Adventure: Orcas Isalnd

Meg was lucky enough to score another assisting gig up in the San Juan Islands, and this time there was enough time and space for me and Tuck to tag along (thanks to Catherine and Michael Abegg for giving us the room to stay in!). The weekend was absolutely amazing, even though I managed to sprain my foot just mere hours before our ferry home. Hey, at least it was after all the fun stuff, right?

Wheels and Red getting on Anacortes ferry to san juans. Multiple Sclerosis

Anacortes WA, Ferry Terminal

Wheels and red driving around orcas Island WA

driving to rosario resort on orcas island WA

The roads though the island felt so magical.

Wheels and red disabled adventure at rosario resort Orcas island WA

The first night at the resort did not disappoint. Meg had to work the next day so we spent the evening checking out Rosario.

Disabled adventurers on orcas island wheels and red

 

Brown Bear Baking making delicious treats for wheels and red.

The line out the door of Brown Bear Baking says it all. They make straight magic back there.

Wheels and red at the eastsound farmers market

Lunch wasn’t far behind. Wood fired pizza, no contest.

Rosario resort marina Orcas Island WA

While Meg worked, Tucker and I spent the day checking out the resort. This was the spot to watch the sea-planes come in.

Artsy peep hole shot? Why not.

On Sunday we had the entire day to explore the island. We started with Moran State Park.

I love that these guys are down for whatever. Great co-pilots!

The old fire watch tower at the top of Mount Constitution. The best part of it is you can drive all the way to the top. A big plus for the mobility impaired like myself.

Bullet hole from the historic San Juan Island gang wars. Kidding.

wheels and red at Doe bay Orcas Island washington

When you’re in the San Juan Islands you can feel how special of a place it is. I know we are all excited to get back up there for even more adventuring. But for now, I’ll admit I missed the comfort of my own bed.

The Mike Herrera Hour, a punk rock talk radio podcast.

The Mike Herrera Hour

Mike Herrera and Kellen Prouse, a Multiple Sclerosis blogger, pose for a podcast photo.

I have been a huge fan of Mike Herrera since way back…1996 way back. Mike is the lead singer of MXPX and Tumbledown. He is a talented musician and producer that also runs Monkey Trench Studios. For MS Awareness month I was lucky enough to sit down and talk with Mike on his podcast, The Mike Herrera Hour. We chatted about MS, MMJ and all around bettering yourself with the internet.

It’s not everyday you get to chat with your teenage self’s punk rock hero; a big thanks to Mike for giving me this opportunity. Check it out!

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Beach with the pups

The pups and I headed down to our neighborhood beach front the other day and had some fun playing fetch. Mollie is all about that water…as long as it ain’t in a bathtub.border collie and Boston Terrier sitting on PNW beach

When i’m at the beach I can’t help but look around for some treasure. All I found was a blue hardhat and a non working flashlight. Not too shabby.

They have been updating and replacing the docks at the Brownsville Marina for the last few months so I’m guessing the hardhat and light are from there. Not a typical beach find but hey i’ll take it!

Them views.

I spotted this little guy when I was packing up to leave. I did have to poke it…for science. It was indeed dead. All in all a pretty sweet trip to the beach.

Learning to fly

I’m fighting a wicked battle of blogger’s block, so forgive me for slacking off recently. Can I claim procrastination as an MS symptom?! Life has been full to the brim; full of awesome things…and a few not so awesome things. The awesomest of all, Meg left her job at mywedding.com! It’s been a long time coming, but she can now focus on her photography full time. Since then this house has been so full of laughter and creativity. Just the way we like it.

On the other end of the awesome scale, there was a septic backup *and* my first root canal on the same day. Yeah, real fun. Those weren’t so bad as when the gravity of my first Tysabri infusion finally sank in. The infusion itself wasn’t that bad, but the allergic reaction I had made for a pretty stressful experience. Mixing my allergic reaction with the risk of getting an incurable brain infection made me reconsider whether this is something I truly want to do. And for now at least, it’s not. I have decided not to continue treatment. After digging into the research, I’m not satisfied with the numbers; so I’m not accepting the risk for big pharma. This means that for the first time since my diagnosis I will be off all disease modifying therapies for MS. Not to worry though, because I live a healthier life than ever before. Plus, I have all I need: the support of my best friend.

When I step back and look at the big picture, I love where I’m at. So many things that once started out shitty ended up leading to pretty awesome things. So for now we are letting go of the norm and learning to fly. Life is good.

County Fair 

With summer coming to an end what better way to celebrate than with the county fair. As of late my hands are not cooperating so we are going to have a photo adventure today.  Check out our day at the Kitsap County Fair.


  


  

  

  

I am working on a new way to keep you all updated on the adventures of Wheels & Red. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss the first video blog on This will probably get interesting…

 

-wheels

Money += Money

In the last few weeks I have been immersed into the financial world. Something I honestly never thought would interest me. A close friend of mine hooked me up with some links to learn how to trade stock options. It all sounded like gibberish until it clicked and I understood the objet of the game.

I am very cautious when it comes to making money since it will directly affect my disability. After hours of research I have found that investing is a passive income and won’t mess with my SSDI. The mainstream is telling people investing isn’t for them, just pay them and they will take care of it for you. The guys at Dough and TastyTrade are inspiring the next generation to step up and take control of their money.

I got to the point where I had to reach out to the man behind it all Tom Sosnoff. I sent him an email summarizing my story and position. I had to thank these guys for the hour and hours of information they have put out for everyone to see. Also my biggest problem at this point is funding and as much as i hate asking for help i thought they might be able to point me in the right direction. To my surprise Tom replied a few hours later on a Saturday no less. He was moved enough by the email he asked if he could share it on the show.

I have no idea where things will go from here but i am excited for the possibilities.

 

Link to video, segment starts at 3:00 minutes.
http://ontt.tv/1hiYSoA
Learn more about investing
 TTTLOGO dough

GENETIC PREDISPOSITION

“Some researchers theorize that MS develops because a person is born with a genetic predisposition to react to some environmental agent that, upon exposure, triggers an immune-mediated response.” – National MS Society

William (Bill) Kalbach Jones was my great grandfather and he had Multiple Sclerosis. He was a civilian working in the Puget Sound Navel Shipyard as an Aeronautics Allowance Specialist. After my grandmother passed away we found a folder of letters he had written. The letters were years of personal correspondence from Bill to his colleague Elwood. Elwood was a Captain in the United States Navy stationed on the East coast. The letters start in 1953 and continue through 1959. They wrote as often as they could although there are plenty of gaps.

Bill spent most of his time talking shop. He loved his job and he was really good at it. There was plenty of drama in the 1950’s. Scattered through the letters are paragraphs about his waining health and his chatty teenage daughter(my grandmother). It’s hard to believe I can read through his account of MS. His case was very progressive. He used a wheelchair and typed every letter with the index finger on his left hand. That is some serious hunting and pecking.

He tried every treatment that offered any hope of slowing the progression. Starting with the standard treatments then moved to experimental ones and finally ending with religion. He didn’t talk about MS all that often, he never wanted to complain. He was a tough S.O.B. that did what he could to live a happy life with his family.

It’s hard to describe what these letters mean to me. One day I hope to put together a book of these letters to share with others.

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But I am not going to rest in any such possibilities now in respect to my own effort to lick this health problem of mine. To slack off now would mean a measure of defeat in fighting my way. I guide my everyday action not by what I think I can do but what must be done. Just going up the stairs to bed every night is a tough bit of work, yet I do it. Sure it’s difficult , but if you do it because it must be done and forget how hard it is, it usually gets done. It is like working each day. I could develop a genuine aversion to it and get a medical retirement easily — but who would pay the grocery bill? I work every day not because i can force myself to overcome the obstacles  of ill health — what’s that anyway? — but because I must work so I can eat.

William K. Jones April 13th 1955
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photos from Meghann Prouse Indie Photographer’s  5 minute project.

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FUCK IT, BE FREE (NSFW)

If I cannot physically do what society deems “MANLY” does that make me less of a man?

It was Fathers Day and Solstice; Meg and I were getting out of the shower and the sun was pouring in through the skylight. I saw that creative spark in her eyes when she asked if she could take some photos of me. With her help I have come to love myself for who I am, so I didn’t even hesitate to say yes. Getting to see my body through Meg’s creative eye is very special to me.

I have struggled with body image for a long time but I think it’s time to finally let it go. Just because I can’t drink beer and lift heavy things does not make me less than. Empowerment projects do a wonderful job of helping people from all walks of life learn to love themselves; but I feel like there needs to be a bigger emphasis on helping disabled people learn to love the parts that are so often seen as “broken”. I don’t want people to look at these photos and see me; I want them to look at these photos and see them. To see that this body image struggle is the same,  no matter if you’re disabled, healthy, or anywhere in between. We are the same. And we have nothing to be ashamed of.

The entire set of photos includes nudity, so if you’re not into it please do not click through.

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Photos By Meghann Prouse Indie Photographer

Warning Images Contain nudity…of me.

SEE THE ENTIRE SET HERE

 

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@prouska disabled with Multiple sclerosis on dock PNW

Afternoon at Sandy Beach

When the tide is out at Illahee State Park you can head south down the beach and find a hidden gem called Sandy Beach. Sandy Like the name says it’s sandy, very sandy. Stuff like this being 5 minutes from our house is exactly why I love the PNW.

@prouska disabled with Multiple sclerosis on dock PNWThis was the spot to jump off the pier back in the day. I could’ve sworn it was a 40′ drop…

 

At 7 years old Tucker is all about climbing trees. This place has a bunch of rad fallen trees to climb.
Washington ferry passing illahee state parkPerfect spot to watch the Ferry chug by.

Wheels & Red sitting on beach

This was a perfect way to spend the evening. The wind was whipping the warm air off the water.

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The trip was awesome even though I had Tucker jump from one log to another and he slipped and got some barnacle bun on his shin. You don’t have to travel far to find adventure, it’s in your back yard.

-wheels