Hello my friends. It has been a while since I have written to you and for this; I apologize. I started a volunteer job. I work two to three days per week and I feel really good about it. I am doing something to help someone else. The issue comes after I work. I’m exhausted. It isn’t that I work to hard, it is that my Ataxia can’t take it so I sleep a lot of the next day.

I have been making wreaths for Christmas. I donated one to the place where I work. I have sold some and others I have hanging in my home. The wreath below is the one I finished this evening.

 

wreath

I have been more into Christmas this year. I have put a tree up for the first time in five years. My brother will have been gone in March; five years. I feel like I can really enjoy the lights. I have a white tree with blue lights. It brings a peace within me.

I am working on getting simple yet good recipes around for Christmas baking. I don’t  have freezer space and will have to make so much of this the week of Christmas. I have to have it simple because Ataxia wears me out so quick.

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving. I did. I spent it with one of my sons and his family and my nephew and his family were there also. We enjoyed the day and I was very thankful to have their home to share the day in.

Anything you want to tell me about? Something new to share? I’m listening.

 

 

My Christmas Tree


THIS CHRISTMAS

This is the first year
After four years
From when my brother passed
That I am feeling up for a Christmas blast.

I wondered if the feelings would ever return
Or were they permanently burned
But I feel joy bursting from my heart
i feel like I can really start being a part.

The tree is up, the lights are lit
I think of my brother and a tear did drip
I told him hello and how I miss him so much
I asked him what he thought of my Christmas touch.

I felt a peace fall over me
As I looked at my Christmas tree
I knew he was smiling from up above
I really could feel his Christmas love.

I know it’s early to put my tree up
Cuz there are those who say, hey what’s up!
But Ataxia can rule my day, really get in my way
And today I was good so I did what I should.

I decorated my tree, I thought of mom, dad and me
I remembered Christmases past and what this year could be
I told myself I’ve got a great family
And we will share among this year’s Christmas tree.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd
Nov 11/18

 

christmas tree

The Thinking of an Ataxian Gal


Getting that time of year
When multi-tasking is in gear
But I’m getting past that stage
When my brain doesn’t want to engage.

Seems so overwhelming to me this time
Dancing thoughts are all in my mind
Writing mental lists for me to do
Isn’t working like it’s supposed to.

Thinking Thanksgiving recipes
Thoughts of beautiful Christmas trees
Making messes in my little home
Listening to Christmas on my phone.

I hate thinking it so early this year
Put the holidays on rest for another year
Let’s just sit and drink coffee and watch it snow
Let the holidays come and watch them go.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd
11/10/2018

 

Ataxia

I Guess I’m Worth It


Although I am tired and ready for a nap; I had to write a little. It’s an unwinding experience for me and also; did anyone ever tell you I’m a chatterbox? No? My mother and grandmother said I was always a chatterbox when I was little. They said I was dutch too. I guess I didn’t talk too clear.

 

Anyways, today was a trip to the same doctor twice. I went this morning to have blood drawn. I just got back home from my second appointment where we discussed the results of the lab work.

 

I was shocked when my sugars had come down actually a whole number. I don’t know how that could have been since I have struggled the last three months to keep the numbers in tow.

 

They rise so  high in the afternoons so the doctor split up my insulin shots to one in the morning and one at bedtime. Same dosage; just split in two different time frames. I ate a lot more ham salad and eggs this past three months and that showed. I guess no more ham salad for a while. My sodium went up a little. This must be from switching from Sea salt back to regular table salt. I will get the Sea salt next time I go to the store. I just hate paying so much more for it over regular table salt; but I guess I’m worth it.

 

My cholesterol was up a tad but I know that was from too much ham salad. Everything should come back down to normal on my next visit. The only things that he couldn’t fix was my burning headaches. He said those are from my Ataxia. The sore varicose veins, which he said are from my legs working so hard at walking and not falling. He said if they get so bad I can’t stand it; compression stockings.

 

Oh, I hope that doesn’t happen. I used to put them on my patients a lot. I would have to sprinkle baby powder on the legs and then roll them up on my hands and then slowly squeeze them on the patient’s legs. Whoa, what a job. I think it would be much harder to have to put them on my own legs. I would bend over and then fall. Thinking positive thoughts that this doesn’t happen for a long time.

 

I always eat breakfast out when I had blood drawn. I am starving by the time I get out of the doctor’s office. I went to my regular place and was shocked at the prices. I can see paying top dollars for a fine meal, but eggs and toast, almost 9.00? Nope, gonna have to find a cheaper place next time.

 

Now I’m tired and I am ready to get out of dress-up clothes into comfy clothes. It is chilly outside, a sunny day but windy. A perfect day to stay in and do nothing in particular. You all have a good Wednesday evening my friends. Talk soon.

 

md-profile-male6-198

Ataxia and Me


Today, I received a gift in the mail from a friend here on Facebook. It is a bracelet. An Ataxia bracelet.

It’s hard to explain my feelings. I chat with those here at Facebook who have Ataxia. This is where I get my support from the most because they understand what I go through.

I would say it defines me. When people ask if I am drunk; I can show them my bracelet. When people ask me what’s wrong with me; I can show them my bracelet.

I thank-you, Kym Thompson for this beautiful bracelet. I will wear it daily.

You ask what Ataxia is?

What is Ataxia
Ataxia is a degenerative disease of the nervous system. Many symptoms of Ataxia can mimic those of being drunk – slurred speech, stumbling, falling, and incoordination. All are related to degeneration of the part of the brain, called the cerebellum, that is responsible for coordinating movement. Ataxia is a disease that affects people of all ages. Age of symptom-onset can vary widely, from childhood to late-adulthood. Complications from the disease are serious, oftentimes debilitating, and can be life-shortening. Ataxia is an umbrella term used to classify a group of diseases that include:

Ataxia Telangiectasia
Episodic Ataxia
Friedreich’s Ataxia
Multiple System Atrophy
Spinocerebellar Ataxia
Sporadic Amigoscon Ataxia

Symptoms
Symptoms vary by person and type of Ataxia. Symptom onset and progression vary as well. Symptoms may worsen slowly, over decades – or quickly, over mere months. Common symptoms of Ataxia are lack of coordination, slurred speech, trouble eating and swallowing, eye movement abnormalities, deterioration of fine motor skills, difficulty walking, gait abnormalities, tremors, and heart problems. Individuals with Ataxia often require the use of wheelchairs, walkers, and/or scooters to aid in their mobility.

 

Ataxia

A Night Out With Family


Yesterday, I was not planning on doing much of anything. Where I live, the main headquarters paid a visit to inspect each apartment. I am always a neat and tidy person but when I know that the head haunchos will be looking at what I live in; I tend to be a little more picky. The inspection was done and now I can relax.

 

The rest of the day was up for grabs. It was later in the afternoon that my son called. He invited me to ride along with him and his family to Fort Wayne. They had a stop to make and he said we would be dining out.

 

Fort Wayne, Indiana

https://www.cityoffortwayne.org/

 

 

I eagerly accepted as I love spending time with my family and grandchildren. The forty minute drive went quick as we chatted over the past week and all that had happened. The talk of the Holidays came up and we were discussing the whats and ifs to come.

 

My family took me to Longhorn Restaurant. I had never eaten there before. Here is the link to where I dined at.

https://www.longhornsteakhouse.com/locations/in/fort-wayne/ft-wayne/5544

The photo below is what I ordered but I had a baked potato and broccoli as my vegetable.  There was so much I brought the extra home and ate it for my breakfast.

 

steak

It was a nice gift when I learned he had paid my bill.  I thanked him so much for that. After we left; we went to Hobby Land where I found on sale a table type LED light. I had been looking for one to place on the table that I work on for my paintings and crafts. It was almost half-price, so that was a big plus for someone on a limited income.

 

After we left that store I pointed out a store that I like to visit when I get to Fort Wayne. It is called Ollies. It is similar to a Big Lots; but much nicer, in my opinion. I bought some shampoo and conditioner and some craft items I needed. My family seemed to like it also as they bought some goodies too.

Here is the link, if you have never heard of this store.

https://www.ollies.us/home.html

 

Before I knew it, we were home. I again thanked them for inviting me and paying for my dinner bill. We hugged each other and I know in my heart; I will see them again very soon.

Tonight, here where I live is the building’s monthly, Saturday night supper. There are four floors here and each month a floor is in charge of the supper. This month, it is our floor. I fixed a big pan of home-made macaroni and cheese.

 

My kids always loved my mac and cheese. I make it with three different types of cheese, a white sauce and this time I added chunks of fried ham. Of course I had to taste test it and it turned out perfect. Cheesy and stringy with lots of flavor.

 

We are also allowed to dress up for Halloween if we wish. I do wish this so will go in my mild costume. With my Ataxia, I could not afford to be over dramatic, for fear of falls. Those photos will follow in my next post.

 

Well, you all enjoy your Saturday. Our forecast for today in Warsaw, Indiana is; sunny and a high of 52. Fall is definitely here. My header for my blog is a tree I photoed yesterday. Notice the beautiful trees and how they are beginning to change their colors.

Talk to you all later my friends.

God’s Got This


It’s been a rough couple of weeks for me. Many doctor appointments. Doctors of specialty trying to fix my unsteady gait problem. No one has been able to help; though I do appreciate the efforts.

 

Many times Neurological problems can not be helped. Doctors can not fix the brain while we are still living in most cases. I have had my eyes and prescription changed and I got new glasses and frames too.

 

Next week I go to my Primary care doctor for lab work to see how my sugar levels have been and how I am doing on my insulin. I am still struggling to keep my sugars down so I have to wonder what will happen next. I, myself, believe with the fight I have to keep steady sugars, that perhaps after thirty-eight years of being a Diabetic; my pancreas is failing. Time will tell if my thoughts are on the right path or not. In November; I go back to my second Neurologist for a re-evaluation.

 

I have had personal issues along with doctor visits. I have been so sad that I can’t make everything in my life correct. I was having a wonderful luncheon with a good friend of mine Wednesday.

 

I just love spending time with this gal. She is relaxed, a good Christian, and we can talk about anything. I had been telling her about what has been happening in my life lately and she said something that turned my thinking a 360.

 

She said, “Maybe you are being tested by God to see if your faith will hold strong during these times of struggles.”

 

Bingo! I knew as soon as she said it; that she was right. I suddenly relaxed and I thanked God for allowing this friend in my life that day. I am still having my issues; but I have a whole new outlook. I am giving my problems to God and letting him deal with it.

 

Back to my living. I am living with a smile and hope , knowing God’s got this!

daisy

Give me your thoughts


My weeble wobble is getting more in my way now a days. I am glad that for the most part, God helps me keep my spirit up.
 
I still get fatigued so easy. If I run errands or go on an outing, I can now bet that the following day; I sleep it away; but who cares? I got out of these four walls.
 
Last evening I fell into the walls twice. Thank-you wall for letting me lean against you, instead of nose to the floor. I have secretly been pondering on whether I should get a wheelchair. You know, for those bad days?
 
Again, they are still riding the halfway line. Some are good and others are bad days.
 
What do you think or advise? Embarrassment would be my number one slide back to this idea. It’s crazy, I know it. I scream at myself for those feelings; but I have them.
 
Should I try to get one or keep going with the challenge of walking with my walker? There aren’t too many times I don’t use that red walker these days. I usually try to exit the back door of the building to my car without a walker. It’s just so darn hard to fold and oh, the lifting of it to put it in the car. Almost too much plus a great risk of fall.
 
So give me your thoughts. Why? Because I just don’t know what to do next.
 
fall

Stuck on a Stone


STUCK ON A STONE.
 
Standing on the tip of a stone
These days I can’t feel but alone
Been in a low; thinking back on time
Wish I could get moving; get back in line
 
I can’t steady myself on this rugged, old rock
Feels like I will fall like Humpty on the dock
I really hate visiting my past, nothing to gain
Makes me feel like I am standing in down pouring rain.
 
I argue with me; tell me this is just shit
I tell myself; I am just the right fit
For dealing with life, I have experience enough
I’ve been told i’m not weak; that I’m really tough
 
Won’t lie to you my dear family and friends
I will be glad when I pass and get to the end
Depression is ugly, it changes your thoughts
But for these past days; this is all that I got.
 
Written by,
Terry Shepherd
butterflies 2

One By One


a3

I was really surprised that I received a phone call from my Orthopedic doctor yesterday. This goes back to last month when I went to see him about my toes curling  under and my unmistakable weeble-wobble.

Medicare does not generally pay for something when it doesn’t pertain exactly to my disability issue. Inserts for shoes have been taken away by the many cuts in Medicare. Now my feet have to look deformed in order to get help. I don’t know about you but when my toes curl under; they look deformed.

Well God answered a miracle once again. The inserts are going to be covered by insurance. No, they won’t help me stand-up longer but they will help balance out the bottom of my feet and hopefully help keep my toes from curling under.

This is one fight I have won. It doesn’t mean the disease won’t win in the end. What it does mean is I am climbing over stones; one by one.