bit more realism, but it's totally coming back.

Some days I feel broken.  Completely broken in spirit, mind and body.  When I tell her about it though, whatever it was seems ridiculous - and it really was.  I started thinking she should "fix" me, but really, it's about me changing my thinking.  She's not really fixing me, just adjusting how I process things. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

“Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.” ― David Richo

I've still been going to therapy.  In many ways, its useful, just in the day to day, week to week stuff.  There's nothing she can say or do to make the bad feelings of MS go away, but I can think of it differently. 

Last week, we were talking about my life and what interests me.  I said my job was everything.  It is.  It's pretty much all I am, and all I identify with.  I feel life would be over if I didn't have it.

She started to brainstorm others things to do, that I could be engaged with.  She wanted ideas of other things to add to my life that would keep me excited - about living - I suppose.  I started to think of some things I have enjoyed previously, but nothing really made me excited.

Then I thought of square dancing.  I loved it when I did it.  I was probably 40 years younger than everyone else, but I had so much fun!  I said it.

I think, at first, she was trying to figure out if I was serious.  Then, when she concluded I was, I could almost see her thinking, "I will not judge my client, I will not just my client, I will not judge my client."

During the whole process, I was thinking she didn't get.  She didn't get the problem in the first place.  Coming up with this list was easier than trying to explain myself.  Except, when I got home, I thought about it. I thought a lot about it.  The thought of doing something else in life made me excited. 

I started to look up square dancing.  I found a club near me - for singles even.  I didn't have to have a partner to join.  I wrote to them.  I'm going to start square dance lessons in October.  I'm looking forward to it!

Saturday, September 1, 2012


I love the new auto injector shot and find it doesn't hurt at all, unless I accidentally shoot myself in the thumb. Then, it hurts like a bitch.