Friday, January 31, 2014

What does MS look like?


     The other day I was In a meeting and It somehow came up that I have MS.  The gentleman across the desk looked at me and said "I would have never in a million years guessed you have MS!", to which I replied "Didn't you notice my Quasi Moto limp??"  He then said "Yes, I noticed you were limping, but you just don't look like someone who has MS".

     I'm not sure exactly what MS looks like, and though many of the symptoms of MS are invisible, I really thought my limp was a dead give away.  Maybe he was under the assumption I was injured while snow skiing.  I could try to use the Ninja fight story, but we already decided I could never pass for a Ninja:)

     However, with MS being so unpredictable and every day being a mystery, I figured I may as well at least have fun on this roller coaster ride.  I decided why not keep all of the "Curious Georges" guessing as well:)

     In any given moment when walking towards a puzzled "on looker" I have one of two choices... I can either put a grimacing look on my face and give them the chance to dream up a plethora of horrific scenarios, or I can give them a goofy smile from ear to ear and really blow their minds; because if I was injured I most certainly would not be smiling:)  Either way, as soon as there's eye contact it's almost certain to result in a lengthy conversation...(and maybe a new BFF as well)

     MS comes in many different colors, shapes and sizes, it's like snow flakes: no two are alike. Who knows, I may not fit the "typical" mold, If there even is such a thing, but for me... along with my "turbo leg"...  this is what MS looks like:)

Have a great weekend!!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

When working smarter not harder, the key word is "smarter".


  Okay, I know I usually blog about my journey preparing for the Bike-To-The-Bay, but I just wanted to share something super cool that I learned after doing something really stupid.

     So I always try to work smarter not harder, and saving  unnecessary steps seems like a really smart move.   A couple of days ago I discovered maybe a few extra steps is actually the smarter choice in hind sight.

     After my morning workout and shower, I made some oatmeal and poured a cup of coffee, then planned to sit down and watch the news.  I noticed the garbage needed emptying, so I did that first.

     With the waste basket in one hand I thought I could grab my thermal mug of coffee with the other, then to save a trip I would put my mug of oatmeal in the crease of my elbow (AKA the antecubital, ha! I looked that up! And you thought I was smart).

     I was a regular Houdini!   However,  when I got to my destination I leaned over to set the basket down and I dumped the scalding coffee all over my wrist.  It felt like my arm was in a broiler oven and the pain was excruciating.

     After a few choice words, my first thought was: this is going to be a royal pain all day long, between the icing it until it freezes my skin off, then the feeling of being on fire without the ice... You know the routine...  I really didn't have time for this!  I had places to go; people to see.

     Then I thought maybe ibuprofen would kill the pain; it works for headaches... As I opened the medicine cabinet I noticed some muscle rub/cream; you know, like the infamous Ben gay.... (only this one smelled like wintergreen instead of a locker room)  I remembered an idle conversation I had with someone a while back wondering how muscle cream being that it was only topical could heal your muscles.

     What I learned was the cream doesn't heal the muscles, it simply numbs the nerves that cause the pain.  Hmm... maybe, just maybe, it will make this pain go away as well!

     I put the cream on my wrist and instantly the pain had miraculously disappeared (maybe I am Houdini!).  So I may have been foolish in trying to save a few steps, but I'm gonna reach my hand over my shoulder and pat myself on the back for my ingenious discovery! 

     Hey any of you With MS like me, maybe this would work with MS nerve pain as well!!  It's worth a try:)  but remember, I'm not a doctor:)

Have a great day!!


Monday, January 27, 2014

Pink trend setter or retro

     Yes, I've always been obsessed with pink and my recent history gave me all the more reason to embrace the color as well.  For many years I've walked in the "Walk MS"  and  volunteered at the "Bike MS/ Bike-To-The-Bay".  As much of a passion as I have for this cause I have to except that the color that represents MS is orange.

     However, when I decided to actually ride in the Bike-To-The-Bay I just knew I had to make my team shirts pink, if not to stand out, then to give me strength.  So many of my friends supported me in my crazy request and never batted an eye, but a few questioned me as to why "pink" when the MS color is clearly orange... My only answer was "because I love pink" and that was good enough for me.

     Then I finally had a theory to back up my crazy rebellious decision.  For the past five or so years I've been meeting some friends for breakfast at Bob Evans on Saturday mornings and by now they were all quite aware of my obsession.  Just recently one of the ladies, Maryann, came in with a small box for me.  She said it was an antique.

     While she was helping a friend move they ran across something that made her think of me.  Inside the box was a scarf from the Walk MS dated 1992!  I couldn't believe my eyes.  Did the MS color used to be pink or was someone else a rebel just like me?


    I did some research and couldn't find anything to support a theory, so I figured I would come up with one of my own.  I think the color started out as pink and over the years as people became more color blind they eventually called it orange (hey, it's my theory...).

      Of course I can't tell you for certain why it's orange now, but I can honestly say at one point someone besides me had a true love for pink!!  So pink shirts it is:)

Have a great day!!


Please sponsor me or join my team:)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Proof! See, I do have a brain!!

     At my last Neurologist appointment my doctor  gave me a script to have an MRI done on my brain.  I guess he just had to have proof I actually have one!

     I knew it was a waste of time, but who knows, the jury has been out for awhile and maybe he just needed to confirm it.  They might even discover a few loose screws while they're at it (that would explain a lot!).

     I've had many MRIs in the past but It was time for a follow up again. What they're actually trying to do is compare the current brain lesions with those from the past to gauge any signs of progression.  Next they repeat the entire procedure on my spine.  The whole process takes almost two hours, stopping halfway through to pump my veins full of dye (unlike superman and his kryptonite).

     Many people have a hard time being rolled into this narrow white cylinder, then subsequently be forced to listen to what sounds like a jack hammer drilling non stop for the duration; it could certainly bring out the claustrophobia in most.  They do give you a headset with music to attempt to distract you from the noise, but the "jack hammer" always trumps the music.

     However, my creative little mind has a strategy to get me through this whole ordeal.  I just ask them to turn on my favorite classic rock station and  imagine I'm lying on a white sandy beach (with some cute guy jack hammering next to me!) and I don't even have to worry about a sun burn. I'm not a Neurologist or a Radiologist so as far as my MS goes, I'm not certain as to what exactly these images conclude, but at least I finally have proof, I knew it, I actually do have a brain!

Have a great weekend!!


Please sponsor me or join my team:)  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Time for more brain storming


  As the Bike-To-The-Bay gets under way it's time to start doing some brain storming to try to raise as much money as possible.  My BFF Karen and I got together and about four cups of "joe" later we were starting to come up with a plan.

     Of course, if we could find businesses that wanted to sponsor our team then we would have a win/win situation on our hands.  They could have their name on our cute pink team shirts, which would be great for advertising and at the same time we could raise more money for the cause.

     The shirts have actually become a commodity in them selves;  people are constantly saying how cute they are and asking if they can purchase one.  So we started thinking; What a great idea to raise more money!

     Well, one more cup of coffee and we'll continue to blaze our trail!  If you love pink and you love frogs then look us up!  We've got you covered:)

If you know of any businesses that would like to sponsor us and get their name on our shirts please have them E-mail me at:

Have a great day!!


Monday, January 20, 2014

A good mood might be contagious, but some people just aren't ready


  Most people don't really like Mondays but  I usually love running errands that day, because the random conversation I strike up with total strangers always puts me in a good mood.

     However one stop I have to make isn't always my favorite and that's the post office.  I've been going to the same post office for many years and the same postal worker has been there a million years himself.

     This guy really needs a vacation in the worst way because no amount of idle chit chat will make him smile.  I've tried to shower him with kindness but the stone cold look on his face tells me he isn't in the mood.

     Dropping off a simple package makes me feel like I'm going to be subject to a strip search.  You better answer his questions seriously and by no means make any sudden moves or you could end up being escorted out in shackles. 

     As I was walking in the door there was a young man coming out pushing a cart filled with packages.  I'm guessing he was a Currier (that, or very popular).  Of course as any decent person would do, I opened the door for him then proceeded to the line.

     When I was standing in line I saw "Mr. Cranky Pants" up at the counter and started doing the math.  Two workers and how many customers in front of me... Just my luck I drew the wild card and ended up with...  you guessed it!

     I walked up to the counter with my package and gave him my usual smile.  He very sternly said "if it's ready to go, leave it ".  I attempted to show him I had everything correct, and with an escalated voice he repeated "LEAVE IT!". You don't have to tell me twice... Oh, I guess he did...

     So I put it down  and headed for the door.  I noticed the same young man was coming back in with another cart full of packages, I hustled out the double doors and said "here let me hold the door".  Then I said "wait let me get the other one too".

     The young man replied "wow, no one has ever done that for me!"  I chuckled because I'm sure he was exaggerating.   He said "I'm serious, never!"  I'm guessing it was the second door that blew his mind.  I smiled and said "have a good day!" 

     So I did help put some one in a good mood that day but I guess "Mr. Cranky pants" just wasn't ready.

Please join my team or sponsor me:)

Have a great day!


Friday, January 17, 2014

Thank you awesome friends!

          I am so grateful for all of you who signed up to join my team already!  I knew I had a lot of awesome friends, and this just proves it!  I have faith that the rest of you will come through too:)

     I had mentioned that the first day registration was only ten dollars, then I was also informed that it was free for first time riders, which was really cool!  But the even better news is that I discovered new riders have free registration even after the first day.  Just go to the discount code and type in: NEWRIDER2014.

     Lucky for us, most of my team mates are new riders!  So if you haven't signed up yet, please do so soon and help me grow my team:)

     Of course with most of my team being first time riders (myself included), I'm confident that I will have riders on my team who have been through this before to show us the ropes.  We're counting on you!

The direct link to the Bike-To-The-Bay registration is:

Have a great weekend!!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Registration is finally here!

    I've been saying for quite a while that the registration for the 25th anniversary of the Bike-To-The-Bay was coming; well it's finally here!  Open registration begins Thursday, January 16.

     Yes, I know it's still winter, and we all know I'm not actually out side in short sleeves riding my bike, but it's just wishful thinking! With any luck we'll all survive the cold weather and be outside riding again soon. Until then, it's not too early to register for the ride and start looking for kind people to sponsor you. 

    If you go to the National MS Society Ohio Buckeye Chapter,  to Events (bike to the bay), "find a participant" (Christine Kajfasz) or "find a team" (team leap frog). You can register to ride or sponsor my team. If you already ride for another team, that's great, just type in that team name.  Your help would mean the world to us.

 ***   Those who register on the first day  1/16, will have a registration fee of only 10.00.  So if you know you're riding, sign up then and save some money.  

     If you're thinking about riding but the distance is intimidating, rest assure there are many options to fit your comfort level.

     There are four routes to choose from; 35,50,75 and the century which is 100.  You can choose to ride both or only the first day.  Even the shortest of the routes, the 35 is geared to make this ride achievable.  There are rest stops placed strategically about every ten miles and this allows you to rest a while and start back up at your own pace.

     If at any point you find the need to end your ride there are "sag" drivers that can transport you along with your bike to the end of the route so there is no need to second guess your ability.  This isn't a race and you don't have to finish to be a winner:)

What ever your level, be it a novice(like me) or seasoned rider, there is certainly a route for you.  I hope you can join us.

Have a great day!!


Monday, January 13, 2014

I know! I'll just imagine I'm a spin instructor!

     I have to admit, riding a stationary bike indoors three days a week can get a little monotonous,  but that doesn't stop me from doing it.  It's time to play those mind games again so I don't start pulling out the excuses.  If I was a spin class instructor could I say "I just don't want to teach today"??  I don't think so; my paycheck would rely on it and so would the classroom full of anxious students.

     Okay, so I'm not a spin instructor, and my class room consists of... well, just me, but that doesn't mean I can't trick my brain into believing someone is counting on me.  So here's what I tell myself... "yes there is a paycheck and it's called my health:)"  And who is counting on me??  Well... me of course!  Do I need a whole classroom before it matters??  Heck no!!  So I slap on those sneakers and start on my mission; before I know it my class is done.

     Sure, I don't get a room full of "great job"s at the end,  but in my mind I hear it:)  That's all the reward I need!

Have a great day!


Friday, January 10, 2014

My team is so much more than just riders

     When I started building my team for the bike to the bay I knew I wanted it to be epic, not only by the number of riders but the total impact made by all of those helping in other ways as well.

     The riders are only a part of this puzzle; there are many others who have already and will continue to help team leap frog make a huge impact this year.

     Of course you remember Michael Jackson, who insisted on getting my "rode tires" giving me more incentive to follow through on this ride, And then there's Robert Hannon, the ace of bicycle logistics and knowledge of riding in general. I know I'll be counting on his expertise. 

    Robert rode 150 miles last year and due to his MS taking it's toll on the ride, this year he plans to put his talents to better use and help make the ride safer for all the rest of the riders.  He also plans to hold a fundraiser at "The Black Kite Coffee shop" in the spring and I'm sure Michael will be his right hand man!  I know I plan to be there:)

     Karen Evans is also a very important member of team leap frog; her great knowledge in the creation of "Leapfrog4MS" has been a wonderful tool and as we get closer to the ride I plan to link it to other websites and promote my team like crazy.

     Of course Alison Wait created the cute little frogs, and what would my team be with out them:)

     As you probably know, this ride is by no means a race, but a funnel to give others a chance to help all of those affected by MS.  That being said, the whole purpose of the teams is to raise as much money and awareness as possible so we can conquer this disease once and for all.

     Take a look again at "Team Leapfrog", under "riders" you will also see a list of "team supporters" which like the riders, keeps continuing to grow.  If you're not riding then please join us anyway, and help us make this year huge!!  We're counting on you:)

Have a great weekend!!



Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Yes I did; I roped more riders!!

      Well, I did it again!  I was at my brother Doug's 50th birthday party and started talking about how Doug was riding in the Bike To The Bay, and before long I had his friend Rob Sheppard roped in to riding too.  Of course when I hear those words "I'm riding" I need to get proof so here it is!  No backing out now Rob:)


   I knew all along Doug's wife, my sister-in-law Billi was riding but I never had proof so once again, here it is! Done:)

       Then low and behold, one of Doug's best friends, Bill LeVally was there and his soon to be wife, Lori was now on board as well.  Bill has a boat and he plans to cover the hard part of showing up at Port Clinton with the beer:). Oh... And he's hopeful his boat club will sponsor our team;)

     As you can see it doesn't take much to get people involved and now I'm off to find my next victoms:)  Wish me luck!

Have a great day!!


Monday, January 6, 2014

It's just snow!!

      Remember way back in the fall when the thought of snow for Christmas seemed like fun?!  Well now that it's January, maybe not so much...  A couple of weeks ago when it was Christmas time, many people thought snow would be a nice touch for the holiday season.  But what we ended up with was 20 degrees and grass.

     Any of you not used to 20 degrees would probably think that was freezing, but that was balmy compared to now.  We're currently looking at arctic temperatures well below zero, with the wind chill hitting all time record lows, and huge piles of snow!  Not so fun anymore:(

    My bike trail now!  sure, it looks pretty if you're inside:)

     A couple of days ago when the snow first started to fall I got a true taste for just how brutal it can be.  

     My day was like any other and I planned to ride my 13 miles on the stationary bike after I finished work, so planning ahead I packed my usual in door bike gear,  which was perfect for indoor riding.

     When I was finished with my ride I had certainly worked up a sweat.  That was okay because I had a jacket and the fresh air going to my car would surely be invigorating.  Besides,  I could walk on the freshly shoveled sidewalk. Once I was home all I had to do was pull into my driveway, then into my garage and soon I would be nice and cozy in my warm house.  What a plan, huh!?!?

     If it was only that simple... When I was driving down my street I noticed the snow plows did a great job of clearing it.  Of course it wasn't long before I discovered what they did with all of the snow... it was piled in my driveway!

     There was a mound of snow at the end over 2 feet deep and half way up my driveway.  That's okay, I could just speed up and plow right through it:)  One little detail I didn't think about... my car was front wheel drive.  As the front wheels kept spinning and spinning the back wheels just sat there.

     I started to panic because my legs were bare and I only had sneakers on my feet. Oh and I forgot to mention, at this point it was zero degrees out side and I had decided gloves were a waste of time... That meant my only option was to trudge through a mound of mile high snow and go for help.  

     I was sure lucky my son was around or my car may have been hanging out in the street until spring (or at least for a very long time...).  Of course my skin sure paid a price for my poor planning.

     The next time I venture out in the snow I think I had better plan for a blizzard, because  the best laid plans don't always pan out.

Have a great day!!


Friday, January 3, 2014

The holidays are over so it's time to get serious

     Now that the holidays are over, it's time to get down to business!  After all, it is the "2014 Bike-To-The-Bay" that we're talking about, and now it's 2014!

     I've been anxiously awaiting the time where I could officially start asking for help to make the 25th celebration huge, and this is the time!

     Time to start the begging:)  If you can ride, please ride with me and my team.  If you're not sure if you can ride, please try... I am!!  and if its not something that fits your schedule or ability then please sponsor my team so we can all work to wipe out this insidious disease for all of our friends and loved ones!

We can do this!

Have a great weekend!!


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 2014!!


     Happy New Year!  Thank you so much for reading my blog and encouraging me over the past few months! It sure is a lot easier with awesome friends.  I'm looking forward to a great year ahead and I sure hope you'll continue to follow me on my journey:)

Have a great new year!!