I’m shrinking and it feels so good!

Therapy Bits

youll never believe it! clothes i couldnt get into a few weeks ago, im getting into them now. It means I’m getting smaller, yay!
I have a few new dress tops, and a new coat that my aunt gave me! she gave me this coat before she died, and it didnt tie up properly on me, so i couldnt wear it. but now i can!
im thrilled! it really makes all the hard work of losing weight so worth it!
I am on a high right now! I have been motivated and this spurs me on to continue on the journey!
carol anne

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My Daily Observation – An Update: 2/3/18

It has been quite a while since I have given an update on my life living with MS so I thought I’d share how things are going.  I know for most of your this type of update does impact you, but I do have followers who live with the disease and I want to encourage and support them in any way I can.

Danny's iphone 696

My first day hooked up – 2011

Danny's iphone 698

The infusion happened over 5 days and they leave this in your arm…

Danny's iphone 700

Finally leaving the hospital – 2011

I have an appointment with the neurologist at the end of March to follow-up on a new medication I am beginning in April.  The medication is called Ocrevus and is an infusion I’ll take every six months in the hospital or doctor’s office.  The initial treatment is administered in two sessions, two weeks apart. At each of these sessions, I will receive 300 mg of Ocrevus over an at least 2.5-hour infusion time.

All following infusions are given as a single 600 mg infusion, lasting for at least three hours, every six months. If I have any ongoing infection, the treatment will be delayed until the infection is gone, then the next dose is rescheduled for six months after the last.

This is quite an advancement because the last time I took an infusion it was Solumedrol IV and I had to the infusion at the hospital for 5 straight days every 6 months or so.

As for my symptoms, they are creeping up on me.  Each day I notice something new and it can be a little difficult getting around, but not impossible.  Honestly, I bite the bullet so to speak and put on a good face in public, but most of the time I am experiencing a relatively high level of pain when I walk.  I don’t really say much to anyone except Evelina simply because everybody has problems and I hate making excuses.

Lately I’ve had issues with my right hip and it makes me wonder if the Solumedrol has something to do with the pain.  One of the most frustrating things of dealing with MS is I never know what is medication side effects and what is a MS symptom.

The issues with my hands still exists and like all other pain I am accustomed to hurting so I just keep my mouth shut and keep trudging ahead.

I have noticed lately that I am forgetting things a little more; absent-minded is how I describe the mind issue.   I’m not sure if it is because I’ve been more distracted lately or if it is a cognitive issue related to MS so I’ll keep an eye on it and report to my doctor in March.

Other than that all is well and for the most part I am focused on what I can do instead of what I cannot.  I learned a long time ago that focusing on what MS takes can be depressing and I make certain to keep my mind focused on finding things I can do and then DO those things until I can no longer.  Then I’ll find something new I can do and move forward positively from new adventure to new adventure.

This fight is a marathon not a sprint and I try to approach it as getting better every single day.   Eating better every day.  Walking the dog every day.  Exercising my mind every day.

Always focusing on the positive….the race to the top begins every morning when I wake up.

Danny

 

My Daily Observation – The Race To the Bottom: 2/2/18

DannySeth Godin uses a phrase frequently: “the race to the bottom.”   The race to the bottom is much more common than the race to the top and I want to take a few moments to explain my thoughts on how I have decided to structure my life in order to make sure I’m racing to the top.

First, here is what is meant by “race to the bottom.”  In all decisions whether they be personal or professional we all have conscious choices to make.  Those decisions have a direct impact on the results we get in return for our actions.

So when a restaurant decides to make budget cuts and begins buying lower quality products, the race to the bottom has begun.  When a corporation makes the decision to underpay their employees, the race to the bottom has begun.  When a person makes the decision to neglect their health, the race to the bottom has begun.

Any time a decision is made which doesn’t promote a person or organization forward, the race to the bottom principle automatically kicks in and takes over.

Here’s the thing: it is visibly noticeable.

Employees who know they are underpaid feel undervalued and know the company is not aimed up.  They don’t believe in the cause, thus they don’t put their blood, sweat and tears into making the company successful…the race to the bottom.

General contractors who allow employees to cut corners produce a product that is sub-par and the employees know it.  They know that what they are doing is not the right way to do things…the race to the bottom.

When a person knows fast food is ridiculously harmful to their health, but they make the decision to eat these meals on a regular, weekly basis, thus making the decision to neglect their health…the race to the bottom

On the other hand, when a restaurant decides to buy the absolute freshest vegetables, organic and chemical free even if it costs the business a little more, they are participating in the race to the top.

When a general contractor makes the decision to only use the best quality materials he can buy, ensures foundations are laid properly and hires skilled workers even though he or she might have to pay a bit more to ensure corners are not cut, he or she is participating in the race to the top.

When an individual decides to eat healthier, read more than watching television, invest time in their family, go for a walk in the evening for a little exercise, that person is participating in the race to the top.

I implemented an exact plan with exact habits of which I adhere to religiously and I did so in order to participate in the race to the top.  At work I respond to emails immediately in order to participate in the race to the top.  I return phone calls within an hour so that I am racing to the top.

At home I take the time to buy Evelina flowers and honor our date night so that we are racing to the top.  I work to watch my tongue and not speak ill of others so that I am racing to the top.  I demonstrate loyalty to my friends so that I am racing to the top.

We all have choices and a decision to make: do you want to race to the bottom or race to the top?  And in which direction are your actions aiming you?

Danny

My Daily Observation – A Dream So Vivid: 2/1/18

DannyI’m not even sure where to begin this post so I’m just typing.  I’ve been up since 4:30 am talking to Evelina about a dream that woke me up.  It is 6:04 am and I still cannot distinguish reality from what I experienced in this dream.

The dream began with Evelina and I trying to decide where we were going to eat dinner.  We were with our family, but we were Asian and didn’t have much money.  We were planning to celebrate a special occasion.  I knew the entire family although I don’t ever recall seeing them before.

Then almost like I was being sucked out of that scene, I found myself in another place in time.

Next, I was with a friend and we were both wearing military uniforms.  In the dream I was confused and asked my friend, Grant, why I was wearing this uniform.  It was at that time he told me to stop joking around and that I was an officer in the German army.  I knew every single detail of the uniform.  Can still feel the fabric on my skin.  I knew where every metal went.  I remember the shine on my shoes.  And the image of myself in the mirror was not me, but I was me.  And for some reason my uniform was white.  I remember feeling like myself but confused because I was in a different time and place.

The crazy thing about this dream is I was being pulled by a force that was dropping me into these moments that I swear were real events from my past; but events I’ve never lived.

Next I was watching a scene unfold on a 4-lane interstate divided by a 5 foot concrete divider.  On the right hand side of the interstate, on the frontage road was a Chinese restaurant with an orange sign with a dragon, the pole on which it stood was rusty.  The interstate was at the base of a mountain.  A small boy with brown hair was hit by a truck while riding his bike on that interstate.  He was wearing a Superman bicycle helmet.

Up to that point I knew these events were from the past.

This is where things turned and the events were incredibly exact, vivid and clear.

Next I was awakened from a nap by someone knocking on the door.  When I awoke I was lying on a bed in a hotel room.  I was wearing a gray shirt with silver, Shark skin colored slacks with a brown belt and brown shoes.  Evelina was in the bathroom, the door was closed but not completely shut.  I remember seeing her getting ready through the crack in the door.  I opened the main door to see 2 of my friends, Joe and Grant, standing with a man that I didn’t know, but for some reason he looked like a man I knew from many years ago named Mike.  They asked me if I was coming down and I knew in my mind that they were referring to the downstairs bar and I also knew we were there to talk about business.

But in my dream I knew that when I went to sleep it was January 31, 2018.

As I said, Evelina was in the bathroom with the door shut, but not not completely closed.  I opened the door and she had her hair in 2 small braids pulled back exactly like she likes to wear her hair.  She was wearing a red nightgown and getting ready for bed.  I asked her why Joe and Grant were asking me to go downstairs and who was the stranger with them.

She said “You know why we’re here.  And that guy with Joe and Grant is the guy we met for dinner, baby.  We just had dinner with them.  Is everything okay?”  I held her by her face and said “Baby this is very important.  What day is it?”  She said “It’s February 8th. sweetie, now get downstairs and take care of your business.”  I responded to her “Sweetie it cannot be February 8th.  We just went to sleep together a couple of hours ago and it was January 31, 2017.  If it’s February 8th that means a week went by between the time we fell asleep last night and this moment here now.”  She says, “Honey, it’s been a lot longer than a week since 2017.”

In the dream I was completely aware of all the things Evelina and I did last night before going to bed and before falling asleep.  I was completely aware of our conversations and reminded her in the dream of those conversations.  I remember being so confused about how I lost a week of time.  But the reality was that I had lost a lot more time than a week.

Once again I was sucked out of that moment and dropped in another moment.

We were standing at a bar looking at a New England Patriots Superbowl ring.  The ring was taken out of a manila folder and was encased in what looked like a piece of glass.  It was being passed around by a group of friends and when it came around to me I realized the case could be opened.  I opened the case and tried the ring on and it fit perfectly.  Then someone pointed out an envelope and it was a letter of authenticity and I realized Evelina had bought this ring for me.  My buddy PJ was there beside me and said “Hey mate, this is your ring.”  In the dream I was so proud of the Patriots for winning their 13th championship.

Then I was taken to a dark place; almost like a dark room.

In this room were 2 beds and there was a glow of light similar to the type of light that a television emits.  My friend Galen was there, but didn’t look like the Galen I know.  The force kept trying to drag me away and I kept yelling into Galen’s face “You have to remember me, please remember me, you have to remember me!”  The feeling I had was that I would see him again but for some reason he wouldn’t be able to recognize me physically, but would be able to see me if he looked close enough inside me.

This happened again and again over the course of 6-7 scenes where I am telling friends and Evelina the same thing, “You have to remember me.”   And each time it almost felt like a reincarnation situation.  Like I would return in another form and they would have to pay close attention and look deep inside to see me.

The last 3 scenes of the dream were somewhat more odd.

Evelina and I were lying on the exact bed in our bedroom, but the room was slightly different.  I was trying to explain to her that a force keeps trying to take me away and I was reminding her of all the times from the past that I implored her to “remember me.”  She said “Someone has taken our duvet cover.”  I look to the right side of our bed and a woman with long blonde hair is walking away dragging our duvet.  I said to Evelina, “Please tell me you see her.  That is the force that keeps trying to pull me.”  Evelina says to me “I do see her and I do remember you.  I remember every single time we met.  And I remember every single time you left.  I have always remembered you.”

At that moment I realized what she meant was that she remembered every single time we had met for the first time.  I knew Evelina and I had been connected for many, many lifetimes.  I recall the look in her eyes.  I remember the touch of her hand.  I remember how her face felt in my hands.  And somehow I knew we had been together for 6+ lifetimes.

Through all of these moments with Evelina they all end the same.  The force has to take me and I’m not afraid, but I don’t want to go.  And just before I go I always hold her face in my hands and say “Promise me you’ll remember me.  You have to remember me.  I have to go now, but I’ll always come back.  But you have to promise me that when I do you will remember.  You have to remember.”   And just as I’m crying typing this, I was crying in my dream.  It was so overwhelmingly emotional.

The next scene I recall was in a restaurant and a few friends were standing around a high-top type bar table.  Someone misspoke and made me feel like everyone was keeping a secret from me.  It was October and I knew we were celebrating my birthday, but the secret wasn’t about my birthday.  I asked Evelina, “What’s going on?  Why is everyone acting weird?”  Then Evelina explained to me that she was “late”.  I asked her, “What do you mean late?”  She said, “Late as in we are having a baby!”  I grabbed her and can still feel the exact emotions of that moment.  When I woke from this dream I was crying, but honestly I don’t think I actually woke up.  There were several times that I experienced waking up, but I cannot be sure that it was only in my dream.

Then the last scene was me watching a FedEx plane flying over a mountain top.  In the dream the plane was obviously in trouble.  It barely cleared the mountain and crashed in the ocean or some type of large body of water.  In the dream I even remember parts of the numbers on the tail: 7304.  It was as if I were floating in the air watching all of this happen, exactly the same feeling I had watching the little boy get hit on his bicycle.  To my left was a small river that emptied into this body of water and on that river was an old bridge made of large stones.

I remember asking a question in my mind, but not out loud: “why am I seeing all of this?”  The only answer that came to my mind was “remember the details.”  At that point I woke up again.  I have no clue what that even means.

For some reason every single scene of this dream was incredibly vivid.  More vivid, more emotional and more real than any dream I have ever experienced in my life.  When I awoke I knew I had been a German officer.  I knew that little boy had been killed on the interstate beside that Chinese restaurant.  I knew that Asian family was my family.  And I knew it was all from the past, although I’m not sure what past that is.  I can recall all of the emotions of being pulled away.  I remember how the fabric felt on my skin.  I remember the ring fitting perfectly and being so happy the Patriots had won their 13th Super Bowl.  I remember the joy of Evelina telling me we were pregnant.

I also remember waking up many times during this whole dream and telling myself you have to go back to sleep and finish this dream.  It was as if this happened 3 or 4 times, but I don’t know if I actually woke up or if it were a part of the dream.

From the point that Evelina and I were in the hotel room I knew those events were not from the past and I was confused.  But I knew that I was experiencing the future when she told me the date was February 8th.

It was so intense and so real that I am still not sure where the dream ended and where reality started, nor do I have a clue what any of it means, if anything at all.  The thing I am left with is how ridiculously vivid the details were in every scene and how real the emotions felt.

My Daily Observation: Bloggers Can Be A Confusing Bunch Sometimes: 1/31/18

DannyBloggers…  Let’s face it, we can be an odd bunch at times.  This is easily the most caring, understanding, open-minded group I’ve ever been associated with knowing.  Compassion out the wazoo.  But when it comes to clicking on other people’s stuff, as a collective, we simply don’t do it.  Let me explain.

I produce my own content.  I also reblog 3 bloggers each day.  On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays I produce a link post.  And 75-100 bloggers LIKE those posts every day.  When I check my Google analytics I see that few if any actually took the time to click the links and visit the bloggers I shared.

Meanwhile, I get 40-50 emails each week asking “How do I grow?”  The answer to that question is to network your butt off searching out people who will become a part of your tribe; your community.

So the work is done in the form of hand-delivered, new bloggers, yet few people actually take the time to click on those bloggers’ pages to meet them and say hi.

Let me put this in perspective.  When I first started blogging I clicked on those links.  I introduced myself to those bloggers.  And I did it 500+ times each and every day without fail and without missing a day and I did so for years.

I’m not saying this to brag, but to make a point.  There’s a disconnect in the question I’m getting so often and the action people are displaying which I monitor through Google Analytics.

Imagine this scenario….someone comes to you and complains that they need a job.  You write down a phone number and an email and say “This lady’s name is Mary.  Mary knows everyone and is a great source to know.  Call Mary and see who she knows who might be able to get you a job.”  A week later the same person is still complaining about not having a job.  You ask, “What did Mary say?”   Friend: “Oh, I never got around to emailing her.”

That’s how I feel sometimes.  I guess I’m kind of complaining to those who send the emails, but I never see networking.  Maybe what I’m going to start doing is just delete those emails; maybe not.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but they take up a lot of my time yet few, if any, seem to want to work at it.

Anyone else notice this or am I just paddling in my own canoe?

Danny

My Daily Observation: The Skill of Selling Snake Oil – 1/30/18

DannyThere is this odd relationship that has always existed in our world: people who want something, but don’t want to commit to the time it takes to gain success, and people who  capitalize on those people’s willingness to take shortcuts in order to sell them something.   I call the latter the snake oil sales people.  They take advantage of unsuspecting people making claims that the product or service of choice is going to wash their troubles away.

“Buy this electric ab belt and have the body you’ve always wanted!”

“This concoction of herbal supplements can cure MS!”

“Rub this on your feet twice a day and no more plantar facsiitis!”

“Buy this golf club and you’ll hit longer, straighter drives than you could have ever imagined!”

And people buy, as they always have, the products don’t produce and the buyer is left disappointed.  But I want you to think about WHY the buyer is disappointed.   Of all the reasons the buyer has remorse, way down deep inside they truly had the desire to get what it was the seller promised; they simply wanted a shortcut.

The buyer wants to have the body they see on the ab commercial.  The sufferer wants a cure for MS or plantar facsiitis.  And that golfer wants to hit the longest drives of his life.

Let’s face it, I want Flex Tape to work, but if you read reviews you’ll see that buyers have remorse.

Here’s my point: the snake oil salesman knows something you don’t which is why so many people fall for these gimmicks.  They take advantage of a biological fact.  They tap into the emotional part of your brain called the Limbic system.  In marketing we aim everything at this part of you that you don’t know you use to spend money.  The Limbic system supports a variety of functions including emotion, behavior, motivation, long-term memory and smelling.  A large part of your emotional life is stored in the limbic system and it is this part of your brain that makes decisions “feel” right.  It is also the part that influences purchasing.

Image result for electric ab beltThe limbic system doesn’t function on words and data, but on imagery.   And it is this part of the brain that the snake oil salesperson strikes because they know if they can learn to paint just the right emotional image in your mind, then they can get you to buy what it is they are selling.  And then there you are at home standing with a vibrating belt around your waste looking silly.

Here’s the cool part…you can take advantage of your own limbic system.  What if you started painting your own images in your mind?  What if you could get yourself to buy your own awesome story?

What if you became your own snake oil salesperson?  But instead of trying to sell yourself on the idea that a shortcut exists, you sell yourself the idea that with just one simple step in the right direction, you can change your own life?

Danny

Are You Picky or Do You Simply Know Your Value?

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DannyAre you picky or do you simply know your value?

I believe being “picky” is simply knowing your good enough to deserve something great.  There are times in life when people settle for less than they deserve only because they might not realize or understand their value.  People remain in bad relationships, settle for unappreciative employers and compromise when they don’t truly understand the value they bring to the table.

The situation I believe demonstrates my point best relates to employment, so let me paint a picture for you.

Let’s say Jane has worked as a customer support specialist for a retail store for 6 years.  During that 6 years Jane has developed the ability to overcome any and all difficult customer situations and often has the customer leave happy and ready to return on future visits to continue to shop and spend money with the store.  Simply put, Jane is exceptional at what she does.

The retail store has offered a few small raises here-and-there, but has a cap on what they are willing to pay customer service employees like Jane.  Not only that, but Jane is expected to work countless hours of overtime, unpredictable weekly schedules and every holiday and weekend.  This situation could make Jane feel that her worth is equal to the cap her store has placed on employees who perform customer service and she might easily adopt the mental perception of herself that her value is in direct proportion to what her company is willing to pay.

Then along come 2 other companies who place a tremendously high value on customer service and become aware of the incredible job Jane does on a daily basis.  Both of these companies are willing to offer Jane a 50% pay increase and a signing bonus.  Her schedule would only require her to work 2 weekends per month and her weekly schedule would only require her to work 8-5 on weekdays and she would be off on all major holidays.

These offers stagger Jane as she never believed nor understood that her particular skill set had tremendous value in the market.  Not only is it the skill set these companies appreciate, but it is also the person who Jane is and they respect her dedication and the fact that she loves customer service so much.  Simply put, these 2 companies see high value in Jane first, and then they see value in Jane’s ability to provide high levels of customer service.  Once Jane realizes other companies see value in her, her eyes become open to the value she should see in herself and she’s no longer willing to accept “less than” any longer.   She can now be picky in her choices of employers because she recognizes her own value and is no longer willing to settle for a company that doesn’t also recognize that value.

Here’s the cool thing: when you know your value you do not ever have to settle.  When you understand the particular skills you possess and the value those skills have in a market, then you have options, which means you can be picky.

Be picky and don’t settle; don’t ever, ever settle.

Danny

My Daily Observation: Weight Update-1/26/18

DannyOkay gang here is the skinny!  Back in December I committed to a new beginning of sorts and decided to watch what I eat in order to get my weight back under control.  Basically I was tired of looking at all the fat around my mid-section.  I am happy to report that a few modifications to my food choices has resulted in the scale becoming more of a friend.  I am down 8 pounds since December now weighing in at 188 lbs.  My goal is to break 180 and I am on track to reach that in March which will make me a happy camper.

It is simple cause and effect.  It’s funny how that principle applies to almost everything.  I put junk food in….weight increases.  I put healthier food in….weight decreases.  Wow, amazing how that works.

Danny

Healthy Living Update – October 2, 2017

Danny

Some of you may recall this segment from the early days of Dream Big.  Over the last 2 years I have focused on living a healthy life in spurts which has resulted in me gaining a few extra pounds.  As my body doesn’t respond well to carrying around the extra poundage, I have decided it is time to get things under control.

Last Monday I weighed myself and logged 188.4 pounds and today I weighed in at 186.6.  I will only be registering my weight once per week on Mondays.  I have set a goal of losing 1.5 pounds per week which should put me at or around 177 pounds by the time we go to Disney in November for Evelina’s birthday.

My doctor has informed me that my ideal weight should fall somewhere between 160-165 pounds so ultimately that will be my mission.  However, losing weight is secondary to simply eating and living a healthier lifestyle.  I use the weight as a barometer only.

We are also using a simple method to begin.  We will be eliminating all the junk from our regimen: soda (including diet), candy, sugar, processed foods, fast food and the like.  In their place we will be substituting foods we cook and prepare, along with fruit, nuts, veggies and some lean protein.  Eventually I see us eliminating eating anything with a face; a topic I’ll dive deeper into in a future post.

Until then if you would like to join me feel free to create your own post and then leave a link in the comments so others can follow along too.  Maybe we’ll all find some inspiration in each other!

Today’s Featured Blog…The Utopia Universe!!

theutopiauniverse

Illusion time, forget about making that target weight before you do anything, start to take action now and pay attention to how you dress and look, wearing the right clothes and knowing you look good, and being full of confidence go a long way to making you feel attractive.Do you know your problem areas, have you come to terms with them, if not it’s time you did, and start to concentrate on your good points, maybe you have fabulous hair,skin,or great smile, you will have many things going for you than you think, and good points are very much a part of you as well as the one imperfect feature you totally dwell on.

illusion 1 When you learn how to use your body language, it is amazing how different you will feel, when you feel bad about an area, you may well be sending out “keep away” signals through body language…

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