March 13, 2018


I've been very busy the last couple of months, on account of getting all my medical needs sorted out. I've met with my new neurology team four times. I've seen my primary care doctor at least twice, and have been to the urgent care thrice due to my stupid kidneys/bladder/urinary tract. I have been referred to a urologist (YAASSSS PLEASE!), a gastroenterologist, and a rheumatologist. I've had my thoracic and cervical spine analyzed, along with my brain... it was the longest MRI I've ever had, and included a spectroscopy. At the follow up visit, I learned that I have a "SIGNIFICANT burden" of MS, emphasis not added, with a lot of lesions in my spinal cord. I will now be heading to an infusion center every 3-4 weeks to get yummy drugs pumped into my blood stream.

Additionally, my children have required medical intervention along the way, thru no fault of their own. Sadly, they have my strong predilection for mental health issues. Luckily, they have a mother that has a lot of experience in that field, and has received extensive training in mental health first aid. My kids now have the necessary tools and support system needed to improve their cute little chemically imbalanced brains. It has been a difficult few months, but we are all BACK. Our brains and bodies are working again... for now.

I've also seen a nutritionist, because I have a very specific diet that I need to be on in order for my body to work better. I've been compiling all notes and suggestions, and am in the process of making myself a definitive guide book to help along the way. I've even gone thru my pantry, and purged the Caroline-unfriendly foods. There actually weren't that many, because this ain't my first rodeo. But I needed to double check ingredients, especially in the canned food items. For the most part, I was golden because our canned items are mostly just vegetables, with a couple of soups. I'm also to keep a food journal to see if we can find any triggers for my migraines. and to note any symptoms related to the MS. We're 75% sure that I've moved on to Secondary Progressive MS, but we need records to be sure. I'll have a follow up MRI in 6 months, then at a year, to note any changes. Meanwhile, getting medical records from different states is not a fun time. So much paperwork. So many phone calls. So very annoying.

We've started prepping our garden! I'm super pumped about it, because I LOVE gardening. It really makes me feel good about myself. And I'm excited for all the FOOD that we get from it! My yard is gorgeous, and has a vegetable garden area, and then has beautiful beds of shrubs and flowers and herbs. Naturally, I am yanking a bunch of the plantings (allergies), and replacing the perennial flowers with perennial vegetables. I think fruit and vegetable plants are gorgeous, in addition to being functional. We DID plant six rose bushes though. And I have 4 hydrangea bushes that I need to plant today. I'm *thisclose* to getting my garden in the ground.

I started a few vegetables from seeds a few weeks ago. I ONLY use heirloom seeds. ONLY. And I have my seeds organized by month, and then by week, because I am an organized gardener. Besides, a little bit of work in the beginning reaps huge rewards at the end. I've had to wait for so long to get this garden going, all on account of the weather. I want to have food available year round, which means that I need to build cold frames. But that will cost money, and since this is our first garden at this house, that money needed to go towards hardware.I like to grow food UP as much as possible, which means I needed a trellis system. I like to use rabbit fencing as my trellis', because it's sturdy enough to support lighter vegetable crops. I do have some new melon varieties to try out this year, but I haven't decided where to put them. Next to roses, I have a dozen or so raspberry bushes. I also have two blackberry, and three blueberry vines. I'll try grapes next year. And will get fruit trees: peach, plum, apple, and pear.

Canning goes hand in hand with the garden. I have all my jars, ready and waiting. I would like to get a pressure canner, but that might need to wait awhile, because I want a food dehydrator FIRST.  And I need to replace my apple corer/peeler thing. While I'll have to wait awhile before I have my own orchard, there are local orchards where you can go pick your own fruit. So I'll have a box or three of apples and peaches and etc. in the summer.

My kids are hell-bent on running a neighborhood farmer's market from our backyard. Just yesterday, I told them, "You realize that most of the food we grow is going to go on our table and in our pantry." to which Taylor replied, "Yeah, but what are we gonna do with 60 pounds of blueberries?". Pffht. WE'LL BE IN BLUEBERRY HEAVEN, THAT'S WHAT. I kid, I kid. I have no problem sharing some produce, but for real, it's mostly going in the pantry.

And that's all I have for now. I should be blogging more regularly, as it helps with brain function and all. It's just that sometimes, your family goes into crisis/survival mode, and all your energy is devoted to healing the rift. I'm so glad to be back though. So glad.