As a Multiple Sclerosis patient, it has become necessary for me to reinvent myself. I have ... and continue to ... refuse to lie down and die, or in this case, follow the normally prescribed drugs and treatments that do nothing to defeat my disease. I am not only surviving by pursuing alternatives, I am thriving. I do the things specialists told me I would never be able to do. I walk and hope to one day even run regularly. I retain my cognitive and creative abilities for the pleasure of my readers. Although you may never see me on my daily walk, you are welcome to read my novel(s) and in doing so, come to ask yourself, "How can the 'out of the box' protocol she has followed, help my loved one with an autoimmune disease like Multiple Sclerosis?"

January 13th -- Friday the 13th

I'm not superstitious but really folks, I'm grateful to be religious! We prayed this morning before my youngest son pushed out the door before daybreak. My daughter and husband were already gone. The frost on the lawn lay thicker than usual, portending of things to come. Now, six hours later, police choppers hover overhead while the email in-box and the phone issue recorded messages. Both of my children's schools are under lock down until further notice. This isn't the first time and I'm sure it won't be the last. I know my children will come home safe, if not on time. The sky has fallen silent. The phone has yet to ring. The in box shows no action. What news will either bring? --Nothing.

I will be left to wait for news from my children. Sometimes they are aware of these lock downs, sometimes they are not.

Choppers overhead again. Hunting. Will they fly the grid pattern today? I can hear the blade rotation as it flys closer. The search pattern seems to be widening. Will the neighboring elementary join the lock downs? I have no way of knowing for sure. I hear no children at play as I usually do this time of day. The dogs are silent. The chopper moves on. Blast it! My husband should be home by now. He called from the other side of the school. Dogs bark, a sound at the door. Relief, I recognize his voice -- and yet, I'm left without a choice. I must wait.

The phone rings -- my son's school is released from the lock down, but not the high school, golf course - my husbands interest, or the neighboring school. The sky is quiet again yet in the distance I think I hear the chopper. . . yes, it's getting closer. Now further away. Who are they looking for? What have they done? How many schools will be locked down?

An hour passes. the phone rings with an update. There has been a shooting at a local coffee shop, the one my daughter visits after school. The shooter hasn't been apprehended. Officers with AK47's dot the golf course. How long will students be held? Wait.

Eerie silence. The neighborhood looks abandoned. No movement. I check the doors and bring the dogs inside. They lay at my feet, thankful for the warmth.

A knock at the door. A friend arrives. The phone rings. The lock down is lifted. I sigh with relief. My children will be home shortly.
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