My family and I have been on vacation for two weeks. Taking two weeks (or even more) is a luxury, yet when I do it, I can't imagine doing anything less. A week is not really enough. But anything is better than nothing, and I am really grateful to have a job that affords me a decent amount of paid vacation days.
24 hours before our vacation was to begin, we decided where we were going. Very us. The destination had to be accessible by car (hello Wallyworld) and the whole thing had to fit into 12 days because Ozzie and I had a marriage workshop thing scheduled beginning Wednesday of the second (this) week.
We decided to go to California - somewhere in LA. See my brother Eric, his girlfriend Cynthia, our friend Drew and go to, yes, Disneyland. We are closet Disney lovers. All told, we spent one night in Grand Junction, CO; a night in Las Vegas; a night in Santa Monica; 4 nights in Marina Del Rey/Venice; 2 nights in Anaheim; one night in exciting Mesquite, NV; and a final night in Grand Junction, before returning home. Overall, it was very good. I had fun with the kids, except when they were fighting, which they frequently were :-). More about the trip later.
We got back late Tuesday night, and Ozzie and I got up early Wednesday morning to spend the day with Harville Hendrix and his partner in life and work, Helen LaKelly Hunt. The workshop was part of the "Smart Marriage" conference, hosted this year in Denver.
We had worked with Harville 10 years ago, on the Oprah Winfrey Show. It was about parenting. The original show synopsis isn't on their web site anymore, but the second time we were on still is: http://www.oprah.com/tows/pastshows/tows_1999/tows_past_19990223.jhtml.
Great picture. heh.
We've spent two days with them and 20 other people in a great workshop. It was incredible. I realize that I am too tired to write something worthwhile on this at the moment, but I will. To anyone who has ever wished they could experience something "more" in their marriage, I recommend attending a workshop with the Hendrixes. You can find people who teach the material locally most likely, but doing it with Harville and Helen is an experience you'll never forget. It's life-changing.
We will be attending the conference for another few days. At the moment, I feel like anyone else's session will pale in comparision to this workshop. I could listen to Harville talk for days. But I'll keep an open mind.
I came back from the California trip with a long list of things I want to do. I felt so good out there. I think it is a combination of factors. One, not working. It's just too wonderful. Two, the 50% humidity in the air, plus the positive ions in the air from the ocean. Much, much different feeling in my body, particularly my lungs. No pain! I am going to invest in some decent humidifiers and ion machines. Also, we walked and walked and walked everywhere. It was great. I need to keep doing that somehow. Very little in the way of computer time and TV time. I like that. I read two books!! It was so amazing to actually finish a book. I so rarely do that in my regular life schedule.
The books were "An Anthropologist on Mars" by Oliver Sacks, who I love, and "Beyond Prozac". Both discuss neurological issues, but in different ways. I got a lot out of both of them. Sacks always gives me hope that the damage in my brain from MS (the "white people in my head" - remind me to tell you about that sometime) can possibly be compensated for in other ways. The Prozac book talks about the many ways our lifestyle depletes our serotonin. I was kind of shocked to read in the book that people with MS are deficient in serotonin. How did I not read about this before? It gave me a lot of good ideas about things I can do, other than medication, to improve my state.
Another interesting thing was how little caffeine I had. A coffee or chai in the morning, and that was it. I didn't have a diet pepsi for 10 days!! Then I had one just to break the spell so I wouldn't get freaky about it. That was enlightening. One reason might be that I got so much sleep. Seriously. No alarm for 12 days in a row. We all woke up when we woke up. That is how I want to live. Somehow.
I returned home to find my new insurance card in the mail, which I've been waiting for. I'm hoping it's my ticket to Tysabri. Once I call in the new information, the paperwork will start being processed and I will hopefully be on my way to my first Tysabri infusion.
So, my health approach will be lifestyle AND drugs. Why not do it all? Give both sides of the medicinal world a fair shake.
I hope Ozzie will post pictures soon and I'll link to them.