How D.B. Woodside & Buffy are Related to My MS

D.B. Woodside played the principal on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, my favorite TV series (Doctor Who being second). Not only do I own all the seasons of Buffy and Angel, but my BFF and I used to have marathons with pizza when we still lived in the same state. When my husband and I were dating we watched the entire series. Because honestly, if you don’t like Buffy I am not sure we have that much in common. :p

I recently started watching Lucifer, in which D.B. Woodside also acts in, however, I could not place him. It was driving me nuts, and instead of making the most logical step of just IMDB(ing) him and putting it together I actually pulled up IMDB and showed my husband the picture and said, “what was he in?”. To which, my lovely husband replied, “he’s the principal from Buffy” and starts chuckling.

Bah! I should have known that, and then he informed me how funny the progression has been. He told me that for years whenever I saw him I would say “It’s the principal from Buffy!”, then it was “is that the principal from Buffy?” to which he apparently frequently told me no. And NOW, I watched 2 seasons of a show with him and was like “who is this”.

My response to this was of course, now you have something concrete to measure how much my brain is impacted because I keep telling you I am losing memories. I guess my beloved principal from Buffy was the next victim of this disease in my brain.

For me my cognitive decline is the symptom I hate the most, I can nap and sit places for fatigue and balance/walking issues but there is nothing I can do to replace the memories I feel that I am losing at a rapid pace. Forgetting an actor doesn’t seem like that it would be that big of a deal, but as you can see by the photo of Buffy Villains from Comic-con 2017 I am a HUGE fan.

What’s the thing you hate the most about your chronic illness?

When Your Child is Sick for No Apparent Reason

I think as a parent with a chronic illness that can be passed down to your children it always sits somewhere in the back of your mind. For me, as a mother who was not diagnosed until after I had both of my kids I am in a frequent state of concern about my boys.

For the past few months, my youngest who is six, has been more clumsy than usual, complaining of headaches, stomach aches and other vague feelings of being unwell. I always ask about the last time he ate, or pooped, or had water. Try to think if the leg wobbles are from growing pains, or other normal things before I let the slight panic set in.

I know the likelihood of him having MS, especially at six is low. Though I had it when I was 13 they say to me now, because the health issue I had that started during my freshman year of high school has been linked now. After denial for a few weeks and he started asking me if I could make a doctor appointment for him. Normal kids don’t ask to go to the doctor, I told him I would, but that they may need pictures or blood if they weren’t sure what was wrong. He said ok, I knew it was serious because he was both ready and willing to have his blood drawn in order to figure out what was happening.

I’m going to skip over the first attempt at the blood draw at the pediatrician’s (who agreed, tests should be run) and move to our visit to CHildren’s Hospital after days and days of extra hydration before our second attempt for getting his blood. Deep veins are a problem I do not have, but my sweet little boy does. This makes it even more challenging when trying to assist the techs in holding a child who is sobbing from the pain of the band wrapped around their arm.

They eventually got the blood, and the techs were not enjoying the steps it took to finally get the blood from the rolling, deep veins so I will spare every mother the torment I went through sitting there with my youngest, but I will tell you, I hope to never have to go through that again.

The next day, the results were in the portal, having had blood tests done so frequently I know what is and is not normal for my body I was anxious at the results. A few things were flagged as high but I know that children’s blood work is different so I managed to stave of my panic a little longer before I called the doctor on the 3rd day.

Our pediatrician is great, they hadn’t received the results yet but the nurse logged into the portal, got the results and spoke with the doctor before calling me back. Over all, the kid is in good health, the few numbers that were high, in relation to all the other numbers was not a concern. At some point my little boy had EBV (mono) which is super weird if you ask me but apparently 95% of the world’s population has antibodies for this virus. His vitamin D is low, but that is hereditary and I have the same issue. Knowing that low vitamin D is linked to MS you better believe both my boys take supplements now, also advised by their doctor so I know the actual amount that will help them.

The next step is to set an appointment for him to see a Pediatric Orthopedist. Honestly, I am procrastinating this one because I hate the thought of putting this little human through so much medical testing already, but I know as his mother I will do whatever I can and need to in order for him to feel better.


Holidays and Chronic Illness

We are past the largest holidays of the season, thank goodness! There is one more around the corner, New Years, though not as big or as stressful as the others for those who celebrate it can be difficult.

Negotiating the holiday stress has always been a challenge for me personally, but now with MS, fatigue and my Meniere’s disease it’s kind of a nightmare. The fatigue make daily tasks a challenge, but the extra cleaning, preparing, decorating, etc can lay you out for days.

Things I have learned, and try to remember, during the season.

Plan ahead, have a game plan; I do most of the shopping well before Thanksgiving, hide them properly and then wrap closer to Christmas so I don’t forget what I got people. Note, if you need to you can always just keep a list and hide that, I have put several presents in “safe places” and then forgot about them which caused me to order something else only to find the original item.

Keep it simple, don’t feel guilty if you are hosting and have to down size the meal plan. I used to feel the need to have starters, salad, sides, main entree and two or more deserts. No more, if I have two sides and a main entree that is sufficient to feed everyone. Ask people to bring sides if you feel like more options are needed.

Disposable dishes, they make very nice, heavy duty paper plates these days. I am all about not making extra dishes, give me plastic-ware, paper plates and plastic cups because I do not need clean up from cooking and then again from eating.

If you are a parent, your kids will appreciate the time with you more than the fancy food anyway. When the shininess wears off of the new presents it’s you they are going to want attention from. You cannot do that if you are laid up for days because of the intention of an elaborate celebration.