Monday, March 30, 2009

MS Society MN Chapter

Through the MS Society MN Chapter - Emma and I get to participate in many things.

Book Club
Couples Getaway (missed this year due to illness)
Educational Events
Water Exercise
Women's Getaway
Yearly Convention

I can't begin to capture the many ways it makes it easier for me to deal with this disease!!! The support, the education, the relationships I form all help me. Through the office you can abtain

help from social workers
lending library
programs for equipment rental for flare ups (wheel chairs etc)
financial assistance for help with medical supply purchase (schooters, wheel chairs, safety railings)

There are just so many things.

Like everyone the MS Chapter is experience the financial impact of this bad economy. Fund raising is more important than ever. Some of the money goes right into research to hope our children, grandchildren don't have to deal with this disease. A cure or more help dealing with symptoms is a constant goal.

If you would like to help support the walk I invite you to support my friends Jan and Brian Hunke. They are riding the MS 150. I can't afford much but I bet if you can afford $5-25 contribution it will add up. No amount is to small and you can contribute on line the site is

I think you can cut and paste it into your browser. Otherwise feel free to email me at and I will forward information to you. I know you might know people walking or running in events this summer.

5 weeks till we go to camp - thanks for considering this donation. Note this is for the MS Society. I will post shortly how you can donate to Helping Paws May event fundraiset too.

Thanks for thinking about it no amount is too small - Mary and Emma

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Home from the Getaway

Emma and I had a wonderful time at the Getaway. I wonder how many hours she spent under the round tables with the table cloth as both meals and speakers were in that hall. She also got nap time with me and some free time while we chatted. One woman surprised me. She was so persistent in thinking Emma should not be "under" the table but out by my chair? in the aisle? so she could see what was going on!! She mentioned it to me a few times.

Now under the table Emma has room (they sat 8 or more and normally only six people were there so they could see the speaker.
She had privacy. in the aisles were wheel chairs, power chairs, people walking around. I mean at times I wanted to crawl down there with her it got a bit crazy inbetween events.

I had help walking her. I only ventured out on Sat morning. Due to not realizing the alarm clock was wrong in the time we were ready an hour early. The other times to save energy or because I really had tired legs - one of the MS staff Sara happily walked her for me. What a dear. The wait staff brought water for her, I had training treats to reinforce behavior and measured out bags for her meals so that went well. She loved sleeping with me and having an entire half of the bed. She was just wonderful for us. I was so proud of her.

A lot of people remember me I think because of Emma. In fact many remember her name and not mine. We blame it on MS. Also some of the people you only see at camp or this event or both so it is not that often we meet. It is like a warm reunion or old and new friends. Very enjoyable.

For the dinner meals there is assigned seating that helps you meet some new friends though I also got time with people I knew. The individuals I was with were jus so fun to be with.

There was time for belly dancing, yoga, jewelry making and a few other things, shopping or free time. We napped right through it. But then both nights there was time to visit with others in a lounge area or in your rooms to chat and catch up on things. Tonya, my friend, stayed up till 2 am Friday with some friends playing cards!!! We almost joined them but they had several people to play. Good thing we were asleep by ll:00 or so each night. Karen from my water exercise was my roommate and we got along great. Both of us needed rest time

Emma is practicing picking up my newer cane. She grabs it a bit differently by the handle rather than the middle. We are also just practicing things like "stay" and a few things. She did great all weekend. I just find I use some cues more than others at times so then have to go back and reinforce things. She was just awesome this weekend I was so proud of her. The only funny thing she did was I used unfamiliar containers for water and food. So there was a little water in that dish and she brought it to me empty to show me it was time to eat. Can you guess what happened? She had grabbed it and dumped out the water brining it to me. Fortunately the water was on the bathroom floor - I have never had her do that at home. She normally brings the empty food dish!

I got home and napped. I haven't got much done. I have to fill out the forms for camp that arrived Sat. First come first serve on activity requests so she like to mail early if you can. Camp is in May.

I will be telling you about opportunities to support Helping Paws and/or the MS Society this spring. Remember in this economy even a small amount makes a difference. You can decide if you can contribute to one or both organizations.
Last year I only promoted Helping Paws since this blog is about Emma's life with me.

Yet the MS society is needing support. The Men's getaway was changed to a one day event, the care givers getaway was cancelled and other financial strains are changing things. Camp for example will be one day shorter. I know some of the readers know someone or have MS so I will have that info I think next week?

Many fellow campers and friends said they thought of Emma at the end of Marley and Me and hopes she lives a nice long life. I agree. I didn't get as many questions this time about what it is like to have a survice dog. Eileen wonder if you will get inquires like you do sometimes after MS events?

She was a great ambassador for service dogs...

Have a good Monday

Mary and Emma

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New Puppies

Another gray day - where did the Sun go?

I will be at the Women's Getaway this Weekend in downtown Mpls with Emma and my roommate Karen. Won't that be fun?
I need to finish some laundry tonight.

We went to the family doctor for blood work and then to the pool for water exercise. The pool was closed and we were all so bummed. Someone had thrown up in the pool. So Greg, who dropped me off took me to work with him. Then we went to the MS Specialist Offic.

Dr. Calkwood was very thorough and helpful. I am going to have some physical therapy to see if that helps my weakness in my limbs. We are adjusting a medication to see if it helps my pain level. That is our first step.

He was shocked by my breathing. He could hear me struggle I guess. Next week I see the diabetes specialist and now I also need to make an appointment with my lung specialist.

I was tired so a big nap was in order.

A bright spot new puppies. Here is the site - for more information

Emma and I had a busy but okay day.

I will try to write tomorrow before we leave --- Mary and Emma

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Treasure the Day as Years Fly By

Where did the baby go and oh how Sophia (dark hair has grown up. Time passes so fast. These pictures of course make me think of summer which is months away here. But the also remind me how fast time passes.

Emma has been with me 41 months. Sometimes I feel like I have had her forever and part of me thinks the time is flying by. I cringe every time someone aske me how old she is and I say 6. I want it to slow down. I don't want her to age. I want her in my live till Forever...but of course that won't happen.

So I try to treasure each day with her. No matter what the time is we have "our time". Now that sounds silly when a service dog is with me all day long. But she and I like the quiet time when I lay with her on the bed and massage her spine, pet her, hug her... you get the idea. When she feels really safe and secure she will roll to her side or rarely on her back so i will scratch her stomach. She is very protective of her stomach. I know she is feeling really comfortable when she has that position. She loves me petting her every day but her stomach nope not every day. But today she was that relaxed. I feel so honored when she can really relax like that.

We went to water exercise. Of course she is with me but she is at my feet and I am chatting with friends. If you know me, you know I am talkative. Or she is at the side of the pool, under the table if we stop for a sandwich for lunch, at the foot of the bed usually if I am sleeping. She does like when I am on the couch so she can lay next to me with her body touching me. When she lays in bed her body, head or some part is touching me. She likes my touch and I enjoy that fact.

i hope that i never take Emma for granted. Today she helped me again pick up some things I dropped. Then i dropped a towel and she picked that up also. She is just so wonderful.

Sometimes it is amusting to me how surprised people are to see a dog. It was spring break so there were a lot of children of various ages at the YMCA and lots of questions and interest about Emma and how she helps me. When I went shopping with Greg Sunday I also realized how surprised people were. I am so use to having her and so are my friends so sometimes it surprises me and I have to remember others do not see dogs in public places so of course they are surprised.

Greg and his brother went to dinner and to see a speaker tonight. Emma and I hope to finish some dishes and do some laundry tonight if all goes as planned. We also will listen to the President Obama speak.

My thought for today is to enjoy and cherish it - time passes so quickly.
Wishing you a good day.

Emma and Mary

Monday, March 23, 2009

Shrimp Anyone?

Emma really got a lot of exercise outside with Greg but it started raining on them. She didn't mind. She had a good day. We had book club, a birthday lunch and then home for a nap.

The kids will be coming over soon for Shrimp from New Orleans. Mike is able to come early to help Greg clean up the fish (ugh the heads are still on) and prepare them for cooking. I am setting the table, I cleaned the kitchen so he room to cook and will help entertain Rosa too. It should be a fun night.

Dan has to work so will not be able to join us. We are sending home leftovers for him that Becky will drop off. Greg is siniging as he cooks and very excited about this.

I guess we are going to have a few rainy days and today was windy so it felt cold. But the ground needs rain here. Unfortunately in some areas of MN snow melt plus rain mean flooding - especially in the Red River Valley and different places.

Greg has lots of New Orleans Stories to share so I am sure we will hear more tonight. Always fun to have the family gather together.

What a fun way to start the week... Wishing you a good week - Mary and Emma

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Greg Is Home

Emma was delighted to have Greg walk in the door...yes she did her puppy dance as we call it. Judy knows what I mean.

Today we slept late, and then went out to Fleet Farm to get some things. I got so exhausted as i walk there . You have to promise your soul almost to get a scooter there and wait in line at customer service too. I have found the help rude the times I have tried that step. Well I needed to walk and we didn't do the whole store so that was okay. It just got a little hot too.

So home I went for a nap. Rosa woke me with hugs and sloppy kisses. We watched her for a few hours. For Christmas we had purchased a gift certificate so my children and spouses could go to supper together. No parents and no kids. It sounds like they had a good time. They all stopped back at our house for awhile.

Tomorrow if don't write - don't worry. We have book club and are going out to lunch for a member of book club's birthday. Then I will need a nap for sure. We hope the entire game will be coming here for shrimp that Greg brought back from New Orleans.
I guess the heads are on and I don't plane to see that. I promised to help with side dishes though. Dan might have to work late so not sure on him..

Despite all these good things I had trouble feeling depressed and being in tears and not knowing why? Hormones? I am so silly sometimes. I hope I can put worries to bed and get a good nights sleep tonight. I slept so good last night with Greg at home.
It was comical though to show Emma she could not lay in his side of the bed. She looked so puzzled but did follow direction and got off the bed. (She came on because at first it was just the two of us) Once Greg was snug in bed we let her jump on board and lay at my feet like normal. I don't mind at all. But I know if we wanted we could get her to sleep on her bed.

So Book Club will be fun though a smaller turn out than normal. This time a book i heard most people did not like. IT is called Jim the Boy and very slow moving. So many people told me they didn't like it and several told me they couldn't even finish it. Now in all these years that has never happened.

We have been mtg since 2004 and have had many many great books - but you do like some more than others.

Off to bed it is 10:35 pm in my time zone

Mary and Emma wish you a Happy Monday

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Smiles on Saturday

Sophia is so important to me and I love her so much. I had to share this picture though it is not flattering of me. Gosh I need to loose weight!! Starting Weight watchers On line today to see how that goes.

I think we are suppose to have a good day today weather wise. I have a book to finish today and tomorrow for bookclub. I am cleaning my bedroom which needs dusting, and some tiding up. Well always things to do here but I will see what I can manage. I am wheezing some and had to take a nebulizer treatment already today. If that keeps up it is worse if I do too much....the treatment should help for several hours.

Just wanted to share the photo and wish you a happy Saturday. We found out happy news that my brother is engaged to be married. His children and grandchildren and siblings are delighted at the news.

Emma says hello too.

Greg gets home about midnight if the long drive goes okay.

Have a Great Weekend - Mary and Emma

Friday, March 20, 2009

Emma My Helper

Emma the helper picking up a stirring spoon I dropped. Yes in the kitchen when I drop things she is right there. I have difficulty maintaining a grasp on things especially if tired. Emma is there ready to help me out. Dish cloth? Anything she will eagerly grab for me. Her favorite she likes to pick up key rings. Not sure why this really gets her attention maybe the noise.

She is also my napping budding though she is on this pillow/bed on the floor even when I am awake. Her place to stretch out. She often though stays awake with an eye on me in case I need anything.

It is very windy today and she stops to smell the air. For some reason she wasn't as eager to actually run for a ball or anything. I think the lawn in bag still is a bit soggy - does she notice that? I can't wait for the grass to turn green and nice spring then summer days to be outdoors together. She sure enjoys our back yard and the fact that it is fenced makes it nice for all of us.

Tonight she is going to spend a few hours alone. She won't fit with the rest of us in my son's car. I think she will handle it ok but it sure is not often that she is alone in the house. I imagine she mostly sleeps??

I have a Dr appt to see if the oxygen level is okay without being on additional oxygen. I expect a good report. My son and family are taking me to Target to pick up a few groceries and things too. Then we will eat together...if it isn't too late they are taking the girls swimming at the community center. Not sure if I will have the energy to go along. Otherwise they might either go alone or stay here and hang out here, In any case it should be a nice evening.

Emma has been just so mellow today. We have rested a lot. I have a book to finish for book club, we have napped, and just taken it easy.

Hope your Friday is going/went well. Tomorrow Spring begins - rain is predicted here. Greg comes home very late Sat night if all goes well on the long bus ride home...Yeah for that.

Mary and Eamm

Thursday, March 19, 2009

MS Camp -

Super terrific
Super Duper

WE WERE ACCEPTED TO MS SPRING/MAY CAMP!!! Delightful News. Tonya and Jan fellow cabinmates are in the photo above. See those smiles??? It is a week of smiles and laughter and enjoying the outdoors...hooray

If you are someone waiting to hear if you are going - I emailed Jeannie about something and found out. The mailing should be here next week. Tonya is going to and will be my roomate. Yeah Kathy K an avid blog reader will be there too...won't be long till I will be counting the weeks and days till camp.

NEXT WEEK - Woman's Getaway you are sure to hear about it.

Breathing on Room Ait

A day without extra oxygen. Can you see how big those silver containers are? They take up room. Then the portable tanks on wheels - one used to get home from the hospital. There is a smaller portable container too but I didn't add that. I go to the doctor tomorrow and if the test is okay then I can be done with the extra oxygen - I sure am hoping for that.

Today we did go to water exercise. Emma was so excited when i said we are gong in the car she almost fell down the stairs! She took off so fast. For those who wonder I have Emma go down the stairs first and then I follow. I want to hang on to the railing and the wall so do not go down with her on a leash. That works for us.

Emma was the hit of the show among my friends, the Y staff and volunteers who help us in class. I could tell i was so much weaker than normal. I had to stop midway through and sit on the step in the water. Then I got up and did some more gentle things. I will work on it and hopefully get back to where I was. But it was great to be in the water...just wonderful.

We came home and needed a nap of course. Tonight a friend is coming and we are going to dinner. Girls night out (we usually go as couples) so it will be interesting.

Emma helped with some laundry today though I tired so there is a bit more to do. She just loves when I get the laundry basket out and she hands items to me to fold. A great skill for a working dog to have. Also i did the funniest thing - we came home from swimming and I fed Emma. I said "here is your lunch" - of course being a lab she was delighted. It even took about five minutes for me to think - what am I doing Emma doesn't eat lunch!!! I have never done such a thing....what was I thinking???

I ordered some clothes online today. We will see what I think when they arrive. Women Within had items on sale/clearance so I thought I would take advantage of it.

Also I will never ever take for granted how nice it is to breathe room air and not need extra oxygen...

Well better go get ready - Emma and Mary wish you a good day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Note To Emma

Dear Emma

You are

Marvelous to be with
My dear dear companion

The past five weeks have been tough physically and emotionally.
You know that for you were at my side.
At home, at the hospital and many times physically touching me
You have been there to calm me
To help me get things
To bring me the phone
To provide unconditional support and love

Tomorrow we venture out to water exercise
We hope to get into more a regular routine
We will be able to enjoy the outdoors more and more as Spring begin
I hope things will be easier and I will have better health

You will never know how much you mean to me
You are my port in the storm
You help me deal with life challenges
You are a gift in my life
You are just terrific

Thanks you for all you have done these past weeks
They have been difficult but you have risen to the challenge
You still amaze me
You enrich my life
You brighten every day

Thanks so much for your love...

I know I blog but no amount of words even if I write for years and years will ever truly capture all that you mean to me.
You are my angel from God...

Love you Emma -- Mary

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tribute To My Irish Mother

I miss my Mother today and have cried a bunch about it.
My mother was Irish and darn proud of it. Her father was born in Ireland and darn proud of it.
My mother sang us Irish Tunes as we grew up.
She liked her a beer or a drink sometimes like the Irish.
She liked St. Patrick's Day!!

So today my siblings and I miss her in a special way.
I recall she made this day special each year.
Of course we wore green, had a special meal, and enjoyed the day.

One of the things I thought of is that it is through my mother that I learned to love dogs so much.
Our first dog was when I was 10 and a gift to my mother.
My mother had dogs the rest or her life. They lived long happy lives. She had one till she was about 80.
When she was older she and a neighbor dog lover became neighborhood snoops about dogs.
One neighbor kept there dog outside and didn't pay much attention so my mother and her friend would walk over to give that dog water when needed.
She would mention to the owner about the dog.
We sometimes worded as sadly my mother's neighborhood went badly down hill.
We wondered if it was safe for my mom to be so outspoken (though a little lady) with some of the neighbors.
Yet no dog was going to be neglected if my mother could do anything about it.
That was for sure.

She said in her later years her dog was everything to her. She would say they had such good conversations. It gave her a reason to be sure to walk. She also lectured at church and practiced her readings aloud to the dog.

I believe my mother is in heaven. I wonder if she sees how my dog Boomer and now my Wonderful Emma have brightened my life?

My Mom died in March - she loved spring. She had Parkinson's and the last five years were very hard for her and she declined so in ability but she didn't complain. Now how I miss her. I wish I could have even one more day with her. I wish I could again thank her for all she did for me - though I think I did that in her last years. She loved my kids and I think she would be so proud to see them all now too.

I am sorry this sounds sad but it is also Happy and Grateful - I had Anna to talk to about my mom today. MY Anna was born just a few months after my Dad died and was extra special to my mother. They had a special bond. So that was so nice today to have Anna here. I miss her but say thanks Lord for my mother...

Here is the touching poem we found that my Grandmother had written for my mother - it was read at her funeral where I did the Eulogy

To My Daughter
Mrs. Dan Roche (Lorraine’s mother)

On this great feast of mother and child,
My life can hold no greater bliss
Then to behold my daughter’s smile,
Clasp her hand and feel her kiss.

Our hears are light this Christmas time;
All shadow of the cross shall fade.
We’ll smile with the Virgin Mother and child,
And face the future unafraid.

Then if God should call me first
And leave you her yet awhile
Then you glance at my picture, dear,
Breathe a prayer for me, and smile.

I know that you will pray, and still
Carry on until you’ve won
All for the Glory of God, until
You’ll say with love, “Thy will be done!”

Then on the feast of mother and child
We’ll meet again with infinite bliss;
Again I’ll see my daughter smile.
Clasp your hand and feel your kiss

Baseball? It won't be long...

Baseball - I have a friend in Florida that is seeing the MN Twins play there spring season. I heard they were on tv Sunday so I better check their site to see when I can see on tv or hear them on the radio. I really like baseball. This is a picture when Emma and I went and sat in the cheap seats handicap section. Emma was very good and there was lots of room for her.

Now I have been spoiled and been able to go to the better seats a few times each season. I am such a fan but normally my up front seat is in front of the tv or listening while I do house chores!! Another warm day so yes again MN citizens are happy. I read in one blog that instead of "snow days" they should have "spring days" and let people take off work or school for the first days of spring. We get so excited are minds are outside anyway.

Anna was here overnight and today. I just love having her here. She is my oldest and so good with Emma. She has cats in her apartment but maybe someday she will own a dog too. She is just the greatest with Emma. I slept better having her here. We both rested today in the afternoon while the cleaning woman worked on our house. The cleaning woman said the house was cleaner than normal to start with - I think that was a compliment??? Anyway than she did a little more polishing and a few extra things during her time here which was nice. It looks so great when she is done that I feel like I don't want to touch anything, eat anything - if only it was that clean every minute of every day. But of course you start living so things have to be used.

Becky and Justin are coming for dinner. We are just having the pizza you pick up and then bake on your own. We all wanted it simple. Then Anna will go home. I did not nap as long today though hoping Emma and I could sleep even if alone.

It is going to be a bit cooler and more like normal as the week goes on. So maybe I will get back to normal rather than have spring fever? Who knows.

I am writing twice today - Mary and Emma

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Funday and We are Smiling

Hey hey spring fever...thinking of flowers, baseball, being in the back yard, cook outs, picnics, camp, taking my dog for a walk...lakes, beaches, watching my granddaughters play outdoors........

63 degrees - windows open - outside with Emma many times - Rosa and Anna here for the day...Anna is even sleeping over so how great is that. Rosa even napped with Emma and I - what a great day.

Emma is doing just fine....hope you had a great day too... Emma and Mary

Rainy and cooler in New Orleans where my husband is working on houses. i guess they even had to get wet on some of the things they did. Last night they also took time to feed the homeless - sounds like a very moving and thought provoking experience for them...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday and another Fun Lunch

Let's hear it for my girls and their friend Katie. Yep another lunch date. Emma and I were glad to get outside in the nice weather for a few hours. I left my spring coat in the car since we parked so close. Anna, Becky, Emma, our friend Katie - we had a fun lunch chatting away. Isn't that great. The girls had lots to share and kidded me about being plenty talkative also. It was great weather, sunny, good company, and good food. I forgot my camera as I wanted a picture of the three of them - oh well.

Katie use to be here so much when she grew up. The girls slept over back and forth and she has even vacationed with us. She has been here for family birthdays, sometimes holiday and so much. She calls me her second mom. I saw her at the wedding but that of course was a busy time. Another precious afternoon.

The weather was 56 so I took Emma out several times too. Tomorrow maybe 60? The back yard though still snow and icy due to the shade. I can't wait till we get a chair for my front yard. We stopped at Target but I forgot to check for one. i guess I will sit on the step a bit tomorrow with Emma to soak up some sun. Today I had heat off, windows open for fresh air, and gosh it was nice. Emma was quick to nap when we got home and I rested. Not sure why I couldn't fall asleep like I normally do.

Last night was weird. Neighbors were noisey and I was restless about going to bed anyway. When I tried to go to bed at first i left the tv on and extra lights. Just anxious about being alone I guess. i just couldn't fall asleep and then for the first time ever ever in her life Emma would NOT go to bed with me. Instead she wanted to be in the living room??? Unbelievable.

She would come in and then leave right away. Well then i couldn't sleep. Finally I got up. I turned the tv off, made the lighting just like if Greg was home. Then I mussed up his side of the bed. hard to explain but when she and I go to bed (normally before he comes in) she likes to snuggle into the comforter. Even when he comes to bed he is warm so she gets most this blanket (I can wash it so I don't mind). So instead of the all near side of the made bed I messed it up. Well she hopped right in.

Finally we both fell asleep. She even slept till almost 9 - this the dog that normally is our alarm clock to eat around 7 am. She doesn't bug us but gets up so excited. You hear her tail wagging away hitting the closet door as she waits for us to get up. Sometimes she will sniff or lick me. Today the phone woke us. Greg could make only a very brief call to tell us that he was doing okay.

tonight should be easier. I am use to being alone Sunday night. i watch silly shows like desperate housewives and head to bed normally before Greg is in the door.

This day flew by unlike yesterday. It is so pretty out and you can hear so many birds too. I hope spring comes early. I suppose we will get snow again but it is March hip hip hooray for that.

News of the weird - I have been catching mice. Found one dead in my washing machine. It was tiny too - how did it climb in there?? Gosh was i shocked and grossed out.

Tonight I have to sort out my medication for three weeks of pill cases and prepare the list for refills. Sounds silly but that is a big task for me. I keep hoping I loose weight and also maybe take less meds - but can't do that going out to eat all the time. I had a salad for dinner and may have yogurt if needed later.

Hope your weekend went well. Mary and Emma
Emma is in such a fun mood today -

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pictures vs Words

You can tell I was wordy on the last post - home alone i guess. So here are pictures with Danny. Like my other children he really likes to work on the computer. He is a develper? for a living using Ruby if you know what that means. The photos include one at the wedding.

You might prefer to skim the long note - but here are the pictures to show how proud I am of my youngest child...I have the greatest kids and their wife, husband and grandkids plus my own hubby... i am richly blessed.

Emma says hey lets get outside again...Mary and Emma

We Went On A Date With My Son Danny

Emma and I went on a lunch date - with my son Danny. I have whined about Greg being out of town. Well Danny had time after a political meeting and called me. He took us to lunch. Seems like ages since I have been out. We went to Olive Garden and he even treated. Emma was excited too. She was puzzled though to be in his car. She is not in it often.

The funny thing is after lunch in the parking lot she kind of pulled just a little toward a van that looked like ours. I forget she knows the van we go to swimming in (we call it the MS Mobile) and our van. She was very responsive when I directed her to the car Dan drives.

It is just beautiful here. 48 degrees woo hoo. Yep in MN we celebrate that temperature and the sun. Lots of melting of snow. But my back yard is part shade so that is icy and wet and still snowy in parts. Dan gave me a reason to dress up more than in the house and to perk up. We were home in time for a rest. We went to the Olive Garden which I really like - I like Italian food. We had lots of yummy salad too.

I feel like Emma and I are like so eager to see what is outside. A new neighbor was walking his little boy while we were getting rready to get into the car so it was so good to say hello. I need a new chair that I will put in my front yard. That is the place to be able to greet neighbors when spring and summer come around. I use a flexi for Emma out there. Gosh have have I ever yearned so badly for spring?

Believe it or not I cried after Greg left. I know that sounds silly. I think knowing I can't drive, still getting over my health issues well it all makes me feel a bit lonely or vulnerable or when Dan called that was perfect. He had too much to do to stay and hang out but that was okay. I needed to rest and I don't want to be a drag on my kids. I am more emotional than normal today - I cried as I thanked Dan for lunch too. My kids remind me Greg will be back in just a week - I just will miss him being around I guess.

One of my chores tonight is to sort out my medication. Emma can't help with this - but i set it up for three weeks and then figure out what will need reordering. I take so much medicine for various things. A bummer but I review them with my doctors and it needs to be they think anyway. It takes some concentration to do this especially now with all the generics. Don't all the pills look so much the same? And I can't pronounce the names very well at all!! I have to have a system so that none get duplicated or forgotten.

Emma is keeping me company. I wonder how she will be at night. She noramlly plays with Greg about 10 pm and then goes out one last time. If he works late she gets weird and will display to me time to play by bringing a toy or nuzzling me. I know one thing she will enjoy having more of the bed herself. Boy did she hog it at nap time.

Sorry I suppose I will be more wordy since I don't have Greg here to jabber too. Hope we are not too boring. Emma is just great company. We did just a little laundry and picked up some newspapers (meaning she picked up - yeah Emma). Now if she could carry that bag to the trash??? Not to worry Dan did that for me also.

So we got to have a date with Dan - I prefer Danny and he doesn't seem to mind. There isn't much on tv tonight but we also have been listening to a book on tape as I am home here. Pillars of the Earth - so far interesting. My eyes are still jumpy so reading a book is not the best now. Thank goodness for my computer with big screen and big font and I do it partly from memory - so sorry for the typos.

Okay are your eyes tired? I am going to take Emma out again...glad I can take care of her and myself...and only a few more days on oxygen. It is at a lower level now and I still feel okay so that is good.

Have a good weekend --- Mary and Emma

Friday, March 13, 2009

Minds Drift to Spring - MS Camp

We have spring fever and we are dreaming of MS Camp in May. Actually I don't hear officially if we are accepted yet but we applied and our hoping we get in. Due to funding and space limitations we can't be sure we will get in - but we are optimistic.
We are having warmer days with some snow melt. i even have a window open to get in some fresh (though still cool) air into the house. Smells good and feels good.

We went to the doctor. I normally stay calm but i was so upset as they said the appointment was for MONDAY. I know I made it for today and even had called yesterday to check the time. Greg said I looked like I was going to lynch the poor woman at the desk. She hastily checked with the doctor and they fit us in the schedule though it took a long time. I just am so certain it was there mistake this time anyway.

The good news is I get to start cutting back the oxygen each day and will probably be fully off it by Tuesday or Wed. I have to have another oxygen check and then all of the equipment will be removed from my home. My lungs sounded pretty good though I have some meds to finish up to be sure I am over it all. I am just thrilled. The doctor thinks I have to wait till next Thursday probably for water exercise and keep making sure I get extra rest for at least a week. I am thrilled though to be winding off the oxygen and back to a more normal routine. They will watch me closely - or I guess I will watch closely for any new colds though.

I would guess in a month or so Emma and I will even be out with my scooter taking walks? I think so anyway. Today we are going out briefly with my dear friend Jan - just to visit - have a pop and get out of the house. We did have to take a nap after the doctor.

I am just like a little kid finally getting out of the house. I am waiting for Jan to call to say she is here to pick me up. Emma seemed happy to even get to the doctor office with me. We had to carry the oxygen (it seems heavy to me) but still went. We were too tired to do more than that this am.

I may write more later. With Greg gone this week you might see blogs that are longer. You can tell I feel better when I write more often. Thanks again for supportive email, and ecards and offers to help.

It is pretty wet out but Emma liked getting outside. A lot of snow melt might come this week showing off all the yard clean up from the winter. That part of having a service dog is NO easier than a regular dog. Its March in MN though so don't be surprised if we don't get snow also in weeks to come...even in April many years.

Mary and Emma

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Little Things

Today we had a visitor. Tonya came over and that was nice to chat and have company. Tomorrow we go to the doctor. i think I am getting stronger though I still get worn out. I expect good news at the doctor. It is bright and early at 8 am.

We have discovered we have a mouse in the house...can there be just one? Greg sighted it and then another time Tonya and I saw it. Hopefully we can trap the little creature. Gosh Emma did not mind a bit. My cats may or may not have caught it but definitely would have given it a run for the money. We though we had escaped having mice this winter but normally both our neighbors and we get them despite our efforts. Didn't phase Emma at all.

Based on tracks, we think we have deer in our tree line and maybe a bird of some kind. Emma does at times bark at something outdoors. We have to change her focus but have noted tracks in the snow. I think she would have loved hunting if she was not a service dog but who knows?

Emma and I can't wait to resume a normal routine and get out of the house. I am hoping the doctor will say I can go back to water exercise if i take it slow to build up my strength. I miss the exercise and the time with my friends. Greg will be gone next week on a Mission Trip so I know getting out of the house would be good for me. Also my kids will be stopping by as their schedules allow - i hope anyway. If I get out for exercise that will be really good for my mental health too.

Emma is glad I am more alert and we played a bit in the house. I watch her from the patio door as she played in the back. She seemed please it was "me" and not just others handling this part of our day. I can throw toys for her to fetch or I just watch her scamper around. She stops often to look at me as if to be sure all is well. We had a nice day today.

I did a few dishes, had Emma help me do laundry (she takes clothes out of the basket and hands them to me) - we did not do tons but got a bit back to normal. Funny how grateful a person can be to be able to do the little things in life.

SO that is our thought for the day - be glad for the little things of your daily life...

Emma and Mary hope you have a good day on Friday -

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wed and wishing you a good day


We were home today also. The temp had dropped but left snow for Emma to play in. We enjoyed the sunny day while warm inside. It was cold for March but a warm up is headed this way in the upcoming week we hope anyway. We slept a great deal but I felt less congested. I even managed to clean up a few things - not much but moved a bit anyway. Emma seemed to enjoy the sunshine...

I am hoping next week we get out of the house. I will be home tomorrow but I think a friend is stopping by. Friday I see the family doctor and see what he thinks of my progress. I still seem to need the oxygen right now though. I am off the antibiotic now and tapering off the prednisone...hopefully things will keep improving. That's enough illness for one winter.

I had pneumonia before the wedding but not this bad - thanks goodness. I can't imagine being able to handle the fun and busy time surrounding the wedding if I had been in this shape. I just talked to Becky, the bride and they are doing well. All my children are coping well it seems...but the economy is hard on them for sure.

I am trying to read and also watch positive tv so I don't get too blue about the economy or other concerns. I think when you are sick it is easier to get discouraged about life I have this happy dog Emma around which helps me a great deal. She really is fun to be with.

Well eventually we will get out of the house again and have more to write about. Emma and I are ready for a short nap at this odd time of day. I just sleep a lot or rest. She doesn't mind and we play with toys indoor when she is receptive to it. Today she was more eager than some times. She loves to lay by me though with her skin touching mine most the time. With that kind of support every day is better for me....Mary and Emma wish you a good day.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Another Day to Rest and Recover

Tuesday is a quiet day. I rested much of Monday also. I still have some congestion and of course need the oxygen.
I am very tired these days. Emma and I have a book on tape to listen to as soon as I can listen and not fall asleep ha ha.

Emma got groomed Monday. Greg took her and she looks so nice. She didn't seem to mind it either. Today she is mostly resting with me. Greg will be home soon (early he thinks) and take her outside for exercise.

There was water exercise today but I don't think we will be going anywhere until I go to the family doctor on Friday - I feel so worn out. When someone comes to visit I have them take Emma outside. We are alone today. Sat my son was here, Sunday my other children, and then Monday Anna had slept over and my friend Tonya stopped by too.

Emma is getting lots of tlc and helping me out. It is snowing so she will like going outside to play now.

We need this quiet day...Mary and Emma

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Feeling Better

We already were up and then took a morning nap. My husband has been busy cooking, putting laundry away and grocery shopping before he goes to work. I am resting as he works away. He has made wild rice soup for work (and I get some) and roast beef for sandwiches here. Also helped me get dressed, showered etc. He is going to be tired before he gets to work where he has many meetings. He will leave by 1 or so.

My friend Tonya is headed over with her daughter. My daughter Becky and her husband are my next shift. Then Mike and his family will eat supper with me and bring Anna who is going to stay overnight. Can you believe all the activity. Greg and doctors don't want me alone much for a few days.

So Emma also will be glad. Tonya's daughter, Becky, Mike, and Anna will all take time taking Emma outside or for a walk. I have her favorite toy ready for some play time.

I need to go rest up - I sit most the time while awake now. Still need that oxygen to feel okay.

Thanks for cards, email, phone calls of support. We are optimistic.

Mary and Emma wish you a good day. Emma is doing just fine.

Mary and Emma

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sat and Coping

The day went well today, Saturday. Greg and my son Danny made sure I had help all day besides my dear Emma. Emma also got outside to play. She wants so badly to be at my side at all times but once they get her outside she will run and play. She will enjoy that my friend Tonya, her daughter are visiting early afternoon. I guess after tthat my other children (Becky for sure) and maybe Anna and Mike will visit later in the evening? Anna might stay over night. All are willing to help it is a matter of their other commitments and responsibitilies. Thanks goodness for them all. Greg feels strongly I should not be alone yet and the doctors also stated that too.

I had one spell where it was harder to breathe and had to up oxygen uptake and sleep but it got better. Also needed more medications for the lungs. I suppose I will have some slight ups and downs as i recover??? I see my family doctor on Friday.

I feel so weird having oxygen - like a dog on a leash kind of. I can go just so far through my house - okay reach most of the main floor...but once in awhile it catches under a door or something - reminding me i am attached to oxygen at all time right now. Emma too is adjusting to walking by me and us coordinating our steps so we don't step on the oxygen line. We are doing okay but it is a bit odd for us.

Emma is using the command "bring to Greg" for me more than usual. She has brought him things like the paper, a dropped napkin, anything i need. she does this normally but of course more often due to my limited abilities. I did try to do too much a bit this afternoon but I could tell I had to stop due to the strain on my breathing.

We also have been working on Emma's "leave it " command and "stay" both are doing well. Just felt she needed some brush up on both commands. She knows I am the boss but does practice with Greg too because he also has so much direct contact with her. At times I worry if it is clear to her that I Am the Master but gosh in the way she responds to my illness and needs that couldn't be more evident.

She went home from the hospital just for the night but was not happy to leave. Though I am told she had a grand old time sleeping on my entire side of the bed and strechting out. I am sure she got more sleep there than at the hospital. When she came to the hospital in the mornings Greg said she seemed to know the way and was thrilled to get to my room and greet me. She was then with me till bedtime. It works out well for us.

See I must feel better (I am) for I am writing. Special thanks to my son Dan who on his own took an entire day off work to be with me at the hospital and to be sure that Emma could spend that day with me. With my family's cooperation it worked out just great to have Emma at the hospital ...

Thanks for your emails of support, cards, and one friend sent beautiful blooming tulips. How awesome was that!! Greg promises to refill the cute vase type thing it came in once the blooms fade...we're trying to be optimistic about my future health...

Mary and Emma - oops we loose an hour of sleep... better head to bed soon.

No Place Like Home


Oh did I sleep better in my own bed without the hospital noises....good to be home from the hospital. Greg is helping me a lot as i can't do much. Just using oxygen, resting, and taking all my medications. He has arranged so I won't be alone at all today. My son Danny is coming to be here for awhile. Greg has some errands to do for his work. tomorrow he works a long day but we have a friend and my daughter Becky coming part of the day.

My son Michael is battling a cold too, Anna has one but hers is better she says. They would come over but we don't want to share germs right now.

I am glad for the support of friends and family. Emma has been very helpful. I think she is really glad to be home from the hospital though she did great there. My husband is working so hard to get her outside with him, take care of the house and manage things for his work too.

I still need help walking, and with oxygen, dressing, showering etc but gosh it feels so good to be home. The care at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids was outstanding however. All the rooms are single rooms so that is nice. The staff was awesome.

Better Go Lie Down Again, thanks for the cards, phone calls, emails - your the best

Mary and Emma

Friday, March 6, 2009

Mary is sick

Mary has acute pneumonia. We came from the hospital today but she is still sick. She has oxygen at home. We are glad to be home,

I am being a good doggy, emma

Monday, March 2, 2009

Nurse Emma

Tomorrow we have an appt to see Mary's lung specialists and have some breathing tests done. If things get worse before then we will have to go to Urgent Care or ER depending how this goes.

Mary is optimistic that we can hang in there till tomorrow.
She is resting all the time as any exertion makes her cough and then her chest hurts and she needs the inhaler or nebulizer medications to improve her air flow.

I am at her side. Greg gets to be home earlier than planned tonight and I was able to cancel some things tomorrow to take her to the dr. The specialist prefered I come there rather that the family dr this time. The family dr was full till wed anyway.

We are trying to take good care of her.

Mary said even when she was a little girl she never just had a cold. She always ended up with bronchitis or other problems. Trying to get enough air flow seems worse though this past year.

Ya wantta bet she comes home with an antibiotic and cough medication that is a prescription?

I am not even playing in the yard when they let me out to go to the bathroom. I do my duty and race back into be by Mary. Sometimes I don't even do my business when I see and hear Mary coughing at the patio door I raced back in. Normally I go on cue but that is tough when i am worried about her.

Mary says I am the best nurse ever. I have good bedside manner whatever that is.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Time To Rest and Cuddle with Emma.

Emma and I had a wonderful very quiet day with Rosa Saturday. She even napped for several hours with me. Emma cuddled up with us too. Very low key day.

Today it will just be Emma and I all day so that is okay. Having some breathing problems today so rest will be good (I have a cold)
Greg has a very busy day and week. So glad I have Emma to keep me company.

Mary and Emma wish you a relaxing day...Mary