Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Changes Physically, Mentally, and Spiritually!

I suppose I need a post updating what is going on as it has been quite a long time since my last post.

Towards the end of last year, I had mentioned to Vince that I had an idea that would help us financially and I wanted to know what he thought about it. I suggested that maybe his brother John would like to move into our second bedroom in our two bedroom apartment. Since he works part time and is on disability due to diabetic complications, his money has been tight, just as ours is. We discussed this possibility for a while before making any moves, as it is a big adjustment to share your home with someone else, even if they are family. Vince decided the idea wasn’t so bad and could really help not only us, but his brother as well, so he brought up the topic to him. John seemed to like the idea and said he would think about it. I then began to realize there would be more positive outcomes other than the financial help. He would be there with Vince a lot of the time when I can’t be. The thought of having someone else around to watch out for him while I am at work 40 hours a week would be great! They could help each other! A few short months later, he officially moved in and things have been going great.

In case I haven’t mentioned it, we have a FANTASTIC therapist. I am a firm believer in shopping until you find just the right one for you and that we did. This guy has helped Vince tremendously. We see him together about once a month and usually just check in. He is not only great at guiding us, but he gets our humor and is all around just a great match to our needs. While in a session a few months back, he mentioned that it seems I may have ADD. I have often suspected this of myself but always ignored it. I explained to him that my biggest issue is not being able to concentrate while driving. I am like a little kid, constantly looking all around me, instead of looking at the road. Not good. We left his office and I didn’t think much more about it. Then, months later, the topic came up again during a meeting with him and he, again, suggested I see someone about it.

I finally took his advice and made an appointment with a doctor who deals with ADD. During the first appointment, I was asked why I was there and what my symptoms were. I explained my lack of concentration, especially while driving. He then asked about my concentration during school. I explained to him my reading comprehension has always been poor and I just struggled through. I always explained that looking back, this was a big reason why I never felt I could attempt college. He then said something that really made an impression with me. He said he could tell I was very smart and I probably just have a learning disability and that I should go to college! That made me feel very good. As the conversation went on, I explained how my memory is poor (but I attributed that to stress) and how I seem to always be doing 10 things at once. I explained that it is hard to turn off my brain at night to go to sleep, but again contributed that to stress. He said it sounds like I have always had ADD and due to my moving from school to school during my childhood, it was never properly diagnosed. He said he would like me to see his psychologist to be tested. I agreed, as this is something that I really want help with due to the driving issue. About a week later I saw the psychologist and filled out a 60 question questionnaire and he took my background. He said he was surprised I was never diagnosed as it is pretty obvious that I have difficulty with ADD. He suggested I try medication to help since I was so concerned about my attention on the road and referred me back to the doctor to prescribe something. When I met with the doctor, I explained I didn’t want a stimulant like Ritalin and he informed me that there is a newer option that is not a stimulant and that I could try that. The only drawback is that it can take up to 2 months to see the full effects. So that is where I am currently at. It has been just under a month and I will see him soon for a checkup.

Another, non-medical related update, is that I am in the process of becoming Catholic! They say sometimes you just know when you are ready to do something. That is kind of how this came about. While sitting through Mass at Vince’s old high school during the day he was there to give his motivational speech to the Freshman, the idea came to me. Maybe because it was a Mass for the kids, maybe not, I liked how the priest provided such a positive outlook on life. The positivity really hit me and I thought to myself, maybe I would like to go to Mass more often. If I get this much out of it each week, that could do wonders for me emotionally and spiritually.

I decided to contact the priest at the church where we got married. He was so inviting and explained the process to become Catholic would be quite easy since I was already baptized. He explained he could meet with me and we can go from there. I asked Vince if he would go with me and he was happy to. So I met with the priest and he gave me a book that explained the Catholic religion from start to finish. He said we can go through the book and spend about an hour a week and at the end, I can get my first Holy Communion and Confirmation and I would be official! We have had about a total of 5 meetings and I will be confirmed in just a few weeks! I am very excited to do this for myself. I am surprised to see how much I get out of going to Mass once a week and am glad I made this decision.

Lastly is the most recent update is regarding Vince’s Neuropathy. He has been falling quite a lot lately and complained of a “buckling knee” to the doctor. After an X-Ray and MRI on the knee, everything came back fine. The doctor explained that most likely the Femoral Nerve has probably been affected by his Diabetic Neuropathy. This is a large nerve that runs from the waste, down the leg. It can cause the knee to buckle and general weakness in the leg. He suggested physical therapy to strengthen the leg muscles and an EMG to confirm the damage. He did say though that since this is such a large nerve, it tends to get better over time. I hope he is right. In the meantime, he has prescribed Forearm Crutches for Vince to use to help him walk better and hopefully avoid falling so much. Here is an example of what they look like.

Well I think I covered everything! I shouldn’t wait so long next time!

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