Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Coconut Experiment.......

It occurred to me today that it had been just over a year since my first post, "The Diagnosis."

I just finished reading it and it depressed me. Not because of the contents but because I remember my physical condition and the state of mind I was in at the time. It is disturbing to know how bad I've gotten in this past year and to know that this illness does not stop until I quit. There are no timeouts or vacations from it. It is relentless and insidious.

One of the Anonymous commenters on my blog challenged me to eat two Mounds Bars a day for two weeks with the implication being that the coconut would have beneficial affects to my "starving brain."

A year ago I dismissed the coconut oil fanatics on the assumption that if it worked my doctor would have prescribed it for me. Now I'm more I tried it.

Now let me paint you a picture. Every morning as I leave for work I grab a banana and a 12 ounce can of V8 that I consume on my 25 minute drive to work. Coffee is the first thing I do when I get to my desk (coffee CAN be a verb).

Now let's add 21 grams of sugar and 250 calories packed into a very tasty combination of dark chocolate and coconut. Can you say buzz! Then eat another one on your commute home. Can you say appetite killer!

About three days into the regimen I noticed that my mid section began to gurgle a bit. Two days later my stomach had developed a language of its own. Still I persevered because I said I would.

At the end of two weeks the results were in:

1. Tom Hanks was right about coconut being a natural laxative.
2. It will be two years before I eat another Mounds Bar. (On a side note, Superwoman put two Mounds in my Christmas stocking).
3. No noticeable improvement in motor skill function.

I can cross the Mounds/Coconut experiment off my list of things I have tried in moments of weakness.


I still walk about my land, camera in hand. It has been wet though not too cold.
I cannot tolerate cold without my right arm shivering uncontrollably.

Leaves this year are gigantic. Either that or I'm just paying closer attention.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tied in Knots.......

Last Sunday morning was the day Superwoman's church choir was scheduled to do their annual Christmas concert. She puts many hours of work into the rehearsals and as a (the) primary soprano she always has a key solo.

I don't attend church except for the times I am guaranteed to hear her sing. If and when God speaks to me, he sounds like her.

I had a tinge of dread about going this year. Too many buttons and too many people that know my secret. It may be my imagination but it seems that people that know of my illness look at me as if they are measuring the changes since they last laid eyes on me. It is a very uncomfortable feeling.

As I dressed, my tension built as I neared the moment of truth (the cuff buttons on my left shirt sleeve). I struggled to align the ivory button with the seemingly tiny hole. It was impossible and I decided to quit for a bit to calm my nerves and push away the demons of unwelcome introspection. I decided to tie my tie and return to the button in a bit.

I usually tie a Double Windsor knot and I proceeded to measure the ends as my brightly colored Christmas tie hung about my neck. I flipped the larger tie face around the narrower tail and looped it over and then froze. I began again, this time facing myself in the mirror. Again I flipped and looped and froze. I COULDN'T REMEMBER HOW TO TIE THE KNOT.

It seemed as if the images of how to perform the task existed in my brain but could not travel to my hands.

After several failed attempts I managed to complete a Half Windsor and quit. I then angrily managed to button my offending cuff.

I went to church and tearfully stood beside my Mother and sang perhaps our final Christmas carols together.


I am concerned about the "tie incident." While I still seem to be able to recall and perform intellectual tasks, I seem to have trouble being creative. It as if there is a fog over my imagination. Even this blog post seems lacking.


Superwoman's Christmas Table (taken with my Blackberry)

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Love Letter to Superwoman.....

There was a time, mostly early in our relationship, that I wrote love letters to her very often. Not always long ones but always heartfelt ones. Heartfelt because I REALLY loved her.

When I met her she was the single mother of a nine year old daughter and a four year old son. She worked full time, was active in church, and was doing a super job raising her kids. She was the strongest woman I'd ever met. She woke up everyday with a job to do and she only new one way to do the job. With perfection. When she gave me the opportunity to be part of her life I knew I'd be crazy not to bathe in those waters. She made me a better man.

Over twenty years has passed and I never stopped loving her, but I stopped writing her love letters. I don't know why. I guess I thought there wasn't anything more to say.

Don't get me wrong, we had rough patches where we both thought the marriage was over, but we persevered. Then we crossed some magic threshold. We knew we would grow old together and it was going to be a good trip.

It is not fair to her that now, in what should be the payoff time for a job well done, she is handed the burden of watching me shrivel up and die.

Dearest Wife,

I love you! If I had my life with you to live over again, I would change very little. I would try to make better decisions at a few key spots and I would not stop writing you love letters. I was wrong, there
is lots more to say. I hope I have the time to say it all.

Forever and Always, b