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Toys on the Pillow

Posted on Feb 5, 2013 in Blog |

I took Reagan, our remaining Cavalier, to the office today – six walks in 4 hours . . . he likes to walk when he is there. I figured it was good for me to be up and moving. Most of the walks were our usual routine, once around the buildings, along the tree line, up and down the three parking islands. At one point, Reagan found Riley’s poop and just went berserk, barking and running and sniffing and looking and going in circles and this way and that and going back to the poop. . . every step, every bark, every strained look in each direction broke my heart . . . I miss Riley most in bed. He was my companion, especially when the ”lyme” fatigue hit. He would spend hours in bed with me. He liked to rest his head on my shoulder, the rest of him on the pillow beside me. His soft breath on my collarbone. He knew I didn’t have the energy to throw all the time, so we played a lot of tug of war on the bed . . .i wake up now and the pillow is empty and there is no breath on my shoulder. Reagan lies on the floor at the end of our bed, his head facing the hallway. He waits for Riley to come bounding down the hall, whether to catch a flying tennis ball, or to come wrap himself in my arms. But Riley isn’t coming. So Reagan just keeps waiting. He still waits at the end of the driveway when he goes out to pee. Waiting for Riley to meet up. When I spent time with our niece Brittany a week ago, we talked about heaven. Preston comes to her in her dreams. They don’t talk about his suicide. They just go do things together and they laugh a lot. She doesn’t seem him as he last was. She sees him as she wants to and it’s not necessarily in a physical sense. It’s an emotional connection. We decided that Heaven is hearts connecting; a connection that never stops. For those of us with chronic...

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Sharon’s Christmas Letter 2011

Posted on Dec 8, 2011 in Blog |

Dear Loved Ones, Usually, I look forward to writing this annual letter.  It gives me a chance to capture the highlights and reflect on the low moments to see what wisdom I can gain and utilize for “the next time.”  It gives me the opportunity to openly thank those who have been especially helpful.  But this year, I have dreaded this task.  Most of you already know why, and for the rest of you, it will become clear in a few paragraphs.  I use this letter as an imprint of our memories, so there are some things I want to say first . . . 2011 was a year of changes. In January, Heather left myNeighborsNetwork after working for me for almost four years. She took a job as the salon manager at Tangerine Dream Beauty Bar.  She continues her studies at George Mason University and expects to graduate in 2012 with a BS in Mind/Body Wellness.  In the meanwhile, she also earned her yoga teaching certification.  She is currently teaching power vinyasa and flow yoga.  She is also preparing for a trauma certification course at the Kripalu Center in Stockbridge, MA in January.  She seems very happy in her life and it shows. Stephen was notified in January that he had been awarded a regional Gold Key Award for a computerized self-portrait he made (see photo to the right: that’s the winner!).  It was a big deal.  And we are very proud of him! A few days later, Stephen made it to the big 18.  We celebrated over a series of days and meals. On March 1st, Stephen was accepted into his first choice college, Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. Just after Valentine’s Day, Joey asked his girlfriend, Cortney Jones, to be his wife.  She accepted.  They came out over the summer for a quick trip and introduction to his East Coast family.  They are tentatively planning on a 2013 wedding in California where they are currently living (Simi Valley).  In March, Joey underwent major successful back surgery.  He is now able to work and is enjoying his new job at Milgard Windows.  Having a job in...

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Relief and Renewed Hope

Posted on Jul 13, 2010 in Blog |

Relief and Renewed Hope Last week, I started a new medication for my Bartonella (co-infection of Lyme disease). At 2:45 the next morning, I woke up in extreme pain, feeling deep bone pain in my legs and right hip. By 5:30 am, the pain had exhausted me enough that I decided I wasn’t strong enough to handle Lyme treatment. I couldn’t handle it. I was giving up on trying to cure this damn disease. I understood why some chronic Lyme patients choose suicide. The next morning, I asked my 17 year-old son, Stephen, ‘How did you get through this treatment?’ ‘It gets better, Mom, I promise,’ he replied. ‘I don’t know how you did it,’ I responded. I really didn’t. I felt like a failure. I couldn’t handle the pain of one pill; I was asking a 17 year old how to get through the pain. I got through childbirth without drugs. I shattered my foot and spent 7 weeks in a cast. But the pain from this one pill was too much. Today, I saw my Lyme doctor. In a matter of hours, my entire perspective changed. I feel a great sense of relief and renewed hope. That’s just one of the things I love about Dr. M. In an hour’s time, he listens to my complaints, figures out what is going on and why, tweaks my treatment plan (I’m sure he has a more sophisticated word for it than tweaks), explains everything clearly and simply, and then gives me the encouragement and hope that I need to get through another four weeks before my next appointment with him. I wish I could come up with different words for M than the ones I always use: brilliant, compassionate, funny, artistic, methodical, amazing. After examining me and talking with me, he explained, ‘I’ve never had a patient respond to the medication this quickly.’ If his head was transparent, I would have seen the wheels turning. ‘Describe your pain,’ he requested. I did. In my head, I thought, ‘Maybe I had a psychosomatic response to the meds . . .’ We went over the rest of my treatment protocol, and...

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