Tuesday, March 1, 2022

I ❤️ Christine

Well…. The pain I had the other day is something I’ve been keeping quiet about for a long time. I mentioned it the other day because it was so severe all I could do is stay in bed all day.  Every third or fourth day has been very painful—all day—for the past six or so weeks. John, a fellow in my UK FND group mentioned having a very similar situation going on last time we were together on Zoom, and the FND specialist who was a guest in our Zoom meeting said it was because a common neurological condition symptom. So, yesterday morning I described my symptom to Dr. Shoja and she confirmed that it was due to FND. She explained to me what is going on, why and how.

She says I have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and that it is very common in people with neurological disorders. FND, like Parkinson’s affects muscles, that’s why my voice isn’t working, my arms tremble and go spastic when I seize, and now it’s hit the peristaltic muscles of my bowel. She has given me a website to read, lined me up with a dietician and I’ll be starting the FODMAP diet for a few weeks once I connect with Joanne, the dietician who will supervise my time on the diet.  

Out goes dairy, wheat-based foods, beans and lentils, garlic and onions and apples. However, eggs, mean, cheddar, fetta, brie and Camembert, rice, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, grapes, oranges, blueberries, and pineapple are all in! I’ll follow these guidelines until I get an appointment with the dietician who’ll lead me through the process of using the diet for a finite period.

Are you familiar with cookies that I’d never ever buy but loved: chocolate domes filled with marshmallow on top of a dab of strawberry jam spread over a biscuit that formed the bottom of the cookie?

Well, I’m making something like that for my guests coming for dinner on Saturday. I’m filling mine with chocolate ganache as a top layer inside the dome, a marshmallow layer below that, and a layer of gelled strawberry glaze below that, and then the biscuit, all covered in chocolate mirror glaze. And yesterday, I made all the biscuits I will need.

I can hardly wait for tomorrow. I’ll be making the strawberry gel layer and lining my dome moulds with chocolate And on Thursday, I’ll be making the ganache and marshmallow, filling the domes and then ‘gluing’ them to the biscuits with melted chocolate. On Friday, I’ll glaze them all.

God loves me! How do I know? Because he inspired me to walk in the rain with Sheba at exactly the right time yesterday to encounter Christine on the trail walking Dexter. 

I only met Christine a few weeks ago when we both arrived at Rikki Ave Trail at the same time to walk our dogs. She’s a paramedic and after we’d been walking for a while with me struggling with speech, she asked if she could inquire about my speech. I said Yes, of course, and she surprised me by asking if I suffered from a neurological disorder. I was hugely impressed and immediately smitten with this smart and warm woman. 

At the end of our walk, she invited me to call on her if ever I needed help and she gave me her contact information. She also said that she’d enjoy walking together again, but since then I hadn’t contacted her. But I will now.

Christine has just resigned from her position as an ASL interpreter! She told me when I told her I was learning ASL. She took the same course I am taking! I could not believe it! And she is very keen for us to get together often to sign. She misses signing. I am so, so happy and feel supremely lucky to know such a warm and welcoming woman and signer.

Michelle was very pleased with my suggestion for a change in our lesson format. We had a session yesterday. I am now maintaining a list of sentences that I want to learn, and she translates my English sentence into ALS syntax and grammar, then she teaches me the signs of the restructured sentence.

So, for example, here is a sentence written in English: I can’t speak due to a neurological problem I’ve had for six years. In ASL, this sentence becomes: Speak good, can’t. Why? Six years have neurological problem. Then she teaches me the signs for the re-structured sentence.

Learning sentences instead of just words, teaches me ASL grammar and syntax as well as sign vocabulary. I love it. I’ll do the same with Gus. 

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