Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Food For Thought

Every once in a while I come across a book or an article containing information that I can relate to and that I can actually apply to my life. Recently, I read this article in Ladies Home Journal. It’s an easy read and contains information that can be easily applied. For myself, I am trying to be better at incorporating Key No. 1 into my daily life – not believing my negative thoughts. As a perfectionist, I tend to be a glass half empty rather than a glass half full kind of person. But according to this article, it’s never too late to learn to be happy. Hopefully, there’s something in this article that you can relate to and apply to your life.

Have a Happy Friday!

Secrets of True Happiness

Research shows that habitual thoughts and behaviors create specific neural pathway in the wiring in our brains, the way water flowing downhill creates a groove in the earth. When we think or behave a certain way over and over, the neural pathway is strengthened and the groove becomes deeper. Unhappy people tend to have more negative neural pathways – their minds are literally stuck in a rut.

Scientists used to think these neural pathways were set in stone. But new research shows that when you repeatedly think, feel and act in a different way, the brain actually rewires itself. This means that you can change your happiness set point. A leading brain researcher said “Based on what we know about the plasticity of the brain, we can think of happiness as a skill no different from learning to play a musical instrument . . . it is possible to train our minds to be happy.


1. Don’t Believe Everything You Think. According to medical experts, we have an average of 60,000 thoughts a day and of those 60,000 thoughts, 95 percent are the same thoughts we had yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. What's worse is that for the average person, the vast majority of those habitual thoughts are negative. For adaptive reasons, we humans have an inborn tendency to register negative thoughts, feelings and experiences more deeply than positive ones. We're hardwired for negativity. If we get 10 compliments and one criticism, what do we remember? But we can tinker with the wiring. Happy people are skeptical of their negative thoughts and have learned not to let false alarms hijack their happiness.

2. Notice the Happy Things In Your Life – No Matter How Small. One evening a Cherokee elder told his grandson about the battle that goes on inside people’s heads. He said “my son, the battle is between the two “wolves” that live inside us all. One is Unhappiness. It is fear, worry, anger, jealousy, sorrow, self-pity, resentment and inferiority. The other is Happiness. It is joy, love, hope, serenity, kindness, generosity, truth and compassion”. The grandson asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.” Because of our negativity bias, we often feed the wrong wolf. To be happier, you need to even up the score. Happy people make a point of noticing everything good that happens to them: any positive thought they have, anything they see, feel, taste, hear or smell that brings them pleasure. This intention activates the reticular activating system (RAS), a group of cells of the brain stem that are responsible for turning on your memory system and allowing it to bring anything important to your attention. When you decide to look for the positive, your RAS makes sure that’s what you see. Once you notice something positive, take a few moments to savor it – making a habit of feeding happiness.

3. Choose the Happier Thought. The next time you’re faced with a challenging situation that gives rise to negative thoughts and bad feelings, find an equally true thought about the situation that makes you feel better – and lean into it. This doesn’t mean deny the negative – just pay more attention to the positive part of the truth. A real life example: Have you ever been on a deadline and thought, I can’t get this done in time? The next time you are having a negative, self-defeating thought like that, search your mind for positive thoughts that are equally true, like I always manage to get things done. I can ask for help. The more I relax, the more the ideas flow through me. Lean into those thoughts and you’ll find yourself feeling better.

4. Tend to Your Relationships. Scores of studies have demonstrated that having good social relationships are one of the strongest predictors of happiness. For women, relationships may be even more important. Though men and women both release adrenaline and cortisol when under stress, scientists found that women’s brains also release oxytocin, the bonding hormone. That is why women who are going through a rough time often want to have a good long yak fest with a close girlfriend. The more women engage in bonding activities, the more oxytocin they release, producing a calming influence and further lowering their stress. So the next time you’re upset or feeling stressed, don’t say you don’t have time for friends and family. This is when you need them the most. The best way to keep relationships happy, healthy and supportive can be summed up in one word: appreciation. One of the most important things a person can do to raise his or her happiness level is to acknowledge those around them. When someone is acknowledged, dopamine is released – a neurochemical that’s directly related to being happy. When we demonstrate our appreciation for the support we receive from others, it reinforces that behavior and deepens our connection to them.

5. Find Passion and Purpose. Happy people bring a sense of purpose to any activity. Bringing a sense of passion to mundane activities will boost your happiness, but so will taking the time to find your true passions. Think about what activities most absorb you and analyze what it is about those activities that makes you happy. Happy people incorporate passion into their daily lives, whether at work or at home.


Thanks for the comments from those who usually only read and don’t comment. It’s fun to hear from “strangers”. Also, good to hear from those of you I do know but don’t hear from often. I appreciate so much that you all take the time to check in on us!

Carpe Diem

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This

Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
~Nathaniel Hawthorne


I was prepared to come to Jack's blog tonight and share my latest woes in dealing with my DME company, Apria Healthcare. Instead, as I was hanging out in bed with Jack this evening, Eric crawled into bed with us and he was unusually huggy and happy. I called for Mary and asked her to grab my camera and capture the moment. The smiles captured in this picture say it all. It doesn't get any better than this and all the Apria B.S. in the world can't take it away.

Enjoying the moment.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Aetna Update

For those of you wondering (all 2 of you), the letter I received from Aetna on Friday was simply an acknowledgment that they received my appeal. I received another letter from Aetna today notifying me that they are treating my appeal as a First Level Appeal - which is what I requested in my appeal letter based on the fact that they denied nursing after my first appeal on an entirely different basis than originally denied. It is good news that they are treating it as a First Level appeal, it gives me another shot to appeal another denial if it comes to that.

Stay tuned ....................

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Weekend Musings

It's that time of the year when kids are headed off to college. While I don't have anyone in college yet, one of my sisters ushered her last kid off to college and my other sister is sending her first kid off to college. And here I sit with a 6 year old! (and I'm older than both my sisters.) Granted, Hilary will be in college next year, but I'm not so sure I'll get her out of the house. My sisters and I have been reminiscing about our college days and laugh at how different things are today for kids versus when we went to college. Our parents pretty much dropped us off at the entrance to the college and sped away. Today, parents are practically going to college with their kids!

My two beautiful college bound nieces - Kelsey (attending Northern Arizona University) and Shannon (attending Holy Cross in Massachusetts)

(I also have a niece who is a Senior at Rutgers University. I don't want her to think I forgot about her ;-)

I received a letter in the mail from Aetna on Friday. I find it interesting that insurance companies always time it so that their letters and EOBs arrive on Friday after their offices are closed. Have you ever tried to call an insurance company on a Monday -- it's near impossible to get through to anyone. I'm sure the letter has something to do with my appeal from their denial of nursing. I've learned to never open anything from an insurance company on a Friday because, for one, I can't do anything until Monday and, two, no sense in ruining my weekend with bad news (I'm not willing to risk that the news is good). I'll open the letter when I get to work tomorrow.

And one of the other pleasantries of having a medically involved child is dealing with DME (durable medical equipment) companies. Every month I have to place an order for Jack's supplies - notwithstanding the fact that he gets the same supplies every single month. The supplies were delivered on Friday. I didn't get around to opening the boxes until Saturday and much to my amusement (you gotta keep your sense of humor, or you're doomed), I found this in the box:

That would be ONE saline squirt. We use these to thin out Jack's secretions before we suction him. I ordered ONE BOX (100 vials) of saline squirts, yet someone actually took the time to take one vial out of the box and put it in a plastic baggie. Apparently they took the word "one" literally. What are you going to do? It's this type of crap that used to just set me off not so long ago. But I'm learning to keep the little things little to avoid ending up in an institution for the mentally insane. It's not so much that we only got one squirt (we have plenty of boxes in reserve), it's the fact that I now have to take the time to make a phone call to get the order corrected. The amount of time I've wasted over the years correcting problems I don't create but must resolve is staggering.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

It's Soccer Time

Soccer season has started ~

Yes, while watching Eric run around the soccer field, I suffered a brief wave of sadness (and teary eyes) thinking of what could be ... what should be for Jack. Jack is almost 10 years old. What do 10 year old boys do? What would Jack be doing if he could?

When I got home from work and went to see Jack before heading out the door for soccer, Jack looked pretty wiped out laying in bed. Kristi told me he is tired because he spent three hours in his wheelchair working with his eye-gaze system. Simply sitting in his chair tires Jack out, that's just not fair.

Eric quote of the day (and I swear he actually said this to me when we were discussing his behavior at school):

"Mom, you've annoyed me since the day I met you."


Answering Rachel's question ~

I scheduled all of Jack's appointments - most were scheduled back in February. The appointment with the cardiologist was a last minute decision and I just scheduled it last week (and was quite surprised they could get us in). Jack's neurologist was actually already booked through November when I called in February, but thankfully all it took was an email to her and we were scheduled in the week we wanted. We don't have a pulmonologist in St. Louis anymore so I asked Jack's neurologist if she would schedule the sleep study for me, and she graciously did.

As far as getting the ENT and the Ophthalmologist to perform their respective procedures at the same time - since I know they share the same OR day, it only took an email to both of them and they saw to it that Jack was put on each of their OR schedules. I did follow-up to make sure everything is set - which it is. It really is a coordinated effort of me making the appointments early in the year along with having physicians who will make the effort to schedule things they don't usually schedule (ie: sleep studies) and who will take the time to coordinate schedules. Having physicians who not only give out their email addresses, but who also actually answer their email is helpful too!

The last sleep study Jack had was in 2004. The purpose of the sleep study is to measure/check all of Jack's numbers (O2, Co2, tidal volumes, etc) to make sure he is being properly ventilated ie: not being over-ventilated or under-ventilated. I suspect he may be over-ventilated because his spinal fusion surgery really opened up his chest area and gave him more room to expand his lungs.

and now .................. it's time for bed

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Our SLCH Schedule

In just over six weeks we will be driving back to St. Louis for a week of doctors' appointments and procedures with all of Jack's docs at St. Louis Children's Hospital. The last time Jack left St. Louis he was strapped to the floor of the van in a body brace following his spinal fusion surgery. (See it here.) This time there are no planned surgeries, although based on prior experience, that doesn't guarantee that there won't be a surgery. But if things go according to plan, this visit to SLCH should be a much more pleasant experience for Jack (and me).

I found out our final schedule of events this week and here's how things look:

Sat-Sun: travel Phx to STL

Mon: day of rest/visiting with friends

Tues: am - ENT
pm - Cardiologist

Wed: am - Orthopaedist
pm- Bronchoscopy (ENT) and EUA* (Ophthalmologist) two procedures under anesthesia
Over-night (7:30pm-7:30am) - sleep study to check ventilation

Thurs: am - ophthalmologist (will come directly from sleep study lab)
pm - neurologist

Fri: day of rest/visiting with friends

Sat-Sun: travel STL to Phx

Jack will see five specialists, have two procedures, and an overnight stay in the hospital all in a three day period. The best part is that all of Jack's appointments and procedures take place in the same building with doctors sharing information (and OR time) -- something that would never happen in Phoenix. Which is one of the main reasons we make the trip to St. Louis. SLCH is a top notch hospital and the physicians who care for Jack are some of the best.

The kids will be on Fall break and they all want to come out to St. Louis to see their friends and visit their old stomping grounds, so we are making a family vacation of it. Eric will travel with us by car and the girls will fly out.

Now, I just have to psych myself up for 30 hours in the car with "chatty cathy" (aka Eric) ;-)

Believe it or not ........... I'm excited about the trip. It just feels comfortable to be in STL with Jack's docs and all of our very good friends.


*EUA = examination under anesthesia

Sunday, August 17, 2008

You Know You're Old When . . .

> the friends you meet up with for happy hour on Friday evening are your grade school friends, some of whom you haven't seen in 33 years. (btw, it's amazing how little we have all changed.)

> the day after you bowled a few games with your 6 year old and his friend, you can't move your arm above your waist and you wish you could find that sling you had to hold your arm up.

> you are exercising at the Y and you spend your time looking at all the women in the room thinking to yourself . . . I hope I don't look that bad, instead of looking at all the young, buff men working out around you.

> you are walking through the isles at Target and you find yourself stopped in the vitamin section with a bottle of Caltrate in your hand. (I decided I'm not ready to go there yet.)

I may be old, but it beats the alternative so I guess I'd better make the best of it!

Have a great week and remember to enjoy the moment.


Thanks to everyone who shared their personality. It was fun finding out more about you. Of those who shared, I'm the only "T" in the group. It's that darn "T" that takes all the fun out of life. I'm definitely too much of a thinker.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What is your personality?

Years ago, Mark had me take the Myers-Briggs personality test. Based on the results, you couldn't put two more opposite people together than the two of us. However, I think in my case, I'm better off being married to someone who has the complete opposite personality than me because if I married someone just like me, we'd have killed each other by now.

I am an ISTJ and the characteristics of this personality type are quite accurate and gives some indication as to why I have such a difficult time coming to terms with the life that has been thrown at me:

As an ISTJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you take things in via your five senses in a literal, concrete fashion. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things rationally and logically.

ISTJs are quiet and reserved individuals who are interested in security and peaceful living. They have a strongly-felt internal sense of duty, which lends them a serious air and the motivation to follow through on tasks. Organized and methodical in their approach, they can generally succeed at any task which they undertake.

ISTJs are very loyal, faithful, and dependable. They place great importance on honesty and integrity. They are "good citizens" who can be depended on to do the right thing for their families and communities. While they generally take things very seriously, they also usually have an offbeat sense of humor and can be a lot of fun - especially at family or work-related gatherings.

ISTJs tend to believe in laws and traditions, and expect the same from others. They're not comfortable with breaking laws or going against the rules. If they are able to see a good reason for stepping outside of the established mode of doing things, the ISTJ will support that effort. However, ISTJs more often tend to believe that things should be done according to procedures and plans. If an ISTJ has not developed their Intuitive side sufficiently, they may become overly obsessed with structure, and insist on doing everything "by the book".

The ISTJ is extremely dependable on following through with things which he or she has promised. For this reason, they sometimes get more and more work piled on them. Because the ISTJ has such a strong sense of duty, they may have a difficult time saying "no" when they are given more work than they can reasonably handle. For this reason, the ISTJ often works long hours, and may be unwittingly taken advantage of.

The ISTJ will work for long periods of time and put tremendous amounts of energy into doing any task which they see as important to fulfilling a goal. However, they will resist putting energy into things which don't make sense to them, or for which they can't see a practical application. They prefer to work alone, but work well in teams when the situation demands it. They like to be accountable for their actions, and enjoy being in positions of authority. The ISTJ has little use for theory or abstract thinking, unless the practical application is clear.

ISTJs have tremendous respect for facts. They hold a tremendous store of facts within themselves, which they have gathered through their Sensing preference. They may have difficulty understanding a theory or idea which is different from their own perspective. However, if they are shown the importance or relevance of the idea to someone who they respect or care about, the idea becomes a fact, which the ISTJ will internalize and support. Once the ISTJ supports a cause or idea, he or she will stop at no lengths to ensure that they are doing their duty of giving support where support is needed.

The ISTJ is not naturally in tune with their own feelings and the feelings of others. They may have difficulty picking up on emotional needs immediately, as they are presented. Being perfectionists themselves, they have a tendency to take other people's efforts for granted, like they take their own efforts for granted. They need to remember to pat people on the back once in a while.

ISTJs are likely to be uncomfortable expressing affection and emotion to others. However, their strong sense of duty and the ability to see what needs to be done in any situation usually allows them to overcome their natural reservations, and they are usually quite supporting and caring individuals with the people that they love. Once the ISTJ realizes the emotional needs of those who are close to them, they put forth effort to meet those needs.

The ISTJ is extremely faithful and loyal. Traditional and family-minded, they will put forth great amounts of effort at making their homes and families running smoothly. They are responsible parents, taking their parenting roles seriously. They are usually good and generous providers to their families. They care deeply about those close to them, although they usually are not comfortable with expressing their love. The ISTJ is likely to express their affection through actions, rather than through words.

ISTJs have an excellent ability to take any task and define it, organize it, plan it, and implement it through to completion. They are very hard workers, who do not allow obstacles to get in the way of performing their duties. They do not usually give themselves enough credit for their achievements, seeing their accomplishments simply as the natural fulfillment of their obligations.

ISTJs usually have a great sense of space and function, and artistic appreciation. Their homes are likely to be tastefully furnished and immaculately maintained. They are acutely aware of their senses, and want to be in surroundings which fit their need for structure, order, and beauty.

Under stress, ISTJs may fall into "catastrophe mode", where they see nothing but all of the possibilities of what could go wrong. They will berate themselves for things which they should have done differently, or duties which they failed to perform. They will lose their ability to see things calmly and reasonably, and will depress themselves with their visions of doom.

In general, the ISTJ has a tremendous amount of potential. Capable, logical, reasonable, and effective individuals with a deeply driven desire to promote security and peaceful living, the ISTJ has what it takes to be highly effective at achieving their chosen goals - whatever they may be.

ISTJs generally have the following traits:

  • Value tradition, security, and peaceful living
  • Will work long and hard to fulfill duties
  • Can be depended on to follow through on tasks
  • Loyal and faithful
  • Stable, practical and down-to-earth
  • Family-minded
  • Dislike doing things which don't make sense to them
  • Dislike abstract theory, unless they see the practical application
  • Natural leaders
  • Prefer to work alone, but work well in teams when necessary
  • Extremely observant, they take in facts via their senses and store them internally
  • Vast, rich inner store of facts which they rely on to understand problems which they encounter in their lives
  • Profound respect for facts and concrete information
  • Make decisions objectively, applying logic and rational thinking
  • Dislike change, unless they are shown it's benefit in a concrete way
  • Have strong opinions about the way things should be done
  • Appreciate structured, orderly environments
  • Have very high standards for their own behavior and the behavior of others
  • Not naturally in-tune with other people's feelings
  • Able to accomplish almost anything if they put their minds to it
  • Community minded "good citizens"
The following list of professions is built on our impressions of careers which would be especially suitable for an ISTJ.

Possible Career Paths for the ISTJ:

  • Business Executives, Administrators and Managers
  • Accountants and Financial Officers
  • Police and Detectives
  • Judges
  • Lawyers
  • Medical Doctors / Dentists
  • Computer Programmers, Systems Analysts, and Computer Specialists
  • Military Leaders

What are you? Take the Test Here. Read about your personality Here.

What is your personality?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Jack's Props

As I'm sure you've all figured out by now, Jack spends a considerable amount of time in bed. The reason for this is simple - it's where he is most comfortable. Jack has absolutely no meat on his bum, so it's not comfortable for him to sit in his chair for an extended length of time. And, because he has no muscles to support him, it also takes a lot of energy for him to sit in his chair and he tires after a few hours. We do try and make sure that Jack spends some time in his chair every day. During the week, Kristi is very good about getting him in his chair . But, I'll confess that we aren't as consistent on the weekends. Jack's bed is adjustable and has a built-in massager so we can sit him up at different angles and turn on the massager to keep his backside stimulated. We also use a lot of props when Jack is in bed. Here's a picture of Jack and all his props and because I clearly have too much time on my hands, I labeled the various props and provided an explanation of each one below:

A - drool rag. Jack doesn't swallow and despite trying almost every procedure known to man, we have been unsuccessful in reducing the amount of Jack's oral secretions. Thus, the need for the drool rag (a major thorn in my side, incidentally).
B - pillow to counter the effects of gravity and allow Jack to move his hands more freely.
C - blanket that holds up the vent circuits and helps reduce Jack's airleak and autocycling of the ventilator.
D - blanket that keeps the vent circuits (which are heated) from resting on Jack's skin. Jack's skin is so fragile that the vent circuits can burn his skin and/or leave a significant mark from the pressure of sitting on his skin.
E - stuffed animal that Jack's hand rests on and helps keep his fingers open (the fingers on his left hand are starting to contract in a closed position).
F - round log pillow under Jack's bum to keep him from sliding down when his bed is elevated.
G - pillow keeping Jack's leg from flopping outward (he has one propping up the other leg as well).

There you have it . . . everything you ever wanted to know (or not) about all the stuff in bed with Jack!

We did mange to get out of the house all together this weekend for Mark's birthday dinner. Here is a picture of Jack riding his lift out of the van. He's just so easy to please. A little fresh air, a change of scenery and a ride in the van and he's a happy guy.

I'll be glad when it starts to cool off and the temperature falls below 180 degrees (okay, with the wind chill factor, it's actually only 108) so that Jack and I can get back to our evening walks around the neighborhood.

Have a grand week everyone.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I Must Be Insane

I recently found out about a site - - that automatically slurps (uploads) your entire blog so you can save it as a book. I have now slurped my blog and I am in the process of putting together my book. There are lots of options for page layouts, colors, pictures, graphics, etc., so there is a lot of opportunity to customize your book. I decided to do one book for July 2006 (the beginning of my blogging) through December 31, 2007 (Volume I) and then do a separate book for each year thereafter. I started working on Volume I this week. The only bummer about this program is that it does not upload your comments and I've received so many wonderful, supportive, and entertaining comments that I want to save. I'm having to go through each blog entry and copy the comments and then paste them into a new page in my book.

My point ---> like I have TIME for this project?! I've been up until 1am the last few nights working on the book and I'm only into the first week of comments. I typically get to bed around midnight but I've now extended my late night/early morning project time another hour by adding this to my list of things to do. I must be insane! I really need to set a limit on how much time I'm allowed to work on this each night or I'll be incapacitated from lack of sleep very soon.

Another idea I have is putting together a book of all my email correspondence with Jack's doctors over the last nine years (amounting to hundreds of emails). It's interesting for me to see my emotional progression as it relates to the questions I ask Jack's docs, what I want from Jack's docs, what I want from Jack and how I've related my frustrations to them through the years. One of Jack's docs recently told me "you have mellowed beyond description in many ways". (he calls it mellowing, I call it throwing up my hands and saying "I give".) I think it would be really neat to publish a book and call it something like "Conversations with a Doctor". I'd use different names and alter the emails some to protect the innocent and, of course, I'd have to get everyone's permission first.

Wait a minute, am I talking about yet ANOTHER project?

Actually, I'll probably just start transferring the text of the emails to a book, but won't likely consider publishing anything until . . . well, until the story is over. (and let's hope that's very far off in the future.)

For those of you with blogs, I highly encourage you to preserve your writings in some type of book to give you something tangible to look back on. And, don't wait two years into your blogging to get started like I did unless you have lots of extra time on your hands.

It's now rounding 11:30pm and I've got emails to answer and an appeal to Aetna to work on and I'm only giving myself until midnight or else... I'll turn into a pumpkin ... or something like that.

Peace my friends.

Monday, August 04, 2008

A Stormin' Day

One week into school and Eric's daily assessment for today:

I had a Stormin' Day!!!
Comments: cleaning up and noisy in line.
Received a WARNING

When I asked Eric about his warning, his response: "well, it's better than what Emma got".

Good thing he's cute!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

My Blog Followers

Best as I can tell, there are four groups of people who read this blog:

1. Those who I've actually met in person, but don't talk with often;
2. Those who I've never met, but communicate with electronically (via email or the message board);
3. Those who I've never met and don't have a clue are reading; and
4. Those who I see in my real, every day life

I started this blog as a way to keep family and friends updated on Jack's spinal fusion surgery. Two years later and I'm still blogging. For the most part, I blog about the mundane details of every day life. I record pictures and share Eric funnies mainly to create a scrapbook of my life that I (and my kids) will always have to look back on. To the extent it has entertainment value for those who read, all the better. Then there are those times when I share my innermost feelings and thoughts with utmost honesty and frankness (because subtlety has never been my strong suit). When I reach into the depths of my heart and soul and write about the difficulties, challenges and triumphs of life, I share a very private part of myself that I wouldn't likely share face to face with you. I don't mind sharing such personal feelings because I figure for the majority of the people reading this, I either don't know you or I don't see you often enough to worry that you'll remember what I said.

It's much easier to write from the heart if I pretend that no one I know is reading. Problem is, I keep running into people I haven't seen in a while and they start out our conversation where I left off on my blog. Talk about a feeling of deja vu! It doesn't bother me so much that people I see in person know the goings on in my every day life, but the fact that they also know some of my most profound thoughts and they are right there looking me in the eyes . . . well, I feel so transparent. It gives me pause about putting so much out there for everyone to read.

However, blogging is very therapeutic for me and I also see it as the foundation for that book I hope to write some day. So, despite the occasional feeling of vulnerability, I shall continue to share all of my story with those I know, those I don't know and those I hope to get to know. Thanks for checking in, thanks for caring and thanks for sharing your comments.