Saturday, June 30, 2012

Now I Understand by Daesia Espinoza

This was written by my daughter Daesia when she was 14 years old.  She wrote this as an assignment for the IB program at school.  This is about my MS diagnosis from her perspective at the time. 

                                                Now  I  Understand

              I’ve  always  known  my  mother  to  be  smart,  loving,  caring,  and  strong.  But  when  she  was  diagnosed  with  MS  things  started  to  change.  Some  for  the  better  and  others  for  the  worse.   

             When  I  was  told  the  news  I  was  naturally  scared.  I  didn’t  have  a  clue  as  to  what  MS  was,  I  just  knew  it  was  hurting  her  from  inside.  My  first  reaction  was  to  cry,  but  she  was  able  to  calm  me  down  by  telling  me  everything  would  be  okay.  As  her  child  I  believed  her,  and  all  of  a  sudden  I  knew  she  would  survive.

            Now  since  a  few  years  have  passed  I  realize  I  should  be  grateful  for  what  I  have  and  not  take  anything  for  granted.  My  mother  is  alive  and  well and  there  is  nothing  I  would  want  more  in  the  world. I  am  proud  of  her  for  being  strong,  but  most  of  all for  being  so  courageous  and  keeping  her  trust  in  God.   She  will  always  be  my  role  model  and  hero.  

            This  experience  helped  me  better  understand  myself  and  the  world.  About  myself  I  now  understand  that  as  long  as  I  believe  and  trust  in  God  everything  will  be  okay.  About  the world  I  now  know  that  my  family  is  not  immune  to  the  craziness  around  us,  but  it helps  to  smile  and  have  a  positive  attitude.  In  the  end  everything  will  be  okay.

 Daesia C Espinoza


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Update: Doing Well

The past few weeks have been good.  I recently had some blood work done and found out that my vitamin D levels were way below normal ranges.  Not only that but my iron leves and potassium were also very low.  I am currently taking 100,000 iu's of vitamin D3 per week for the next 6 weeks.  Typically it should only be 50,000 iu's per week but my primary care physician saw fit to double that for a bit which is ok as long as it's monitored.  She plans to check my blood again in 6 months.  Isn't that odd considering that I previously wrote a post about vitamin D Vitamin Savvy ?  I was taking 2000 iu's per day and sometimes a supplement of vitamin D & A but not consistent.  I was spending a little more time in the sun than usual thinking that would sustain me but come to find out that I need to take a vitamin D supplement for the rest of my life.  I am also taking an iron supplement for the next 6 months and I took potassium for 10 days because it was borderline low and below normal.

In the case of my potassium levels, I know this has to do with the HCTZ pill that I take every day.  HCTZ  is a dieuretic used to treat high blood pressure.  In my case, because of MS I am unable to completely empty my bladder and I retain water which increases my blood pressure.  The water pill prevents me from retaining fluids and in turn decreases blood pressure.  At the same time, I loose a lot of potassium so I've been told to eat and drink foods high in potassium like bananas and citric fruit juices or take a potassium supplement.  It's a vicious circle because the HCTZ can affect the way your body responds to direct sunlight so you should avoid long periods in the sun.  Well there goes my natural vitamin D exchange (hence vitamin D supplements for life).  I wasn't doing so well in that arena anyways because MS does not mix well with the sun or heat in general.
My 35th birthday was on 6/13th and I received my 39th Tysabri infusion.  There was a small mix up with communication between my doctor's office and the TOUCH program so my infusion was delayed for a week.  My prescription expired and had to be renewed for another 6 months.  I'd say Tysabri is doing a great job for me as of now.  I enjoy the monthly visits.  My nurse and I have become great friends.  She is younger than me but she is very wise for her age.  She is expecting her first child in September and I'm so thrilled for her.  This week I found out that she is having a girl as we both predicted the month before.

I still work full time but the desire that God has placed in my heart is to branch out as a public motivation speaker.  I did some research on the internet last night and I found out that I should reach out to the local Toastmasters Club or Speaker's Bureau.  These clubs are typically not for profit and they meet once a week to help people become better speakers.  Low and behold, there is a club in the basement at my very own job.  Yep, that's right, there is a club that meets at NV Energy (my place of employment) every Tuesday from 12:05 to 1:05 so I plan to attend their next meeting this coming Tuesday (today is Saturday).  This could be the beginning of my break through as a speaker, stay tuned and find out............