It's My 55th Birthday...Do You Believe it?

I don't! My body feels it but my spirit remains youthful.

It's been THE year of years. Precisely at this time last year, I was beginning the process of my neuro-psyche test following a summer of neurological testing. It was early August I received my PSP diagnosis. Tho I knew something was quite wrong with me, I found the diagnosis both a big relief (I wasn't crazy) as well as mind-shattering.

I was also sued my former husband that summer over the house my girls and I lived in for 12 years long-story). Bottom line, it hiked my stress level into high gear, but with some legal help and angst-filled weeks, I prevailed. But it still left the big question where the girls and I would be living in just a few short months. I know, it sounds like I lost but I won. It was that confusing of a mess. The worst of it, tho, was unnecessary drama. I do not do drama these days for my own good. I shun it. Truly.

Via a series of miracle - they happen; firm believer - I was able to get into a one level home in our "old town" last October. And, I was able to finance the repairs needed on the old home....which took several more months to sell than predicted because of all the work that needed to be done on it to make it marketable.

I essentially had my own 'habitat for humanity' working over there. A mix of friends. It was not without drama, which I shun these days...drama will find us if we are alive, so why seek it? And unnecessary drama is the worst thing for me with PSP, I've discovered.. It finally went on the market in mid-June and got a full-price offer within a handful of days which was immediately withdrawn after an overreaction to a radon reading. We've since had a radon ventilation system installed and am pleased to report it just sold again! FINALLY, I can begin to close that chapter.

It's been THE year of years of transition. A year ago at this time I was quite sick and scared, not knowing what was wrong with me, as well as how/where I'd be living, and if he'd one the court case, that could've put me on the streets, or flopping from one person's couch to another's. Without further explanation, it was that dire.

My oldest daughter, Katy, age 22, had previously lived in her own apartment for 2-1/2 years and loved it before we moved to this spacious rambler during Oct. My youngest, Melissa, still lived with me. was quite a transition having the 2 of them living under the same roof again after all that time. I had my 'parent hat' firmly planted on my head...actually bolted down") for first weeks, anticipating adjustment challenges, and they sure appeared. Wow, it was rough for a bit but thankfully settled down. These days they are great gal pals...most of the time.

As for me. Wow. My one year experience knowing I have PSP has been a doozy. Can't even call it a roller-coaster. Everything in my post above was a roller-coaster but not PSP. It was more like a downer. Like a constant fear. Like a "How am I to endure all of this?" As well as very troubled worries about its implications on my daughters.

And frankly, until just recently, I felt like crap. Straight-forward, crap. I seemed my symptoms would be cyclical, meaning I'd go thru periods in which my symptom of falling was the biggest concern. Then I'd go thru a period where my temors, often whole-bodied, would be the problem not to mention, exhausting. I know tremors are more A-typical with PSP, but I've got them. Then it switch up to swallowing/aspirating for a while. I have other symptoms too including poor vision but when 2 or more were acting up at the same time it was pretty miserable; essentially bed-bound.

A year ago at this time, my cogniiton was quite poor. My speech was hard to understand for a variety of reasons. Memory, forget it, pun intended. Confusion? Oh, yes. My MRI, EEG, and PETscan did all show changes to substantiate this. Thankfully, however, my Doc carefully got me on a couple of meds to help with that, and there's been much improvement over the year, and particularly when compared to a year ago.

Also with him adjusting things here and there, my high level of pain has finally come under good control. That by itself, is a miracle.

Lastly, my sleep apnea. WOW! It is a real problem. In case you missed it in previous posts, my Doc did say it's directly connected to PSP, or a complication, if you will. I stopped breathing during the sleep study every 30 seconds during the night. And the great majority is due to first, my autonomic nervous system, next my central nervous system, and then very little obstructive sleep apnea.

Late winter/spring into June when I finally got my CPAP machine, I was literally not out of my bed but for brief times. I wasn't diagnosed til late May. But as it escalated, I'd wake up in the morning panting, sweating, and feeling like I was going to vomit. NOT normal. Was scared to death I was on the edge of having a heart attack or stroke.

The CPAP machine HAS helped. The first morning after I used it, even colors were more vivid. It was like looking at my surroundings and life in a whole new manner. I thought, 'wow, a week of this and I'll feel like a whole new person'. However, it was short-lived. The next several nights I had trouble with the mask leaking, so on and so forth which would then keep me awake trying to plug them. Grrrr. So it's a love/hate thing right now. But I've experienced the promise of it. Maybe 1 out of 4-5 nights is a good night with Iris; I named her since we're spending so much time together. Obviously, there are kinks to work out and adjustments to be made. I have 2 appointments about this at the end of the month, so I've decided to let it roll and be patient.

This has also been a year of deep reflection for me, encompassing decades of 'stuff' and getting my priorities straight on a practical and a spiritual level. This is good.

Mid-way thru this year I started to realize I was allowing PSP to define me. No more of that. I happen to be a well-rounded, interesting human being, who happens to have PSP.

Mid-way thru, a long the same lines, I started to realize that I was allowing PSP to control me, rather than me trying to control it. No more of that. I will do whatever is in my power to get in front of it, even if there are setbacks. I will not let it control my attitude or outlook on life.

Everday I wake up is a good day. I've learned so much this past year on so many levels. As I said, it was a period of deep reflection, transitions, adjustments, acceptance, and certainly a learning experience.

But I want this year to be the year APPLYING everything I've learned. I want to be a DOER again. Doing is a verb. And I don't have to let PSP stand in my way.

Thanks and blessings to all of you who have patiently read my blogs and responded to them informatively, compassionately, with empathy, and much love.



23 Replies

  • Happy B'day, Judy. Your young-at-heart optimism is inspiring and should serve you well for years to come. Keep us posted on your adventures. We love hearing them, and we love you, too.


  • Thanks Carla. That's one thing I refuse to let PSP take from me or young-at-heartedness.

    My best to you.

  • I hope you've had a good birthday, Judy. God bless.


  • Thank you; I had a wonderful day with my girls; they were very good to me including making dinner! And, very thoughtful presents. Can't beat that:)



    LOL jiLL


  • Thanks Jill. Also, I forwarded the beautiful picutes you sent me to my friends around the States to be enjoyed; they are wonderful.

  • Hello Judy. Belated birthday wishes. I'm pleased you had a good time with your girls and received thoughtful presents. May God bless and help you keep strong and your young-at-heartedness.

    Al the best.

    Nanna B

  • Hi Judy just caught up with health unlocked again. You are MORE than wise. Live your life, you struck me initially as a wise and thoughtful person, very in touch with your mind and body. Go gently have fun . With love Flicka xxx

  • Thanks, Flicka. This is the 1st post for me in at least a few months, too. Have been sick, sick, sick. Lots of changes, many good, tho. Am finally starting to stabilize; will write a catch-up soon. Hope all is well with you and yours.

  • hi judy its good to see you back again i was enquiring about you about 2 weeks ago i wondered what had happened to you i asked jill if she would em you to find out what had happened \\ and i also asked on this site if anybody had seen you or heard from you anyway good to hear from you again was worried peter jones queensland australia psp sufferer

  • Himpeter

    R u ok ???

    I hope so

    Lol Jill

    And a :-)

  • yes jill im fine thanks everything is working ok and i feel great==so take care look after yourself mate peter jones queensland australia psp sufferer

  • Thanks for your kind thoughts, support, and connection, Peter. This summer into the fall I was truly sick enough just didn't even feel like posting about it. Will do so soon. Even though I wasn't posting or on the site, you still were in my thoughts and prayers.

  • hi judy sent you a happy birhday greeting but cannot see it anywhere so heres another for you A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU PROBABLY A BIT LATE\\BUT NEVER MIND BETTER LATE THAN NEVER TAKE CARE PETER JONES QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIA PSP SUFFERER

  • I'll take belated good wishes any day; thanks:)

  • You go girl !!! ..Squeeze the heck out of life .

    And take it one day at at a time.

    Deidre in BC

  • Problem became it was squeezing the heck out of me versus the opposite; didn't like it one little bit! Leveling off now, Thank God. PSP sucks.

  • so good to hear you Judy all well here and look forward to your news when you have time and energy with all best wishes Flicka x

  • Thanks:)

  • Hi Judy, I'm new to this as I just sent my first message the other day about my wife being diagnosed. Your attitude is an inspiration to all.

  • I really appreciate that; seriously; hasn't been easy. In fact, with over a year under me now with this diagnosis, can honestly say it's been the ride of a lifetime; lot's of lows with some highs. Learned a lot and not just about PSP. Thanks again; feedback is important and I do appreciate it.

  • Hi Judy good to c u beck on the site

    Hope u r ok now or at least. BEtter than unhave been

    Lol jill

    Amd a :-

  • :):)

You may also like...