Living and laughing with a disability - cerebral palsy; ordinary life, extraordinary circumstances.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

2007 is less than an hour away.

2006 has been a good year, except for this mysterious ailment that has been with me since June, perhaps earlier.

In June I was at work when I shared with coworkers that I was having chest pain. The ambulance took me to the ER. They did an ekg; my heart was fine. I was prescribed antacids and told to stay home and rest a few days. The pain subsided, but never went away.

I went to the doctor in September. X-rays showed the remnant of pneumonia. I took a week of antibiotics, then another week. I have been back a couple times. I had a physical. All tests come out fine. "Pluerisy" is the latest thought of what I have. I have had three chest x-rays. My pain subsided a bit after visiting my chiropractor.

My dr. has run out of ideas and has referred me to Dr. Hoeflich. She is like a neurologist, but a different title. I am a bit hesitant to go to her after my wife's last dealings with her. Molly's solution for pain associated with our disability is to take meds that would keep us from working. This is not an option for either of us.

I have cerebral palsy and scoliosis. I fought hard, as my wife did also, for our jobs. We are not going to let go of them.

My appointment is not until Jan 24. My pain seems to be getting worse...not quite sure what to do. I just took some symptom surveys online. Could I have asthma?


It has been a good year. I am happy we made it to Diamond Lake, and saw Crater Lake. I am happy that I am working with the new Rockwood Branch, and that Mel is my supervisor.

NWBAZAARS.COM was a successful web venture - even if it's primary value was getting the tables and my mother-in-law's 2 bazaars filled. was not successful, but I learned a lot about ecommerce from it. I learned about SEO. My lack of success frustrates me, but I feel good about what I have learned.

13 minutes until 2007.

Monday, December 25, 2006

My favorite Christmas Song....

I should qualify favorite Christmas song beyond the carols of the season.

Dolly Parton - Hard Candy Christmas.

Don't know why the song moves me. It so bluesy, accepting Christmas as it come.

It was a good Christmas. My sister hosted Christmas Eve. Mom, stepdad John, brother Scott, uncle Randy, my sister (and hostess) Tab, niece Tyfini, and Tab's use-to-be boyfriend Ron.

Tab's new condo in Camas is cute. We brought the baked beans from Izzy's. Ham, rolls, potato salad...our typical Christmas Eve fare.

This is really the only time of the year my family gathers. We see my mom and John through the year a few times. They live in Aloha and we in Gresham. My brother, Scott, lives with Mom and John, but it's hit or miss whether we see him the few times a year that we make it over there. Tabetha is across the river - an email away - we don't see each other much, but we do email. Uncle Randy is a mile from our home. He had Jodie and I over for Salmon dinner a few months ago, a big thing because we don't normally see a lot of each other.

It's not to be over analyzed, as I tend to do. It was a good visit with my family. I always feel that since we all happen to gather just once a year that things should be more magic and that we should feel closer, but that is never the case because of the fact we don't gather more.

Last night was a good meal, good visit, exchanging gifts. The trip home on HWY 14 in the heavy rain and a dark stretch of highway was a cause for us to pray. We hydroplaned. I could not see the road. Emmanual - God was with us.

We came home and watched Jodie's favorite old move - "Yours, Mine and Ours." Eric helped pack out the gifts - he knows now, at 11, that we honor the spirit of Santa, but that Santa is not real. I tried to help Jodie wrap the gifts for him earlier in the day. We do our best job wrapping, though our cerebral palsy gets in the way.

Christmas newsleter 2006--never made it to print

So much for good intentions. Here is my 2006 Christmas newsletter that never made it to print.

Procrastinator, writers block, I am guilty of all charges.

Merry Christmas 2006

Family & Friends;

Another year slips by.

Bonnie and Clyde are a year and a half now. Wild, lovable, mischievious all describe their behavior very well. They jump everywhere and chew everything, but they also shower us with their licks of love. They also entertain us very well. Clyde will bark when he feels that Bonnie is getting more attention than he. Clyde likes to cuddle anytime, anywhere. With Bonnie it needs to be when she wants. At times she seems skittish, but then she comes in her own time.

The highlight for us this year was our summer trip. We don't always take one, but this year we decided to go for it. Jodie and I use to take Grandma and Grandpa on trips. The last one we planned was for the summer of 1993. We were going to rent a cabin at Diamond Lake, and visit Crater Lake while there. Grandpa passed away before we could do that. This year, we decided at the last moment to go for it.

We loaded up the car, all five of us, Eric, Jodie and I...and our two dogs, Bonnie and Clyde, and we headed south. Diamond Lake is beautiful. Eric was able to fish and catch some tui chub, just days before the Lake was poisoned to kill them off. The chubs were destroying the water quality of the lake. We stayed in the motel at the Diamond Lake Resort.

Bonnie and Clyde went everywhere with us. Bonnie got car sick a few times. We did not leave the dogs alone at all. This confined us to grocery stores and drive-thrus. We stopped a lot to let the dogs run. They loved running through the sand on the small beach that was at Diamond Lake.

Diamond Lake was a beautiful place to stay, but just south of there was the main reason for coming. Crater Lake is breathtaking. Breathtaking is too simple a word. Eric snapped a picture, and I still have it as my wallpaper on my computer at work. So blue, so rich, so beautiful. Site-seers from around the world were there. If you have not been there, well, you know... We now have the travel bug and would like to go see other national parks.

Baseball for Eric started with batting practice on Sundays afternoons in February. The first real game wasn't until May! Baseball becomes your life when the season is on. Eric pitches, catches, plays first and short. Some days he is on, some days he is not. Check out, a website I made for the team, before I convert it to my next great web adventure.

Eric is a weblo this year, and is getting ready to crossover to Boy Scouts soon. Horses at summer camp was a definite highlight for him this year. He has gone on a lot of campouts this year. Most of the boys in his den have been together the last five years.

Eric ended the last school year on the honor roll and has begun this year on the honor roll as well. He is in the fifth grade at Portland Christian this year. He has taken up the trumpet this year. For some reason, he was surprised at the amount of practice he needs to do, but he is adapting.

Jodie is still managing a crew of 20 plus support staff at the Child Welfare office in Gresham. This year she became a member of the LA Fitness athletic club near the office and has really enjoyed working out with her coworkers.

I moved from the East Multnomah Child Welfare office to the Rockwood Child Welfare office. For now they are right next door to each other, but eventually Rockwood branch will be moving to the Rockwood area of Gresham, which will be closer to home. At nights I have been working on websites, learning more and more. I set up my first online store - And, as a way to promote the two bazaars my mother-in-law organized this year, I started NWBAZAARS.COM as a way to promote local bazaars.

Many blessings for this holy season and for the year to follow.

The Wittren Family

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas is a week away...

Jodie, Eric and I are going to journey to Clackamas Town Center tonight. We are taking our scooters so we can cruise the mall.

Most of our gift giving is with gift cards. It is making less sense to me every year this idea of trading gift cards. Nervous people like me worry about amounts and whether we give enough.