Marion County Multiple Sclerosis Self-Help Group, Ocala, Florida

Enjoying Life One Day at a Time!


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The New Man in My Life, Ron and I on our 5 month tour at West - As featured in Gazette Newspaper in Colorado Springs, CO

Posted by Tiggerific Jean on June 21, 2010 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (5247)


Springs Spree to bring in 'world's tallest pinball machine'

Posted: 06/17/2010 2:53 PM



You probably think of Springs Spree as concerts, funnel cakes and foam lizards on leashes.

But maybe this will change your image of the festival: A pinball machine taller than a Tyrannosaurus rex.

Yep, it’s promoted as the world’s tallest pinball machine, and it’ll be one of the blinking, jangling highlights of the 33rd annual Springs Spree, which is expected to draw more than 70,000 to Memorial Park this weekend.

“I have a lot of children come up, look up, and say, ‘Is this really the world’s tallest pinball machine?’ And I say, ‘You’d think that if you helped me get it out of my basement this morning,’” said Sungate Concessions owner Ron Bandy, a Floridian who’s been building children’s amusements for the past eight years.

According to Bandy, the 28-foot-high novelty, dubbed “Space Race,” had never traveled farther west than Indiana before this summer’s tour, which has included stops in Denver and Texas and will include a stop next weekend in Cripple Creek for Donkey Derby Days.

Fred Thren had to have a Defibulator and another Pacemaker Put in

Posted by Tiggerific Jean on November 11, 2009 at 4:23 PM Comments comments (3)

Last week, Fred Thren had to have a Defibulator (First Time) and a 3rd Pacemaker Put in.  He was only in for one day and is home and doing well now.  Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Larry Loses Battle

Posted by Tiggerific Jean on October 17, 2009 at 6:36 PM Comments comments (60)
10/16:  Larry took a sudden turn for the worse Friday at about 4:00 p.m.  I had to call 911.  They came in and heard him gasping and crackling from fluid in the lungs and 3 of them scooped him up and said "go, go, go" and didn't even take any vitals.  They had to intubate him on the way and he has been on a breathing machine ever since.  He is very critical in ICU at West Marion Hospital and things are not looking good.  They have not been able to keep him stable at all.  He did regain some consciousness after they had initially worked on him, but then they put him under heavy sedation.  He has been off the sedation for 4 hours, but there is no sign of him waking up.  His kidneys also seem to be failing.  He is a fighter, but he will need a miracle to pull him thru this.  Please say extra prayers for he isnot ready to give up the fight!
Last Update:   Larry wasn't able to pull thru.  He gave it everything he had.  I sat in a chair all night in ICU with him never taking my eyes off him and the monitors and the breathing machine and tubes that were connected to him.  They had taken him off the sedation at 12:00 a.m. and at 4:00 a.m. asked me to see if I could wake him.   I held his hand and spoke to him to try to get him to respond.  He open his eyes and looked right at me and quickly closed them again.  He did this about 4 more times when I spoke to him for the next hour.  His numbers had looked pretty good all night although they had told us he probably would not make it.  He had always told me he wanted to fight and wanted all measures to try to save him.  At 5:30 a.m. his vital signs all went crazy.  His heart rate went to 195, he had no bottom pressure number (like when he came in), and his oxygen went down to 76.  Everything was going haywire.  They told his ex-wife and I who were the only ones that stayed in the room (sharing a chair together) to call in the family right away as he was getting ready to code.  They asked us again if we were sure we wanted all lifesaving measures.  We told them those were his wishes and ours as well.  We wanted to give him every fighting chance.  They brought in the crash cart to prepare.  He fought a hard fight.  At about 6:00 a.m. they announced code blue.  They worked on him for a long time and brought him back.  His daughter and son-in-law were now there along with his brother from West VA and his family.  Only his daughter and I were allowed back and eventually his brother.  His hands were rubbery and clammy.  They told us he would probably crash again and asked if we wanted them to continue saving him.  We said yes.  At about 6:30 he was code blue again and they brought him back again.  Larry was still trying to fight, but didn't have any fight left.  He was code blue again and they started thumping his chest over and over for about 15 minutes...He couldn't come back this time and his fight was over.  It has been a long battle and he gave it all he had.  We have been together for 20 years and although it was rough on both of us towards the end, it gave us a special bond that nothing can ever take away.  He didn't have any insurance and no one in the family or myself has any money for funeral arrangements.  We think he has a plot in
W VA, but I don't know where the deed is, so we have to check into it.  The tentative plan is to ship him to W VA and have the funeral there.  In about a month, we will have a memorial service in the Jacksonville area at his son-in-law's church in Hilliard, FL.  We don't even have the down payment for the process to begin and don't know where we are going to get it or the rest of the money.  I called the bowling alley to see if I could have a bowlathon and am waiting for them to call back this evening.  The problem is it could not be right away and would only raise a very small portion.  Thank you for all your prayers and blessings.   I'm not sure what day I will be leaving for W VA. 

Robin Berger

Posted by Tiggerific Jean on September 11, 2009 at 11:14 PM Comments comments (8)
Update:  Dr Kim dosent think it the Avonex. But it a reaction to one of the med.'s. And if I Keep having chest pain Dr. Kang the p/c/p said they might do a cardo cath. but that is the last resort. Had p/t and seach theraphy today so alittle tired. Hope that your hubby is doing well.

Robin Berger was taken to the emergency center at West Marion Hospital after taking her Avonex (she has been on it since 1997) on Tuesday and just got home late this afternoon.  She had a severe headache, blood pressure was low, etc...They checked her heart, but never gave her an MRI or catscan of the brain to find out if there was anything going on there.  She is supposed to follow up with her Neurologist tomorrow.  Please keep her in your prayers.

Update on Larry

Posted by Tiggerific Jean on September 8, 2009 at 5:07 PM Comments comments (0)
Update:  9/8 - Larry is doing ok after his fall at Walgreens except for still some "nagging" pain in the back of his head.  We also went to his Oncologist today for test results midway thru 2nd session of chemo.  Unfortunately this chemo did not work on the liver either and it has spread more in that area.  On the good side, there are no other new areas that it has spread to or nodes and the lungs and brain area are still fairly stable.  We are going to go back to the a similar type of the original type of chemo (platinum based) and add on another new one.  He will have one full day of chemo with both as outpatient at the doctor's office and followed by one day each week of a couple hours of the new type chemo.  They will probably do 3 sessions (will take about 3 months) and then do another catscan/petscan to see how it is doing and go from there.  Please continue to keep him in your prayers.  He starts the new treatments on Thursday..."Taking One Day at a Time!"

Sheryl and her guide dog "Red"

Posted by Tiggerific Jean on September 8, 2009 at 4:57 PM Comments comments (2)

01 - Names Filling Out Form (Required) = Sheryl, Grant and "Red" (see comments) (Sheryl will be bringing her Guide Dog "Red" with her to Logan's on Sept. 9 at 1:00 p.m.
02 - Email Address (Required) =

On August 3, 2009, I picked up a 10 week young Lab to fulfill my commitment to socialize, train, protect, LOVE, PROMOTE, and admire the work if the Florida Southeastern Guide Dogs School and mission. 

Southeastern Guide Dogs' mission is to create and nurture a partnership between a visually impaired individual and a guide dog, facilitating life's journey with mobility, independence and dignity.

Established in 1982, Southeastern Guide Dogs currently has more than 800 active guide dog teams across the country and continues to create more than 70 new guide dog teams annually.

We provide all of our services - including Paws for Independence, Paws for Patriots, and Gifted Canines - free of charge.

Located on 23 wooded acres in Palmetto, Florida, Southeastern Guide Dogs is accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation in Reading, England and is a member of the Council of U.S. Dog Guide Schools. Southeastern Guide Dogs is one of only 10 fully certified guide dogs school in the country.

Southeastern Guide Dogs operates its own breeding colony, with more than 100 breeder dogs. We breed Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Goldadors (Labrador/Golden Retriever mix), Smooth-Coat Collies, Australian Shepherds and Hungarian Vizslas.

Jean's Mom Irene has Lost Sight in Her Right Eye

Posted by Tiggerific Jean on July 1, 2009 at 3:57 PM Comments comments (2)
Jean's Mom, Irene lost sight in her right eye completely (all she sees is grey...she has no vision whatsover in her right eye).  It happened very suddenly about 2 weeks ago.  She had just been to Dr. Hamed, Neuro-Opthamologist 2 days before and had perfect 20/20 vision in both eyes.  Her right eye went blurry completely 2 days later and immediately lost sight.  She went back to see Dr. Hamed who noticed her optic nerve was inflamed and he also sent her immediately to a Retina Specialist the same day and for immediate bloodwork.  The retina specialist said the retina was not involved, but confirmed the optic nerve being very inflamed and took many pictures of the back of the eye and optic nerve.  It was also noticed that it appeared she had decreased blood flow going to the eye probably from diabetes.  Her sugar has been good along, but had been fluctuating during the last 2 weeks.  There were also some other spots behind the eye from inflamation,etc.  She returned to Dr. Hamed a couple days later and had a vision field test (spots of light that you push a button when you see them) that revealed no sight in the right eye except one very tiny area in the very far outside right corner of the right eye.  She went back to Dr. Hamed a couple days later again to go over everything and he confirmed that it is probably from cut off blood flow to the eye from diabetes (like a stroke in the eye) and that she probably would not get any sight back.  He did put her on Alphagan eye drops which are meant for glaucoma as they have been doing research to see if it can help at all in her situation as they have been shown to protect the nerve fibers.  She is supposed to take them twice a day in both eyes and then it is just a wait and see to see if she will get an sight at all back in the right eye although it is doubtful at this time.  The key is to try to keep her diabetes under control to try and keep it from happening to the other eye.  I have talked with her about keeping positive and being thankful for what you have and not worrying about what you can't change and she is handling it very well.  We have even been able to joke about it some.  She will be seeing her regular doctor on July 10th to see if her meds need adjusting.  Please keep her in your prayers and she would love to get cards (as she does not have access to a computer).  If interested you can mail them to Irene MacAlpine, 7844 SE 135th St., Summerfield, FL  34491).  Please keep her in your prayers!

Jean's Hubby Larry Update

Posted by Tiggerific Jean on July 1, 2009 at 3:48 PM Comments comments (0)

Yesterday (8/28) Larry was at a Walgreens using the bathroom and fell (think he slipped on a paper towel that was on the floor)in the bathroom and cracked his head real hard.  They took him by ambulance to the Villages Hospital since it was only a couple doors was a rough night...they told us the catscan showed bleeding around the mass he has in the brain and they were talking about emergency brain surgery ( I even provided them with paperwork from his last MRI to compare, etc.) make a long story short...they wanted to transfer him to their "sister" hospital in Leesburg...I said if you are going to transfer him, I want him transferred to Ocala where all his doctors and records are.  After them telling me it couldn't be done, etc...we finally got him to Ocala and they all said they have no idea how the doctor's/radiologist could have said there was bleeding and that it was just the mass he has and some swelling around it (not blood or bleeding)and appeared to be no change from what he had previously and definitely no need for surgery.  He is doing great now and should be going home tomorrow.  Please keep him in your prayers.  Thank Goodness for 2nd Opinions. 

Update:  Larry has completed 3 session out of a probable 6 of his 2nd set of chemo and is supposed to have a catscan on 9/4 to see how things are going.

Larry completed his 6 sessions of chemo and had another petscan and brain MRI.  We went over the results with his radiation doctor Tuesday, June 30 and with his Oncologist Wed. July 1st.  It was mostly good news.  There are still some areas of concern pertaining to some growth in the lymph node in the neck and some growth in the spot in the liver and the right side of his groin.  He will be starting more chemo on Monday.  He will be going on an out-patient basis at the oncology office on a new drug called Taxitir.  It will only be for 1 day and will only take 2 hours.  He will be going every 3 weeks for a total of about 6 sessions.  The good news is the MRI on the brain showed major shrinkage on the masses and they are still expecting more from the residual affects of the radiation.  The lungs responded real well to the chemo (which was the primary target for the chemo) and showed shrinkage and is not lighting up as much and the volume is alot less and the oncologist feels it is under control.  The area in the colon that was a possibility of a second primary sight was definitely ruled out and there is no sign of any cancer there.  There are no new areas of cancer whatsoever and nothing in the bones.  Overall the doctors were very pleased, and feel he will continue to do well and his bloodwork continues to look very good.  His white blood cell count is up high and his red cell count is the best it has been in months.  The doctors are pleased with the way his body has responded and feel confident he will continue to respond well with further treatments.  His oncologist also said due to the way Larry's body responds he will have many options of treatments available if he needs them.  Larry continues to be optimistic and plans on "taking one day at a time".  Thank you all for keeping him in your prayers!

Janet Deason in Tampa General Hospital for Hiatal Hernia Operation

Posted by Tiggerific Jean on May 19, 2009 at 2:54 PM Comments comments (50)

Update 9/8  Good news!  Janet is doing much better.  She may not even need her walkaide..just some assistance with her walker.  She has been in rehab and should be home soon if not already. 

Update:  8/24 - Janet is back in the hospital again with Clostridium difficile which has caused colitis in her sigmoid colon.  Hopefully she will be out by weekend and back into rehab.  It's been a rough road for Janet and Jeff...there have only been two months so far that she hasn't been in the hospital.  Please keep the prayers coming.

Update:     Received this Email from Jeff 7/12:  Thursday my dear sweet wifey finally got to come home from hospital.  only been in since may 9.  had 2 surgeries and enough mri's, ct's xray's to fill a large book.

  Getting to play nurse again with transfers, wound care and some personal thingeys like cooking, cleaning, washing dishes and clothes, and handing items for her to do daily hygiene.  she is not allowed in shower as she has 3 (THREE) open wounds that have not healed up yet (wound care).  Jeff

Update:  Janet has been in rehab and is working very hard and doing a little better and taking a few more steps every day.  Please continue to keep her in your prayers.

Update:  Spoke to Jeff on 5/20 and received email from Janet 5/21.  Janet had 5 hours of surgery.  She has about a 7" incision and did well thru operation and things look good, but she is experiencing alot of pain.  I tried to call her last night, but she didn't answer her cell.  I will try again tomorrow.  Please keep her in your prayers.

Janet was transferred to Tampa General Hospital for an operation for a very large Hiatal Hernia that has been pushing at her organs and making it hard for her to breath.  It was probably from an old car accident and is probably what has been causing the pneumonia.  Please keep her in your prayers! 

Elaine Renshaw having Surgery

Posted by Tiggerific Jean on May 1, 2009 at 10:41 PM Comments comments (0)

Elaine Renshaw - Our good buddy from the Villages MS Group and long-time member of our group will be having Parathyroid Surgery on May 20th.  She should be in and out the same day.  Her calcium levels are way too high.  Please keep her in your prayers.

Update:  Elaine had some pain after her surgery, but has continued to feel better and is back to her smiling self!