Wednesday, May 2, 2012
The walking bucket list!
It came to my attention about 3 months ago that something was up with my body. Multiple Sclerosis has always been a rather unwanted houseguest in my body, but a good portion of the time, once you adjust to the pains and oddities you can sort of adjust to it. However about 3 months ago, my left side started a numbness and tingling thing. I was of course at first freaked out a little, but then I played it off as just another new symptom. I didn't have chest pain or pressure, I was just tingly like pins and needles all over my left side from my foot to my jaw. I started the usual batch of calls to my doctors, with the "Hey just figured I would update you, etc etc" to be responsible about it. As is common with the VA, of course it takes months to get the ball rolling on anything, so I am still in the middle of getting my MRI scheduled on my spine and brain, just so I can see what new lesions I've acquired. (I am secretly hoping to one day have a lesion that looks like Elvis or Jesus, after all wouldn't that be a conversation piece!) Of course such an urgent MRI was given the uptmost importance of being booked in July (sarcasm on) But after spending a pleasant amount of time explaining to the obviously well trained phone rep at the VA (Federal employees are almost as nice as state DMV employees!) that in the cases of brain and spine issues time is tissue, and lets just skip the whole my calling my doctor my doctor calling them and yelling bit and actually get the MRI done within the next 30 days. It worked, sort of, though I am pretty sure they probably spit on my records or something. Anyway, having spent as much time in the medical field as I had, having worked with some incredible doctors in my military days, I have truly made it my business to learn the ins and outs of my disease. It has helped me SO many times. As such, I know that while I am still walking right now, if my legs keep getting worse (I have to wear a brace permanently on my right foot to keep it from catching and now neither foot can feel anything) I will have to make some choices. Essentially I have accepted that a wheelchair is in my future. I was ,like anyone I think, scared at first about this. Losing the ability to walk is sort of like losing some of your freedom. I even cryed a few times about it. The big tattoo guy balled like a baby because hell, it is scary. You really take into account your own frailty the first few dozen times you fall down your own stairs or into something. However, soon I decided I would make a walking bucket list. Why wait to do things before your gonna die. I want to do things before I cant do them on my own two feet. I won't go into the whole list but there are a few things some might find odd. So I will list off the top ten things on my walking bucket list. 1) Walk with my mother somewhere outside near my old home The flora and fauna of Brown County and along Spearsville Road and Bittersweet is so unique I want to smell the dew and the flowers, fight off the dog sized mosquitos and smell the Wagler's Cow Farms. I love walking past the Wagler's farms, they have always been just decent hard working salt of the earth kind of people. I know it lowers my mom's stress which is constant due to having to take care of my ailing grandmother day in and day out 6 hours or more a day. The woman is a saint and deservds whatever break she can get. 2) Make the long walk down to Tim Parker's grave. I have visited Tim's grave a few dozen times as a grown man. I like to let him know he is missed, that I know what an incredible man he would have been had he been given the chance, and that I am thankful for all the joy I have had and how I still think of him from time to time and thank god for the chance to have known him. 3) Cut grass on the old homestead I don't know why but I love cutting grass in Indiana. Probably because its not burnt and shriveled scrub grass like we have here in the plains of Colorado. That and the urge to drive the riding mower fast and threaten to spray one of my mom's flower beds is just to tempting to pass up! 4) Walk around Nashville but not tourist style. I want to walk around Nashville like I own it again. Take all the side streets, get some ice cream my diabetic butt shouldn't have (hey im on vacation people) and stop by one of the fine eaterys. I get a bit choked up going back because there are so many magical memories there. First kisses, chilly nights and the light mist that happens from all the moisture. 5) Go to the park and take photo's I really want to take as much of brown county home with me as I can. So its time to grab a camera and go to town this time! 6) Take the kids to Mesa Verde in Colorado to see some real history. My children have a healthy dose of Native American in them thanks to my lovely wife, so I would like to visit some of the reservations we have here in Colorado so they can get some small sense of their history. I have always been very interested in the paleolithic period of native americans on up to the last 200 years or so. Its good to be humbled by history and the Anasazi were some of the coolest people around. 7) Get into school one more time with my kids so I can push kids on the swings I really enjoy helping my kids school out, and one of my favorite parts is pushing the kids on the swings. They get such a kick out of it, and in some cases I know its one of the few times they get to see an adult taking time out to spend time with them. The state of kids these days can be sad as most get neglected by their overzealous, immature and entitled parents who view their kids as possessions instead children (sorry I soap boxed that one but it is REALLY REALLY blatantly obvious with some of the kids there) 8) Find a cave and get my son into it I love my daughter so much, but there a few things I know she won't do. Getting knee deep in mud in a cave is probably not one of them. I love spelunking, and I want to do it one more time. A cool environment is the best place for a person with MS to do a little over exertion. 9) Take my kids to Dinosaur National Monument and con my wife into coming I really want the kids to see a neat Dino Dig and its on the way to Utah which means we could possibly visit her cousins. I really like her cousins Breezy and Heather. They were a lot of fun and my wife lights up and actually talks (if you know Wendy you know what I mean) with them. 10) Dance with my Daughter while I can I really want to Dance with Alanna before its too late. She is so important to me and she loves to dance. I may not get to dance with her later so maybe I can dance with her now. Besides since I won't let he date till she is 30 it may be awhile for as well I know its a simple list, but every one of these things means something to me. I also see a chance to make a memory out of them all. And frankly, isn't that what its all about. I want my kids to talk about the silly things daddy did when I am gone and with any luck, pass a few on to their kids (you know when Alanna adopts at 50 and Aris clones himself) Well, I will draw my blog to a close this time but I have already started writing the next one up. Just the aspect of writing this stuff down can be so cleansing to the soul. It is great to get back in touch with your more positive self to remind you of the good things. Besides, I am totally gonna pimp my wheelchair out when I get one!! Keeping my chin up! Chris