The Soldier and the Squirrel introduces children to the Purple Heart

through a loving story of a friendship between a newly wounded soldier

and Rocky the squirrel with his backyard friends. This story began as a

blog during my first year in bed after my incident. With much

encouragement, it is now a book and has been placed in the

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum. Please watch the video

on the About page to learn for the Soldier & Rocky are changing children's






Glorious Rejoice Dots Glitter





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One Day

I chose the hallway this time for my walker expedition. A change of scenery. But the scenery wasn't the only thing that changed today. My right leg that had always raised its head with pride, just took its final bow.

My left leg took six months to deteriorate. My right leg took six weeks. I am now paralyzed. I can stand in the shower with legs locked. But the shifting of my legs with a walker for short shifts of optimism is finally over.

Physical therapy is never easy. Otherwise it wouldn't be therapy. My therapist is Paul. Our clinical relationship morphed into friendship today, because I could not hold back my tears. Friendships are born from the most broken ground. I had heaved my legs with each push of the walker. My weakened arms supporting my trunk until I could not make it back. I stopped mid-hall. My face to the floor. Because the floor is where it's safe. No eyes look back at me from there. A welling of my gut tightened into my chest and up to my eyes. A burning ache forced tears into my lashes that dripped down to the floor. I felt Paul watching. Knowing this was it. The moment my life would change. Again.

There are so many agains when you experience a progressive condition. Just when you think you're approaching it like a champ, the boxing ring dissolves into a liquid mass you tread to catch the air. The spirit flails, forgetting how to swim. And you are reminded this is a fight you may not win.

Our friends ask us what is going on. Where am I at right now. The only thing we know is my body is crashing by the week. Just weeks after the news felt so good. That ALS could be ruled out. I find myself revisiting the neurological possibilities of my condition. I cannot lift my knees. I cannot pull up my heels. My tongue sometimes feels fat. Liquid is beginning to slip at random times into my throat causing me to choke. I lay in bed at night and my muscles twitch throughout my body from limb to shiny limb. I wake up each day with swollen arms and a hand formed into a claw. My right arm cannot lift a one pound weight. My left arm cannot curl three. And my reflection is of a woman I thought I knew, but has forgotten me.

I have two previous EMG's that are positive for things indicative of a lower motor neuron disease.

My blood tests are all normal. No Lyme's, or Rheumatoid, or odd cell-counts.

The CT Myelogram of my entire spine is clear as is the scan of my brain. MRI's are negative. But the more tests come out clear, the cloudier my prognosis seems. Because it is by ruling out conditions that could mean a MND.

So for now I will look at today as what it is. One day. One day when things didn't go as planned. When I couldn't make it down the hall.

Paul brought me my wheelchair. His hands on my shoulders as they heaved in grief. Because I don't know what all this means. To a girl who never stopped before this all began. I remind myself of just one other thing. One day the clouds will part and it will all be clear. No matter what the future will bring.

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