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Awards, AFOs, and Car Crashes

                  Image result for head slap image  

Ever had one of those days? One of those weeks?

Ever wanted to slap someone who asks such asinine questions?

Well, here I am. Slap away.

It just seems in the scheme of life, everyone has periods of severe confusion in personal existence. Not unheard of. Not uncommon. But, sometimes, we just have to refrain from a self-inflicted head banging session and scream, "Did that just happen?"

Let me begin this tirade with the "good news". Every year Readers Favorite hosts an international book contest and every year I enter my newest manuscript. So far three of my first novels have been recognized in some way. At this point my YA novel Bombs Bursting in Air is already the recipient of four awards: West Virginia Writers first place, Mom's Choice Award, Literary classics Seal of Approval, and Literary Classics winner. As a five star reviewed novel, I felt confident in placing in this year's awards and would have been a little disappointed if BBA wasn't even mentioned.  

That fear was unwarranted as Americka Miller in Bombs Bursting in Air sang her way smack dab into first place! (Read the book to understand this reference.

I am still rather numb.
After receiving an actual GOLD MEDAL in the mail, it is beginning to sink in .
The best thing this recognition will do for me is encourage the completion of the next two books in what I hope to be a YA christian series, so keep me in your thoughts while I chip away at The Day Ted Williams came to Town, about a high school senior faced with finishing his public school education in  a new town. I want to alternate novel POV from female to male, so it is important that I complete this "boy book" before moving on to Praise Petals, which is about a group of misfits who are chosen by Pastor Larry (each girl has a flower name) to be an all-girl  praise team at the Church of Go.  These stories will continue in the town of Ellison, West Virginia. Each book is a stand alone read, but the characters remain  native to the town.

Okay, enough good news. Let's move on to the MonSter report.

My physical therapist (Good Monday morning, Rebecca!) was quite enthusiastic about getting me an AFO to assist with my drop foot. She was (rightfully) confident that the cost would not be astronomical and that I would learn to love walking again. We were both impressed when Pete  the Ortho Guy showed up only a week after she inquired about the possibility and began the process. 
An ankle-foot orthosis (AFO), in case you are unaware, is a light-weight brace that keeps your foot in place while aligning the knee in correct juxtaposition to lift the draggy toes that are associated with drop foot. 

I even got to design mine. 

It's pretty. It's pink. I was very excited.

Pete was very excited.

Rebecca was and still is very excited.

The entire process was fascinating . Pete had to actually "caste" my leg to assure proper fit.

The wait to receive my new "leg" was actually very brief and Pete had me in his office for a test run in no time at all. I realized immediately that I had a lot of work to do in order to re-learn (for the second time since my 2001 diagnosis) how to walk. Because no one had instructed me proper cane usage years ago, I learned also that my beautiful hand crafted cane was far too tall for me and that I was holding it with the wrong hand. Glad I enjoy learning new things. 

My biggest complaint with my pretty-in-pink AFO is that it does NOT fit in my shoes.

This is actually the only shoe I have that doesn't put my toes to sleep with the downward thrust of the device. 
My toes actually do come forward a bit more than the photo demonstrates, but I cannot manipulate my foot by myself. Which brings me to the fact that putting on any shoe over the AFO is a two-man job. Kinda tough when I am pretty much alone all day. So far I have "broken" two shoes and have decided to forego any more AFO experimentation until I can obtain a new pair of shoes.

And here is the issue with this. Do I purchase two pair of shoes in different sizes to accommodate the two different foot sizes? It has become obvious that my size 6 1/2 foot requires probably at least a size 8 shoe for my right  side. That will make wearing the left shoe of that same size impossible. Talk about a drunken gait! Don't know how I would explain that!

I am definitely not made of money and I admittedly do like shoes, but it is ridiculous to collect a bunch of mismatched shoes. I want to find ONE good pair of shoes to wear with my new AFO. Where to look? Do any of you have any suggestions? This cannot be a new issue in the MS world. 
I am anxious and open to all suggestions.

And I would willingly be on the road to shop, shop, shop, until...

This happened.


The strangest experience of my driving life.
Basically, my beloved Honda CRV had an equally strange experience with a combination transmission/computer malfunction. You can message me if you want to know more, as the more I relay the story, the stranger it gets.  Needless-to-say, I am now in the market for an unexpected spending spree that does not include shoes. The irony: I cannot car shop because I DO NOT HAVE A CAR!

So, I have cancelled all appointments, events, and engagements for at least the next week and probably longer as I await insurance decisions. Normally I would ask to use my mother's vehicle, but she left her wheels for my father (whose truck is also in the shop) while she is on vacation. I suppose other arrangements could be made, but, honestly, I am just too tired to do anything about it. PLUS, my clothes dryer is on the blink and the ice maker in our fridge is broken; therefore my presence is needed at home while awaiting the repair man.

One would think that this time at home could and would be used cleaning and sorting, as it should Unfortunately My free tie mind is distracted with vision s of knitting projects and binge watching Netflix. 

So, I had better get busy. That popcorn won't pop itself!

Have a wonderful week,


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