Saturday, December 28, 2013

Zoom - Where Did It Go!


Dear Friends,

I love Christmas and everything about it, but I hate the lonely afterglow!   

Our Christmas was great.  Daughter and SIL (son-in-law) arrived Christmas Eve in time for a leisurely dinner.    I had made lasagna, a marinated cold vegetable salad, fruit salad, and cookies and coffee for dessert.  We exchanged a few presents, sat around and talked, and were all in bed around 10:00.  The kids had worked much of the day before coming to our house and they were tired. Of course, us old folks are always tired.

Daughter and SIL had called a couple of days before they came and said not to buy anything for Christmas breakfast.  They were going to cook breakfast and would bring the food with them.   WHAT a GREAT TREAT!    SIL  cooked each of us a big vegetable omelet, accompanied by bagels, orange juice, and I still had fruit salad left over, so we had a little of that too.   I told them that was the best  Christmas present ever.

SIL's brother and wife had their first baby on 12/22/13, so our daughter and SIL wanted to go to the hospital to see the baby before going on to SIL's aunt's house for a big family gathering by 2:00 p.,m..   The brother lives about 145 miles from where we live with the aunt living between our two locations. It made sense for them to go Christmas morning, otherwise they'd have to make another special trip down south.  They left our house at 9:00 and took a few pictures so we could meet the new precious bundle of joy too.

Now I'm in the after Christmas humdrums.  My mother was from a big family (12 children) and the holidays always meant lots of activity - getting together with various family members during the week of Christmas.   I miss all those family gatherings at Christmas.   I try to keep busy and not let it get me down, but it sneaks up on me at times.  Hubby's family is spread out all over the place too.  So we never see family at Christmas.  The humdrums will pass in a couple of days.

Mother Nature is going to pull a good one on us starting around midnight tonight and into Sunday.   Freezing drizzle will start about midnight, followed by light snow flurries, followed by 4 days of extreme cold.   Monday will give us a day time high of -1 with a nighttime of -13.   Then we're going to warm up 1 whole degree each day until Wednesday.   Other than a trip to the grocery store, we won't be leaving the house.   I have a couple of errands to run this afternoon.  Guess one of those stops should be at the gas station and get the car filled up!!    It's no fun standing out there when the wind is howling and the temp is below zero.

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas.

Mary



Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Have Yourselves A Very Merry Christmas



Merry Christmas Friends,

The picture is of a house one block from our house.   Note the choo choo train on the roof!   

As I've mentioned before, I love all the houses decorated for Christmas.   It's so warm and inviting in the neighborhood to drive down the street.  Each house seems to say "stop in for a visit."   But no one has time for that these days like they did in years past.    Guess I'm feeling nostalgic today because our life has slowed down considerably while the remainder of the world keeps whizzing by.   

My wish for you is to be able to slow down, enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas and reflect on the important things and the people in your life.

From Our House

to Your House

Have A 

Merry Christmas 

From

Mr. D, M and Mario







Saturday, December 21, 2013

It's Beginning To Look Like Chriistmas


Hi Friends,

Yes,it's beginning to look like Christmas around here.   Mr. D is hard at work making Peanut Butter Balls.   Yes, this  wonderful man cooks too!    I used to make them, but he took it over when he retired and I still worked.   Now it's to hard on my back to stand over the stove for any period of time.   I think he really enjoys doing it anyway and I'm very thankful.   He actually mentions mid-November that he should get the ingredients for "his" peanut butter balls. So, I think it's safe to say he enjoys making them.

I'll publish the recipe at the end of this post just in case anyone wants it.  It is an old recipe, so most of you probably have it.  I received it from two very dear friends here in town several years ago.

The song "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like  Christmas" has been playing over and over in my head for the past two days.  Mostly because we received 4 inches of fresh, white fluffy snow on Thursday night into Friday morning.   Starting tonight another 8 is headed in our direction.  YIKES!   

I am so very thankful for the man who takes care of our snow removal for us.   He is a true blessing to us.   He is so very particular - leaves about 1 foot of shoveled area next to the driveway on the grass so we have a pathway to walk on that isn't as slippery.   Then around the mailbox he shovels out a good 5-foot section so we can just reach in and grab the mail without walking into the street.   Here's a sample of how he shovels around our small walkway to the house:


You can see the foot wide path on the grass running all the way down to the street.   Are we spoiled or what!!    We did not ask him to do it this way - it's just the way he does his own too.   

On Friday he was unable to get here until evening, so our neighbor came over and blew out the driveway, which we really appreciated.   But then early this morning our regular guy still came over and took care of the patio and cleaned up the front according to his specifications.   See what I mean - he's a blessing to us for sure.

Well, that's it for  today.   Here's the recipe.   I'll probably post once more before  Christmas, but if I miss anyone - please have a very Merry Christmas/Holiday and Healthy, Happy 2014.


Peanut Butter Balls


2 Cups Confectionary Sugar
2 Cups Peanut Butter (Chunk or Smooth)
2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs (Nabisco)
1/4 Cup Butter softened
Big Chunk of Chocolate (Dark) -  found in most stores - Christmas baking section -  this time of year.

Combine all ingredients -  mix like a pie crust dough until crumbly.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.   Form into a long roll, about 3/4 inch in diameter.  Cut into slices and then form small balls by rolling in your hand.    Place balls on baking sheets covered with wax paper.  Set in cool place to chill.  In double boiler, melt the chocolate.   Take chilled balls and dip into chocolate and place back on cookie  sheet.   Refrigerate until firm and chocolate is very firm.   Balls are now ready to be eaten or  frozen to enjoy later.

Enjoy!


Mary



Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ditzing Around Again


Hi Friends,

The other night I was out running a couple of errands and remembered to grab my camera before leaving the house.   One of the streets I pass by quite often is very decorated.  It seems that if one house on the block goes all out, quite often 2 or 3 others will join in with putting up lights!  At least that is what I have observed in our neighborhood through the years.

Out of 6 pictures taken, this is the only one that I felt somewhat happy with. What a disappointment.   Will try to go back and retake a couple one of these nights again.   

It's supposed to snow again tomorrow, then Thursday a possibility of a few inches coming.    I am so very thankful for the man who comes to shovel/plow us out whenever we do get snow.   He did tell me tho that he plans on taking a couple of days this week to go skiing.   I'll have to call a neighbor to see if he can help us out.   Neither Don nor I can do it anymore.  I tried scraping a light coating of snow off the driveway the other day and my back squawked loudly "don't do that!"  Okay back - you win this round.

Until next time,

Mary


   

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Day Stretcher Needed

Hi Friends,

I'm feeling panicky today - my computer is over heating terribly, so our dear son-in-law is coming to the rescue again.   But that means I'll be without the computer probably until the weekend.   i'm madly trying to think what all I should print out before it goes.   Are we terribly dependent on these things or what?

The tree (all 5 feet of it) is up anyway, and the cards in progress.   It would be nice to have another week before Christmas.  I think we all need a "day stretcher" at this time of the year.

Hope you are not getting frazzled too!

Mary





Tuesday, November 26, 2013

From Our House To Yours

Hi Friends,

Thanks so much for stopping to read my blog.  I do appreciate it and any comments you care to leave.

Whenever I think of Thanksgiving, I always think of this song.   When we first moved to our current city, we used to have to travel back home 136 miles to visit our parents for each of the holidays.   While we traveled by car then, it still reminds me of this song.


Over the river and through the wood,
To Grandmother's house we go;
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh,
Thru the white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the wood,
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes and bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the wood,
To have a first-rate play;
Hear the bells ring, "Ting-a-ling-ding!"
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the wood,
Trot fast, my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground like a hunting hound,
For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river, and through the wood,
And straight through the barnyard gate,
We seem to go extremely slow,
It is so hard to wait!

Over the river, and through the wood,
Now Grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!"


Our parents are gone now, so no more traveling home.  But we do have a son-in-law and daughter who have been hosting Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day for D and I, SIL's parents and brother, his brother's wife, and his brother's in-laws, and soon to be child.   There are usually 10 of us and we all bring a dish to pass.  We are so blessed to be part of this family gathering when so many are alone and without families on holidays.

Thank you dear daughter and son-in-law for doing this.

We are very thankful for our family, extended family, local friends, and our many friends on the Blogosphere, Twitter, and Facebook.    You keep us shuffling along!

Happy Thanksgiving.

Mary




Friday, November 22, 2013

Goodbye Fall - Hello Winter

"Hoop Girl"
painted by Don


Hello Friends,

Well, it had to happen before too long - snow is arriving tonight.  Now granted it won't be much (1/2 to 1 inch predicted) but that's more than what I even want to think about.   Thanksgiving hasn't even happened yet.   The deer hunters will be happy, even if I am not, as they should have tracking snow for the opening of the Dear Hunting Season in our state on Saturday. "RUN FOR YOUR LIVES DEER!"

Many of you don't know, but Mr. D is a hobby artist. The picture above, "Hoop Girl," is his latest finished painting.   

I'll be  featuring one of his pictures in my blog periodically.   If anyone has an interest in purchasing a painting, send me an email and we'll see what he will come up with for a price.   

He dabbled in painting while in high school, but didn't begin taking art classes at the Tech School until he retired from employment.   A local friend, who is an artist, was taking classes and suggested Don might enjoy art once again.   Painting when you are shaky from Parkinson's Disease isn't easy, and Don does get frustrated with himself at times.  But we think he still does a great job.  I can't even draw a straight line with a ruler!  he he  (not kidding either). 

Well, that's all the news for this time.   Stay tuned on the amount of snow we get and how long it sticks around.   It is supposed to turn bitter cold with a front coming down from Canada.

Mary



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It Takes A Lickin' And It Just Keeps Tickin''


Dear Readers,

Do you recognize the title of my post?  Ring any bells?   It was in the advertising for Timex Watches.   ha ha - well I'm here to tell you -  it does just that - keeps right on tickin'!

Usually once or twice a week I go to the CP Center and do some walking and exercises in their warm water therapy pool.   Last Friday I was 15 minutes into the class and chatting away like a magpie with a couple of ladies.   All of a sudden I pulled my arm out of the water and looked down -  whoops!   I had drowned my watch in water for 15 minutes.    Well, we all had a good laugh over that and since I had already dunked it for 15 minutes, I figured I might as well stay in the water another 15 minutes until the class was over.

Would you believe (6 days later)  the watch is still working just fine?   I would imagine after a few weeks parts will turn rusty and there will come a day when it won't "keep tickin'".   But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.   i'm in awe of this $40.00 watch that is probably 5 years old now anyway.

Sometimes I wonder where my brain is or if I even have one anymore.   Have you ever done that?

Until next time,

Mary





Friday, November 8, 2013

Book Review - Heart for Rent, with an Option, by Karla Brandenburg


Hi Friends,

As a good many of you know, I love reading.  Usually it's Mysteries, Romances, CIA Operative Fiction books, etc. and usually I'm stuck reading my favorite authors, which quite often are on the  Best Seller list.  Every now and then I like to break out of that mold and try a book by another author, preferably one who hasn't hit the "big time" yet.   Such is the case with Karla Brandenburg's books.   I have read 4 of her 7 books and enjoyed each one of them.   I'd like  to share a quick review of her latest book:


Heart for Rent, with an Option
by Karla Brandenburg


Michelle,  a ghost writer, decides to return from Europe ahead of schedule, which presents a problem for the man she rented her house to.   Keith’s mother is in a nursing home and not expected to live much longer.   Michelle has never met Keith, as his housing arrangements were handled by their mutual publicist.   The publicist talks Michelle into letting Keith stay for a couple of weeks until his mother passes away.   Michelle does not know that she has been ghost writing for Keith and Keith does not know Michelle is his ghost writer.  Keith had made a couple of comments that he was not happy with the way his ghost writer had handled a couple of  publications.  

Both Michelle and Keith feel a strong attraction to each other but talk themselves out of getting too close.     Each has a sister with complicated problems in addition to not liking the fact that their sibling  has a roommate of the opposite sex.   Family dynamics in this book run strong on each side.  

While away on a book tour, Keith discovers secrets about Michelle that even she does not know, secrets that could put her life in jeopardy.

This book is full of twists and turns to keep the reader interested. There were times I did not want to put the book down even tho I knew I had to.

I think you will enjoy the book.   It is available for Kindles at Amazon and available for Nooks at Barnes & Noble and also in paperback or hard cover.

For what it is worth, I have received no compensation for this review.  I simply enjoy giving unrecognized authors a little extra publicity when they are worthy of it.

Mary

  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Dona Nobis Pacem



I am a peace blogger today.   The following was posted in Mario's blog too as it's my  favorite song.   

Peace begins within and radiates out.  We need peace radiating over the entire world.



"Let There Be Peace On Earth"
Written By
Jill Jackson Miller and Sy Miller

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be.
With God as our father
Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With every step i take
Let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment
And live each moment
With peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me.

Mary

Saturday, October 26, 2013

You Know You Are Old When......

Typical Fall scene in our area.

Hi Friends,

I am old! There - I said it in public no less.  What is typical of older people?  'We don't LIKE CHANGE!"   I've always been that way somewhat, but now that I'm older, it's really noticeable.  

A friend and I went for lunch on Tuesday, and I happened to mention that I really needed to start shopping for a new winter coat.  The one I have, I dearly love, but it's probably a good 20 years old.  In fact, it's so old that another good friend (who happens to be a wonderful seamstress) has replaced the zipper for me at least once, and I'm trying to remember if she did it a second time!   This coat is nothing special - a dull brown (taupe color, zipper up the front, lightly quilted inside with satin lining).   It's light weight and doesn't weight me down - I can actually move freely in it.  Not a beautiful coat - but I JUST LOVE IT!

We ventured over to Burlington Coat Factory (a new store that just opened).   Their selection of coats was a disappointment, but i did half way like a black, wool car coat.  I bought it knowing I could always return it if I could not find anything else.  A $20 coupon also helped lock in the purchase.

On Wednesday we had another outing and decided to stop at Sears.   Well, enter Coat #2 - a black, smooth polyester, quilted coat with zipper up front.   Non-descript!   It fit and didn't look too bad, but I DID NOT just love it.

On Thursday I was at a local department store chatting with an ex co-worker, when my dear friend came up to me and said "I've been shopping for coats for you - you must take a look in here."  

Well, yesterday, Friday, I went back to Younkers and found a coat just like I have been wearning for almost 20 years - almost the same color, same type of fabric, etc.   I tried  it on - it fit and felt comfy.   Better yet I had a $50 coupon off if spending $100 or more.   A win-win situation and I think I will JUST LOVE IT.

I think I'm finally happy - I have a coat just like I've had for 20 years.  ha ha I did make one return yesterday, but have one more to do.  I can't believe I got this hung up over a winter coat!

At least I didn't buy a Purple one!!!    

How about you - do you have trouble buying a replacement item as insignificant as a coat?

Mary





Friday, October 18, 2013

Good Intentions Just Isn't Enough Sometimes


Hi Friends,

Well, when I wrote two weeks ago I had good intentions of writing at least once a week.   Already I have fallen off the wagon and it's only been 2 weeks. Good intentions just isn't enough! 

Fall is at it's peak around here.  I was out a couple of evenings trying to get pictures of our trees around the neighborhood, but unforunately all of the treets have buildings in the view and I have no way of blurring the background.   At least this wasn't taken on a busy street like some were that I took.  

I got a new Nikon point and shoot camera and I'm having fun taking pictures. This one has a anti-shake feature that has worked beautifully for me especially and quite well for Don.    Prior to this camera, every other picture taken by me was blurry.   Now I only get a blurry picture now and then.

After taking several weeks off from my Water walking program at the CP Center, I finally got my bones over there and walked for 20 minutes.   I know that doesn't sound very long, but I know from previous experience that I can't over do in the water.  You really pay for it.   Next time I'll increase the time to 25 minutes, and then 30, and.......  I hope to get there next Monday and then on a regular basis once again.   

We are so fortunate to have the CP Center right in our city.  They have two large pools that have warm water for their clients to help keep their limbs limber!   When the pool isn't in use by their clients, they schedule classes for adults daily.   They have an amazing program for all levels of activity.   My plan is to get on a schedule of twice a week - perhaps Mondays and Thursdays.   

I was out trying to take pictures for a bit this afternoon, but was not successful.   Will try again maybe Sunday afternoon.   What stage is your fall color at?   It's such a beautiful time of year!  Wish we could hang on to these falls days and skip winter!  ha ha

Until next time,

Thanks for visiting.

Mary

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

"Where Have You Been Little Girl!


Hi,

"Where Have You Been Little Girl..........."    That reminds me of  a song only I don't have any idea what song or what the lyrics are!  Don't mind me, my mind goes off center now and then.  he he  And sometimes things remind me of a song but I can never remember what song!

Actually I was having fun for the past 2 weeks.   A dear Twitter and blogging friend (@PumpkinPuddy's mom) came to spend a week in Wisconsin.   I had a great time and enjoyed her visit so much that it was difficult to say goodbye on the Friday she left.   We even did a mini Wisconsin animal meetup in Oshkosh and met 4 other Twitter friends that live in our state.   This was the first time most of us had ever met in person.    After being on Twitter for a good 4+ years, you get pretty close and know each other quite well even tho you have never met in person.

Of course I couldn't keep up with LadyC 100%, but did manage to spend quite a bit of time with her.  Other times, like when touring Lambeau Field and the Atrium, she was content to have the time to wander around on her own.  Together we went to Door County (my favorite spot in Wisconsin).   And we did a couple of half day things such as going by the University Park along the Bay of Green Bay and sitting by the water, taking a wonderful boat tour of the Fox River on the Foxy Lady (where this picture was taken of the shoreline along the Fox River!  

I had a great time, but was really tired out at the end of each day.   She lives in Colorado, so she had a 2-hour time difference to adjust to.  Unfortunately, I was yawning and ready to end my day at about 8:00 when she was just gearing up.  he he 

Mario posted several pictures in his blog that were taken while she was here if you are interested.  http://mariodacat.blogspot.com/  I will be posting a few of them in my blog too over the next few weeks.

I'm going to try to be a little more regular now in posting - at least that is my goal.   It's either that or I need to give up on the blog.

Hope you are having a beautiful fall.  Temp is in the 70's here and colors are not quite peak yet - but will be next week.

Mary


  

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

D Tackles Big & Loud




Dear Friends,

A couple of months ago, a very good friend sent us a newspaper clipping of a program offered in her area for Parkinson's Patients.  It is  called Big And Loud.   

I immediately got on the good "ole" internet and researched the program to see if we had one here.   YES!!!

Big and Loud is conducted on a one-on-one basis with an Occupational Therapst and a Speech/Language Therapist.   Parkinson's suffers usually walk in tiny little steps and are not good at picking up  their feet for each step - thus the name "Parkinson's Shuffle."   This program is to re-train the brain to take BIG steps to help improve or maintain balance and hopefully avoid falling from not picking up your feet.  It should help prevent some accidents down the road, and give the patient much needed exercise.  Don has already learned how to get himself off the floor should he fall.  He lays down on the floor and has to roll over onto his knees.   Sounds simple right?  Well, try it sometime - especially if you are over 70!  

The Loud portion is handled by a Speech/Language Therapist.  It should help improve the sound of Don's voice.  Parkinson's patients quite often have very soft voices that don't project well as the disease does affect muscles - including throat muscles.   This should also help later on with swallowing, etc. 

Don is into week 3 of Big And Loud, enjoys the sessions, and has been working very hard at home on his own.   I can already tell he is walking straighter and talking louder.   He's tired out by the end of the day but is very dedicated at getting his exercises in twice a day - no matter what!  It is an intense program as he meets with the Therpists  for 1 hour Monday thru Friday.

I'm so thankful that @Katiebella2's mom happened to see the information in her local paper and told us about.  I'm a little ticked that Don's doctor didn't mention it.  He knew about the program because I asked him about it when Don had his appointment a month ago or so.  Don needed a referral in order to participate and the doctor did give Don the referral.   He did make the comment that several of his patients did well on the program.   He might not have mentioned it because it is a program not offered by his hospital group.  Don has to go to another hospital group to participate.  Fortunately, we have the health plan where we can go anywhere.

If you or a loved one have Parkinson's I highly recommend checking into this program.  It can only help - even if it helps only a tiny bit -  it's worth doing. 

I'm going to try to get on a schedule of posting once a week and get around to visit you every day or two.  It's a goal anyway.

We've cooled off considerably.  In fact we're having perfect weather - 70's and very low humidity.  ha ha - I'm a very happy camper!

Until next time,

Mary






Thursday, August 29, 2013

Joke Is On Me

Hi Friends,

I saw the most amazing insect hovering around  my plant tonight right at dusk but I couldn't get a picture as he was outside and I was inside and it was almost dark..


I thought for sure it was a baby hummingbird, so I called a good friend who has lots of them where she lives.  Well, imagine my surprise to find out this delightful little bug is a Hummingbird Hawk Moth.  It sure had me fooled.


Image from Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macroglossum_stellatarum
Usually hummingbirds do hang around the plant on our patio, but I haven't seen any this year.   I was so excited to see this little bird-like thing hovering right over the same plant the hummingbirds use.   That's when my friend told me that fledging hummingbirds are usually the same size as their parents.   DUH - I should known that because that's how it is with other birds too. The little guy I saw sure looked like a baby.   He did appear to be gathering necter and his little wings were certainly beating like a hummingbirds.  His body isn't shaped right tho and I couldn't see enough of his beek to see how long that way.    He was a cute little fellow anyway and it did brighten our day here.

Guess the joke is on me this time.   It sure had me fooled and Don too.

Sorry I've been so lax at visiting and even posting.   I just don't have the "get up and go" that I used to have.   Between Twitter and the things I'm involved with there, plus Mario's blog and my own blog, I just can't keep up.   And the big deal is I can't sit at my desk long enough to do everything I should do.   I can't wait until Wednesday when I'm scheduled for another Radio Frequency Abulation treatment on the sacro joint.  It can't come soon enough.

Until next time,

Mary





Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Needed Brain Transplant!


Hi Friends,

This  week I take the prize for Dumb, Dumb, Dumb Of The Year Award.   Actually, I think I need a brain transplant.    

Here's the "tall and skinny" of it - readership has really dropped off to almost nothing in my blog.   I know I'm pretty boring, but I didn't think it was THAT bad to lose everyone at once.  A couple of days ago i discovered that when I published something, it was NOT appearing in my  own Dashboard, much less any other dashboards.

After much to do about what to rename my blog, I went into settings, changed the name.  Then, like a dummy, I changed the URL also.   I was only making a minor change  in the URL from "ShufflingAlongWithParkinsonsDisease.blogspot.com/ "  to"ShufflingAlongWithPDandET.blogspot.com/   

Dumb dumb here wasn't thinking that all of you readers had originally followed the blog under the original URL of ShufflingAlongWithParkinsonsDisease.blogspot.com/ and that is the URL your Dashboard or  any other means of reading blogs has  been looking for.  DUH!

I have now corrected the URL back to the original URL, so hopefully this will start to show up once again to all who signed up  to receive it.  I spent two days trying to solve this problem when it finally hit me as to what I had done.

If you hear of any brain transplants happening in your area, let me know and I'll sign up.  ha ha - I am a good candidate  for one.

Mary


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Slaying The Dragon

Dear Readers,

Shame on me  for not updating my experience with Dragon since I first talked about using it.   How many months ago was that?   I know, there is no excuse.  

Anyway, I have killed the Dragon.  There are two reasons I have done this:

1.  Since the diagnosis of Essential Tremors over Parkinson's, and because I'm on the proper medication, I don't need to dictate anymore.  Usually I'm capable of typing myself.   Thus the motivation ran out the door!

2.  Dragon and Google do not get along.   This past week I had SIL (son-in-law computer geek) remove Dragon.   I still have the disk so can easily download the program again if need be.  I had so many problems both with Google and Dragon while trying to use Dragon.   Google finally won out!  

I would not totally give Dragon the thumbs down.  i know people that have/are using it and have no problem with it.  For some reason that was not the case on my computer.   I had it about 2 years ago, and stopped using it for the same problem - having problems with other programs.   Things are peaceful now that Dragon has been put to sleep!     I think they need to make some improvements in their program.  Oh well, for now we're just humming along just fine without it.

Stay tuned for the next post - I should have some news to share on the medical front.

Until next time,

Mary

Monday, July 29, 2013

Parkinson's Update For D - Moving Ahead



Dear Readers,

The Climbing Rose Bush (Seven Sisters) above is so gorgeous when blooming, but there is getting to be so much shade in our  backyard from our neighbor's tree that I'm afraid each year it won't survive.  The remainder of the flower bed below the trellis is a poor excuse for flowers.  Again, too much shade for sun loving plants.  Guess we'll have to do something about that next year. Don mentioned pulling everything out and just going with grass seed.  Stay tuned on that one.

We have some good news for Don - He saw his (our) Neurologist this past week.   We asked to have a DaTScan done on Don so he would have some peace of mind knowing for sure if he has Parkinson's or has Essential Tremors like I do. That scan will be done next Tuesday.

He also got a referral to another facility where he'll begin receiving two different types of therapy for Parkinson's patients:  "BIG and LOUD" is the name of the type of therapy.   More on these two programs later.   He'll be meeting with a therapist within a couple of weeks.

A very good friend in another state had seen information in her local newspaper on BIG and LOUD and sent it to us.   We are so thankful that she did because it looks like a very helpful program.  We did not even know that it was  available here.   

My back has improved every so slightly from the Aqua Physical Therapy I was doing plus the home exercises that I do daily.  I've also joined the CP Center again for independent exercise in their warm pool - 1 day a week.   

Good things are starting to happen around here - so stay tuned.

Mary

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Remember When?


Dear Readers,

"We're having a Heat Wave.......We're having a Heat Wave.......A Tropical Heat Wave.........."   

Ah yes, I'm trying real hard to remember a couple of years ago in January when we had so much snow.   It's pretty hard tho when the temperature outside is 93!   Yup - 93 as in friggin HOT!   Oh, and the Dew Point was 74 today.   Our weather man says anything over 60 for Dew Point and you feel it. I've been drinking ice water all day, but that doesn't help much.   Thank goodness for Air Conditioning.

I've been running my errands in the morning and trying to make them "fast" ones

The weather man promises we'll get relief this weekend, after putting up with Tornadoes rumbling through.   In Wisconsin (yes, the Ice Bowl State) whenever we get temperatures like this, it is followed by severe storms, and they are already predicting tornadoes.  We're having a mini storm right now - high winds, buckets of rain, but the temperature hasn't dropped - no tornado tho - this time.

I know - I should quit complaining as many of you put up with this heat (and worse) for 2 or 3 months in the summer - every summer.  And we do have AC.  You do have my sympathy, but this is NOT NORMAL around here and my body says 'NO WAY!"  If I loved this HOT weather, I would have stayed in the south.    

Here's to cooler days ahead friends.  Hope you all remain cool and safe.  Until next time,

Mary


P.S.  Poor Mario doesn't understand why we won't take him outside when the sun is shinning so brightly.  He would probably be okay - for awhile anyway in the shade, but his humans would not be.

Thanks for listening to me grumble!  he he - I'm still HOT tho.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Essential Tremors Versus Parkinson's - Symptoms



Dear Readers,

Hello from Steamy Wisconsin.  The humidity is so thick you could almost cut it with knife (old phrase my mother used to say).  Not a breeze stirring either - downright  miserable outside.  Thank heavens for AC.

I've had a couple of questions regarding Essential Tremors and how it differs from Parkinson's.   They are closely related.   

In researching this in "The Parkinson's Disease  Treatment Book" by Dr. J. Eric Ahlskog at Mayo Clinic and also  webmd.com - Webmd sums it up the best.

 * Essential tremor is almost always worse when the affected part of the body is in motion than when it is at rest. Tremor associated with Parkinson's disease generally decreases or disappears when the person moves the affected part of the body.

 * Essential tremor is faster than the tremor of Parkinson's disease.


·* Small amounts of alcohol can noticeably reduce an essential tremor but usually have no effect on tremor caused by Parkinson's disease.


  * Essential tremor does not improve in response to levodopa, but it may be relieved with other medicines (propranolol, primidone, phenobarbital, or benzodiazepines).  (No kidding - I was on levodopa.)


  * Unlike tremor caused by Parkinson's disease, essential tremor will sometimes occur in family members.

As you can see, the two are very closely related. With ET, however, you don't get the frozen muscle problems that you end up with when having PD. In my case the determining factor after matching symptoms was the DaTSan, which clearly told the doctor my brain was showing ET versus PD.

Ha ha -I should have tried the alcohol test, but didn't.  Think I'll head for the kitchen after publishing this blog and see what happens.

I'm still taking only 1 tablet of the Primidone daily (but am allowed to take 2 daily). I'm doing quite well on this medication. As i have mentioned before, in some patients with ET the condition can turn into PD. There is no way of knowing and it's only a small percentage of people that happens to.


Oh yes, the back issue - I'm currently in Physical Pool Therapy.  It feels great while I'm in the pool, but then 2 hours later it's back to hurting and ice packs.
Hope you are managing to keep you cool this summer.

Mary


Monday, June 10, 2013

It's A Small, Small World!

Dear Readers,

This weekend we attended two graduation parties (tis the season).   On Sunday an amazing thing happened.   

The graduate's mom was introducing me to her own mother, her stepfather, and her mother's friend (we'll call her Lady H) and mentioned that Lady H was from a city (Beloit) that is 150 miles south of us.   Oh a whim, I asked Lady H if she by any chance knew Lady B, who is a very good friend of ours.   Beloit has a population of about 50,000, so you would expect her answer to be "no!"

Well, I nearly feel over when Lady H said Lady B happened to be a very good friend of hers and in fact, she was also a friend of the graduate's grandma.  Talk about a small world!  Who would have ever thought that would happen.

We had a very enjoyable time discussing mutual memories because they were also friends with another dear friend of ours (Lady BL who has passed on).

So many times I have asked someone from another city/town if they knew "so and so," and of course the answer is always no unless that person lives in a very small town where everyone knows everyone!

It's a small, small world after all!

Has that ever happened to you?


Mary

P.S.   This post was going to be about the difference between PD and ET, but I just had to tell this unusual story.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Honoring Our Armed Forces - Past and Present & News

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7687126@N06/2523097574/">gb_packards</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/">cc</a>


Dear Friends,

I've had time this weekend to reflect on Memorial Day and what it means.   Our men and women in the Armed Forces put their lives on hold, leave their families at home, hopes and dreams are moved to the background, severe injuries, and limbs and life lost - all to protect us. The least we can do is honor them on this special weekend and especially remember those who have lost their lives serving in the military.   Take a few minutes this weekend to reflect on what it means to you.

I found the above picture and immediately fell in love with it because it could have been taken in Wisconsin.   Deer are apt to show up almost anywhere in our state except perhaps in the downtown area of a large city.  The picture in the header of this blog was taken in my backyard when the Magnolia Tree (northern version) was in full bloom.    Because the northern version is extremely hardy, the blossoms, branches, etc., are very different from the Magnolia trees in the south.  But, we'll take what we can get!

Thank  you all so much for your comments on my last post.   I will keep the blog and have already changed the name to http://ShufflingAlongWithPDandET.blogspot.com/   It's a little long, but since I'm technology challenged at times, I was afraid to change the title too much for fear of doing something wrong.   I didn't want Blogger to somehow get rid of my blog.  ha ha - yes, I'm a little paranoid with technology at times.

Sorry I haven't been around to read blogs much lately.   I'll start having a little more time now and my plan is to get back into visiting and reading.

Hope you are having a great Memorial Day Weekend.


Mary






Friday, May 3, 2013

Celebration Time

Photo from Public Domain Files
Dear Readers,

There is definite cause for celebration - I DO NOT HAVE Parkinson's Disease, but have now been diagnosed Essential Tremors.   Unfortunately, Don still has the PD diagnosis, but we'll get through that just like we would have gotten through both of us having the Parkinson's.   My next post will contain a brief explanation of Essential Tremors and how it compares to Parkinson's.  Stay tuned, if interested.

Wednesday, the day of the DaTscan was a long day.  We left the house at 6:00 a.m., picked up our son in law, who took over the driving.  Having a 9:00 appointment at the hospital, meant driving straight down with no stops.  It took a little bit of driving around before we found the right building to enter.  The gal on the phone neglected to give me accurate directions.  

I think I explained before that you have to drink a glass of water and take a pill, to prevent the iodine from harming your thyroid.   Then after a wait of 1 hour in the waiting room, it was time for the injection of iodine cocktail!     I felt nothing from that other than the poke of the needle.   Then came a 4 hour  wait where we could leave the building.    We chose to drive to the nearest Cracker Barrell for lack of knowing where there was any other restaurant.   It helped us kill time and we had lunch.

At 2:00 I had to report back to the hospital for the scan.   I wanted to include a picture of the machine, but now days with copyright laws, I didn't dare.  Let me just say it looks somewhat like a MRI machine - only half as long.   In my case they were only scanning my brain (guess I must have some brains then), so a conveyor belt system took me back to that opening.    There were two arms on either side of the opening that held two steel panels that must house the camera (so to speak).   Those arms moved  those large steel panels around in various positions around my face, head, neck, etc.   It was a little intimidating when the plates met in the middle blocking my vision from the room, but they slowly moved away and changed positions several times during the 1/2 hour scan.

When the scan was over, I was free to go home - another 2 hour trip north.   All in all, it is a very painless test/scan to have and isn't quite as confining as an MRI machine (when you are a larger person in a one-size-fits-all opening). If you ever have to have one, it really isn't anything to worry about or be afraid of.

Yesterday, Thursday, the doctor's office called with the good news.   The scan backed up her thoughts - I have Essential Tremors - not Parkinson's.   That is happy news as Parkinson's is a crippling disease - ET is not. although in some cases it can lead to  Parkinson's.  We'll worry about that when and if it happens.

Now what to do with the blog.  If I keep it, it will need a new name.   I originally started it as a type of reference as to the life of someone with Parkinson's.   

1.  I could keep it going with news on Don's progression (which is very stable at present).

2.  I could delete the entire blog.

3.  I suppose I could just make it a personal blog, but our life isn't very newsworthy at this age.

4.   I could change the name and write a little on ET, although there won't be as much to write about other than ongoing back issues (which are still present).

Any ideas out there.   I'll consider all of them because I really don't know what I want to do with it.

Thanks for sticking with us on this unusual journey.  It PAYS TO GET A SECOND OPINION!

Until next week,

Mary
   

Friday, April 19, 2013

Possible Misdiagnosis!!!!!!



Dear Readers,

I want to yell out GOOD NEWS, but I can't yet as it is not confirmed.   I might have ET (Essential Tremors)  instead of PD.   Ah ha - that's what I said when the specialist was talking to me.

On Wednesday I had an appointment in Milwaukee with a neurologist who specializes in Movement Disorders (Parkinsons, Essential Tremor, MS, etc.)   She had thoroughly reviewed my records before I arrived, and did the standard things each time you see a doctor -  check reflexes, watch me imitate her hand movements, and take a walk.   She also thoroughly quizzed me about the side effects of the Parkinson's drugs I had been taking -  symptoms before and after drugs, results, etc.   She spent a full hour with me in her office just talking.

It is her opinion that I have Essential Tremors rather than Parkinson's.   But, she wants me to have a DaTscan at her hospital in Milwaukee.   It will involve being there all day - drinking a special cocktail (do you want to come along?), inject another cocktail in a vein, etc.  That test will be the determining factor and will produce an image something like this:         

I wonder if I'll be radioactive and glow in the dark.  Woohoo!

I'm still in somewhat of a daze over this.  I'm not celebrating yet, but surely will when the final word is in.   I am thinking, however, that no wonder I was having so many side effects with the PD drugs.   Their purpose, I believe, is to replace the dopamine in your brain.   Well, if I don't have PD, but was getting PD drugs with extra dopamine, it doesn't take a scientist to figure out I was getting way to much dopamine.   No wonder I felt like I was totally drugged all the time - I  was.

Well, enough of that - the doctor did prescribe the proper med for ET, and told me to take 1/2 tablet at night to start with.   It does make me light headed for sure - one step down from dizzy.  Maybe that will lessen in time.   

Anyway dear readers, that's where we are at today!  My appointment for the DaTscan is May 1st - HAPPY MAY DAY!

It still isn't spring here even though the calendar says it is.  It's cold, rainy, and damp.   I'm trying to think S P R I N G !

Thanks for "hanging in there with me" on this journey -  we'll see where we go.   

Until next time,



Mary