Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday Am

I am not as good at posting every day now.
We are okay.

Today our focus is water exercise. I will have to do only what I can with my weakness right now. Emma will watch. Greg is helping make sure Emma gets enough exercise during all this. We do have the fenced yard though and I play with her there. I have not been using my scooter but would do so more for walks with Emma if Greg were not able to help out. I just am kind of worn out.

YEAH I do NOT have a headache. My eyes seem better in being able to tolerate light and in vision clarity too. When i get tired I have to rest them but it is a big improvement from a week or two ago. I am thrilled about that.

I am writing early in case I am too tired to do so later or forget. I can otherwise take it easy today. There are chores of course but none that can't wat. Greg has been super helpful too in keeping things together even with a busy work schedule.

Emma is so enthusiastic today. It rained last night and is a bit cooler this am. She was happy to go outside with me. I think she likes the smells after the rain and she always loves the yard. i will be forever grateful to those who helped put up the fence for us.

I am really glad to be feeling better. We go to the dr who helps with my diabetes tomorrow. She will review some blood work they did.

One day at a time but we are going in the right direction....Mary and Emma

Have a great day.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Overall the weekend was good. We were at home all day Sat but a friend came over for awhile which was nice. Today we did venture out for a quick lunch with friends. So good to get out of the house.

Emma missed Greg too. He worked Fri - Sun just got home. He did a retreat. I said last night to her "I bet you miss Greg too". Well she promptly went around the house looking for him. She kept going to the front door if she heard a car. She was good company for me as I don't like being alone but we did just fine.

Emma and I even mustered up enough to pick up just a little today. We met some Helping Paws supporters at the place we ate lunch. They had lots of questions and know one of the trainers. She goes to their church and is a foster family. My friends say everywhere we go we meet people who want to know more about a service dog. We educate one person at a time I guess.

Money is really tight but we hope to go to the Tail Waggin' Dinner 2010 in Sept. Once we get paid I need to call to make reservations. I think my daughter and her husband want to buy tickets to go also. It is a fundraiser and they like having graduate dogs there. It is really a fun night and surprising that all these dogs are there (service dogs only) and do so well. Hope I see some of you there.

I am sick of medical problems and medical bills....but the one bright spot is of course Emma in it all. If I hadn't faced this challenge in life I would not have Emma in my life. She is a keeper and a huge help.

I felt a bit better today. I have a dr appt on Wed so will see how blood tests look etc. We hope to have the energy to go to water exercise too. Oh yeah and a trip to the dentist this week also - how fun is that? Honest we will treasure getting out of the house and seeing others when I can. When I can't I have Emma and that helps so much. I love caring for her and the care she gives me.

Wishing you a good day. hope your weekend went well...Mary and Emma

Friday, August 27, 2010

Emma got out of the house a lot today. A trip to the doctor office, errands with Greg, outdoors in the yard with me. Then walking around the grocery store. I used a scooter and then we of course took our nap.

It is windy today and Emma seems to like that...it helps with the temps in the high 80's but more than that she likes the smells. Really had fun playing in the yard with us, and then just exploring in the yard and sniffing around. I am so grateful for a fenced yard.

Home for a quiet weekend. We have an invitation to see friends Sunday for a bit if I feel good enough. We will make it a quiet night also. I sure love her company. She wants to go outside again and we will do that.

I have been watching the news on the MN state Fari or should I say at the FAIR. We will not be going this year but had fun with her there last year. I don't think I can handle it so am enjoying hearing about it via television and others who will go. It is a great state fair. I remember fondly the years my children participated in 4H and took exhibits to the Fair.

When I started this blog I wanted to be a source of info on what it is really like to have a service dog. It is really terrific. The lab person I had at the dr office today I think thought it was due to vision as her behavior and comments seemed so. There wasn't time in her busy schedule for me to explain a lot about what/how Emma helps me. I think she is so much a part of my life she helps me in almost every way possible.

It is just terrific to have a dog that can go anywhere with her. She is at my side 24 hours a day. She only rarely even wants to be in a different room than me. Most times she is where she can see me. She sleeps a bit more now that she is older. She is just fantastic to be with. In Oct I willl have had her five years - can you believe that?

Off we go to the yard before the misquitos get too bad for me...excuse spelling errors please. Best wishes to my teacher friends who start back to work on Monday (some for workshop week and some school starts that day).

Thanks so much for the support.

Mary and Emma wish you a good weekend.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

H - helping dog Emma is doing great
O - outstanding in her willingness to provide help and comfort
M - mighty nice weather to rest while being outside with her
E - enjoying the slow paced day

T - trying to take it easy due to MS
O - ordinary chores are a bit too much
D - daily exercising patience as I deal with this
A - all the nice emails, ecards are supportive
Y - yes we are coping with it all

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

At Home Today

Read a book called The Heart Speaks - A Cardiologist......
It talks of heart disease and of the many facets of dealing with it especially the need for supportive friends, caring doctors, family and so much more. The interesting thing is it included one woman's story about how a dog helped her deal with cardiac disease = getting her out of the house, meeting other dog walkers, stroking the dog, companionship etc etc.

Boy that could be my story in daily life. Emma's presence brightens every day. It appears I am having a MS exacerbation - I am battling weakness, well you don't need all the details. I feel like I complain too much.

To say simply we needed to be home today. Emma helped me through it all. She is so patient, loving, kind and so on. She knows when I need reassurance I think. She gets so close to me on the bed as we nap...if I am more calm or feeling physically better she will just lay on the bed. It is kind of like getting a reassuring hug by her physical proximity on a hard day.

They say research shows it can lower blood pressure to pet adog. I think Emma helps me in so many ways.

Monday, August 23, 2010

E- enjoyed the day
M- met an interesting lady from Shaighai at bookclub where we discussed Shanghai Girls
M- made it to the dentist where Emma was terrific (dentist for me not her - she had the easy part)
A - always have to take a nap and enjoyed that

M - Mighty happy about some projects Greg got done around here
A - All ready for water exercise tomorrow (washed towel, packed bag)
R - Ready for Women's Heart Support Group Tues night (reading a book for that)
Y - Yes it was a good day for all

THINKING OF THOSE AT MS SUMMER CAMP - they have had a warm two days...should be better tomorrow they say - cooler and less humid. We go in May now. One year I went when it was super hot in August.

Thinking of you and hoping you have a good day...vision still not great but less pain each day.

Mary and Emma

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Weekend

Hi to All,

Still having problems with my eyes but the headache is better...sometimes it is almost gone...progress. Saturday and Friday we were home. Emma gives me a good reason to be outside so that is super nice - even on hot and humid days. Today, Sunday, we overslept for church after a night where I got little sleep. My eye hurt so much it kept waking me up. Another week of medication/drops and then we will see how it goes.

We did get outside to water, play a bit, and did some errands. Emma got some walking in at Sam's Club, Border's, PetCo, and Cub. It was good for her. Since I am on the scooter I of course do some extra laps so she gets exercise. She got her nails clipped again which she by the way, hates. That has been true since we got her but she does better with my husband holding her. She did okay and we had a very patient person cutting them at Pet Co.

I even worked on a mailing for Greg's church/work after a big nap with Emma. So I guess all in all today was more productive than past days.

Emma means so much to me. At night or nap time I sleep better when she cuddles up next to me. Unless she gets too hot it is almost always that she is at my side or my feet. Being with her outside is nice. I appreciate nature, watched a cardinal today while outside with Emma. It was hot and humid but i stayed in the shade, had ice water, and managed time outside with her.
I can't imagine how dull life would seem without her.

Greg worked a bunch yesterday so today he is at home where we worked on a mailing and some computer work. His schedule for fall will be really busy from now on...Emma will be good company for me.

Wishing you all a good week. Hope the weekend was happy....Mary

Thursday, August 19, 2010

MS Luncheon

Today I went to the MS On The Move Luncheon - a fund raiser. Sadly, Emma stayed home but she napped and did fine. My friend had two car seats in her car and so we did not take Emma. Emma does have to practice staying home once in awhile and did fine the few hours we were gone. She snuggled me tight for a nap when I got home.

The interesting and amusing things is those I knew at the luncheon are use to me being with Emma. In fact, some of the MS Community/Staff too remember Emma's name more easily than mine. So i got lots of inquiries about why she wasn't there. Her behavior would have been just fine - it just turned out this way.

My eyes and headache bothered me some today but definitely are better. I think when I have no headache at all I will be shocked. My own MS Specialist and his staff were there so they all asked how I was doing. Dr. Calkwood was so glad to hear that I was doing better. I have to stay in touch and see him in a few weeks to check on things.

Emma was glad to be outside in the yard with me today several times. It is not that warm for MN but still humid. To me that seems odd as normally it gets hot when I notice humidity. They think it will rain. Hopefully not on the baseball game. The MS Twins I THINK have there final game with Chicago in the continual race for first place in our division. I am a baseball fan for sure.

Greg is home so better work on dinner. Emma already ate so she is good. I think we will be home now for a few days. Hope all is well with you and your family.

Emma and Mary

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wed fun

Wed afternoon and we saw the granddaughters this afternoon. Emma and i happily went to their home to play with them and babysit a few hours it was enjoyable. Rosa was very puzzled why I had to wear dark glasses even in the house but of course I did. Emma made herself at home and napped most the afternoon away.

My eyes are sore and my head hurts a bit but everything is a little better each day. I am so pleased with how it is going. Reading is still tough so this will be short. Emma and I are heading to bed early. A cool cloth on my closed eyes will be comforting and my dog at my side. Will listen to the MN Twins.

Thanks for notes of concern I am haning in there - Mary and Emma

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Feeling better. With my dark glasses went to water exercise with Emma. Will write more tomorrow night. Eyes sore tonight but still better than last night. Just can't handle reading and writing much yet.

Mary and Emma wish you a good day.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Another day at home but feeling better. More tomorrow. Emma is great help and great company.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Have a Good Weekend

The headache seems more manageable today. Yeah for that. My eyes so so sensitive to light that I am wearing dark glasses 24/7. Hoping all is getting better. I just need patience.

We went out with Greg on an errand to Target to walk Emma and see how I handled getting out. I hadn't realized how poor my vision was till out and about. Greg will go to his relative's Birthday with his brothers for sure tomorrow. I will need more time at home to rest my eyes and body. Plenty to do around here if I feel like it. Can't read much though so excuse typing errors.

Emma is being just great. She knows when I need her even more than normal and rises to the occasion. She was perfect on our errand and got some walking in. I was trying to purchase a greeting card but ha ha forgot when your vision is all mixed up you need help with that too. Greg to the rescue.

I think we will listen to the ballgame tonight. I am going to keep my eyes shut and listen much of the time to see if that helps. I did sleep better and napped so that is a good sign.

Emma is just the most wonderful dog. She makes it easier. Greg is super supportive and helpful...he wonders how I cope with MS and health things. With support from HIM, Emma, my kids, and my friends...

Have a good weekend from Emma and Mary

Friday, August 13, 2010

Home Resting

Home resting today. Trying to keep my spirits up and YOu know Emma helps with that. They say yet another storm is brewing after one Tuesday and yesterday. Very glad to have Emma here as storms sometimes worry me.

Talked to the Doctor's nurse again about the meds for my eyes. I think it is called IRITIS. Boy they hurt today but I put the eye drops in every two hours today and most of tomorrow so that should help. They have other ideas for the headache treatment if it does not improve as the eyes improve. i am glad to have a doctor that I trust and respect.

The ground is so wet and Emma not eager to go outside much. Trying to get her to go play a bit before it rains more. She is doing fine though. What would I do without her - she helps in so many ways.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nurse Emma

Mary went to the MS Neurologist

She is having a MS flare up with right side weakness.
She has a bad eye infection in both eyes that might be the cause of the headache or contributing to it.
She has a pinched nerve in her neck that might be adding to the head pain (refered)
She feels crummy.
they think the headache might be a type of migrane though not like themigranes she has had in the past. The meds from the past didn't help.

They tried a different very strong med for just two days. So far no help

We are staying home obviously the rest of the day and tomorrow for sure.
They want her out of the heat, wearing dark glasses, and resting to see what helps.

Don't worry I will take good care of her.
She is still able to get me outside and Greg was home a bit early to help.

There is a bed on the lower, cooler level
We may park down there tomorrow if needed though they expect better weather
but storms tonight.

Greg is spoiling Mary.

The nurse pratictioner with extra MS trainning, and Dr Calkwood will be on call and available if needed. We live near a hospital now too in case it worsens or new symptoms present themself. They are optimistic overall.

Mary says i help her when i cuddle with her.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Good day today with Rosa at her house..she is now sleeping over...aren't we blessed. Tomorrow to the Dr. to see if they can figure out what to do about this blasted headache!!

More tomorrow I hope. We are okay except for the heat, humidity, and headache. Tuesday went to the Ordway and got stuck in a terrible storm with flash flooding coming home. Emma was at home which was a good idea as our seats had no room for her. My friend got tickets. If I ordered them would pick others so Emma could come along. Anyway got home safely thank goodness.

Take care, Mary and Emma

Monday, August 9, 2010


Hi Gang,
It is so hot here. I don't want to go outside more than a few minutes. I like outdoors but this is tooo hot for me and for Mary.
We stayed home today. I helped pick up, help do some laundry and was a companion during a nap. The day just flew by for us. Nothing exciting but it flew by. i rested much of the time...that is not a bad thing in my eyes.

It is so hot Mary hopes we go outside to water flowers despite some rain yesterday. Very hot and very humid.

We are thinking about our blessings today - especially the people of Helping Paws who trained me, and took good care of me till I met Mary. We are a good team. Mary is very glad we were matched together. Judy M will always be my special foster mom but I sure like mary and her family.

Mary is having trouble with bad headaches. Trying to keep notes on what makes the pain better or worse. Otherwise she promised Greg and I she would go to the doctor. She sees the MS specialist in a few weeks. She doesn't like to complain but it is enough that GReg and I notice it bothers her.

All is going pretty well here. We have water exercise tomorrow and that will feel good to Mary especially. It is also primary day so we will go vote. i think Dan might stop by too. We will see how things work out for the day.

I like when the girls come over except I really like sleeping so close to Mary. She sleeps on the couch so I curled up at her feet. She made room for me. but it was nice to be back in our bigger bed huddled up with her. i guess i get a little jealous for her attention.

Well tonight Anna might stop bye. i hope so as Mary has looked forward to it all day. It is not for sure though, they are coming from a cabin up north. Might be there are having such fun they stayed most the day...


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sleep over fun

The image might be blurred but this is my granddaughters sleeping together. We had a great sleepover. Emma slept with me on the couch and they slept together on an air mattress. Like an indoor camp out!! We had a battery lantern to be our night light in the room. Great Fun.

We went swimming at the community center so Emma stayed home. Too caotic there to find a place for her to lay. She enjoyed when we were home. We watched movies, played Barbi, and hung out. They went home for supper Sat night. We had such fun. Grandma and Grandpa are ready for bed though.

Emma is great when they are here. But I know she will enjoy having us all to herself tonight and tomorrow. That is what she is use to. We will make sure she gets walked tomorrow...if it is too hot then at a store. She was so cuddly and good with the girls and with us this weekend.

I am too tired to think of anything else. Thanks Sophia and Rosa for such a great overnight...thanks to Emma and Greg for all they did to make it super fun...

Love Mary and Emma

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Nature's Wonder

In our trip up north - this was taken over Lake Superior - near Grand Maris. It was a gorgeous night followed by the moon shining over the lake. We loved it. Stopped to take this photo before heading to bed...isn't it neat? The picture doesn't do it justice.

Tuesday was my birthday and we swam (I swam), took a nap (both of us ha ha), and had dinner with my family (those who could make it). Greg was the cook of course. It was relaxing and low key. Enjoyable. Wed in the afternoon we got to hang out with Rosa, Sophia, Mike, Tia, Lily (the dog) and Dilon (the neighbor). It was such fun.

I had a medical appt and Mike picked me up, took me on an errand, and then to there home. Hung out till Greg could pick me up. Played a lot with Rosa in her room. She enjoys that. Read books, played dolls, read books, hugged and so on...

Today is Thursday. We went to water exercise and napped. So far that is all. Might do an errand tonight but not sure. Trying to be rested. Friday night the granddaughters sleep over. We hope to take them swimming. Saturday they get to stay with us all day!! So I need the rest though it will be fun. Rosa promised to nap with me Sat...

Emma is enjoying that it is nicer weather today and less humid. We could open up the windows, be more active outside...
should be a good night.

All is well here...hope you have a good Friday and Fun weekend. We will for sure!!

Mary and Emma

Monday, August 2, 2010

Emma loves the Water at a Lake

Emma likes lake superior. Yikes it is cold so we walked in it some (She and Greg I am not steady enough) and yes she did swim there and other places but we limited how much so she wouldn't get too cold. I only wish we got to the lake with her more often.

We were home all day today. That darn medication extavia has to be gradually increased. I now am up to .5 dosage and the increase in dosage knocked me down today. So we took it easy. Slept, and did quiet things. Very humid here so I could not have done a lot outside anyway...would have been a good day to be way up at Grand Maris. Each dosage gets better and they say just to know when we increase it the first time more symptoms. This is so minor compared to those who face chemo and things. I feel like a wimp that it wipes me out.

Highlight of my day will be getting a Haircut!! Badly needed I am temporarily at least seeing what my natural color is to my hair. Pretty grey for sure. I think while I do that Greg is going to walk Emma in a nearby store so she gets some walking in. She has been super all day.

Humidity is so tough to deal with for many people right now. Even Emma is moving slow when we do go outside. I do have an outdoor pool for her but she is not interested. I bet she would love it if I lived on a lake!!!

Tomorrow is my birthday and a busy day. We will go to water exercise, lunch with friends (nothing fancy) nap, and then Greg is making a special dinner. My kids are all invited but not sure yet if everyone will get here. Probably a good thing we got in a day of rest today!!

Interesting, Greg has had kidney cancer four times (most of you know this) Well our family doctor called him today. He has a very distraught patient with kidney cancer for the first time. He wanted "Greg's advice" to help this person cope. Like we knew of a support group location, he had some questions about if he goes to Mayo like Greg did and the like. Our family doctor is so remarkable. Most of all he wanted feedback from Greg on what advice he might offer for moral support for this patient. Greg had very gentle and kind advice to offer.

People sure learn to cope when you need to. Please send prayers for those with cancer including that patient and my cousin.

Have a good night or day depending when you read this...Mary and Emma

Sunday, August 1, 2010

dogs on vacation

From Emma,

This was a vacation week and fun.
i got to swim
I got to be outdoors
I got to wade in Lake superior
I got to be outdoors in Grand Marais by the lake a lot.

I had super fun with Mary and Greg.

But gosh were there a LOT of dogs to observe.
Mary said "did everyone bring a dog with them to Duluth or Grand Marais (we were both places?)
So many dogs

Mary said it was trainning review for me.
I don't always get much "distractor dog training".
This was like boot camp or something.

Big dogs, little dogs
Barking dogs, quiet dogs
fat dogs, thin dogs
all types of dogs.

Owners too - some watched their dogs and had good control
others were not very attentive

I like it better when dogs are minding there mastor

I met one new friend
His name was Buddy i think
He liked me
I liked him
He didn't bark at all

We were with our owners outside for hours watching the tall ships.
We just glanced but were next too each other's spots in a park on the lake.
There were some other yippy little dogs
We ignored them.

Also lots of people walking dogs around there too - we didn't mind.

Buddy was a year older than I.
His owners were nice to visit with according to Mary and Greg.

We smelled each other,
shared some water
and just were so comfortable together.

Wished he lived by us - such a mellow fellow...bet we would have fun in my backyard area where we could run.

But gosh we saw so many dogs everywhere on vacation....I am not use to that many.