• Farewell 2011, I will always remember you.
2011 will always be about The Babies, Avalon and Amelia. Both are just over 1 year old now and I simply cannot fathom life without them. In fact, they already seem to be woven into my life as a whole, as though they have been with me since day one. But, of course, they have not. No, Catherine and I only have to go back to December 4, 2011, to recall life before they were born, although, even then, they were very present. But go back a few years, and they were but a forming hope, a big if and definitely not a when. My days were spent either doing freelance projects, recovering from freelance projects, working on music, or searching for whatever treatment options might help my brain recover from my 2006 accident just a little faster. Catherine’s were spent working full-time and still doing a better job than I was of seeking out treatment options. We were also both fairly deeply occupied with battling a disability insurance company (more on that later, still makes me mad to think about it). But then came The Babies. TWO of them. I can’t lie, the year has been hard, hard the way all worthwhile things are, but it would have been a lot harder had our search for treatments not yielded a little gold. Just before 2010 drew to a close and a whole new world opened up, I was shut down with headaches. I was having them daily and they were bad and Catherine and I were both worried that if they continued, my ability to help much at all with Avalon and Amelia (we knew!) would be nearly null. But Catherine found a clinic, a headache clinic run by a neurologist, and we figured why not. So off I went, hopes high, expectations low, to be looked at once again by a brain expert and see if anything could be done about my problems. We first talked about the headaches and then we talked about my spastic head movements, and the doctor left the room and when he came he had a plan. He suggested a mild drug and at first I resisted. “No drugs,” I said. But we talked more and I was desperate and so I finally relented. And the drug worked. In time, we added one more minor drug, and together, they all but freed me of headaches and mostly quieted whatever was causing me to shake my head uncontrollably. In fact, I’ve been very nearly headache free until just recently, when I was hit by 10 or 11 migraines in a row, coupled with a bad head cold. It was a lousy couple of weeks. But when I see Amelia crawl across the floor and smile hugely as she approaches me, or I see Avalon pick up a toy and then slowly roll over like an otter to play with it, and I see Catherine singing a song to them for the hundredth time as though it was the first, I know how lucky I am. And I know that 2011 has been a very good year.