Wednesday, December 31, 2014
That's me December 31, 2014 12:00 p.m. I was saying good bye to this year at the Multicultural Association office where I do mentoring.
OK, even though I don't normally go for these year in review summaries, I decided to write one for my blog, because 2014 really was an interesting time. So here they are, the highs and lows of 2014.
I lost 30 lbs. thanks to a low cab diet and plenty of swimming at the Golden Hawk recreation centre. This regime has also greatly improved my walking and my strength. My neighbours have commented on how much better I'm walking compared to when I first arrived in July 2013. I think about what bad shape I was in that summer and how much better I feel now. I look forward to my evening swim and also to seeing my swim buddies .
New interests have resulted in new friends. I have met so many great people through my mentoring at the New Brunswick community college. I'm going to write a separate entry about that and have some photos, just as soon as everyone is back from their holidays.
I have also joined the Miramichi Search and Rescue . I don't think I'm strong enough to go out on searches, but they really need help with their administration, so I'm happy to do that for them. They seem like a great bunch of folks too.
All that volunteering has boosted my social life . I get invited to lunches, dinners, networking events and concerts. I can't do it all thanks to my buddy MS, yet I do enough to keep me feeling social. For a very long time, before I retired, I never had the energy to do much and I often felt isolated. When you turn things down all the time, people just stop asking you.
The luxury of time. I feel really spoiled that I can do pretty much whatever I want these days. Sometimes that means doing not much of anything, once again, thanks to MS. The difference is now if I need to rest ( which is every day) I don't have to worry and I don't have to feel guilty. That makes a big difference in my quality of life. How many times the doctor said" you need to rest" and I always kept going until I collapsed, because I couldn't accept it. resting made me feel lazy; now it makes me feel great.
Spare time has me looking inward as well. I'm studying Philosophy and Buddhism. I can't do much reading due to fatigue ; MS is to blame of course, so I'm using audio books and online courses. Now when I'm resting, I can listen to a book and I find I get much more out of it. The online courses allow me to work when I feel up to it which also results in retaining more of the information..
When I first moved to my new home I wasn't sure if I would be able to adjust to life in a small city.
When I was younger I thought life in a big city with all the crowds and intensity was exciting. Now I see that it was just another thing that gradually ruined my health. What a fool I was to believe that stress was good for me. That it was what I needed to keep going! Wrong!
I can say that I really am happy to be living in a place that is slower paced and quieter; although sometimes I find it a little too quiet, and I have to have music playing softly, all night.
Medical marijuana! I can never say enough about how much it has improved my quality of life.
I still have MS and it still frustrates the hell out of me!!
I miss my son, who is still in China, teaching English. I hope he will be back this Spring.
I find myself attracted to a married man which has never happened to me before. Not that I will pursue it. I have seen what damage affairs can do, so no way. I also find that I don't like men my age and am only interested in younger men. Another thing I won't pursue. I just don't have the energy and it would be too strange.
I broke off a long term, long distance, relationship with a man because I could no longer cope with the travelling and more importantly; his denial of my MS. He is one of those people who thinks that positive thinking will cure it and I'm too tired to live up to that. I still care for him, but I can't live in a dream world.
I'm having difficulties dealing with the fact that I'm 60 years old. Sure, I feel good and I look pretty good. and menopause isn't that bad, yet I'm still 60 years old. It feels strange and a bit scary. I worry about losing my independence. I worry about MS and ageing.
Adjusting to retirement isn't easy. I use to have such a busy life and I know it wasn't good for me, however, I still feel funny not having a job and not having all those responsibilities. Being a renter instead of a home owner is hard too, although it sure makes life easier to not have to worry about the roof or the plumbing. Still though, I sometimes miss that money pit of a house I use to own.
So that's most of it. At least what I can think of at the moment. I guess I should have listed the lows first and then the highs in order to finish on a positive note. I'll finish by saying that these days, there are more highs that lows.
2015 I'm ready for you!
Saturday, December 6, 2014
Here's a pic of the very first Christmas wreath that I have made myself, and all from scratch.
It's funny how things work out sometimes. I was accepted to be a mentor at the local community college, New Brunswick Community College. It's to help people who want to start their own business and need some free advice. I'll be writing a separate post about that program as soon as I get permission from the college and my mentee. Anyway, one thing led to another, and I was asked to join a wreath making course.
What fun it was and great to learn how simple the technique is. I could have kept going for hours.The only thing is, as usual, my MS decided that I was using far too much energy. I came home after the course and crashed out. I was too tired to eat or even get myself a glass of water. I was lying there for about three hours and got up only because of the bathroom. One of my fears with MS, and I know this might sound silly; I worry that I'm going to pee the bed. It's never happened, yet, but, I have done it in public, and even worse than that. It was when I didn't know I had MS and didn't know how deadly being out in the hot sun was for me.
I blamed it on a weak bladder, irritable bowel, my doctor said it was due to ---------( fill in the blank with anything but MS).
I will never get use to having this condition. It frustrates the hell out of me. I can go swimming and swim laps for an hour and feel fine, but try to read a book; forget it, I can barely manage a couple of pages. I can make a wreath, but I can't do that and socialize at the same time. I can go to a Christmas party , have a good time, and then on the way home lose my wallet (An honest person found it)
So that's my life. I can only do one thing everyday. Well, if that one thing is a making a nice wreath.I guess that's not so bad.
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Here is one of the few things left that is made in Canada and owned and operated by Canadians.
This is how I get my weed now; from a licensed producer, purchased online, and delivered to my door by express post. Amazing that it comes from the other side of Canada; British Colombia, in less than two days. They also have custom strains of marijuana for different needs. I use the ones for pain relief, muscle spasms , anxiety, and for sleep.
MS fatigue is bad enough and insomnia only makes it worse. My fatigue can actually be dangerous. It comes on so suddenly and then my brain switches off. I can't function at all, so the only thing I can do is sit and wait for it to pass. Sit and wait, rest and rest. It's boring and frustrating and at times gets me so down.
For me, having MS is like living in a medium security prison. I have some freedom, but the warden, MS, really is in charge. The biggest challenge is that I don't look sick. Everybody thinks I can still function like a regular person, but I can't, so I disappoint others.
I just keep going . Swimming is one of my main activities. I swim and swim, and yes, it is a huge benefit, but how long can I keep going? I just keep going. What else can I do?
Here are a few of my swim buddies who really help to keep me going.
It was a great summer at that pool. The indoor pool doesn't open till the 20th ! I already feel out of shape.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Here's a little crab that was found on the beach during a field trip to Bouctouche Dunes in New Brunswick.
I do mentoring with grade three kids at the local public school where I live and they asked me to join them on this class outing .
It felt good today to be out breathing the ocean air. I have to say that the first year of my new life has turned out pretty good. My physical health is much improved and my MS is under control. I have lost weight and toned up my body, thanks to the indoor swimming pool that is right across the street.
I think back to the wreck I was last year at this time and I'm so glad that I decided to change my life. Retiring and getting out of the big city was the right decision. There are some things I miss about living in a large urban area, yet don't miss them enough to want to go back.
Things have even improved with medical marijuana!!
Health Canada has changed the way patients can get approval to use medical marijuana and has licensed producers to sell weed to us. It's now a very simple application process and the new licensed producers sell excellent quality weed. Still though, I think marijuana should be legalized but I doubt it will happen in my lifetime.
One thing that is strange and unexpected. I never thought that looking younger than my age would be a problem. Most people would probably say that they wish they where in that situation, but no, really ; just like MS, it's causing misunderstandings and disappointment.
Friday, December 20, 2013
Some crows decided to attack my garbage during a snowstorm. The garbage is now buried under a huge pile of snow. I dread the melt.
Here I am at the end of 2013. It's been a year of big changes for me.
I retired in April, fixed up my house and sold it in June, then packed up my gear and moved to Miramichi, New Brunswick. I have never been so tired!
Now I have to figure out what I'm going to do with my life as a " junior senior" . I think you are classed as a junior from age 55- 70. After that, you're just old.. It's a strange feeling for me to have time on my hands. To know that I can get up whenever I want, do things that I like instead of endless obligations, and stay up late if I feel like it.
There's no schedule to speak of, except swimming at 8:00 p.m. and volunteering at 2:30 on Thursdays.
I have been dabbling; trying out different things: photography, painting, volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club and a web design course. So far my one success is bringing grocery delivery to this city. I guess I whined about it so much that somebody decided to do something. I say a big Thank You to the people at the Beaubear Co-op for making my life so much easier.
What I need to do now is to try and focus on a couple of things instead of simply filling my days with activities. There are so many people here who tell me they are lonely and bored. I don't want to become like them.
Ah, but what will I do? I find the web design course interesting but I doubt I would want to do that as a job. Typing code is very boring and fiddly. You have to get it exactly right, otherwise, there's a blank page staring at you.
I wonder what I will be doing next year at this time?
Besides all of that; the Federal government has revised the regulations concerning Medical Marijuana.
Health Canada is getting out of the pot growing business . Medical marijuana will now be sold by licensed dealers. No more compassionate clubs, edible weed products will be illegal, as well as store front operations that sell drug paraphernalia. Individuals will no longer be permitted to grow their own and any weed they have already grown must be destroyed.
I have the added hassle of my new doctor, refusing to sign the papers to renew my license to possess and buy medical weed. Why? The doctor just doesn't like medical marijuana. What nerve! I have to travel to another city 3 hours away to see another doctor who will.
Yes, 2014 is going to be interesting!
Friday, November 1, 2013
Here is the Shediac lobster. In New Brunswick you can get lobster really cheap, but milk is nearly double the price I paid in Ontario. The rent is reasonable, but heating oil is very expensive and the only type of heating. Still, I think I'm way ahead financially and most definitely emotionally.
Haven't updated the old blog in awhile and today just seemed the right time to do it. Everything else is a huge fail with plenty of tech woes!
One of those days when things go wrong and nothing seems to work. I won't bore anyone with details of my customer service complaints, since that seems to be universal. Does anyone have positive experiences with that?
Why did I tell people I have MS? I thought they should know, just in case something happens to me. Big mistake! Now I have all these well meaning folks offering remedies and cures. I try to be polite and thank them, but what I really want to do, is tell them to get lost.
I'm amazed at the health, nutritional, and lifestyle myths that people believe. Beliefs that may even be endangering their health. Examples: Diabetics who think eating honey is healthier than refined sugar and think that it's OK to eat chips because they come from the health food store. Advocates of Tai Chi, who think it can cure almost anything, including MS, and claim it has to do with releasing negative energy from your body. People who smoke, drink, and abuse drugs but take supplements. One of them really believes that drinking homemade parsley water cleanses the poisons from their body and cinnamon in their smoothie will thin their blood! Then they suck back a vodka cooler and eat a plate of nachos. Another woman who told me that I have MS because I use hair dye and I should switch to the natural ones. Oh, and lets not forget the organic crowd, who thinks eating organic cookies and candy is healthier. I'm not making any of this up
No I don't do Tai Chi or yoga, don't eat organic food, don't take supplements, don't think natural is better, nor lace my food with turmeric ( "It cleanses your blood you know").
I do avoid packaged and pre made foods, have cut way back on sugar and carbs, take vitamins, swim four times per week and try to get a good night's sleep. I don't use any drugs except medical marijuana and only do that to help me sleep.
Does any of it help my MS? I don't know and anyway that's not why I do those things. Aside from my MS I don't have any of the most common health ailments such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes, so I guess I must be doing something right.
Well that'd enough for now. Time to get back to trying to activate my new phone. Ha Ha !
And please, anyone out there who wants to tell me that I'm wrong and I should take up Tai Chi to cure my MS. Get Lost!