Monthly Archives: February 2018

Over the weekend…



I tried to write this last night, but kept finding roadblocks, not “feeling” the message I wanted to convey. I began reading old blogs from every year on or around her birthday, hoping for inspiration, and realizing, I’ve told her birth story about four of the five years I’ve written a blog. Sorry! So today, you get the party review and a reminder, my doll has grown into a really neat young lady, who blesses our family, every second of every day. Happy ‘Sweet Sixteen’ Birthday doll!


On Saturday evening, we welcomed many of my doll’s friends to a party celebrating her “Sweet Sixteen” birthday; which in reality, happens to be today.  On Monday following school I asked her, “Did your friends have anything to say about Saturday night?” Hoping to hear glowing reviews for all our many efforts. “They said they had fun…” She replied and internally, I was jumping for joy.

They had fun. Who knew trying to motivate fourteen girls to giggle and laugh was sooo stressful? But I digress.

What they had the most fun doing? Sitting and asking “Alexa” to play old nursery rhymes, and then singing along to them. Not quite understanding this, I simply shook my head and took pictures. After all, this was the doll’s friends and party, not mine. After a while they discovered the air hockey, foosball and marble soccer games available and began to play them in a rowdy manner.

My favorite remark? One girl playing foosball, whose sole job was as the goal keeper and failed miserably lamented, “Now you understand why I’m not an athletic type person…” much to the delight and laughter from all the girls in the room.

When all was said and done, and the girls parents arrived to take them home, the doll thanked me for time and money put into hosting these girls. She was happy and surprised by the many presents (especially when she specifically asked for no presents from her friends) and the time she had to feel appreciated by all of them.

All in all… the party was a great success.

But, in the grand scheme of things, while she had fun, the party did nothing to advance her own standing with her friends. That’s something she has to work on day in and day out on her own. When we talked about the party Sunday afternoon, she mused about what a great bunch of girls she’s found herself in. “I’m not sure what I did to deserve all of them…” She said, almost without thinking. “Maybe a compatriot…” I offered and she looked at me oddly. Maybe, because you tend to see everyone for their value, not based on popularity or looks; you’ve landed in a group that does the same with you,” I explained. She mulled my thought over for a minute or so before semi-agreeing, “Perhaps…” and then dropped the subject all together.




Contemplations 4


This whole ordeal is giving me a headache! What’s more, every so often I find myself checking my peripheral vision, to make sure it’s still there…which gives me a headache. It’s like cracking your knuckles, both equally annoying.

Following my doctor’s appointment, my husband and I sat down to discuss my options. “She’s written orders for a carotid artery sonogram as well as a brain scan to make sure there isn’t something besides my very little brain growing in there…”I explained. “Okay.” “She also suggested I see an Ophthalmologist too, which could be the less expensive way to go,” I added. “Marsh, regardless the cost, if our insurance approves the tests, I think we should go through with them. The last thing we want to do is bury our heads in the sand and hope for the best,” He said and I nodded in agreement. “I guess, I’m never meant to get out of debt…” I lamented, knowing the high costs for these tests. “We’re working middle class…name any one of our friends who have,” he replied, which to be honest bothered me. He was being far too sensible–something, I believed to be completely out of character for him. “Any idea how I’m not supposed to stress eat between now and then?” I asked. “We’ll all go clean…” He said and the doll, with her acute hearing from the next room chimed in with her concurrence.

As luck would have it, I managed to get an appointment with the Ophthalmologist before the other two tests. After conferring with my older sisters, I was convinced the Dr. would find any number of problems with my eyes, simply based on family history. “I feel confident he’s going to tell you you are related to Joyce and Tom (parents), my sister Carol convinced. Both parents suffered from floaters,  macular puckers and degeneration, not to mention glaucoma.

Okay this is getting weird. I mean, which choice is better? Knowing that you’re slowly going blind or that you may have a tumor or something growing/pressing against your optic nerve or in your brain? Am I supposed to sound happy if he tells me he’s found something or be sad that he hasn’t? This is so damned weird.

After a thorough examination by one of his nurses, the doctor entered the room and we discussed the real reason I was there (besides a bump up in my glass’ prescription). “Do you remember seeing any squiggly lines while this was occurring?” He asked. Taking a moment to reflect, I said, “I don’t think so, but honestly, I don’t remember,” which made me quite disappointed in myself, because I tried to memorize everything that was happening during the last occurrence. “Okay, well, let’s take a look at your eyes…” He said and began additional testing.

After his exam he said, “You have beautiful eyes. No tears, no scar tissue, nothing to suggest you’re on the same paths as your parents…” “Considering I’m… how old am I? Fifty-threeand I didn’t start wearing glasses until I was 50, this makes me happy,” I replied. He smiled in return and said, “Yes, only a simple upgrade in your glasses too. You’ve done a great job of taking care of your eyes.” “Okay, so where does this leave me?” I asked. “Are you sure you didn’t see any squiggly lines?” He asked again. Thinking hard I replied, “I’m thinking if anything, they were curly-q type lines? Though, I might be saying this only at the suggestion…” I replied then rationalized my reply. He nodded his head in understanding.

“If you have good insurance, then go ahead and take those other tests. But I think what you had is something called an Ocular Migraine without the headache. Both eyes were probably affected, but because you’re left eye dominant, you only noticed the vision loss in that eye,” he diagnosed. “So, I’ll probably experience this again in the future?” I asked. “Hard to say, but I’m confident this is what you experienced,” he replied before adding, “We see them from time to time.”

When I arrived home, my husband and I discussed the doctor’s explanation. “I think you should get the MRI to cross everything off, before we accept his diagnosis,” My husband said. “I think so too. He said he thought both eyes were probably affected, but I know only my left eye checked out, because I analyzed what was happening and conducted little tests to pinpoint what was going on…” I explained. “So you take the other tests…” My hubby said in a matter of fact tone. “I’ll take the other tests…”


“Hello, Marsha? This is Jeanie from Dr. KW’s office and we have received your tests results….” The nurse said on the other end of the line. Taking a deep breath I replied, ‘Oh Hi, okay, what’s the verdict?” “After conferring with the Radiologists suggestion and thoroughly looking over the pictures as well, she’s concluded they are clear. No signs of stroke. Everything looks normal.” “Whoo, well that is good news..” I replied, sporting a grin, before adding, “Thank you for the call”. The nurse probably said “You’re welcome,” but by then, my mind was on cloud nine.

The scary days were behind me…for now.

An Ocular Migraine without a headache… I suppose if I’m going to suffer from migraines, this is the best one to get? Frankly, I’d rather skip the whole thing. After all, while they are happening, they really are quite frightening (especially while driving!!). But in researching them, I’ve found several friends who also suffer from them. Perhaps they aren’t as rare as WebMD suggests… at least that’s my point of view.

An Ocular Migraine without a headache.. crazy.


Contemplations (3)


“Doll, why am I getting text messages from your friends’ parents telling me they’re praying for me?” I asked a bit perturbed. “I asked my friends to keep you in their prayers in case…” she replied. Genuinely touched by my daughter’s concern, I replied, “I’d prefer we keep this close to the vest until we know if their is reason for concern…” Upset with me she replied, “Fine then I’ll never worry about you again!”.

“I wish she didn’t have such acute hearing…” I lamented to her father. “She loves you…” he replied. “Yes, but whatever this is, I don’t need her worries adding to my own.” I replied.

“Okay, this is fairly easy…you lie here and I’ll put this pad underneath your knees to help your back balance,” The technician said as she explained the procedure, “Your only job here is to remain still. I have headphones for music to make the experience a little better, so what kind of music would you like to listen to?” Without much thought I replied, “Classic Rock?” and she offered in return. “60-70’s or 70-90’s?” “70-90’s please,” I replied and a moment later, music quietly began to play as I adjusted my position before the test. “Is the music loud enough?” The technician asked. “Can you raise it up a bit?” I replied. “Sure thing, how about now?” “Fine,” I said, trying my best to settle in. Then as luck would have it, the worst possible song began to play through the headphones. “How am I supposed to stay still to this music?” I thought as the start of Train in Vain, by the Clash began to play through those headphones.

“What do you mean you’re having vision issues?” My doctor asked and I filled her in on my two distinctly different, yet very much the same days of vision loss. “Did you go to the emergency room?” “No…” I began and by the look she was giving me added, “I knew I would see you in a few weeks so…” Shaking her head she replied, “If this ever happens again you go straight to the emergency room, okay?” Nodding my head,  I agreed.  Looking over my chart she added, we tested your cholesterol a year ago and it was great… I don’t understand this, but to be on the safe side, I’m going to insist you have some tests done, to be sure there isn’t something, an anomaly maybe, that we just can’t see. I would also recommend you see an Ophthalmologist too. They might have a better idea of what’s causing this to happen.

If I were someone afraid of confined spaces, I could understand why people don’t like MRI’s. The noises alone are enough to make you go nuts. “Instead of music, I should have asked to hook up my Rosary recitation, at least then the time would be more productive,” I thought as I let my mind wander. “Not to mention, the rosary wouldn’t give me a notion to tap my toes or head bang every few minutes…”

Finally, thirty minutes of bangs, bumps, beeps and a general feel of lying still inside a loud washing machine, the tests came to a close. “You’ll need to drink plenty of water to wash the contrasting dye out of your system. It generally takes two visits to the bathroom, before all the dye is out…” The technician informed, as I exited the room to get redressed and meet my husband in the waiting room. We had a breakfast date to attend to.


contemplations, a series (2)


Last week it was, “Turn your head to the left and relax then after a minute or so it was turn your head to the right. A perfect opportunity to scratch an itchy back then. But no, it only itches on the day when I’m not supposed to move. Pretend it doesn’t itch. Think about something else. Think about… anything other than why you’re here…”

Sometimes when hanging out with Mrs. K, while she works the daily crossword puzzle, I’ll read the front section of her newspaper. On one of these occasions this past November, I noticed all of a sudden, I could not read. At first I joked, “Well, that copy editor needs to be fired, he forgot the first part of the word…” pointing to the headline. Setting her crossword puzzle aside, Mrs. K took a gander at what I was reading and replied, “That headline isn’t missing any letters…”




I thought to myself.

Instead of arguing with her, I lifted my left hand and placed it over my left eye, while simultaneously, re-reading the newspaper headline and watched as the missing letters came into focus. In an attempt to tamp down my fear, I thought to myself, “Memorize this so you can answer all questions honestly,” then began to document what was happening. “My left peripheral vision was gone, while my right side was still intact. I didn’t have a headache and it wasn’t immediately noticeable until I tried to read something. Hence, I couldn’t pinpoint how long this phenomenon had been going on. When my full vision finally returned, I barely noticed“.

Later, after my eyesight had returned,  I looked up causes for “Temporary blindness” from my smartphone and three different sites suggested I was having a stroke.

“A STROKE? I’m not having a STROKE…. am I?”

Immediately, I stuck out my tongue and noticed it came out straight-not sideways as the early Stroke indicator tests usually suggest. But something was happening…and now it had happened twice.

Following work I mentioned to my husband my fun little freak out and he asked, “Were you having a stroke?” Looking back at him in wonder I replied, “Not according to my tongue…” “You really need to discuss this with your doctor…” He replied and I agreed. Fortunately for me, I had an appointment scheduled fairly soon.

contemplations, a series… (1)


Okay, all I have to do is lie still…so of course my back itches…oh and it’s one of those bad itches that begs to find a door frame to rub against. Why didn’t this itch ten minutes ago when my husband was handy? Well at least I don’t have to pee…. damnit, why did I think that? Ugh…

Last Summer, Mr. L and I sat on his front porch looking at my laptop. It was a beautiful day with the sun high in the sky, only silver streaks from distant airplanes dotting the skyscape. While we looked, I had a momentary thought that maybe the sun’s reflection off my laptop could maybe harm my eyes.

A few hours later, Mr. L and I were parked outside the high school waiting for the kids dismissal when I looked at the building and noticed something wrong. “Well this is odd…” I thought to myself. The school name, which can be plainly seen across the front entrance, seemed to be missing the first part of it’s name. “What the heck?” I thought, as I looked away, then back at the building, yet achieving the same bad result time and time again. Then I rubbed my eyes, believing I was tired and this could help. It didn’t.

As you might surmise, I tried my best not to freak out (though I really wanted to). I had a man with dementia seated next to me and two high school students getting into my car and expecting a ride home. Freaking out, much like other mother’s work, was not an option. So, I pretended everything was fine and began to drive home, praying my lack of vision wouldn’t induce an accident. Thankfully, somewhere along the way, my full vision returned (almost without notice).

Thinking maybe that laptop reflection somehow screwed up my vision,  I made a vow to never look at my laptop in the sun again.

Then six or so months later, when I lost my vision again, my laptop was no where in site.