I am a Nut in a Shell


I woke-up early in a good mood. After sitting in bed a few minutes I decided I really wasn’t ready to get up. I laid back down and slept another hour. This time I had to get  up and was ready also.

I took my shot and my medications then drank my first cup of coffee. I turned on a movie that I had seen last night on the news. It was called, Abducted Twice in Daylight; I think. It was about this small town where everyone knew and were good friends.

A neighbor and his family had moved in next door. The two families became close friends, sharing their lives together like most neighbors do. What happened from there, didn’t really shock me but I was more into what is going on in the minds of sick people. It was a movie I watched to the end.

I don’t know if I have ever been that trusting in my entire life to  have made some of the decisions these parents of the kidnapped girl did. Maybe I have a more suspicious mind. It seems to me that in this movie, things would have got nipped in the bud long before people’s lives got hurt. You will have to check this movie out and let me know what you think.

The next thing I did was get dressed and put on some make-up. I have been applying make-up to cover some of the age spots I have. I have always had a fear of dying and getting old. Don’t ask me why. I already know I am going to heaven and I realize I can’t stop the process.

I went into the bathroom and tried to do something with my hair. I actually hate my hair cut I got a few months back. It didn’t turn out like I wanted at all. I may have already mentioned this in a prior post, but after the hair cut cutting began; I learned the stylist was new. A nightmare is what I call it. It can only grow out in my opinion.

I used a mirror to see the back of my hair in the bigger mirror. I almost fell over and I felt my jaw drop big. What I saw was this hugs area of small thinning, maybe bald spots. Oh my gosh. I am getting old.

Instantly, any good thoughts about how I looked at myself were gone. I wanted to change my clothes back to bed clothes and hide under my covers. My opinion of myself as being outgoing and not too bad looking for almost being 65, and the thoughts that there are others heavier than me, came tumbling down like and eruption of boulders falling to the road.

I did the best that I could. I decided then and there I would not color my hair a darker shade anymore. I would let it go back to its natural blonde. This way the baldness wouldn’t be so bold.

I put everything away, and got me a cup of coffee. Here I set at the computer talking to you and yet my heart is still sinking and my self-worth is almost shot. I always wanted to be accepted, a thing from my childhood. I always wanted people to know that I was a compassionate, caring and empathetic woman. Why in the world do I want to hide myself now over bald spots?

 

womens-thinning-hair-loss-s9-photo-of-alopecia-areata

January is Gone


t’s been a rough month
Words spearing my brain
I’m actually glad this month’s over
Now dreaming of rain and Spring.
 
Spring is all about new
New hope and answered prayers
I know God listens to my words
Because he is everywhere.
 
On the other side of the coin
Sadness can fill my eyes
It’s so close to my brother’s passing
When I was forced to say my goodbyes.
 
From this day forward
Alvin will occupy my mind
Still seems like only yesterday
He and I had so much time.
 
Our days are filled with goodness
Our nights can be like hell
I just have to remember to be thankful
While God teaches me to sit a spell.
 
It’s hard to not be guessing
What tomorrow may or may not bring
Will we still be like this morning?
Can time really change everything?
 
My faith is what I carry
In a bucket wrapped in my heart
I have to remember to refill it
Until this earth I depart.
 
Written by,
Terry Shepherd
 
Dedicated to life and my brother, Alvin Miller.

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.

Doctor’s Visit


Today I had a doctor’s appointment. It was a check-up from the labs I had drawn yesterday. We go over the report and he makes suggestions as to what I can do to help myself.

All the numbers on those LD’s etc were in normal ranges. I was happy. My sugars had come down a little with having added five units of insulin these past few months but he wants them to where they were several years ago, I think, so he added five more units of insulin.

It was my turn to make suggestions this visit. I had a full memory list of what I wanted to ask but got shot down on all of my questions. He explained why this and that and I understood what he was saying, until we got to my last question.

I told him about my Dystonia causing my arch to hurt most days from my toes curling. I explained that my weeble-wobble was becoming more of a daily issue now. He said, there wasn’t anything to FIX ME.

I guess I knew it inside from belonging to so many support groups on FB. What his suggestion was as he was opening the door to leave was; “Probably time to consider using a walker full-time and get a wheelchair.”

I said nothing. He said nothing. He gave me a pat on the shoulder and smiled then left to see the next patient. I stood and stared at him as he walked away. It has been four hours since that talk and I still don’t want to believe it.

I told one of my friends about it and expressed I was not ready to sit in a wheelchair, even part-time. They asked me, “Falls and hospitals or safe and at home?”

terry

Daily Post/ One Word Prompt


https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/doppelganger/

The word for today; Doppelganger

an apparition or double of a living person.
“he has a doppelgänger named Donald, his invented twin brother”

 

“It’s going to be alright Susan. I won’t let anything happen to you.” These were the words the little girl heard as she hid in the back of the closet; rubbing her legs and bottom.

Susan was being abused physically by her older brother. She didn’t know why he did this. All she knew was it hurt real bad. If she tried to fight what he was wanting to do to her; she got hit by a belt on her legs. This was why she was rubbing her legs.

Her imaginary twin placed her arms around Susan. She stroked her hair and rubbed her back. She gave Susan her favorite stuffed animal; her cat and the two petted it together.01917ae3f3d42cbbdce537e0c1036369

Brother did terrible things to her. He smacked her bottom. He put his fingers in a place that made her cry from pain. He placed the fear of God in her by telling her, that if she ever told mom and dad; he would hurt her even worse.

Her twin saw her tears and wiped them away, promising to find a way for all of this to stop.a_little_girl_is_crying____by_fm19-d2zqi5e

It was the last time that it happened. Brother was getting ready to hit her on the legs when suddenly a gun was pulled out and brother fell to the floor. Susan couldn’t move, but with the help of her twin; the two ran to her bedroom.

A bag was waiting for her to be picked up. Putting it in her hand, she ran out of her room and out the back door. She never went back.

It was 13 years later that the words appeared on the front headlines of the newspaper. Woman is released from a local institution. 

After many trying months and years of trying to get this woman to speak; it never happened. The case had been tried. There was never a a pronounced verdict of guilty. The jury’s statement was; There just isn’t any proof.

Susan eventually went back to the old house where she grew up. Her parents were both deceased. The house stood empty. She turned the door handle and it opened. She walked to the closet where she hid many times. It was empty. There wasn’t a trace of anyone or anything ever having been there.closet-426386__340

Daily Prompt/ One Word Prompt


https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/incubate/

The word for today is; Incubate

verb
  1. (of a bird) sit on (eggs) in order to keep them warm and bring them to hatching

Can I exchange a bird and an egg for a person and a life? I consider what I did, in a way, incubating.

My mother passed away quite suddenly. She was a God-fearing, loving and kind woman. She helped open a Women’s shelter here in Warsaw. She and my dad used their own funds and bought an old camper. They gutted it and installed everything needed to make funnel cakes. They traveled to the small-town fairs and sold these goodies and donated all the funds, including the monies to purchase ingredients, to the Beaman Home. She helped people and never let on she was helping them.

https://www.thebeamanhome.com/

She never smoked. I heard her swear once and it was only the word, shit. At the age of sixty-two, she had a sudden Anneurysm.

https://www.webmd.com/brain/brain-aneurysm#1

None of us could help her. She passed away.

I also took care of my dad who had Multiple Myeloma and Leukemia with a little bit of Parkinson’s mixed in.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/multiple-myeloma/symptoms-causes/syc-20353378

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/leukemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20374373

His illness lasted about one year and then he passed. I did all I could, but God wanted him worse.

Then there was my brother. A mentally challenged man who had one heart attack and then Multiple System Atrophy hit him big.

Multiple system atrophy (MSA), also known as Shy–Drager syndrome, is a rare neurodegenerative disorder characterized by tremors, slow movement, muscle rigidity, and postural instability (collectively known as parkinsonism) due to dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, and ataxia.

(It is kind of creepy and a little scary for me to read back that definition of MSA. I too, have a neurological disease. My doctor can’t decide if I have my brother’s illness or not. He says in time he will be able to tell. My diagnosis is; Parkinsonism/Dystonia/Ataxia. You can probably understand my fear.)

When my brother had this terrible illness and on top of all the other stuff he had went through, I decided to incubate any time we had left, which ended up being seven years, the general amount of life time on this particular illness.

I paid close attention, more than my dad I think, to every feeling, need and want he wanted. I spoiled him rotten. I made sure he had the best doctors we could find and afford. I fed him healthy foods. I told him many times how important he was to me and how much I loved having him for a brother.

I was drained and tired and physically in not the best shape when he passed; but I wouldn’t trade a moment. I have beautiful memories of his and my time together. I shed tears still, but not as often. He will be gone from my vision four years, March 24th, 2018. I feel like I incubated and watched over his days and nights until he was ready to be born into God’s hands.

March is Awareness month, and I am still  praying for a cure. Purple is the color that represents Multiple System Atrophy. The guy on the scooter with the big smile? My brother. The banner at the bottom is where you can call if you are in crisis.

cropped-msa-4.jpgf553ae22d9e28063ac9715ed64bb697a.gif17861605_10210581946959525_7352910367946822984_n

 

cache_4221975826

Ever Wonder Who I Am Looks Like?


Here I am. I am the writer and photographer behind this blog. I live in Warsaw, Indiana. I have three grown children and I think, 11 grandchildren. I was a caregiver and traveled throughout Indiana for many years and then became a private caregiver for elderly and Hospice patients.

Now I have Parkinsonism/Dystonia/Ataxia. I live in a retired community building and spend my time painting, or being the photographer for the social events here. Yesterday, I was nominated for Secretary for the next year. In April I will learn whether I was voted in or not. I really don’t mind if I lose or win; I was thought of.

I am pretty quiet, but at times I can be a real chatterbox. I love to take my scooter or car and go to the lake and take photos. I love campfires, seeing the smiles on my family’s faces and making memories.

I am an Advocate for a rare illness called; Multiple System Atrophy. I have a Facebook page called Multiple System Atrophy through a caregiver’s eyes, where families, patients and caregivers can view postings that hopefully bring a smile. You may chat with me about questions you have about this rare illness.

https://www.facebook.com/MSAfeelingstressed/

I have published two books and am writing a third. The first book is called Dahlia. It is an uplifting story about never giving up. The second book is a general based book on Multiple System Atrophy. These two books can be purchased through Amazon or Kindle. The third book I am writing is in no holding back the truth about Multiple System Atrophy. Many readers let me know they wanted to know more. I had held back because it is such a horrifying disease; but in this third book, I will be spilling my guts. I think the name of it will be, A Hell of a Disease. We shall see if that sticks.Al_his_life_and_MSA_Cover_for_Kindle

Well, that about does it. If you have questions about who I am, talk to me.

terry

Living in Today’s World


My mind wanders back to the day of 9/11, 16 years ago. What was I doing? Where was I? I was going through my own hell on that day. I had split up with my ex. I was living on my own on minimum wages. I had lost my mother a year prior. I was lonely, miserable and sad, angry at everyone; including myself.

I remember having slept a restless night, probably from worrying too much, instead of leaving it in God’s hands. I woke up later than my normal time. I got my coffee made, sat down to drink it and flipped the television on.

Oh my gosh! What! What in the world is going on?

I listened and learned our country had been hit by mean and hateful people. Lives had been lost. Quickly, I forgot about my problems and thought about how my mother wasn’t here to see this.

I sat glued to the television. I didn’t get much accomplished that day. I grew quieter in thought and just watched the TV. Hour after hour, my heart sank. Before I knew it, I was beginning to pray.

I had been brought up in church. I did the weekly church thing, but this moment, I found myself drawing nearer to our God. I felt tears dripping as my heart tore more open from this world tragedy.

From that day forward, God and I became closer friends. He helped me get through my father’s illness and death. He helped keep me strong for my brother’s seven-year illness and his death.

He showed me I could make it on my own in almost any situation. He helped me draw closer to my children and to understand I was not only their mother, but I could let loose of the trying to guide them in their own lives, and just plain enjoy knowing they love me, no matter what.

Today, I thank God for awakening my need for him. I pray for all those lost in the terrible 9/11. I continue to pray for our world of disasters today; other countries in turmoil and hate, tornadoes, fires and hurricanes. I pray for our Congress and President Trump.

No matter what my opinions are of any goings on, the fact is; God is in charge and knows exactly what to do. Now, today, I am fighting my own health concerns. I try to give more to God and enjoy the little things in life; like waking up.

I try and succeed most times, to find the good in the negative in people and in my surrounding situations. God is good. I don’t know why he doesn’t stop some things from happening; but I know he has his reasons. Maybe, he wants us all to draw near to him, lean on him.

So many of us feel we are in charge of our lives. We have to make the decisions. We must make sure our children are happy, our spouses and partners are happy. Our job performances are noticed, our paychecks bigger each year.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter, none of it. God brought us into this world out of ashes. He will take us out of this world in a blink of an eye, and I promise, nothing is going with us, nothing.

All that matters is; we love God, praise his name, give thanks for everything we do  have, continue to love him when things don’t go right, and the biggest to me, is TRUST HIM, and don’t worry about what others are thinking or saying. We are God’s child. He made us perfect in his vision. He has us right where he wants us, each moment, each day, each year.

God bless our country. God bless our military. God bless you.

 

September 11th Terrorist Attacks

Is There Someone I Can Call For You?


The firefighters raced in. Smoke engulfing anything that breathed. Looking around they saw no life. Checking the bathroom, they looked behind the worn shower curtain; nothing.

Climbing the stairs, stopping in mid-air, as they watched three stairs collapse in front of them, they took giant, baby steps, and landed on solid ground. Splitting in different directions, they sought each room.

There he was, the little boy, hiding under his bed. Flames dancing all around him as if inviting him to a special party, where he was to be the main event. The firefighter pushed fervently the bed, crashing it into the wall, causing the little one to cry.

He bent down quick and scooped the tot in both arms. Turning around he raced out of the door, yelling, ” I found him, I found him. All head outside now!” The piercing sounds of blazes licking at their heels, caused them to run faster. Hearing the splitting of wood from above, they raced through the front door.

Crowds screaming and clapping as the firefighter transferred the boy into the arms of the EMT’s. The mother and father came and were standing at the rear of the ambulance, throwing questions faster than playing darts.

“Is he okay? Is my baby alright? I should have insisted he bring his toys downstairs to play with. I gave in because I didn’t want to take apart his train track. I will never forgive myself for being so lazy.”

“It’s going to be alright. He seems to have suffered some smoke inhalation, but only minor burns. Don’t put yourself down mam. You were only doing what you thought was right.” The mother buried her head in her hands crying. All she could think of was what she had done wrong.

The EMS team worked on the tot, cleaning him up. Mom could hear one of them speaking over a speaker in his hand. “ETA, five minutes.” The police guided the parents to their patrol car and opening the back door, helped each of them in.

Silence guided them to the nearest hospital, Angel’s Mercy South Side. The EMS was ahead of them, but close enough the parents zoomed in on the flashing bubble, and they waited anxiously for the tot to be transferred inside the doors. The police pulled up next and not waiting for their doors to be opened, they raced inside the electronic, double doors.

They started running to catch up with their son, but the receptionist stopped them, stating they needed to fill out  paperwork and show their insurance forms. The mother turned to her and started laughing out loud. The husband tried to quiet her, but the wife refused.

“My child has been burnt. Do you think you could think of something besides money for a change? You’ll get your damn money, but my son comes first. Excuse us lady, we are going to see our son.”

The guards were motioned from behind the desk and pulling their pants up tighter and touching their side gun, they stiffly walked up to the parents. ” I can understand how you feel, but the staff is looking after the child at this moment. They will call you back as soon as  everything is under control. You must fill out the paper work as the receptionist has so kindly asked. We need this completed before we can proceed.”

He once again touched his gun and tipping his hat forward, he gestured the two to turn around and do as was requested. The mother was cussing under her breath. The father patting her shoulder, whispering, “It’s going to be alright. Let’s just do what they asked so we can go see Ryan.”

What seemed like hours, they tediously filled out each line and signed on the dated lines. Yes, they understood the HIPAA law. Yes, they had insurance and let the lady make copies of that and their driver’s licences. Yes, they had signed permission papers, giving the hospital rights to treat their son. They had placed their preferences of religion.

The receptionist, checking every detail, thanked them and told them to take a seat in the lobby and as soon as they were able to see their son, their names would be announced.”Why don’t you get a cup of coffee for the two of you,” she smiled saying. The husband  rocked his wife’s head on his shoulder and neither stood up.

It was an hour passing and a gentleman in a white coat, with a navy blue shirt and a bright red tie came out of the double doors. He walked to the receptionist and she pointed in their direction. The doctor neared them and asked them to verify their name.

“Please come with me.” He placed his arm around her shoulder guiding them through the double doors, into a green, cold hallway. He led them to the fourth door where he opened it for them to enter first. “Coffee?” Both shook their heads stating no.

The doctor sat behind his mahogany desk in his luxurious, leather chair. Clearing his throat and hesitating momentarily he began.” Do you have family near? Is their someone I can call to be here with you?”

“Why, why are you asking us these questions? Where is our son? What about  our son? Is he alright?” The doctor repeated himself with his prior questions. Both parents stood up. “What’s going on? We want answers now.”

“I am sorry I have to tell you this Mr. and Mrs. Miller. The staff did all they could. Their was just too much smoke for that little body. We couldn’t save him. Now is there someone I can call for you?”

“You bastard, you son-of-a bitch” You wouldn’t let us see our baby first. You demanded and the police almost held us captive wanting us to sign papers. We could have been holding our baby instead. He needed to know he wasn’t alone. I will sue this hospital, you hear me? I will sue you!”

The doctor stood up and walked around the desk. Placing his arm once again around her shoulder, he said in a softer voice.” I am sorry mam. I wish things could be different, but we have to follow the hospital’s regulations. We could be held liable if we didn’t. I understand how you feel. Now, is there someone I can call for you?”

(This story, I wrote, is fiction. Although I want it to give you something to think about. With all of the new laws and regulations, when does money  become more important than anything else?)

 

doctors