Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Some pics from the weekend

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Traveling through Montana

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Joseph pushing John on the swing...
don't stand too close or 
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you'll get this in your face!

There were kittens on the farm we could play with, so cute!
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"Hey, what's that over there?"

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"I don't know, let's go see." 

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John and his buddy

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Self portrait with a kitten
(why are my self portraits sans makeup?)

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"Thanks for visiting!"

I'll probably post more pictures, later.


Let me introduce...

My handsome husband Joseph,

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If that isn't too much for you look down at his feet!

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These are the coolest, and they get the best reactions from people!

Crazy long post about a crazy long weekend...

Well we're home from our whirlwind weekend. Busy? Yes. Fun? Yes. Wonderful? Definitely. We arrived Friday evening in Idaho, later than planned because of construction- what seemed to me to be a HUGE last ditch effort to finish before snow comes. Other than construction the drive went well and we listened to Harry Potter 3 Audio book, that seriously helps the long trip go by faster. After arriving we were chauffeured to the church to help set up for Sam and Kaelee's reception. The colors were blue, black and white. The reception decor was simple and elegant. I loved it. While at the church we were able to visit with Joseph's grandparents and catch up.

We slept in. And slowly got ready for the day. I even got in a nap before we were due to show up to the temple! It was an afternoon sealing, the sealing room happened to be the same one that Joseph's parents were sealed in. The room was filled with family and friends. It was beautiful. We feel so blessed that we were able to be there. After family pictures we filtered over to the church for lunch. We went home & switched shoes & put our feet up before the reception started.

The reception was awesome. There was a pretty constant flow of guests. We ended up at a table just off the reception line. So we always had someone visiting with us, and even a line of people waiting their turn to talk to us. It was really enjoyable. But by te end of the night we were exhausted & our voices were raspy. What a great night!

The family let us sleep in, and sleep and sleep. We had more family come to the house to visit and eat lunch before heading home. It was a slow, relaxing, rest-filled day. We did play an electric Uno game. And finish the day off singing hymns around the piano as a family. Jessica played the piano for most of them, John played the ones he knew, then I took my turn to play. It  had been something of a tradition to sing hymns around the piano when we came to visit on Sundays, when we lived in Idaho.

We slept in once more and slowly packed up to travel to Spokane to stay with the Toth's, and go to Joseph's appointments on Tuesday. We drove north up through Montana on over to Washington. It is a beautiful drive, much better than the way we usually go where it's mostly desert. The drive through Montana is mountainous, had lots of trees and we were in and out of rain so the clouds were gorgeous. Joseph even used the camera to take some pictures. We arrived at the Toth's in time for dinner. We were able to relax and visit with Kaelee's brothers, then staying up way too late talking, but it was wonderful to visit

We got up and got ready for Joseph's neurology appointment, had a fun time finding the new office- actually it's much easier to find now that it is located in Holy Family Hospital.
Nuerology Appointment
The nurse Shy, took Joseph's vitals, then noticed his "shoes", she didn't want to call them shoes, she just kept saying they were a trip. Pretty soon we had the other nurse and P.A. in there to look at them. Aline Snow the P.A. is the one that saw Joseph. She was awesome! She did a lot of the same tests and physical assessments that Dr. Cooke does. After teh tests she asked  lots of questions the main thing she wanted to address was Joseph's walking. He still has spasticity, she suggests yoga & more stretching. We will purchasing a yoga DVD that is meant for those who have Multiple Sclerosis.  He can do it with his vibrams on, he will still have full movement and not slide around. She also suggested more water and more fiber. And prescribed a medication for spasticity.

Neurotherapy Appointment:
Intially we thought it would be a consultation, you know, just lots of talking. At first it was then Dr. Thurber wanted to go ahead and do a brain mapping to see if there is anything he could do, anything that can be improved. Brain mapping is very interesting, He hooked up sensors to his ears (those were to filter out any stay waves) hten he had another sensor that he would move to different sites on Joseph's head to transmit and recieve electric waves. The scan is is used to see if there are any areas in the brain that  are over, under or dis-functioning.

Dr. Thurber can read the waves and maps and know they mean and know what they control, pertaining to the body. It's incredible. He taught us that the nervous system's main job is to filter out unwanted information, so with degenerate diseases like Multiple Scerlosis, can cause the Nervous System to filter itself out.

So Dr. Thurber performed a brain mapping and did a small treatment at the same time. While the sensors  were  on Joseph's head I would look at a screen and see the waves (delta, theta & alpha). Dr Thurber printed out the results and brain maps,  there were a series of maps that were all different colors. Each the maps showed different areas of his brain, and the colors and patterns or locations of certain colors each meaning different things.

 What we learned from the brain scans:
One scan showed his brain works well, with the exception of one small area, over the left side
(which controls the right side of the body) showing a difference in efficiency. Which tells the Dr. that Joseph is left handed and that his right side has had some struggles. A correlating bar chart showed that Joseph's brain is rigid, or lacks flexibility which could manifest itself in personality or physically.  Another map showed efficiency, the right side of Joseph's brain is more efficient, left side inefficient. (True, his right side drags when he is tired). One scan was to see if there were any injuries to his brain, none were found. The most interesting scan was a colorful one, with a white center. The white part is supposed to be towards the back of the brain. Joseph's was more center, which shows that his brain is trying to "re-wire" itself to repair his vision. His brain is still trying to see, which is normal for someone who has  optic nerve damage. It showed his brain is compensating for his lack of sight, which is true, his hearing has definitely become more sensitive.

Dr. Thurber has heard of Vibram 5 fingers, recommends them and said we were smart to try them!
He had us purchase Nikken Magsteps, or magnetic insoles. Joseph has had them for 2 days now. They are supposed to help enhance body and space awareness. And help his body communicate, which is a common problem with MS, body and brain not communicating like they should.

Sorry for the Information overload, but now it's all written down and here for you and us later on.

Info on Brainmapping click: HERE
The Doctor Joseph went to see click: HERE

Monday, September 27, 2010

The newest Mr. & Mrs. Mecham

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Samuel & Kaelee
Married September 18th 2010
Idaho Falls Idaho Temple

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Her Bouquet, 

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Their Awesome Cake.
That the talented Mama Mecham made.

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Center pieces. 
Simple, Elegant.

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An artistic shot by yours truly.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Oh the madness...

And we're off...
to Idaho to see Sam and Kaelee get Married
 in the Idaho Falls Temple tomorrow. 
Stay in Idaho, see family... leave Monday
go  North and over through Montana,
 to get to Spokane and stay with Sam's new family.
go to Neurologist Tuesday morning.
go to Neurotherapist Tuesday evening
Drive home
Crash into bed.

We'll Talk again soon. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"If you're up for it.."

A phrase we hear a lot. Quite a lot.
It makes me feel like people think that we spend our time sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves, 
and hosting pity parties... (although I do like a good party)
Despite the things that have happened, we're usually pretty upbeat.
And that's a choice we've made, a conscious choice we make daily.
Some days are good, some not so good and some bad.
That's how life goes.

However there are somethings I am not "up for"
baby showers, still no. 
I did survive my sister's,
but that's more because she is not a party person,
and it was short,
and I came in my own car and could leave.
There may be some other things I am not "up for" but it's not a long list.

We like to be productive.
We work hard.
Joseph has learned braille and has to practice to keep it up.
He helps loads with Laundry and Dishes (loads lol.)
He does some yard work.
Joseph has computer classes.
He is constantly practicing his new skills.
I work @ KeHS as a accompanist again (a couple mornings a week)
And I now have 19 piano students at the Studio.
(booya!) Once I break 20 we'll go out for ice cream.
To be filled I would have 35 students and work M-F 3:30pm- 7:00pm
It's possible and it's a goal!
We volunteer for things, help our neighbors.
We "do"  lots of things.

If we're not "up" for something, it may be because we are sick or over tired. 
But not because we're feeling sorry for ourselves.
Yes, we had a bad week, and a horrible Christmas following Joseph's diagnosis,
 but we moved quickly and had messages to agencies and government programs,
 before the holidays were done. 
Things were put into motion because we refuse to sit still, and sulk.
We are still fighting,
we still fill out mountains of paperwork.
(4th application to DSHS!!!!)

We are coming up on the year mark.
We've made progress,
Joseph has learned so much.
We've filled out enough paper work to last a lifetime.
We have clear goals in mind.
It's hard.
It is not fun.
We do it anyway.
We have to.
Whether or not we're "up for it" we do it.
It makes us stretch and forces us to grow.

Lucky Duck!

Joseph got his first pair of Vibram 5 finger shoes.
After a friends comment, 
Thanks Meagan!
I took him (and my Dad) to try them on at REI
Then after more research, 
we found that they really should help with balance and muscle tone.
A Godsend for Joseph.
I am a little jealous, I wanted a pair first.
But I will get a pair... eventually, I will have to order them in.
I had a feeling to go to REI yesterday,
they had his size in, (Eur 40).
He can already feel the difference.
He is already walking a little better.
I will get a picture of them on his feet..
 but these are the ones that he got:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


We went camping near here:
Mt. Rainier.
We stayed in La Wis Wis campground.
If you sat in our campsite this it what you'd see:
So much green!
The weather channel gave us the idea the weather would be rainy and cold.
But this is what we got:
Mostly sunny. Temperatures in the 50's-70's
I was still chilly, Joseph was just right... most of the time.
We went into Mt. Rainier National Forest to hike.
We stopped and saw this:
Sunbeam creek.
We were heading to the Grove of the Patriarchs
It is an easy hike, about 1.1 miles round trip.
You hike down a dirt trail
That had a couple enormous trees that had fallen over the trail
Luckily Joseph is a muscle man, and lifted it for us to cross.
After the trail you come to a suspension bridge,
Only one person can cross at a time.
Here's Joseph at the end.
After you cross the bridge you are in the Grove,
the trees in there are thousands of years old and HUGE.
When we were done hiking we had our sack lunches, 
and drove to Paradise,
No, really that's the name of the city.
It's the city at the base of Mt Rainier.
And Mt. Rainier got a little shy when we got there.
Seriously, I have a picture and the mountain is completely behind the fog.
This picture was taken on our way back from Paradise.
We also got some great Views of the Tatoosh Mountians.
They weren't so shy.
And here I am back at our campsite.
Don't judge, I was camping, and cold.
 And it's a self portrait.

We had a wonderful weekend, 
Loved the fresh mountain air.
We had lots of quiet time together.
It was our first real camping trip, alone.
And pretty amazing for a quick trip on a budget.
We're ready to face the world once more.

Silly Speckles

She sees the bug....

She pounces.

She leaves us huge bug carcases, 
near our car.
We're so proud, 
and we haven't seen a mouse since she joined our family.

(I took these as she was following me around while I was taking pictures)

Day 25:

Joseph fixing the Jeep, yes it works, starts up right away.
Day 26:

Make a wish...
Day 27:

Moth that greeted me in the morning

Day 28:

Cable Bridge
Day 29:

Sunny Sunflower
Day 30:

Day 31:

Rippling rose petals.