Monthly Archives: December 2016


Good morning, everyone! Encouraged by my first visit to my new neurologist last week, I thought this would be a perfect time to give you a progress report of sorts.

Getting better...

Hopefully will be taking a lot less!! 🙂

As a lot of you know, I take a variety of medications. For the purposes of this post, I’ll list the one’s that are relevant.

  • Keppra (Levetiracetam) for seizures 1,250mg daily)
  • Cymbalta (Duloxetine 30 and 60mg) daily for neuropathic pain
  • Paroxetine (Paxil) 40mg for depression. 

After going over my medical history and medications together, Dr. G. said he was a little perplexed that my other doctors had me on so many different medications for so long. He understands why they probably did; the Keppra is a safe drug with few side effects. Unfortunately, it is also a mood destabilizer.

He wants to try something new with me. He said that I have every neurologic problem the medication he wants to put me on will help. That medication is Depakote. I’ve known people on it, and had patients who were on it, but I never realized its versatility. I always thought it was to treat bipolar disorder only. Not so. It helps prevent migraines and seizures, works on neuropathic pain, and is a mood stabilizer. WHAT?! 🙂

Dr. G put me on a low placebo dose of it to see how my body reacts to it. If all goes well, when I see him next month, I’ll start weaning off the listed four meds, and have the Depakote gradually increase until we hit the magic therapeutic dose.

Unfortunately, my gait hasn’t been the greatest lately, and I’ve been using my cane more than I normally would. I’ve been clumsy lately and Vivi told the doctor that when I went to NJ, each time I returned, it took almost two days to recover. We’re hoping the Depakote will solve the mood and exhaustion problems, as well as the neuropathic pain.

Dr. G is sending me for an MRI of my brain, neck, and back since I’m unsteady. He noted that I walk with my legs a little spread and said that it’s my body’s way of keeping me balanced. I love that he speaks in layman’s terms. He basically said my spine is like the highway of my body. if there’s a lane closure, what happens? Traffic. I probably have some brain to limb traffic; actually, I know I do. Hence, all the MRIs. Fingers crossed that it’ll be something we can fix through PT or something. I’ll keep you updated.








Hey, everyone! It’s time for another posting of Celebrate the Small Things brought to us by LEXA CAINPost anything in life that you’re celebrating, no matter how small or big, on your blog.

Sign up by clicking on the image, hop around and celebrate with others.

Make Celebrate the Small Thingssure your blog post has a link to the sign-up as well, so other bloggers will be able to sign-up and hop around too. 

This is such a simple and easy blog hop, and it also happens to be one of my favorites.  After posting the things you have to celebrate, please don’t forget to visit and thank Lexa and her awesome and amazing co-hosts for the wonderful job they do:


LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge   and Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits

Make sure to take a moment to thank them! I haven’t posted CTST in a few weeks, so there’s much to celebrate. 🙂

  • I saw my new neurologist this week and he is awesome. After a thorough exam and study of my current meds, he had an idea to start me on a medication that could possibly replace FOUR that I’m currently taking. FOUR! I’ll save the details for a post next week, but I’m so hopeful.
  • Two weekends ago, I went with a few friends to a baby shower in NJ. It was my first venture on the NJ Transit train (alone) since I got sick. We had a blast.
  • Last weekend, I went with two of the same friends to an Ugly Sweater Christmas Party hosted by my adopted EMS son Alex and his wife Cindy. I took him under my wing when he first became an EMT and was my probie on my overnight volunteer shift. He had no idea I was going. I stayed in the car while my friends went in to ask him to help bring in a package. When he finally saw me, his words were, “Oh my God, Mama Dukes!!” I thought we’d both cry and he told my friends I was the best Christmas present he could ask for. 🙂 
  • I went to dinner at Applebees with Vivi after my neuro appointment Tuesday for a girls night out. Her daughter works there and made us a specialty holiday drink – a mint chocolate martini. Yums!
  • I just read an email yesterday from Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, author of the entire Cassa Series, that I won a giveaway for his book, Dragon of the Stars on audio! How cool is that?! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, la la la la la!  
Me and my adopted EMS son Alex, at the ugly sweater party

Me and my adopted EMS son Alex, at the ugly sweater party


Some of the old volunteer squad guys I worked with.

Some of the old volunteer squad guys I worked with









At Ivonne’s daughter’s Baby Shower. I’m the one craning my neck behind my sister from another mister, Vee.








And, as always, I’m STILL ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE GRASS!! Yeah, Baby!!

What have you celebrated this week?





Good morning, everyone and Happy Monday!



There is a new clinical trial available for stroke survivors at risk for heart problems. If you’re interested in applying, follow the link below for more information.

I applied today, and should hear back in a few days. It doesn’t hurt to check eligibility.

Have a great week!



Hello, bloggers. It is the first Wednesday of the month and we know what that means, right? Time for the Insecure Writers Support Group – #IWSG.

NinjaInsecure Writers Support Group Badge Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh , my hero and one of my mentors, founded this amazing and wonderful group.

The group’s purpose is to allow writers to share their doubts and fears, trials and tribulations without fear of being mocked or feeling foolish. It’s also a place where writers who have “been there” can offer wisdom and guidance.

Whenever anyone finishes a draft, edits their work, finds the perfect critique group, publishes their work or has any other good news to share, this is the place to do it too!

The awesome co-hosts for the December 7 posting of the IWSG are Jennifer Hawes, Jen Chandler, Nick Wilford, Juneta Key, JH Moncrieff, Diane Burton, and MJ Fifield!

Make sure to thank them for all their hard work this month!

It’s been a crazy busy couple of months. I’ve FINALLY finished moving and am almost settled in Middletown. Aside from a few new doctor appointments I need to make, I’m basically done.

Every time I figured I was good to go time wise, things always came up. With the major obstacle of moving out-of-the-way, I’m setting my sights on 2017. I’m lucky in the sense that I’m now closer to NJ where my friends and family are, and I’m near the NJ Transit rail station and bus terminals! I’ll be all over the place next year! I’m loving my new independence!

I’m keeping this month’s post short because I have more things to do today. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday and New Year if I don’t ‘see’ you again this year.

How was your 2016 overall?