Location: one hour from Suffolk, Rockingham, and Scarborough, United States

I'm one of the co-authors of Point of Hopes, Point of Dreams, and The Armor of Light (which, contrary to some reviews is NOT a Points novel). Proud member of CoastLine SF, Piscataqua Obedience Club, and admin for Horseboard.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Ok. Where are we?

More specifically, where's my foot? Is it on the ground? Is it flat, pointing the right way?

This is the most frustrating thing. A week ago I managed with a cane. I now slowly get round with a 3-sided walker. It is in its way, as our friend Stephe said, kind of like a stroke, given the relative suddenness with which it happened. It being the loss of mobility. On Monday, I agreed to get a commode and yes I can now say that without blushing. Coming downstairs Tuesday was tricky, but that was all. Going upstairs last night was hell. Coming down this morning was worse -- we shall be sleeping on the sleep sofa down here til our friends come in and move the bedroom from upstairs to downstairs... the bathroom and kitchen are on the first floor, you see. So Melissa gets to decorate our old bedroom as her office... one understands it is going to be a grotto of some sort. Strange to think it's going to be hard to see. Me, I'm in charge of the new bedroom, which I call modified club. No, not dark wood panelling, but many different horse photos, some by Barbara, some found here and there. Two ornate bookcases from an unfinished furniture store will act as headboard and night stands. Reading light will be better -- though there are no inset light fixtures there, we can add lamps as necessary.

Did you know -- you probably did -- there are special chairs for people who cycle? Play tennis? Rugby? All of the above? I've even seen paralympic curling! But this could clear up, too, one neurology report says it might well. But damn it, I might as well have fun despite it all.

I'll miss my old office upstairs. You see, we live in a Cape, and my office was a weird little space. Everything down here is so four square. But I'm here, Melissa is here, Vixen, Trouble, Tenzing, Grendel, and Floyd are here, my horse pictures are here, and my friends are here. It's just -- frustrating.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Back on the Ste-roids Again...

Or, "My Appetite is Back and There's Gonna Be Trouble...."

So. Ever since I tumped over, you may recall, I've been feeling uncertain on my legs. Got worse middle of last week when my left foot went numb. Monday went to the doctor. Wednesday morning had an MRI -- only 2 days before my scheduled one.

Propriaception -- the brain doesn't know where my left foot is. Cause -- likely radiation necrosis.

Jeezums, here we go again! I now have a cane and a walker -- I may be getting a better, luxe model of walker if my insurance approves. I am probably going to temporarily move my office space in work to the first floor. The bathrooms and the kitchen are all on the first floor, damn it.

It could get worse. It could stabilize. It could, according to one study in the neurology journal, get better. According to it, onset of symptoms is severe and abrupt, and then they can go away again. May take 18 months... may not. May not get better. But the cerebellum is a balance center, not a cognitive one. Which means my ability to do the Monday and Tuesday NY Times crosswords should not be impaired.

Owning a herding dog, however.... this could be a battle of wits in any event! Luckily, Vix is listening to Melissa, whom she (Vixen) has never viewed as an alpha and who (Vix) I think needs a refresher course.

My mood is not the best, as you can imagine. But

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Words, words, and #$@!^%

One of my pleasures -- and it has real science content, so I won't call it a guilty pleasure -- is Mythbusters. Recently, they opted to investigate various myths connected with flatulence. This could lead to a riot of improper or only marginally proper language, but our boys, Jamie and Adam, too the high road, consistently using the word "flatus" to describe the, umm, produce of flatulence.

Somehow, my post on the great gelding (which word will probably bring nothing as the commenter probably needs to look up what it means) generated seven posts of sexual/scatalogical phrases.

Thanks to a friend, I have been made aware of these in quick order and deleted them. But for now, I am screening comments. And while I am aware such -- flatus -- is probably generated text, whoever is posting it need not sit their wracking his brain for such phrases.

For the rest of you who have been nothing but intelligent, clever, kind, supportive, I do apologize, but you shouldn't notice much difference.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Birthday wishes -- whether he wants them or not.

I have seen his face, in person, exactly once. That was in November of 2004. It was late on a Sunday afternoon. The place would be closing in an hour or so. Formal programs were over for the day. We stood in the aisle, just enjoying being there. I paid my respects to the greatest of the great ones, and then just hung out by my favorite.

Then Tammy forgot the mint.

We had been at the Kentucky Horse Park that morning, before we were due at our friend Jeanne's, to visit the grand ladies of the Our Mims Retirement Haven. It was a muddy series of days, and Mr. John Henry had taken full advantage of the fact and had gotten himself good and mudded up, well up the legs. Seemed kinda pleased with himself, too. We got to see Tammy start to work on him, but then had to beetle off to keep our appointment with Jeanne.

When we returned... John Henry still had a deal of mud on him. Typical human strategy -- let the stuff dry, first. That was what Tammy had done and it enabled her to get all -- pr most -- of the remaining mud off. She went back to the tack room to return the brush. And forgot to come out with John Henry's mint.

Mr. John Henry is not shy. Wham! Wham! He would bang his left front hoof against the door of the stall. Wham! "Woman! TAMMY! Where's m'damn mint?" Wham!

The mint came quickly. But the benefit for us was that we got to see more of Mr. Henry than just his shaggy butt in the corner of his stall! And he got his mint.

Today, March 9, 2006, I would like to wish John Henry a very happy 31st birthday!

Click here to see John Henry's race record and pedigree.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

So there I was...

...Feeling awfully darned sorry for myself. How come? Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin. ;-)

As the whole world probably knows by know, a few weeks ago I tumped over and hit my head on the corner of the dresser. The "corner" is important, it gains me extra sympathy points. That knock on the noggin (did you know that Scott Hamilton -- I don't know who that Scott Hilton guy the spell check wanted me to write about -- referred to his brain tumor as his "noggin nugget?") seems to have exacerbated something that's been coming... me being pathetically out of shape! My left leg has become numb, down to my foot. I'm currently using a cane to walk, just to keep me from tumping over again. My butt hurts (as my therapist's first client referred to it, my "butticle," which is a fabulous word!). My leg feels like it's asleep, alternately super heavy, or filled with helium. My foot, especially my left foot, feels like I'm stepping on something wicked uneven. I haven't been sleeping well. The Olympics are over. The Red Sox are playing like crap in Florida....


Ok, a little self pity is fine, but I need to snap out of this, and events/things keep hurtling my way (stop that, I don't move quickly these days) to remind me not to be silly.

Case in point 1. Jeff's note to me, telling me that the numbness and pain in the butticle are very familiar to him from when he had his problems with the sciatic nerve. And this without my really describing to him what I'm feeling. Kind of like testing a psychic.

Point 2. Sciatic nerve -- inflamed -- is just what George the PT said we were dealing with. NOT CANCER.

Point 3. Jeff reiterates that he is very familiar with what I'm feeling/dealing with right now. Which is NOT CANCER.

Point 4. I'm sitting on the sofa this past Saturday, why I don't know since it is the least comfortable place in the house for me to sit, when we hear the mailman on the front porch and setting something inside the storm door. Melissa goes out to see what it was, and comes back, holding out to me a big envelope with the return address of Cavalia -- a show I have had a draft for a blog about for ages. We were given tickets as a birthday present from my sister, and a limo ride to Boston, from my other sister. I was frankly blown away by the show. I wrote the company. I told them that before I had seen the show I had been facing the possibility of whole brain radiation, but an MRI right after the show suggested I didn't need to do that. (Well, we all know how THAT turned out!)

In the envelope was a gorgeous Cavalia 2006 calendar, signed by Magali Delgado and Frédéric Pignon, with a letter from their home office, apologizing for the tardiness of the note and saying how touched they were -- they had shared it with the entire company and the founder. What a lovely, lovely thing! Made me alternately sniffle and smile the rest of the day.

Point 5. The regular mail the same day brought a wonderful card from my friend Patrish, who has been so concerned and caring all through this. I remember Jeff saying Patrish and Ed are the only couple he knows of, married as long as they have been who still hold hands. In the wake of my tumping over adventure, I guess Patrish mentioned this to Ed, who said, "Well, do you want to hold hands, or fall on your ass?" I have never yet met them, face to face -- when I do, it will be one of the high points of the summer.

Point 6. Melissa looked at me and said, "I'm bored. I'm going to make you another hat." It is _green_, damn it, the green of fresh and growing plants and flowers and stuff. And yesterday, while getting fish for dinner, she stopped in the yarn store (how did I see THAT coming?) and picked up 2 gorgeous skeins of yarn for yet another hat. This one will be purple. I told her I had enough blue.

Point 7. I was at one of the printers this morning; it was not doing what I needed it to do. The VP of our company, our boss here, comes up the stairs and asks me how I'm doing. I sort of shrug and mutter something, and she immediately says, "I'll come see you later," And she does, and listens to me explain about my leg and how frustrating it is. She asked good questions and was as supportive as a boss -- but more importantly, as a friend -- could be.

Point 8. I got a message from Patrish. She can't wait to meet us at Saratoga so she can give me a big Mom hug that will last me til we can meet face to face again.

Point 9. Cheers and check-ins from Rambler in Ottawa.

Point 10. Jeff reminding me not to strangle George.

So somebody please tell me what I'm complaining about? (Ok, that VW ad is pretty annoying.)