Archives for May 2011

Helena’s Story

I was barely 18 in 1975 when I gave up my son. I live in Alberta, Canada and at the time the Alberta Government looked after adoptions. I came from a supportive family and my parents said they would stick by me and my decision.  I knew from early on in my pregnancy that I would give up my son for adoption.  The father of my son was not in the picture. I wanted him to have every chance with 2 parents.  In 2004, the Alberta Government opened up all adoption records.  Unfortunately there was quite a backlog and only 2 people assigned to work on this large task. I was already on the registry but called to get an application.  It took a long time and I had heard nothing.  I called in March or April only to find out I hadn’t filled out the papers correctly. The papers were sent back to me to fill in again.   After filling out the forms again, I resent them.  I waited and waited and by August I went to my member of parliament to get some help. 
By September 26, 2005, my son’s 30th birthday they arrived in the mail. I was overwhelmed at seeing for the first time, my son’s name was Steven. I didn’t know what to do so I called my older sister and she told me to search for phone numbers and start calling.  I found names on the computer in Canada 411 (a telephone white pages on line)  I only made four calls and the fourth call was to Steven’s aunt.  She didn’t let on that she was related and wished me luck on my quest.  She called her brother (Steve’s Dad as she had call display) and he called Steve and Steve called me.  I asked him if it was his birthday and he said yes. I told him who I was and asked him if he had a good life.  He said he had and asked me the same. I have had a great life and better now that I found you.  I told him I always knew we would meet someday and I was thrilled.   I had moved to Calgary which is 180 miles south of Edmonton, where he was born, in Jan 1979. It turns out Steve family moved to Calgary that same year.  We lived close by each other for a few years. Steve only worked a couple of blocks from my work. I met his parents and adopted sister as well. We all went to dinner.  My son Tony and I were invited to his wedding and his mom introduced us to her 12 siblings.  It was very emotional. I told Steve’s Dad that I couldn’t have made a better choice for parents.  He said that the children never once gave them any trouble. Steve has been married now for 2 years and they are expecting their first child. Unfortunately his Dad passed away 6 months after the wedding.  We now look forward to the birth.  I am blessed!

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Musical Monday’s-Memorial Day

If you would like to play along with this new meme all you have to do is:

  • Grab the button
  • Write a post that includes a song and why you like that song
  • Come back and link up!

This week for the songs I have chosen songs that are patriotic because of Memorial Day.  The first two I have loved for ever as for the 3rd one I just found it this past week and it made me cry!  I hope you all enjoy the songs!


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Great Giveaway!!!!

As I was reading my blogs and saw this!  I signed up to giveaway a design.  They are excepting 75 people who want to give something away.  You should chick on the button and go sign up!
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A Great MS Advocate & Blog Writer

I am not sure when I first found Stuarts blog and website but I get most of the ideas for my MS Post from him.  I wanted to give all the other MS patients out there the link to both of his sites and information about him.  I re-posted this from his website with his permission.

About Stuart Schlossman    –  Updated   12.16.09

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MS Patient, Writer, Blog writer, Editor of Stu’s Views and MS Related News and Founder of the ‘MS Views and News’ organization
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My name is Stuart Schlossman and I Have MS. Relapse Remitting to be more specific.
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I live just outside of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I have been married since 1988 to Patrice, and have two grown daughters and three grandchildren. When I am not resting I have three dogs that keep me busy and I volunteer as a co-facilitator for the National MS Society, as well as for MS Views and News.
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I was diagnosed with relapse-remitting MS in December 1998 after several years of symptoms including headaches, blurred vision, fatigue, vertigo, carpal tunnel syndrome, Bell’s Palsy and leg stiffness.
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Having gone through the process of checking for a brain tumor or other severe problems, MS was finally diagnosed. Although I was relieved to learn that I didn’t have a tumor, I was still dumbfounded and was severely depressed for many weeks.
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After meeting other people with MS, I felt I had to help those whose symptoms were worse than my own. I don’t see MS as a disease – for me it is an illness, one that I had to do something about. I was once in denial and then realized that I was “chosen” to have this illness.  Chosen for the mouthpiece that I have and the desire to help others.
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I formed an independent support group but wanted to achieve more. I contacted the National MS Society and a year later became the Committee Chair of the South Florida, Coral Gables MS Walk event. Every year my MS Walk Team, Team Hot Shots, has raised lots of money over the years. It is great to know that a part of this money is being used to fund patient programs in the local area, and a percentage is also used to fund research. For me, the Walk is both therapeutic and empowering. After Chairing the Coral Gables walk for (5) years, I went on to chair the Ft. Lauderdale walk for a couple of years. Last year, was my last, in chairing walks as I have found that with the time that my body allows, I need to concentrate on what I do best.
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In 2003, with my cognitive functioning worsening, and fatigue becoming an even greater issue, I found it increasingly hard to concentrate and carry out my job as part-owner of a business and in April 2003 I stopped working. This wasn’t easy but it did mean I had time to help others with MS.
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In 2005, I decided that I would like to do more so I designed and helped to organize The MS Health Expo for the National MS Society’s chapter here in South Florida. This first event took place in January 2006 and has continued to help many affected by MS each year. Most beneficial is the panel of MS professionals that lead a Question and Answer (Q&A) session.
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I have co-facilitated a local MS support group since the early 2000’s. This support group has become more of an Education Program and continues to meet once a month. Guest speakers are invited to discuss the issues and topics faced by the members. Topics have included a wide range of needs by the MS patient.  For me, the group is about educating and empowering people with MS and their caregivers to make the most of their lives through better management of the illness. Each year, we have our holiday party and Santa (ahem) comes for a visit to put needed smiles upon those that attend this yearly function.
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Sorry to be jumping around with the context but  In approx 2005 – (my memory is horrible so I really do not know if 2004 or 2005 ), I began writing archiving information in a blog called Stu’s Views and MS Related News, which was later superseded by the current version, Stu’s Views & M.S. News.  It is the blog postings that provide most of the information found in each week’s e-Newsletter.
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Stu’s Views and MS Related News“, is an e-Newsletter that I began sending to just those involved with the support group in about 2001. Then more and more were learning of the information that I was sending each day and eventually I had to stop sending daily messages as the information just continued to surge (via my knowledge of the internet) and the amount of people asking to be registered climbed to such heights that it made it impossible to send the information daily. In approx 2005 I had to begin only sending the newsletter once per week as the information was clogging people’s inboxes as I was one of the few, sending MS related informational e-Newsletters as that time. Now there are many organizations doing the same thing and many have coined my phrase: “e-Newsletter”.
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Recently when looking at notes of mine so that I could write this profile, I noticed that back in 2007 when I was doing an interview for the MS International Federation (MSIF), I reported that 900 people were receiving my e-Newsletter.  However as of today’s writing (December 16, 2009), I can say that I am now sending this e-Newsletter to e-recipients in (58) countries and upwards of 6000 are reading it directly from me, each week.
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In approx 2008 I created my website, along with my brother who is the brain behind being a webmaster. It was first called MS Views and Related News, as was the original name of the organization that I founded. Last year though, with Board Approval, we shorted the name of the organization to MS Views and Newshttp://www.msviewsandnews.org).
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I and/or “MS Views and News”, can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Live Journal and Linked-In.
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Monthly, our site is viewed well in excess of 100,000 times by people from all over the globe. Oh yes, I do love the internet. My vision for this organization is for MS Views and News to globally raise the level of education and awareness to millions of people impacted by Multiple Sclerosis.
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I want to empower people with knowledge via my website, e-Newsletters, blog and by providing education programs that I know as a patient, is needed by my peers.
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For that which I have been doing, others are taking notice. Many large MS organizations, such as the National MS Society, The MS Foundation, The Heuga Ctr, (now known as Can Do MS) and others have asked and continue to ask me to post items to my blog with regards to their organizations or with regards to topic information that they want greater exposure. In reward I guess (best to say) some have done interviews of me, like the MSIF did in 2007 and the MSF has written of me a few times.
Most recently, the National MS Society added this to their website:  “Ex-Salesman Uses Net to Inform, Persuade” –  Posted in April 2009 to the National MS Society’s website.
Click here: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/online-community/personal-stories/stuart-schlossman/index.aspx
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At one time and not too long ago, I was still extremely active. But the disease has caused me to make major modifications to my lifestyle, which I am sure that many with Multiple Sclerosis can understand. My fatigue hits hard each day and then this seems to cause secondary symptoms such as vertigo, blurred vision or the annoying tingling. I live with headaches most days and otherwise have varying pains, including skeletal pain, cramps and spasticity. I cannot type for long as my fingers cramp or ache. I cannot sit for too long or my body stiffens. I cannot stand for long or walk too much because I lose balance. Fatigue strikes everyday. Usually at about the same time, but sometimes it fools me and arrives a little earlier or a little later, depending on my activities.
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Fortunately, I do what I do, from the privacy of my home office. I stop as often as needed to take breaks, take a nap, and read  or to just play with my dogs
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I have used many of the different MS medications and advocate their usage for all MS patients.
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What may good for one patient may not be for another. Hence the reason for different products such as Tylenol, Advil and Motrin. Same principal, behind this.  All who have Multiple Sclerosis should be using one of the FDA approved medication to delay progression of their disease.
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My current motto is: “Why Accept Disease Progression”?  Especially when there are so many choices, thanks to broadening MS research.
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I hope that one day there is a cure for all of us living with MS and then a way to be found to reverse whatever damage has been done to our bodies and minds by this illness.
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Dr. King once proclaimed “I have a dream”.
Well, Stuart also has a dream.  My dream is a world in which all men and women with MS can live independent of this disease (illness).
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The information found above was updated by me (Stuart Schlossman) on December 16, 2009
Since December 2009 – Our newsletter as of this mention (April 2010 ) is now being received in (72) countries

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Letter To Her Children

To My Children; May I Show You The Sunrise

Dear Daughter or Son;,

You are only a Newborn Baby at this time you rely on me for many things. You trust that when you cry I will care for your needs, whether they be feeding or changing, or even just letting you know that you’re not alone. As I cradle your little body I can’t help but feel of the tenderness and sweetness of your spirit. Your needs are so simple right now. Someday though, you will have to face the world. At that time, you will rely on me to help show you the way.

The world can sometimes be an ugly place. I would teach you to see the beauty that we often times just don’t take the time to notice. To take a moment to notice the brilliance of colors staining Florida clouds at dusk. To walk barefoot through dew covered grass. To play follow-the-leader with a butterfly as it dances from flower to flower.

I would teach you to love your fellowmen. Whether black or white, your orientation, short or tall, big or small, all of these are children of God, and thus, your brothers and sisters. Find the goodness in them. Extend your arms to them, encircling them in love and kindness. Learn to truly love them by serving them. It is through service that your heart will fully open to those who you might otherwise despise.

I would teach you to show gratitude, for there is much in life to be thankful for. If we fail to give thanks, then we begin to become apathetic. On the other hand, when we show gratitude we begin to see just how blessed our lives truly are.

I would teach you to always continue learning. It is through learning that the world continues to better itself. Lack of education lends hand to poverty, to crime, hate, and violence; all things ugly are a form of ignorance. Likewise, all that is beautiful can only be appreciated when one knows how to appreciate it.

I would teach you to love yourself. You are a daughter or son; of God, and that makes your spirit; one of nobility. Always remember who you are. You are of great worth. You, my daughter or son, have a work to do on this earth, a work that only you can accomplish. Through knowing who you are you can learn to love yourself. Then you will never want to do anything that would keep you from your potential.

I would teach you to search out your talents and gifts and then use these to better the lives of yourself, your family, and your community. Each of us have these gifts. Whether it is the ability to sing well, or having the ability to make another happy, these are all talents. By using our talents we will continue to develop them more fully and increase the joy in our lives.

I would teach you to develop virtuous attributes. Honesty, integrity, diligence, these are all virtues that are not always easy to obtain, but they help us to keep a clear conscience.

Above all, I would teach you to seek for truth. Search with not only your mind, but also your heart and when truth is found hold to it. Never let go. My greatest hope is that you will have peace and joy in your life. I would teach you that truth will bring you happiness.

We are only just beginning our quest through life together. I don’t know what lies ahead for us. I do know, however, that as a mother I will make mistakes and that as a daughter or son; you will sometimes be angry with me. At times you will be hurt by the things of the world and I may not be able to remove that pain. Sometimes, I may feel as if I have failed you.

I suppose this is all part of motherhood. Yet, if I can help make your path through this world more joyful, if I can help you find true happiness, even though you may receive some bumps and bruises along the way, then I will know that I have been successful as a mother.

You life has only begun, but let me show you a sunset…

Love, Mom

© 1999 Pamela Bianco Johnson
To My Children; May I Show You The Sunrise
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Musical Monday Week 3

If you would like to play along with this new meme all you have to do is:

  • Grab the button
  • Write a post that includes a song and why you like that song
  • Come back and link up!

As I was reading Beth’s blog she had this song on her post and I fell in love with it.  The name of the song is Stronger and it is by Mandisa.  I hope you all enjoy this weeks song!

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What We Do On Lunch At Work

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Tula’s Story

 I was a mother of 2 children, I was single. I was working and living in a small apt that rented for 150.00 a month. I was behind on the rent.
 My daughter was 8 years old, my son was 2. I had lived with my grandparents on and off since I had my daughter. I was 17 when she was born.
 I was trying desperately to live on my own.
 I had no help from the father of my children. 
I remember going to the United Way office to get a free pregnancy test. The lady told me to come back after lunch to get the results. I made my way over to the office in a daze, fearful of the results. Surely it would be negative, surely.
 My son played on the floor and the world collapsed around me. I felt like a giant weight was pulling me to the bottom of the ocean. I cried uncontrollably for the next hour.
 I managed to leave the office and drive to my grandparents’ house, where my daughter was.
 I was numb. I stayed numb for some time.
   When I was in my 5th month, my grandmother who I had not told about my pregnancy passed away. I was at her home, and she reached up to fix her pillow and she died. I started CPR and called 911. She was gone. This was very hard on me.
  I mention this because it intensified my stress. I had never felt so alone and afraid.
            My daughter was very attached to her great grandma. My mom was not really in my life at this point. I had been depending on my grandparents like my parents for years. They helped me feed my children and keep a roof over their head. I had moved out because I wanted so bad to be on my own. I didn’t want to have to tell them I was having another child.
   I told my dad at the funeral.
My mom had given a child up for adoption in 1963. It was a different world then, she had to go to a unwed mothers home, her daughter had to be in a orphanage until she was adopted months later.
 I was around 7 and ½ months when I started thinking about adoption.
The birth father had started seeing someone else and he was coming around less often. I was struggling to feed myself and my children. My grandfather was lost in grief, he could function hardly.  I couldn’t depend on him any longer. I lost both my grandparents when my grandmother died.
  I remember crying a lot, being very depressed. I was broke all the time.
I started looking in the paper at those ads, “nice couple wants to give your baby a home”
I prayed about it, I talked to my friends about it.
I called my mom. I asked her what she thought. I talked to my sister who had been adopted out in 1963; mom and “Sidney” had found each other in 1991.
 My older sister, Sidney (her birth name) helped me find 3 couples, in various parts of the country.
   I prayed about this decision a lot. I felt peace, that I was doing the right thing.
The couple I chose was from Tx. They lived in Indiana for job reasons. They had been married for 14 years. I met the lady and her mother. I didn’t want them to see where I lived so we met at a restaurant.
  They were wonderful people I felt.
 They called me and asked about me regularly. My sister called when it was time for me to deliver.
It was the only cesarean I ever had to have; it was like my body didn’t want to give the baby up. It was an emergency operation. I was very scared.
The new parents were there with me and very supportive. The entire baby’s new family was on hand at his birth, grandparents and aunts and uncles. I felt like this baby was going to a warm loving family.
  I held him a couple of times just to hold him. I felt so empty and hollow. I was a shell.
I managed to get out of the hospital quickly as possible. 
I kept hoping that the birth father would come to the hospital and tell me he would be there for me. He didn’t.
  I had to have a counselor talk to me before I could sign. I did, I cried some more. The counselor told me something that helped me many days in the coming years. She said “you’re doing the right thing, you’re going to be ok, and you’re very unselfish.”
 I knew that the baby was going to have a much better life with his new family. I knew my children would have a better chance without another child to share what little we had with.  I felt like I would be the only one to hurt. I could do that for my baby and my children. I loved them all so much.
   I drove to the hospital parking lot and I looked up at the windows, I cried all night.
I signed the papers the next day.
The parents always told him he was adopted and told him about me. I got pictures at birthdays and Christmas.
  One day when he was around 13 I got to talk to him on the phone. I can’t tell you how sweet his voice sounded. I was so happy.
When he was 18 he called me the day after his birthday. He asked me if he could come live with me. I said YES!!! I never even thought about why or what or anything.
He came home 18 years later.
This was in 2009. He doesn’t live with me anymore but he lives within 20 min of me. I see him a lot. We have family dinners. He is a part of our family; he is trying to adjust to having a brother and sister. He has 2 nieces and a nephew.

 I get to be around all my children. Matthew has the best of 2 worlds and 2 moms who love him very much.
I am blessed beyond measure.
 Tula

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Dreaming Big

Mama’s Losin’ It

This week for the writers workshop I am going to write about 1.) What was your big dream for yourself when you were 18 and had graduated from high school?

The one dream I had when I graduated was to finish college and become a nurse.  I wanted to work in either the ER or as a life flight nurse.  I feel like I gave up on my dreams because I got pregnant and then lost the will to go back to school.  I am hoping that one day I will go back and finish my degree but I don’t know if it will happen.  I also am not sure if I even want to be a nurse anymore.

This is a short post but oh well!  I want to welcome all my new followers and tell everyone that reads my blog thank you!
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Best Friends

Recently I have started talking to my best friend from high school again.  I have been looking back and I don’t have a single memory from my senior year of high school that doesn’t have her in it.  We always had a great time and my family loved her.  We were more like sisters that friends.  We were always together until we went away to college and then everything changed.  I am not sure what happened or why it happened but we started to grow apart.  Around the time I got pregnant we got in a fight about something and to be honest with everyone I am not sure what we were fighting about.  I know that it was probably my fault though.  I know how I am when I am not on medication and pretty much say that it was my fault and I feel bad because we haven’t spoken in like 6 years or so.  It is crazy to think that it has been that long.  I never thought we would drift apart like we did but I can’t take it back all I can do now is try and rebuild the relationship and don’t let it happen again.  I look back and see where I went wrong with it all.  I was so glad that she emailed me because I was to big a brat to email her first.  Hell when she emailed me I didn’t even know why I was mad her I just knew I was.  After I read her email I realized how dumb I was being.and realized that I did want her back in my life.  I am hoping that we will rebuild our friendship and not drift apart again!

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