Wednesday, May 26, 2010

AROUND THE CAMP FIRE


Hi, all. I'm back from camp. I made it down the mountain Sunday afternoon by the skin of my teeth. The sky was angry that day, my friends (enter George Costanza). Okay, not really but the roads were icy and slushy and amidst a flurry of snowflakes and panic (yes, that would be ME), all's well that ends well.

I went on Weatherchannel.com prior to leaving Thursday morning. Weather was supposed to be quite nice all weekend, mostly in the high 60's and low 70's. Thursday was indeed lovely then it went cold quite quickly and I found myself ill prepared. No coat. Only a light jacket and sweater. What a nincompoop! I know better and yet nonetheless neglected to pack accordingly 'just in case'.

Other than competing with Frosty for the coldest (NOT coolest) entity, all went well. I'm always so happy to see Ed, B and my 'other kids' when they pick me up on departing day. While it's nice to get away and focus on others, it's always nice to come home, too. Although, I came home with a swollen inner right ankle -- for my birthday, Ed and B went in on a new pair of vegan friendly tennis shoes for me (all man made materials -- no leather) which I needed for my walks. Unfortunately, I hadn't broken them in completely and ran around camp like a crazy person not realizing until the last night of camp that the tennis shoe had rubbed the inside of my ankle causing it to swell three times it's size. How did I not realize this????

So, in addition to having 'cankles' (Hillary Clinton anyone???) I also had to recuperate before returning to my walking routine which I am doing this morning.

To re-cap: this is a camp held by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for people afflicted with MS. The NMSS are just kooky enough to hire me to work as a caregiver in one of the women's cabins and I'm only too pleased to be a part of this experience.

Normally camp is five nights, however, due to budget restraints it was only three nights this year. It was a smaller crowd but they're hoping next year it will go back to five, budget allowing. Everyone is feeling the crunch.

It was a good time, but very busy with activities and we were all pooped! One caregiver is required to attend the events whether it be crafts, workshops, yoga, etc. Personally, I avoid the craft room like the plague as I'd rather stick needles in my eye than do crafts so I attended everything else instead. There's always other caregivers on hand that do enjoy crafts so I gladly leave it to them.

It's always an interesting dynamics -- as with anything there's people you connect with and people you don't but it's always fun, busy and I enjoy earning my keep.

One thing I participated in was the journaling workshop. Public speaking is not my forte, I typically do better on a one on one basis but found it quite easy to speak to the campers about my blogging experience and why I began. As everyone who reads my blog knows, my blog is very personal and I encouraged those who don't blog or journal to do so as it provides a cathartic outlet. Todd is the regional program manager of the NMSS for my area and asked me to co-manage the journaling workshop and, again, although I was hesitant to speak in public I found it nice to share with the campers on what they can do to get their story out there about their personal experience with MS. One camper really touched my heart as she and her husband like to travel but one of the symptoms of having MS is memory loss so she would like to start a memory/travel blog which I am happily going to help her set up.

I wish I had taken pictures but....alas, I have none. One of the attendees was nice enough to E-mail me this group shot. Sorry it's so small -- I couldn't figure out how to re-size it. I'm the second one in the last row on the right hand side of the picture.










I hope everyone had a great week and I'm looking forward to visiting all of you. I'm off for my walk with my friend, Nikki, in a bit so will stop by to see as many of you as I can before I have to start getting ready. If not, tomorrow it is. I know it's been a long time coming and again, I apologize. Between my birthday, B's birthday, Mother's Day and camp -- life has been full but I'm slowly getting back to my routine, including an appointment with my therapist on Friday. And so it is that life simply goes on.

Thank you, again, for your patience and tolerance. I've missed you all.

Peace and serenity,
~Jo

2 comments:

Meeko Fabulous said...

I'm glad you had a good time! Sore ankles, aside! :)

Andrea said...

I am confident you were a great encouragement to all those at the camp, but especially those you helped personally during your time. We missed you!!
Blessings,
andrea