Sunday, May 29, 2016

There's A Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On!

Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On!
I have what is medically called "Benign Essential Tremor"; ET for short.  It's called "Benign" because it isn't terminal, however, there is nothing benign about it.  

ET is a neurological movement disorder.  It causes rhythmic tremors of the hands, arms, head, legs and voice.  You can have the tremor in one, or all or a combination of places, on one side of your body or on both.  It can be an action tremor (you only shake when you "do" something) or a positional tremor (it only occurs when your body is in a certain positions).  Lucky me, I have it all!  

It's what the actress Katherine Hepburn had (if you are of an age to remember her!).

When I was a baby my parents noticed that I shook.  Our local family doctor told my parents that I had "senile palsy" father always thought it was funny that a tiny baby was "senile".  ET was known at the time, but was called palsy.  It was usually only seen in the elderly.  Many people only develop ET as they age, now it's known that a large percentage have it from birth. Because ET is not terminal there is little research into it even though it's the most common movement disorder in the world.  There are no drugs designed specifically for ET.  It's not known what causes a person to get ET, however it is genetic and can, but not always, run in families.

Somewhere in the Thalamus portion of your brain where movement is controlled the electrical impulses get screwed up and you shake.  There has been enough research to know that ET causes balance issues.  There is evidence, though not proven research to indicate that ET can also cause memory problems and depression.  It is not known if ET can "turn into" Parkinson's but a larger than normal percentage of people with ET develop Parkinson's.

Benign....oh, so benign!   ET has made my life miserable, but I've tried to keep a good attitude and sense of humor about it.  Some days it's damn hard. As a child I was unable to color inside the lines.  I found it next to impossible to write between the lines on school paper.  My handwriting was horrible.  Art's and crafts were a challenge.  I can't roller skate, ride a bike or any other activity that requires balance.  I fell down a lot.  Great confidence booster for your impressionable childhood years.  ET is probably the main reason I have been an introvert most of my life.  I'd much rather sit home and read than socialize.

This is your introduction to ET, I will be writing more about it in my next post.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

In Honor Of An Old Dog

May 5th was my Mini-minion Rupert's thirteenth birthday.  For those of you new to my blog Rupert is an English Bull Terrier dog.  When my beloved spouse "Himself" and I purchased Rupert he was suppose to be a Miniature Bull Terrier.  As Rupert aged and grew he was way too large for a miniature and too small for a standard.  We call him our "sub-standard" Bull Terrier; however there has never been anything sub-standard about him.

We arrived at the breeder's home and their front yard was filled with two very obvious full sized Bull Terriers and a litter of puppies.  The adult un-neutered male and the female (Mom and Dad) were playing together with the puppies.  The male was holding a toy in his huge jaws dangling it above the pups heads and they were jumping up and down trying to grab it!  I had never seen a male dog playing with puppies before!  This was our first indication of just how unusual BT's were.

We picked out Rupert and headed home expecting the usual adjustment period of whining, accidents in the house, chewing and destruction that always happens with a new eight week old pup.  Rupert sat in the back seat of the car, enjoying his ride, never once whining, never once causing a fuss.  No accidents.  No chewing....nothing.

Rupert has had so many medical problems from nail fungus, allergies, to glaucoma, lens luxation (the lens of the eye coming lose), bloating, grain intolerance, arthritis and now a thickening and hardening of his epiglottis.  Rupert has had both eyes removed.  He is nearly deaf (he can hear a little bit out of one ear) and he is starting to show signs of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction....aka Doggy Dementia.

Rupert can no longer play his favorite games with tennis balls, he doesn't like to go for walks, he is slow going up and down the stairs, needs help getting up on the couch and some days we have to coax him  into eating.  He can be cranky and demanding.  He is an old dog.

We never expected him to live this long; but we are so glad that he has.  He has been such an inspiration to me when I am feeling the hand of time on my bones and become annoyed with my life.  Rupert is, despite being cranky, a total love sponge.  His favorite thing is to sit next to me on the couch, his front paws wrapped around my leg, his head on my knee....he'll look up at me with his eyeless beautiful face, sigh, and I know he loves me...that I am the most import thing in the world to him.

I try to live up to his expectations....and I know that among all the dogs I've had in my life, and those that will follow when he's crossed the rainbow bridge...that Rupert is a rare and amazing dog.  He is an old, old soul in a dog suit.  He always has been.  It is and has been an honor to share the few years we have had with him.

Happy Birthday Rupert!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Long Time Lost

Wow, it's been such a long time....April 14, 2014 was the last time I posted anything.  What happened?  Where did the time go?  The last two years seem a blur.  A friend asked me why I hadn't written anything and I responded that I had nothing to talk about.  She gave me "the look" and said "Really?  Nothing to talk about?".....I'll admit it, life and being lazy just got in the way.  But if you can't be lazy when you are a Crone when can you?  It's a feeble excuse, but I'm sticking to it!

Updates on my Crone existence...

My beloved mini-minions Rupert and Boomer are still alive.  Rupert my (blind [no eyes], deaf, and a tad senile) Bull Terrier is going to be 13 on May 5th!  I never excepted him to live this long.  His health is declining, he has good days and bad days.  We are not sure how much longer he will be with us.  Boomer our crazy Mini-Aussie (now according to the AKC [American Kennel Club] - a miniature American Shepherd) is doing poorly.  He just turned 10.  His back legs are very weak and he can no longer go for walks, jump up, sit up, or even lift his leg to "go".  He's on a variety of medications for inflammation, pain and anxiety.  Poor baby.  We are not sure how long he will be with us as well.  The Crone's home for special needs dogs is in full swing.  They take a huge amount of my time.

My tattoo acquisition is continuing.  I now have seven and just sent in a request for another appointment for number eight.  Blood and ink, blood and ink!

My dear spouse "Himself" is well.  For the first time since he was a small child he had to have some surgery, one for sinuses and one for skin cancer.

I'm having problems with my Essential Tremor and will be writing about it in my next posts.  It has become more of an issue in my life and I think one of the reasons I've not been writing. update and a promise to my friend that I will be more faithful in more long time lost.