Wednesday, January 15, 2014

76 Things: #4

Most of the new shoes I own don’t have laces.

Back when I’d wake up, get dressed and go into work, I found myself having great difficulty tying my shoes in the morning.

You know how you wake up and sometimes your arm or hand is asleep?  That is most mornings for me but instead of just feeling asleep, my hands feel like they went twelve rounds in a championship level boxing match (which I clearly lost).  They are sore, noticeably swollen and discolored (red and splotchy) and – worst of all – feel like hundreds of sharp little needles are dancing all over them (an acupuncturist gone wild).

I try everything to mask the discomfort, but the most effective remedy has been time.  Just waiting it out…usually within a few hours the pain subsides and my hands and fingers are once again functionable.

But for that first hour or so, extra precaution is required and something as simple as holding my coffee mug turns into a bad sitcom bit (awesomely bad, of course) with plenty of stumbling and bumbling…the only thing missing is the laugh track to this recurring episode (I’ll work on the title, too).

Buttoning my dress shirts for work was no easy feat, either (the cuffs were rather problematic and my wife would help with those)….but the worst was trying to tie my shoes.  So, our solution was to avoid the laces all together and a lot of my new dress and more casual shoes – much to the chagrin of GQ I’m sure - are laceless. 
Did you see the latest episode of "Mike With MS"?  Hilarious!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Here's to 2014

Happy New Year to everyone!!

I'm just now coming out from under my Decemberfest/New Year's rock...each year, right after Thanksgiving, our family enters a very active period we joyfully call "Decemberfest" (my wife even makes annual shirts to commemorate it).

As with most people, December can be a busy time…visiting family, celebrating the holidays, parties, travelling, Christmas, New Years, etc. and at the Wentink house, we throw three birthdays into that mix.  My wife’s birthday is in early December, I’m five days before Christmas and then our son Vincent was born on Christmas day.

As it (thankfully) works out, my IVIG treatment is the week after my wife’s birthday and the week right before mine.  The week in between I spend two days at the infusion center and then the following 3-4 days after I’m at home recovering.

MS isn’t quite the cherry on top of all of these festivities but it can’t be ignored.  There are many variables I can’t control about the progression of my disease…and it can be frustrating that so much can be out of my control.

But where we can manage my health, we do.  So, although it is Decemberfest, getting rest is still important.  So is eating well, trying to keep the stress to a minimum, etc.  Pretty standard goals that most of us strive for but I feel almost compelled to achieve. 

I don’t have to attend every party or go all Clark Griswold with the Christmas lights.  Most shopping (for birthdays and Christmas) is done from the comfort of my home office (thank you,!)  I feel there is a thin line I’m walking each day, trying to keep my balance and not slip into “Relapseville”…and during the holidays or other busy times in our lives, that line is even thinner but the consequences remain just the same. 

Please check back tomorrow for the #4 Thing You Didn’t Know About (My) MS – and again, happy 2014!

My wife does it all....even make shirts!

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