Monday, December 29, 2008

This Leg

What am I going to do about my left leg (and foot)? I keep injuring it over and over with my silly tripping. Not sure what I can do about it . I was in serious pain today and the stiffness is worse. The Advil didn't work at all. I decided to try some aspirin which has helped a bit.
Should I call the doctor ?
Now the entire knob on the new washer has fallen off. I have to call a service person in the morning because naturally when it happened they were already closed. Nobody in this town works past 4:30 during the week it seems. Can't get use to that.

I really need a sleeping pill tonight.

Year End

I tripped yesterday and have messed up my leg . I thought it was fine until it woke me up during the night. Ahhh, massive pain and cramping caused me to jump out of bed ,which made it worse. Then I had a dizzy spell and crackling buzzing sound in my ears which means I'm going to pass out .
Back down in the bed I lay there trying to stay calm . I'm fine, my leg isn't.

I want to send out best wishes to Anne at Disabled Not Dead and Diane of A Stellar Life .
They have been going through much worse than me . I don't really want to bug them leaving comments on their blogs right now.


It's year end and the news is full of year end stories: best films, photos, top news and so on Here's a couple I found interesting/depressing


Here's one of those making lemonade from lemons stories about skateboarders.

Well the guys are here to do work in the house. Hope it gets finished today .

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tracking Santa and Pilgrims





If you want to know what Santa is up to check out NORAD


Let's not forget happenings in Bethlehem (it is his birthday after all)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Early Start to the Holiday





Here's a quick shot I took with my phone camera of one of my poinsettias. You can see Buddha sitting next to it.

I have started my Christmas holiday a little early, do to a miserable headache that seems to be aggravated by the cold weather. It's supposed to get milder tomorrow and rain, which I find hard to believe since it's snowing like crazy out there now and freezing !

The new washer is finally in operation and it's fantastic. I'm amazed at how little water and soap it uses. The energy guide states that it only uses about $9.00 per year of electricity .The clothes came out of the dryer much fluffier too. I don't use fabric softener or dryer sheets so that's a bonus. O.K. that's enough about laundry .

I hope I perk up a little bit before Christmas .This will be the first time in six years that I don't go south for the holiday and I'm a little sad , yet also slightly relieved. I really don't think I could have managed all the travel . I'm planning to go in April when I have a new batch of vacation time. Maybe my work situation will be resolved by then ?

Tomorrow I'm going to take a wack at making a sugar pie Haven't made one in ages. It's a French Canadian dessert, made with maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, and cream. If I was making a genuine French Canadian Christmas Eve meal, I would be baking a tortiere, a pork pie. Served warm, drizzled with maple syrup, it is a very yummy dish traditionally served after Midnight Mass.
This is very different from what the Italian relatives have for Christmas eve. They always prepare fish dishes as part of a 5 course meal. If I have to choose, I go for the French Canadian meal,even though it is very fattening and much less healthy than the Italian. Then again, my French grandmother who ate a ton of pork , cooked omlettes in rendered salt pork, hardly ever ate vegetables, and even poured cream on her salad , was very healthy. I think it was due to her only eating at meal time, no junk food, and being a hard worker. I remeber her telling us that during the depression they were so poor they ate lard sandwiches sprinkled with sugar !

I'm sure I'll be in bed long before midnight tomorrow . If it isn't too awful out and if I feel better I might go for a walk around the neighbourhood and check out the Christmas lights in the evening.

Monday, December 22, 2008

At Least The Chocolates Are On Sale

Today fool that I am I had a brief moment of optimism. Ha Ha . Everything was going smoothly The guys were making progress with the basement work The washing machine was delivered without a hitch., although they did have to remove a door. (see post below) The basement guy offered to set up the machine which is just as well, as the power cord was packed behind a panel that had to be removed with a socket wrench and a piece of Styrofoam was lodged behind that.
Yeah everything was going fine The guys left ,I had dinner, and decided to try out the washer.
Well now the electric outlet is not working and there isn't another close by . I tried using an extension cord to another plug just to try the machine ,but that didn't work. . The basement guy said he will drop by tomorrow and take a look at it. He may have broken the plug during the demo work.

I won't even bother to go into anything about work(it sucks as usual). how bitter cold it is outside and what a lousy job the city does clearing the streets of snow. I felt like I was mountain climbing on my walks to and from work.
I suppose it's good exercise.

At least the all chocolates and other Christmas items were on sale half price today.
I bought myself the biggest box of the best chocolates and a few boxes for treats for others.
Mmm so good. Lindt Swiss chocolates.

I sure hope I can do some laundry before Christmas.

I feel very very tired this evening and itchy.

Oh yeah guess what the guys found in an old cupboard under the stairs I have never used or even opened ? No not any valuable antiques . A bunch of empty liquor bottles(Jack Daniels), porno mags, and empty prescription drug bottles!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

No Faith

It would be nice to think that tomorrow everything will go smoothly The washer will be delivered , set up, and working. The guy will finish the work in the basement. I will come home from work, put everything back in place and it will all be fine.

Only I know none of that is likely. I got a call this evening to confirm delivery of the washer. I was told delivery time was " between 8:30 a.m. and who knows" and I'm ninth on the list. So you know what will happen.The delivery guys will show up at 6:00p.m when it's dark, they will moan and groan about how these old houses are so narrow, they will piddle around trying to get the stupid washer downstairs, they will contemplate removing the doors (unnecessary) I won't have the proper hoses for the connections. The guy won't be able to finish the work in the the basement due to the above. The house will be a mess. I will be exhausted and not care.

Yeah I'm really looking forward to tomorrow, especially with more of the same ugly weather.
What fun.
I 'm oh so very tired this evening.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Cane

Imagine a hurricane only with snow .That's what we had today. It sure wasn't fun walking home in that wind with snow up to my knees . It's over now, although we're expecting more of the same on Sunday. Everybody was whining about the rain last week and not having snow for Christmas
Well we have plenty now.

I may have to go to the laundromat tomorrow . My new washing machine won't arrive till Monday
and the wash is really piling up. Not looking forward to that.

I'm way too tired to write anymore Trudging through that snow, I feel like I've I've been mountain climbing.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Robot Care

If it meant you could remain independent in your own home, would you have a robot instead of a human carer ? The robots are here Are you ready ?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thank Heavens for Art

A grim meeting today. I guess I was a bad girl this year because Santa won't be granting me my wish to tele work, at least not any time soon.

I found out much to my dismay, that it will be a least four more months until work gets the Health Canada report, because they are back logged. Yeah I'm just one of many in the pile.

Four more months seems like an eternity, especially when I'm already in the hole for so much lost wages. It's so insulting to be told that I'm "not trying to help myself" and " you're not the only one in this situation" yeah thanks for that. When I was told that they (management) " really are in my corner" and " really are trying to help", my only reply was "if this is help, please stop trying to help me" I wanted to tell them to get the hell out of my corner, but decided against it. I still have some self control left .


Here I am heading into 2009 with very little money , everything falling apart in my house , and tired beyond descriptions . Oh well the rich folks are suffering too .Poor souls don't you just feel so bad for people who think they can live and not work for their money. Just shove money in a hedge fund and let the "gurus" make it work for them. They won't even be able to afford to go to the doctor now, Ha Ha. I'm so mean. Can't help it I'm in a foul mood. I really don't know how many more poor people we can have in my city. There are already so many poor and the rest of us are stretched and can't help much more. Damn all you reckless bankers, economists, financial advisers etc. etc. You have ruined the world. I'm not the only one who thinks so

At least there's art. Art is great therapy. Try it, check out ArtBeat

I wish I could afford to go to New Orleans to see the exhibit Prospect 1. They are planning to make it a yearly event. Perhaps if my prospects improve, I can go see it next year. yeah O.k I shouldn't try to be so clever. Seriously though, if I could travel to see every art exhibit in the world I would. Art is soul food.

I'm making so many spelling mistakes and I'm looking right at the keyboard. I feel as though I'm dyslexic, reversing letters in words .

One last comment about work I really would like to tape some of the conversations at the office, so that people would realize that when you dwell in the land of grey cubicles, you really should be careful what you say. Even though you can't see people, dozens of ears are listening and they aren't even trying. .

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Not Much Cheaper

First before I start moaning check out SL Liew's postcard blog


Crazy isn't it that buying a new washing machine only costs slightly more than getting the old one fixed. It seems so wasteful to do it I really feel guilty .

What's the point of me using cloth bags to shop and recycling bottles, if I'm going to then chuck a not that old washing machine. I think the delivery people will take the old one away and maybe it will get fixed and sold as refurbished . It certainly isn't worth me spending the money to do it and who knows in six months it might just conk out again. Yeah O.K. I'm rationalizing trying to ease my guilt. I guess that's the old school Catholic girl in me "waste is a sin".

I remember when I was a girl ( old fogey moment here) how my mother got all the appliances and the t.v. fixed over and over. I'm sure she had the same washing machine for 25 years and the same black and white t.v. up until the 1970's . She only got a new colour t.v. because my brother bought it as a gift for her when he started working full time.

Later in life she was more well to do and got into the throw it out habit. Hole in the sock ? throw it out. Sheets worn out ? Don't do like my grandmother and cut them up and make pillow cases ,
no, throw them out.

Not that I'm a big fan of Cuba but they drive cars from the 1950's. They just keep on fixing them. And they don't have to bankrupt their country, bailing out some old dinosaur car company. When did it happen that our entire economy depends on people going out and buying crap they don't need ?

Tomorrow morning I have a meeting with my manager, which I already know isn't going to be a good meeting. It's mild out and raining and now I'm going to have a bath and listen to the opera show at 9:00 Always look forward to that on Sunday night.
My Christmas shopping is nearly done too Only have one more gift to buy. I wonder if that person would like an old washing machine ?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What Will Break Next ?

The computer is back to normal after much time wasted configuring, installing, downloading, etc. etc.
Now the washing machine is broken. It won't spin . At least I managed to get two loads of wash done .

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hard Drive Horrors

Thought that while I wait for the computer guy to call back I'd do an update here. Right now the other computer is formatting XP. It would actually be a very easy thing to do, install a hard drive and an operating system. The trick is knowing were all the menus are and what to look for in them. That's how they keep you a tech slave, by hiding little bits of information here, there, and everywhere. Instructions for anything to do with computers are either vague or misleading.
"Just plug and play" remember that one, when USB ports came out? Yeah Ha Ha!
I suppose it keeps people employed in what ever country this guy is calling from. It's a dead give away when they start asking what time zone you live in, or are shocked when they ask you how the weather is and you tell them it's 5C.

Right now it's raining and has been all day, which is better than the -20C last weekend.

OK here's my MS challenge : To get rid of these anxiety attacks I have worrying about fatigue.
I get freaked out every Sunday worrying wether I can make it through another week. Worrying, that when I'm hit with those sudden bouts of extreme fatigue if I will pass out or have an accident. I think that's one reason I stay home some days,(like today) because I dread the horrible brain dead exhaustion at the end of the work day and it's not even as bad as it use to be thanks to the drugs.
Maybe my friend is right, maybe I will here some good news about my work situation before Christmas. Which would be the opposite of so many people hearing that they will be losing their jobs after Christmas.
Well gotta go. The computer is done with set up and is copying files. I'd like to know what files exactly since everything got wiped out. Hmm, must be those little hidden things I can never find.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Coincidence ?

While scanning various blogs today I came across this tag at Donna/Inner Eyes.
You go to your Pictures file, select the fourth file, fourth picture, post it and tell about it.
I will do the same as she , not actually tag anybody, and leave it up to however might read this to try it.

In one of those funny coincidences of life, here's what I had in my fourth file:


That's me, Christmas 2004 at the UFO museum in Roswell,New Mexico. That's also the year that I finally dragged myself to the doctor to try and figure out what the heck was wrong.

Four years later and I'm hoping that by 2009 there will be some resolution.


Here's an interesting article about Baclofen as a possible cure for alcoholism

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Desperation

Usually ,I'm not into this sort of thing, however since it's about MRI's and medical bills, here's a
bizarre news story.
A woman claims that there's an image of the virgin Mary ( yeah we Catholics think that) in her MRI.
She's putting it up for auction on Ebay. Are people that desperate to pay their medical bills? and who would buy such a thing ? Do people collect MRI's ?

It's bitter cold outside 20-C. Even with two sweaters on I could only manage a 20 minute walk and only then because I made several pit stops. The LCBO has beautiful Christmas gift sets. Wasted on me though, since I barely drink any alcohol now. I'm already dizzy enough without the aid of booze.

I'm not looking forward to my morning walk in the cold and dark to go to my grey cubicle.
Who picked the decor at my office must have misunderstood and thought they were doing a jail. Pale grey green walls, a puke green grey carpet, with a triangle and squiggle pattern, and to top it off pale grey cubicles. I refuse to spruce up my cubicle though as that will give it a feeling of permanence and I so want it to be temporary.

I have a guy coming next weekend to install a new door upstairs with a lock on it. I'm planning the return my home office Oh please Santa !! bring me the gift of tele work!! I'm getting desperate and I don't have anything to sell on E Bay.

Did a bit of Christmas decorating . For some reason I went a bit crazy with the lights this year.
I must need brightening up.

I am so itchy tonight.

Friday, December 5, 2008

National Day of Remembrance

Nineteen years ago on December 6th 1989 in Quebec, fourteen women were shot and killed, simply for being women. The gunman, Marc Lepine, blamed "feminists" for his failures in life.

For more Information visit Status of Women Canada
and the CBC archives for news coverage, the day it happened.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Cookie A Day

Here's something that I thought I would share . If you like cookies you'll love the"Cookie a Day" advent calendar. Everyday from now till Christmas, follow this link, click on the Christmas tree, and get a cookie recipe. Even if you don't bake you might get some ideas for cookies you'd like to try. The super markets and bakeries all have special cookies this time of year so you should be able to buy them.

Otherwise it's been a very strange day The weather couldn't make up it's mind; going from snow, to rain, to sleet, to freezing rain and back again . The politicians are behaving badly too. It will be interesting to see next Monday, if we end up with a coalition of parties running the country or if the Prime Minister will simply close parliament early to avoid a no confidence vote, on the Tory economic statement . At least I get a reprieve from possible wage cut backs although that could still happen. Regardless I'm putting in my request to take the summer off again. If things go badly I can always cancel it. Sure hope I don't have to.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Never Ending Tech Woes

Seems like every weekend there's a tech mess to sort out. The hard drive on the newer computer is shot. It took an hour of gabbing with some techie in God only knows what country to figure that one out. He advised me to buy a new hard drive and I guess for a $100 and double the storage it's worth it. Not good timing, what else is new ?

Looks like the government is postponing their move to slash and burn the public service(see previous post). The opposition decided that they would form a coalition to bring down the Tories, if they present the budget on Monday. While other governments are in a spending mood, ours is sticking to what Thomas Walkom in The Star so aptly described as "conservative hobby horses". Small government , the market rules, blah blah blah. Well we all know how that turned out don't we ? Were has our finance minster, Jim Flaherty, been the last six months?

Stephen Harper is the last of the Bushies, I think his days are numbered.


I can't really complain that much though ,after reading about a woman who is losing her job just two years before retirement. The company is packing up and moving to Mexico. What a disgrace these corporations are, that they think it's fine to take advantage of third world countries and pay people dirt wages with no benefits. Why? so the top people can go out and buy more Champagne, diamonds, yachts ? What do they want and when will they ever have enough?
Read the series "The Reckoning" .

I didn't even bother to turn my T.V. on today. I'm so sick of commercials. The same one, twenty times a day, telling me that the detergent in the orange bottle will get my clothes clean. Gee, isn't that what detergent is supposed to do and if it isn't doing that, the company should pack it in. They think their new approach, telling me their detergent has more cleaning ingredients than the "other guy" will get me rushing out to buy it. Nope, especially when my son, who works part time in a pasta factory, tells me that they put the same fresh pasta in containers and just put different labels on them. So the store brand is the same as the name brand. I buy the store brand detergent and it works fine, besides the way I'm feeling, am I really going to cry if my tea towels have stains on them ?

I think perhaps the freezing rain is getting to me. It's going to be an interesting walk to work tomorrow.,

No MS news which these days for me is good news. Have to go trim these fake nails, they are way too long!

Friday, November 28, 2008

3 Forward 2 Back

Had my visit with the doctor this morning. Things are stable right now, although he did say a couple of times that I was an anomaly and something about my leaky blood brain barrier. My EVP tests are slightly below normal, there is protein in my spinal fluid, no change in my MRI, and I have the same proteins in my blood. He said that he didn't think I needed any heavy drugs like interferons. I told him that honestly I wouldn't be interested in doing that anyway and he seemed relieved . I don't know maybe some patients insist on it.
The strategy for now will be to monitor things , treat individual symptoms, and see how it goes.
He also said he would send another letter to my employer about allowing me to tele work, due to my continuing problem with fatigue.

I left feeling not too bad and walked the 15 minutes back to work taking a short cut through the mall, to get out of the cold and wind. Decided to treat myself to a new sweater that was 50 % off. The stores already have pretty deep discounts on things . The mall was busy but I notice people are shopping mostly in the cheaper stores. The dollar store was doing booming business.


Then I get into the office just in time to hear the latest news. The government is proposing to freeze our wages, roll back our current increases, and take away our right to strike.

I made a joke that it was just like working at Wal Mart.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Read /HeardThis One ?

Thanks to my friend Suzanne for sending me this:


The phone rings and the lady of the house answers, 'Hello.'


'Mrs. Sanders, please.'


'Speaking.'


'Mrs. Sanders, this is Doctor Jones at Saint Agnes Laboratory. When yourhusband's doctor sent his biopsy to the lab last week, a biopsy from another Mr. Sanders arrived as well. We are now uncertain which one belongs to your husband. Frankly, either way the results are not too good.'


'What do you mean?' Mrs. Sanders asks nervously.


'Well, one of the specimens tested positive for Alzheimer's and the otherone tested positive for HIV. We can't tell which is which.'


'That's dreadful! Can you do the test again?' questioned Mrs. Sanders


'Normally we can, but Medicare will only pay for these expensive tests one time.'


'Well, what am I supposed to do now?'


'The folks at Medicare recommend that you drop your husband off somewhere in the middle of town. If he finds his way home, don't sleep with him.'

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Postcrossing Plug

Thanks to all the great members of Postcrossing for brightening up a dismal grey week.
I received a fantastic package from Japan, got a message from a member in Norway thanking me for Christmas goodies, another thank you from a guy in Belarus, and a couple of surprise postcards from France and the U.S.A. Tonight I was busy doing up Christmas cards for a world wide swap.
Postcrossing is snail mail at it's best. Check my Hobbies list if you are interested in joining.

Otherwise I am itchy,twitchy, and having weird pains. I don't know why I'm able to get a perfect score on a grammar and punctuation test and yet hesitate every time I use a comma.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Miscellany

Note to myself : Do not buy anymore clothing that needs lots of ironing, even if it looks good .
I wasted 20 minutes tonight fussing over a blouse. No wonder I hardly ever wear it.
I remember when my mother got her first clothes dyer. How happy she was to be able to eliminate hours of ironing. We missed the fresh smell of clothes off the line, but not too much.

I deleted two of my blogs today. It was distressing to read them and realize that I was repeating myself . I do it on this blog too. Have to try and be more careful in the future and avoid old fogey syndrome .
My son has just handed me his weird list of book requests for Santa ( me). I guess I should be glad he's such an avid reader.

That's it for today not much happening except I did a blood pressure reading at the pharmacy while I was waiting for my prescription and it is very low, almost too low. Perhaps I didn't have my arm in the cuff correctly. I'm going to try again later in the week.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

If The Economy Is So Bad, How Come ?

I can't find a Wii Fit anywhere. I've being trying to buy one for three months with no luck. The Wii Sports, is starting to get boring. My son has been to practically every store in Hamilton and Toronto. When Toys R Us, had a sale a couple of weeks ago , he went there and they were sold out. They said they only got eight of them!Yesterday a guy at an electronics store told him that the price is double now due to scarcity, but they stil don't have any. Are they kidding!! ?

I feel like I'm living in some Soviet era country with rationing. Which makes me think of a joke about when a famous Communist leader(can't remember which one) went to hell. The devil asked him if he wanted to go to the Socialist or the Capitalist hell. When asked what the difference was the devil said: " The fires in Capitalist hell are hot and burning bright ". "In Socialist hell it's very cold, because they have run out of coal".
OK, I won't quit my day job even though I'd like to, the way things are going.

Isn't Japan going through it's worst recession ever ? Didn't a Japanese electronics company just have it's biggest quarterly loss ever ? So where are those Wii Fits? I want one and I've got cash to pay for it too. Don't tell me to go on Ebay.That thing weighs 4 kilos and the shipping costs would be more than the item and those sellers are secondary, so where did they get
them ?
Besides if it breaks,I want to be able to go to a store and yell at somebody.

So much for Capitalism and consumer choice , blah, blah, blah. We are now living in some strange, quasi Socialist world . We are going to hell and we deserve it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Snow

Got caught in the first snow on my way home from getting a flu shot. I put my glasses on to see the snow flakes on my coat, very pretty. I say that now but by the time February gets here, I won't think they look so great anymore.Too bad my camera isn't good enough to take some pictures of them.

I told a fib at the flu shot clinic They give you a sheet to fill out with a list of questions. I checked the No box for the question "Do you have an evolving, progressing, neurological disorder such as MS "(etc. etc) ? I'm not aware that MS evolves and as for progressing, it is very slowly. If I had said yes they wouldn't have given me a shot. It's my choice to get a shot and my funeral if it ends aggravating my symptoms (see yesterday's post) ..

Making some progress at work regarding my medical accommodation. Can't say too much right
now except it's funny sometimes how a bad experience can end up having a positive result.
I'll explain everything once there is a final resolution. I'm thinking before Christmas.

Not much else going on . I was annoyed watching the Big Three automakers begging for money. Pretty much admitting there isn't any competition between them and their cars are all
pretty much the same. Gee remember a few years ago when we were told we had to learn to compete in the global market place ? We had to get lean and mean ? What happened to that ?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Winter Blues

Winter is here even though the calendar says different. It's bitter cold out and I had to give in and wear a heavy coat, hat, and gloves today. What I don't like about that is I get overheated walking to work and it takes me a good half hour to recover once I'm inside.
I think the cold affects me as much as the heat . I was a wreck this evening and the odd tingling and leg twitches are back . I thought the Amantadine had taken care of that. Is it possible that the drug is wearing off ?

Wednesday is flu shot day. I know some doctors say you shouldn't get a flu shot if you have MS, as it triggers your immune system and can aggravate symptoms. My answer to that is the flu does that too and makes me feel so sick I want to die . I'm also told the flu shot is only 40% effective. Were do they get these numbers ?

Last time I had the flu I ended up in the hospital, so I'll take my chances with the shot and if 40% means that one bug passes me by, that's good enough.

I can't post any photos to my blog until I get the proper photo program on this computer. I don't like the one that's on here, yet I'm way too tired to do anything about it right now.
I really hate feeling like this all the time.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Small Victories

Not so brain dead yet. Today I finally mastered a card game that I have had so much trouble trying to figure out. It's a timed solitaire game called Demons and Thieves. Funny how something can just click in my head and I realize " I've got It". Not sure how that happens but it certainly is cool when it does. I only mention it because yesterday I wrote about a small incident last week that had me so down . Nice to have a small victory that makes me feel good.
If you like card games check out this website Pretty Good Solitaire. You can download a 30 day trial of 500 solitaire card games and also my current favourite , Action Solitaire, timed card games.
If you decide to but it they give you a reference code so you don't have to worry about losing the game or switching to a different computer. Just type in the code and your good to go !
I'm not getting paid to mention this . Thought I'd pass on a good way to keep the brain cells active that isn't complicated or require a big layout of cash.

Speaking of cash I'm having to dip into my savings to cover the losses on my pay cheque due to all the unpaid leave. I should have enough money to last another few months Maybe by then they ( meaning employer) will have figured out what to do with me.
The Finance Minister announced yesterday, that besides other government budget cutbacks there will be a freeze on public service wages. At least I got my increment for this coming year.

People have been trying to convince me to join Facebook, but I'm not keen to do it. My son says it's just a way for people to spy on you and how much of my personal life do I want to reveal to the folks at work? I don't mind being friendly,however I like to keep certain people at arms length. I was the victim of gossip when I went through my divorce and it really sucks. Don't want to get burned again by people who claim to be my friends and aren't. Think I'll stick to blogging and my post card club.

Well time to get ready for work tomorrow. Can't believe that I actually know who some of those Transformers are.

Santa Claus parade

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fail

Several times this week I've wanted to blog only I've been too brain dead. My short term memory is, well, getting shorter and my anti fatigue pills only get me part way through the day. Result is I'm useless in the evening.

Can't wait to see the doctor on November 28th. If I have to beg on my hands and knees to convince him that he must, must, write to my employer and make them understand that I:need to work at home!
Friday afternoon at the office I came very close to a break down. Amazing how a tiny little incident( which I can't discuss here otherwise I'll get sacked) can do me in. That's how weak I am now and tired , Oh so very tired. I'd really like to know who came up with the decor scheme of grey walls , grey carpets and grey baffles( spell check: that's how we spell grey in Canada!!!)

The repair work on the side of the house hasn't stopped the water leaking in the basement. Heavy rain today resulted in another leak. I think my original idea to move the eaves trough drain pipe is still right . Tomorrow I might call the one guy who agreed with me and get him to move it. There is only a little bit of water but over time that could be a disaster. Once it's dry again he can get to work building the new stairs. If only they had listened to me three months ago, I could have avoided this and I would have my new stairs by now. It's been that kind of a year,me talking, nobody listening. Hey I don't want anything special. Just a dry basement with decent stairs and to be able to keep working.

Otherwise, I maybe late finding this blog and I think perhaps I've mentioned it before ( short term memory again!!) It's the Fail blog which I will ad to my links. I get a laugh out of it.
Something in short supply around here lately, although I did read an article last week that a good cry can be as therapeutic as laughing . Yeah but laughing doesn't make your eyes get puffy and stuff your nose up.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrance Day


Link to Veterans Affairs "Canada Remembers"

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Credit Munch

OK I ripped off the title of my post from the Independent.
It's been a sucking weekend. No comment except to say I'm feeling better tonight and I'm looking forward to being off on Tuesday. Who knows maybe I'll even be able to put in a full paid week. Sad that I push my life away, but these days it's the only thing that keeps me going.
Anyway enough of my whining, here's an article about the rise in lunch box sales. Everyone is getting into taking a packed lunch to work and not just a baloney sandwich and banana. No people are getting imaginative with their lunches.

I make a lunch everyday. Mostly things I can nibble on like pieces of cheese, veggies, fruit and a couple of cookies. We do have a decent lunch room and several mini kitchens at work. My new routine is to go to the lunch room after the mid day rush. I crash out on one of the lounge chairs for twenty minutes or so. The lady I sit next to now at work is cool and doesn't make a big deal about me going for a brain break. It helps get me through the day. I'm still extremely tired when I get home in the afternoon. This weekend it took the full two days to recover. Oh ! can I keep going ? I suppose I have no choice . I'm hoping for some resolution of my work situation by the end of November.

I know it sounds odd for me to say that I'm enjoying the early darkness and cooler temperatures. I find it relaxing.

While I'm on the topic of food Here's an interesting program at St Anne's hospital for veterans.
They are able to make some very appetizing looking food for patients with dysphagia ( difficulty chewing and swallowing) Looks like the real thing yet is easy to eat. Check out the photo of one of the meals. I ran across this while checking some information for Remembrance day Nov. 11.
I'll be doing a post about it then.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sleep? What's That?

It's great to have a computer and internet that work properly. Too bad I can't say the same about myself. I could use an upgrade. Staying home one day in the middle of the week, seems to have worked to help me put in more days at work (employer if you're reading this take note).
Just a brief post to mention a couple of articles I read last week in Neurology but forgot to mention.
If you're obese ,and/or mentally ill, and/ or have diabetes, etc. etc. you are less likely to get a diagnosis of MS, as the symptoms will be attributed to something else or ignored. Another article suggesting that often those with "benign" MS are more likely to suffer cognitive impairment.
By benign I'm assuming they mean MS that isn't progressing rapidly ? Maybe someone else out their can enlighten me as I've never heard of benign MS before.

I'd like to write about a stupid article I read, regarding cognitive therapy for sleep disorders, but I'm way too tired; except to say it must have been written by a person who has never had insomnia.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Good To Go

The cable guy showed up around 8:00 which was crazy. There he was routing around outside in the dark with a flash light on his head, trying to find the cable.
Everything is done now. I set up the computer and it's working great. I still have to transfer files back from the online storage which I'll tackle tomorrow night. At least I won't have to fiddle around with the wireless adapter anymore.

Feeling better tonight. I have recovered from my weakness and dizzy spells. The plan is to get to work tomorrow, but who knows .

Congratulations From A Cynic

Congratulations to America! Haven't got much to say about it ,as I'm very cynical about politics and politicians.
The new President is a man, not a God, and he's a politician. Sadly, due to the reckless policies of the current U.S. administration, the new President will not be able to keep many of his promises.

America, is bankrupt. There was never any money for health care, infrastructure, or education, but suddenly tons of cash was available for the private sector, from a government already heavily in debt . Now there really won't be any money for health care, infrastructure, etc. etc. Cynical ? you bet , and I'm not the only one
and this guy , who is extreme, and slightly mad, but I do love his column

I'm not letting my own country off the hook or the rest of the world. We were all of us blind greedy fools , and now the party is over. The hangover will take a very long time to recover from.

Maybe I'm just cranky, as this week isn't going so great . I'm home again today exhausted and in pain . The doctor's office called on Monday, to set up an appointment for November 28th. Usually when there's good news, the doctor calls me himself. I can only guess that he found something interesting in my spinal fluid and wants to tell me in person. Not that he's going to say anything I don't already know. I'm well aware of what's happening to my body and brain and there ain't much he, or I, or anybody, can do about it . There's no miracle drug out there for me ( including the latest find, alemtuzumab).
From now on it's all about preserving what I've got and making the most of it while I can. I'm cool with that.
The cable guy is coming over this evening to move the modem. I'm looking forward to having a newer faster computer( see all past posts on computer and tech woes)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

An Extra Hour

The end of Daylight Savings Time. I'm taking advantage of the extra hour this morning to do some catching up. This past week I was in survival mode , doing the basics and not much else. It was the first time in a very long time, that I didn't even do a thing for Halloween. No decorating , no treats, except for my near and dear ones. I don't feel guilty because there are no young children on my street anymore and most of my neighbours don't give out candy. That was one thing I found odd when I first moved here( among the many odd things)). In Toronto I always had swarms of kids, 150- 200 in one night trick or treating. I can even remember nights when one of us would have to rush out to the store and get fresh supplies of goodies so as not to disappoint anybody. I'm a real sucker for kids . I couldn't stand the thought of one coming to my house and me having to turn them away.
When my son was old enough to go out on Halloween his Dad and me took turns taking him around and one of us would stay home to give out candy. I remember the very last time he went out . He was a Las Vegas Elvis, complete with a jewel encrusted cape. What a hit he was with the middle aged ladies. They went crazy . At one house a bunch of women were having a party and when they say my Elvis son they came out and insisted on having their picture taken with him. I think he got extra treats too. I was wearing my viking costume which I still have packed away downstairs. If I can find the photo CD I'll post pictures later. His Dad always wore the most amazing costumes. One year he scared me to death when he dressed as a devil and another year as Frankenstein. Both were very convincing.

Then I moved to Hamilton and bought a house on a street were the neighbours insisted they were so friendly and sociable. It didn't take me long to figure out that meant getting drunk every weekend, including standing on the sidewalk in front of my house drinking beer. It didn't mean
doing what was right for their children. Then people wonder why their offspring turn out bad or ignore them in old age. Not that I think child rearing is some self righteous obligation. Most of the time it can be fun, like trick or treating.

Maybe by next year I will have my crazy twilight zone life sorted out and I can go back to enjoying Halloween. In the meantime I'm hanging in there. That's the best I can do.

I wanted to post this yesterday however there was a power failure . It messed the works up and took me nearly half the day to get it sorted. Ahh the combination of time, energy, and
co operative technology.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Green Therapy

Aha ! I knew there was a good reason for going on all those nature walks . More later,have to get back to the office

OK I'm back home .My plan to connect the computer has changed. The cable I need costs
$130.00 !! I called the internet company and it's only $30.00 for a techie to come over and move the modem downstairs. Naturally the customer service rep tried to sell me something while booking the appointment. Every time I call for any kind of service ,whether it's the gas company or the phone they try to get me to buy an extra service or product. I stopped going in the bank and only use the ATM now, because they were constantly trying to give me more credit cards or boost my line of credit.
If I added up all the credit offers given me in the past couple of years I could easily be $100,000. in debt. All because of the housing bubble. That nonsense is going to come to a screeching halt with the credit crunch, which I think is a good thing. I have an average income and a modest home, so it was insane for them to offer me all that money. I confess I did have a fantasy for awhile that if my MS got really bad, I would go on a mad spending spree and then go bankrupt.
Not feeling too bad tonight, not nearly as tired. perhaps my pills are finally doing the job ?
No word from the doctor yet regarding all the test results.

Here's a follow up story on the Debbie Purdy case. She's the woman in Britain with progressive MS, who's requesting a ruling on assissted suicide.Seems the courts may come down hard on anyone who helps a person who want s to die.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tech Woes

I'm using my son's laptop because my own computer is acting up. I think it's on the way out.
Tomorrow I have to buy a cable to connect the new (old) computer to the router and then I will have a faster , stronger computer( see previous post Computer Black hole).

Too bad I can't do that with my brain. Boost the memory and make it faster. My short term memory or rather lack of, is getting worse. I know this sounds crazy but either I didn't take my pills on Sunday or I took them three times, that's how bad my memory is getting. No wonder I feel dizzy. Now I have to do what all the old ladies do , put my pills in little boxes with each day marked.
Just imagine if I had to take more than one kind of pills !

Well I'm on the clock here. My son wants to play Spore and this is the only computer that can handle it. He's already evolved to the space stage taking on the Borg and I'm stuck at the tribal stage. At least I was able to figure out all my crypto quiz puzzles this month, so I'm not totally brain dead, yet.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mums






































































OK. I'm cheating, these are photos from last year's Mum show. I didn't make it there this weekend due to bad weather and (what else) fatigue! Maybe next week end . The show is on till November 2nd .

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Alemtuzumab

Alemtuzumab could this be the MS miracle drug ? Some scientists seem to think so .
Read about here
here and here

It's late and I'll do some research on it tomorrow and post more comments

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Return of the Dishwasher

At last, after waiting a week my dishwasher is running again. Turns out it was never installed properly. The hose was bent, it wasn't level, and some other nonsense with the "seals".
That's what I get for trying to encourage a person who took early retirement to start up a home reno business. I paid him good money too and now I'm having to pay others to correct his mistakes.

A dishwasher really is a labour saving device for me. I have a small pokey kitchen, do lots of cooking and there's always a ton of dirty dishes. It's also great in the morning to be able to shove the breakfast dishes in there and any other bits and pieces from the night before. I come home to a reasonably tidy kitchen, make dinner, and then after wards do one big wash. Plus you really do use much less water with a dishwasher compared to hand washing. Hey! if my cheapo ex thinks that, it must be true.

Feeling better today All my wounded body parts are healed and no longer attacking me with weird pain pulses. Still, even with the Amantadine I'm very tired. I'm also concerned about how absent minded I'm becoming. It's getting worse. I'm no longer able to multi task like before, always trying to do three things at once. I use to be good at it. Not anymore.

Here's a good "blame the patient story" from the NYT. I get that "you don't want to get better" routine from my family and I think at work they think the same thing. They just don't come out and say it directly to me. I know there are people who fake illnesses to get attention, which I find strange. Why Oh Why ! would you want to hang around doctor's and hospitals if you didn't need to. If I could get back all the time I've spent in the last four years going to doctors, going for tests, I'm sure it would total about three months. I would love to have that time back.

A couple of weeks ago somebody was commenting on how the hospitals don't keep patients in as long as they use to. I said that was a good thing. Better to be at home suffering than in a hospital. Not that the staff don't do a good job. It's just that no matter how hard they try, hospitals aren't cheerful places, aren't meant to be enjoyed.

I'm still in health care limbo, waiting, waiting , for decisions to be made about my fate.

The first snow of the season today

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Technology Blackhole

Saturday I wasted most of my evening messing around with computers , my time sucked into a tech black hole. I hope my alternate universe self had fun, I certainly didn't.
Now I know why I procrastinated so long to switch computers.
My son has a laptop and no longer needs his desktop . Since it has double the RAM of my computer, I thought I would switch and keep my old one as a back up or give it away.
The current set up is the cable modem is in my son's room and I connect to the internet with a wireless adapter.He can also connect wireless with his laptop. The adapter never has worked that great, although the one in the laptop is fantastic, very reliable.
My original plan yesterday was to move the modem downstairs close to my desk. We set about moving the computers which involved lots of dusting, including the inside of the computers . I think I'm a good house keeper till I move something and then seen a pile of dust bunnies .

My son went to work , his usual weekend afternoon shift . I carried on setting up my "new" work space. Well what do you know !The cable company has the modem fixed so that you can't move it ! There's a big metal clamp on the cable wire and a yellow warning label " not to be moved". As I'm not one much for obeying rules I did try unsuccessfully, to undo it . Nope it wouldn't budge.
O.K. on to plan B . I took my old computer and hooked it up to the wireless router, making it the "fixed" computer . I tested it and it worked fine. Next, I hooked up the new computer and installed the wireless adapter and software. Everything was great, working fine , until I tried to connect to the internet. The computer insisted there was no connection even though the wireless program said there was. I played around with it, did the usual defrag, reboot , routine . Still wouldn't work. Frustrated, I decided to call the tech service for the wireless. I've always found them very helpful , even though their product is garbage. Never, ever, again, will I fall for that line "just plug it in, install, and 1-2-3- your'e ready to enjoy you're new ------- " ( fill in with any computer add on) .

Call up the tech people and this very cheerful guy in Bangalore said yeah no problem we'd have it resolved in no time. No time in the tech world turns out to be four hours. You can't believe the stuff this guy had me doing. Finally he gave up and took remote access of the computer which I thought was pretty cool. I watched him do the same fiddling he had me doing for the past two hours and no luck,which at least gave me the satisfaction of knowing that I'm not such a twit. Time is passing, my energy reserves are waning, and still no connection.
Finally around 10 p.m. the tech guy says " Oh this is a 64 bit computer" "The adapter is not made for a 64 bit computer and we don't have any that are made for a 64 bit computer" " So sorry " !!!!!!

So here I am today no further ahead and my precious weekend hours frittered away thanks to the cable company, which is stupid to not allow the modem to be moved, and the stupid wireless company ,that will eventually go out of business because " they don't make adapters for 64 bit computers"
Now I must get get my pumpkin pie and brownies out of the oven. Baking is so much nicer than technology.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What a Pain !

After such a good day Thursday(considering I was at the hospital with a needle in my back)
Friday was a mess . Around 2:00 in the afternoon at work I started feeling pain in my hand were they took the blood sample , then it spread to my back, and then to my sore foot.It was like a circuit, back and forth , pulsing pain. I felt sick to my stomach. I closed my eyes and sat there trying to keep myself from crying. Luckily, about five minutes later my son called and said he was downtown and would meet me at work around 3:00 . There was hardly anybody around the office so I was able to leave early. Thank goodness my son did show up because I would have had a hard time getting home alone. When we got home we had dinner but I wasn't very hungry . I made some tea and flopped on the couch . I was hurting so bad . I was miserable. I tried to cheer myself up with a Kit Kat chocolate bar and more tea. It helped a little.

My evening was spent watching t.v., the news and a movie I've seen about ten times . I didn't care, I was too wasted to care. Finally around 10:00 I gave up. I took a sleeping pill , something I haven't done for awhile and went to bed. The pill helped, it knocked me out and amazingly the next morning I woke up with no pain .
I don't get it. My foot hadn't really hurt the past two weeks. I had trouble walking due to the swelling and it was sore, my hand was a bit sore and so was my back, but no sharp awful pain like I felt Friday.

Now today I'm feeling just a bit sore again. No pain. I have no clue what's going on with me . I was a miserable rotten lump and now I'm O.K. not fabulous just O.K

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Last Test

Today I had the last of the tests, a lumbar puncture, which was no big deal. I had a reaction to the freezing. Everything was going fine and suddendly I felt so hot and faint. Luckily I was sitting on a bed so the doctor had me lie back for a few minutes. I sat up again and he finished taking the sample. .When he was done I felt faint again and was sweating like crazy . I've always been a fainter. My astrology friend tells me it's a Libra trait

I was pleased when they took a blood sample, in that the nurse took it from the top of my right hand instead of in my arm. It's so much more comfortable that way. After wards I had to lie there for about an hour just to make sure I was no longer wobbly. The doctor came back to check on me and then told me to go home and take it easy.

My doctor is a great guy .I'm so in love with him. Before he did the test he sat down and had a talk with me . It's a good feeling to have a doctor who actually listens . (No not THE Dr. Who, although I wouldn't mind if he were my doctor) . His voice is so soothing and I really do believe that he cares. Once the tests results are in he's going to suggest treatments (read drugs) he already knows that I''m not a believer in the MS drugs so it will be interesting to find out what he has in mind. He's pleased that many of my symptoms have calmed down but is still concerned about the fatigue and cognitive issues.

I also have to compliment Hamilton General hospital. The staff are friendly and professional.
It comes a close second to St. Mike's in Toronto . The only thing that is the same at Hamilton General, like all hospitals, they have lousy signs ! Trying to find your way around is like a maze.

Not much else to comment on . We have another Conservative minority government, which means most likely another election soon. The Greens didn't make any headway even with Elizabeth May taking part in the debates.
I haven't been watching or reading the news much, as all they talk about is economic doom and gloom.

I feel pretty good More positive than I have felt in a long while.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

There's Always Chocolate

















Here's a few shots from the trail at Churchill Park. I decided against going down to the harbour this weekend as an algae bloom has covered everything in green slime . Yuck! The fall colours would have been amazing but after my kitchen wax explosion, which was green wax, I wasn't in the mood to see even more mess.

My Thanksgiving turkey was delicious as were my pumpkin pies. I really enjoyed the long weekend in spite of my kitchen disaster. The mild 20 C weather was a bonus


That MRI might not tell you much according to a New York Times story. I have to agree that MRI's are overused and often unnecessary. I've had three and only the first one was of any use .


Another story about rising chocolate sales due to gloomy economic news. One shop in Britain even has a "Credit Crunch" treat. I could go for some of those right now after my gloomy day at work . No comment.
Thursday I go for the last test (for now) a lumbar puncture. I don't know what else besides an autopsy, will satisfy my employer.
Think I'll have a chocolate now, a Lindt milk chocolate pumpkin, maybe two. The election results will be on soon so that's my excuse for indulging.
And speaking of elections. You think we have mud slinging, check these guys out

Saturday, October 11, 2008

No More Wax

Almost burned the house down today. I was heating wax on the stove. Instead of putting it on low heat I turned it to high by mistake. I went upstairs and by the time I came back the wax was boiling. I shut the heat off, put on an oven mitt, and picked up the pot. Trying to get it over to the sink I spilled some wax and it caught fire, then that spread to the pot, and then to some paper on the kitchen counter. I dumped the pot in the sink , which made things worse. I grabbed the water sprayer turned the cold water on high and manged to get the flames out. My kitchen is a mess and I burned my wrist yet luckily there's no serious damage. I spent a couple of hours cleaning burnt wax off everything. Tomorrow I will have to repaint one of the cupboards as the paint is singed. I had to throw out a lot of stuff

I'm always calm during an emergency. It's only after when it's over that I get freaked out.Amazing how fast a fire can spread.


Never will I buy depilatory wax again. They should put a warning on the label of how flammable it is, or is that inflammable ? Always get those two mixed up

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Italian Kitchen Secrets and Free Turkey

Here's a link to Italian Kitchen Secrets , a blog by a member of the postcard club, which I have added to my Hobbies blog list as well. The stuffed mushrooms look really yummy !

This evening even though I was exhausted, I went shopping at the local supermarket. I wanted to use up the free grocery points I had accumulated, which I mentioned in a previous post. It was just enough to pay for all the fixings for Thanks Giving dinner this weekend. I had forgotten what an awful tiring business grocery shopping is, as I've been doing it online for years. My son came with me to help carry everything. Both of us couldn't wait to get out of the place. So many annoying people who block the aisles , stand staring at the items on the shelves, or reading the labels on tins (yeah man they're peas, are you buying them or what ?). Then you get the love birds who hold hands while they shop, smiling at each other and kissing. I can't think of anything less romantic than grocery shopping.

Now I have a turkey to cook and pumpkin pies to make. I have a couple of days to rest up before I take that on. I might even be able to get out and take a few snaps of the fall colours as it's going to be a lovely mild weekend. Today walking home from work I didn't even need a jacket and I was able to leave the screen door open when I got home. . Just hope the guy who's suppose to come over to fix the dishwasher tomorrow shows up. I had to wash dishes by hand tonight, another thing I haven't done for years.

That's what I will be Thankful for this weekend. Labour saving devices.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It Could Be Something Else

Read here about another autoimmune illness which is often misdiagnosed as MS. The common thread in all of these illnesses seems to be fatigue and depression.

I was home again today. It's getting ridiculous how much time I take off work. Can't help it, I feel like a rag doll, even too tired to play Spore ! My foot is messed up again. When I got up this morning I couldn't even stand on it it was so swollen and sore. It's better now. Have to try and limit my walking for the next couple of days, which is hard to do. On work days (when I'm there) I like going out for a walk on my breaks and lunch. It clears my head.

Time to watch World Focus, a new program on PBS . I like that they have a variety of sources for their news stories ranging from mainstream media, to Al Arabiya and The Christian Science Monitor

I find I have a better world perspective when I get news from a variety of sources. Every media has their bias and I guess I have mine, but I do try to look at different points of view.

Google Goggles could save you from making a fool of yourself. Whenever I write an angry email I save it and look at it again a few hours later. Usually I end up not sending it. Sometimes it just feels good to write it down.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Spore

Ahhh ! Totally addicted to Spore can't control myself. I did at least go for a walk to test out my foot. I'm still limping a bit, but it's much improved. Now it's time to finish my chores and get ready for work tomorrow. Not much to say about my Health Canada appointment, accept that I think I still have a long battle ahead of me. I'd love to say more only the last thing I need is to get hassled for violating confidentiality, even though it seems to be OK for everybody to violate mine

Don't worry I haven't given up .

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Debbie Purdy

This morning I saw a news report on BBC about Debbie Purdy, a woman with progressive MS who has plans to eventually go to Switzerland for assisted suicide. She has asked the courts to rule on whether or not her husband will be prosecuted in England if he helps her. Although no one in Britain who has helped a person with suicide has been prosecuted, her husband could face 14 years in jail.

One thing that she said really struck a chord with me That she wasn't afraid of death, she was a afraid of the pain and the indignity of death. I'm not anywhere near Ms Purdy stage of MS, not even close, yet I know what indignity is. I think many of us who are caught in the health care system do, regardless of where we live or what kind of health care system we have.

How many times I've been hospitalized during my life and had to face indignities .To be tied in a bed in the hospital, have laxatives shoved down my throat, drugs pumped into my body not knowing what, too sick to care. To have my mother go and ask repeatedly for some towels for my hospital room . To have a nurse apologize to me after I gave birth to my son for being rude. Not just rude, down right hostile, because she didn't think I was " so far along" because I was"so so calm" and she thought I would be" around for hours", as if that should make a difference in treating a person with respect. To have a nurse slap me in the face and tell me to shut up. To be sick and left to clean up my own mess etc etc.

Now with MS I'm having to experience being either treated like: a child, a leper, a good cause, a fake. Having others make decisions about my life. Having to put up with all kinds of crap and I'm not even that sick. So I can just imagine what's going through Debbie Purdy's mind and why she wants death with dignity. Read about her here

I'll talk about my Health Canada experience tomorrow. I fell today and really hurt my foot so I'm not in the mood to write anymore.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Blogs Wine Pot and Pepper Mint

A cold, gloomy, rainy, day, didn't do much to lift my mood. I'm a bit down in the dumps and very, very, tired.


Ran across a few more MS blogs this evening:
Here's a new one: Life with MS No Balance by a former nurse and resident of Illinois.

Another blog by another nurse, Robin at Surviving Multiple Sclerosis
Then there's Laura at One Day at a Time and this guy who been blogging since 2004 at The Crazilynsane Multiple Sclerosis Blog

This blog India Songs on Demand has links to many MS videos.

Too many blogs to read, it's addictive !

Also read some articles about red wine, pot, and pepper mint oil massages, being beneficial to treat MS. They might be worth a try for some people. Myself, I'm already enough of a space cadet I don't need pot and I can't drink much these days so I guess the wine is out. The peppermint massage does sound appealing though.

AIDS maybe 100 years old

Tomorrow is my Health Canada assessment in Toronto. Have to catch the morning GO bus and then depending on how I feel and how much time I have, I might walk up Bay St. to the doctor.Need some time to clear my mind and walking always helps. I'm looking forward to the appointment and dreading it at the same time. I'm sick of repeating my sorry tale. Let's hope some good comes of it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Big Pharma Big Oil and Bathrooms

Not much happening today except the Amantadine is causing me bathroom angst. Having to go too often for one thing and not enough for another. How much water do I have to drink and fruit do I have to eat ? And Oh! how I hate having to use public bathrooms, but I have no choice now.
There are always annoying women doing disgusting things in public bathrooms. Don't even want to think about what their toilet at home must like.

I also have to check and see if another side effect of this drug is strange dreams. I had a real weird one last night with of all people in it, Bill Clinton ! I have to admit I did have a good time with the former president. It was very Clintonesque if you know what I mean (nudge nudge wink wink)

Read here about drug companies funding grassroots movements in Britain, that attack the National Health Service. Oil companies fund research to back Palin's campaign against protecting Polar bears .

Oh yeah and that test I have to have next week is a lumbar puncture. The doctor wants to check out my spinal fluid to see what's lurking there.I'm going along with it so that nobody( read insurance and bureaucrats) can say I didn't do everything possible to figure out this MS . Not that it will change anything, I'll still have MS.

Now I'm going to watch a tv program about the 46 million Americans who live without health care. One woman quoted as saying" they may as well take me out in the yard and shoot me. It would be cheaper" This is to remind me that no matter how fed up I get with the health care system here, it's still pretty good.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Hint of Colour


























































A beautiful warm fall day and I was feeling pretty good too. There's a slight hint of fall colours in the trees. I really think today should have been my birthday rather than yesterday when the weather was awful and I was a useless lump. At least I had well wishers to cheer me up and a yummy chocolate birthday cake. One conversation though that was not so good, but very informative, was with a guy who had an assessment with a Health Canada doctor. Oh! what a nightmare the poor guy went through to get a medical accommodation to tele work
He did give me some good advice. I feel much better prepared for my meeting on Thursday.

I have to admit that even though I think I often waste too much time on the web it can be an amazing thing . For me to be able to find out the answer to a question for a guy living in California, by asking a person in Japan, and while waiting for a reply, read a blog by a guy in Pakistan, and shop for groceries on line, is cool. Kind of makes up for all the time I waste watching Kung Fu movie clips on You tube.

Well not much else to tell. I think I'll enjoy the rest of the evening since it isn't often these days that I feel this good.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Up, Down, All Around

Like the financial markets and the weather, it's been an up and down sort of week for me. The Amantadine, I will say once again, works, yet the effect is very uneven. I can have a good morning followed by a not so great afternoon. The evenings are slightly better allowing me to stay up later. Instead of wanting desperately to go to bed by 8:00 p.m. I'm feeling that way at 10:00. I still took a sick day off work on Tuesday, and went in late on Thursday, which I'm not happy about. Not much I can do when my body simple refuses to cooperate so that even walking down the stairs is an effort. Fortunately I have some money in the bank. The unpaid leave is really starting to hit my paycheck . When I go for my health assessment next week I'm going to push hard to get tele work. I think it's the answer to allow me to keep working.

It's hard to explain to people how tiring it is to go into the office everyday. There's never a moment of peace and even breaks aren't restful. Everywhere I go there are people milling about. I try to close my eyes for a few moments and sure enough that's when somebody will pop up at my desk wanting something. I'm told I can use the "quiet room" to rest, but Oh! what a hassle that is. It's like trying to get admitted to the hospital and I really don't want a fuss around me when I'm tired and I don't really want to lie down in a dark room either.

Then there's the getting ready for work and the getting there part. Hey I'd like to go to work in my robe and slippers, with my hair in a ponytail, and no make up, only my vanity won't allow it.
I do dress much more casual these days, don't bother with accessories, don't fuss with my hair, and have toned down my shoes, which is as much as I'm willing to let go for now. I'm already having to give up so much with MS, can't I at least still have my mascara? Silly Libra vanity I know. Can't help it.

They do have a job lined up at work for me that would be ideal for tele work. I'm so superstitious even just writing about it makes me think I'm jinxing myself. That's Catholic /Italian/French Canadian , brainwashing from years go that's still in me. Yes Italians and French Canadians are a very superstitious lot. I remember when I was pregnant, my mother, who is a very intelligent lady, covered my eyes when we passed by a person in a wheelchair. She believed that if I looked at the person it would be bad luck and harm the baby. On both sides of the family they always talk about good luck, bad luck, omens, signs, curses, spirits, fate, etc. etc. I try to tell myself it's all nonsense,
still....

Got a letter from the doctor today about more tests on October 16th, which I have no clue what that's about. Have to wait and check on Monday as the office closes early on Friday. Maybe over the weekend I'll remember exactly what the doctor wants to probe next. Once I get my assessment done I think that's going to be it for me with the tests. What the heck good do they do ?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Leaves are Falling


Here's a shot of Whithern, a 19th century home in downtown Hamilton that's now a museum. I'm hoping if I feel better tomorrow I can go out and do more photos while the trees are still green. We should get good fall colours this season as the trees are healthy from all the rain this summer. Looking forward to that.

"Leaves are falling love is calling in the fall"

That's it, summer is done and fall is here. I was grateful for it not being too hot this summer and glad I had some time off. I wanted to write more only I'm feeling like total crap tonight.

So here's my lazy blog with a very good article in the asia times about the bail out of U.S. banks.
and a Bling auction for charity.

The sun is now in my sign Libra, maybe it will renew me.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Not Bad Day, Bad Day

Ahhh Save me from the cell phone company with there 10 page bills that you need a PHD in telecommunications to figure out. I spent another hour on the phone trying to get this one sorted. After being told about ten times that it was my long distance that was a problem turns out it isn't so. It's my day time minutes allocation! What crap nonsense. I tell you, cell phones are a racket and I will never sign up for a plan ever again . I'm giving it one more month and if it's the same mess; I don't care how much it costs to get out of the contract I'm canceling and going back to pay as you go.

Yesterday I wanted to do a drug update as it's been three weeks since I started taking Amantadine. Then my internet went funny and was never very good all day. Something outside, I don't know what, was disrupting the wireless signal . I decided to busy myself with chores and errands. The plan was that I would get all caught up and then maybe go for a swim at the Y today. Well, I got up this morning feeling like a train wreck and still feel pretty lousy now.

I don't know if I'm ever going to get the hang of this MS business. I didn't think I was pushing myself too much on Saturday, compared to what I use to accomplish (pre MS). I suppose it didn't help either that when I went out in the afternoon the weather was hot and humid and I really was over dressed for that. Last night I went to bed and my left leg was acting up again with odd pains,tingling, and some twitching, making it hard to settle down and get to sleep.
Things that I can ignore during the day are impossible at night.

As far as the drugs go I can say the Amantadine, does work to a degree . I'm a wreck today, but not a zombie brain dead wreck .

On October 2nd I have my appointment with the Health Canada doctor. Finally ! I got a letter on Friday from our medical officer at work confirming it . The only thing that bugged me was
the letter says he received more medical information that allows them to proceed with the assessment . What the heck does that mean ? If the recent tests I've had revealed anything I'm sure my doctor would have let me know, since he does do phone calls. Well I'm not going to waste anymore precious brain cells worrying about it. All I have to do now is prepare. I'm going to review my blog and write down all the symptoms I've talked about over the past few months. Hey this blog is turning out to be useful !
I'm also going to write down what I think my needs are and what the duty to accommodate should include. If I bring that information with me I won't have to worry if I'm having a bad, brain dead day . I'm also going to get in touch with a couple of people who have been through this already to get an idea of what happens at these meetings.

That's all I can do, the rest I have to leave to fate.

Yes, I'm a fatalist in the sense that I believe I do have some control over my destiny, but there are always forces outside of me that I can't control.

Friday, September 19, 2008

MS World Congress

An article in the Toronto Star, about MS caught my eye today. I was not aware of the" World Congress on Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis" that is being held this week in Montreal, September 17-20.

Here's a few links to it for more information:
cnw
Montreal.org

Medscape


The Star article is about research linking vitamin D and MS.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Quick Amantadine Update

This was the first morning that I felt the Amantadine was really working. I was much more alert
and focused. I also noticed last night that my legs and feet aren't bothering me as much which makes it easier to sleep. Still have many bathroom trips though. I'll see how things go this afternoon and evening.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Test Day




Beautiful weather today, mild and partly cloudy, perfect for a walk. Here's a scene from the harbour

Right now I'm watching an old Billy Joel concert from 1978. Songs from his first album "The Stranger". It's pretty good. Where is PBS digging up all these old concerts ?


Another test out of the way! I didn't even get my foot massage, as they didn't do the leg test. I got the impression the technician wasn't quite sure what she was doing, the way she fiddled around with the nobs and kept checking the computer screen. Same thing happened last time I had this test. Maybe they don't it that often ? If weren't for my employer nagging me, I doubt I would bother to go for more tests. What do they prove ? I still have MS and when they do find something wrong, it's not like they can fix it.

Because the test was shorter than planned, it gave me some time to go buy birthday gifts for my son and order a cake. Don't know why they can't do black trim icing or a skull decoration like the last cake. Have to settle for dark blue and no skull. I think the cake lady enjoyed being be the fun police. My son will be 19 and of legal drinking age. Sure hope he doesn't pick up the drinking habit, what with all the stories about binge drinking in the news. They really do like to push booze on young people. Seems like every event at the university features drinking or is sponsored by a beer company. I've never been much of a drinker. With my MS I find I can't drink at all, one glass of wine or a beer is my limit. There is much alcoholism on both sides of his family so it worries me.

Worrying, something I'm good at. My Dad says that I come by it honestly as the Lanno's
(my family name) are expert worriers and could teach a course on it.

Not much in the news except all the financial woes. I wonder how America feels now that they are officially a socialist country ?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Two Hours of Normal

This morning for about two hours I felt almost normal again. By that I mean the way I use to feel before MS. Not that I was skipping down the street or anything. It was good to not feel anything and by that I mean no : itching or twitching, numb forehead, brain dead, sore eye, sore leg.

Tomorrow I go for another EVP test at a different hospital. Why did my old stupid twit doctor, have to lose the last test results ! It's such a waste of everyone's time and money. Well, at least I'll get a foot massage out of it.


The Amantadine is helping me get through the day. Not a miracle drug but it does help.
One side effect is frequent bathroom trips. Haven't noticed any others.

Today I finished writing a report on my thoughts about work and medical accommodations.
A facilitator has been appointed at work to review all the duty to accommodate requests and make recommendations on how to streamline the process. I thought he might like to know about my three year wait.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blurry Eye

Not much to say tonight. My right eye was hurting and blurry all day. It's a little better now.

I have had four different contractors, give me four different versions of what is causing the leak in my basement. There's a gap on the side of the house that will be repaired tomorrow and the pipe for the eaves troughs, will be diverted to the storm sewer, not down the drain the way it is now. Turns out my new eaves troughs are too efficient, the drain can't handle it. It didn't help that we had record rainfall this summer. I would prefer the water flow out into the back garden but that isn't feasible.
That's it for me I feel lousy tonight and can't type anymore.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Raccoon Buffet

This morning I came downstairs, opened the door to have a look at what the weather was doing, and saw garbage everywhere. The raccoons haven't had a buffet at my house for awhile so I guess it was my turn. I put the kettle on for tea and then headed back outside with a broom. Just as I was about to unlatch the screen door I saw something flutter on top of the now dried out cone flowers. At first I thought it was a leaf , then realized it was a tiny bird. A yellow bird, with grey and black colouring on the sides. I watched it picking away at the top of the cone flower and decided not to disturb it. Went back in the kitchen to get breakfast ready, taking a peek outside every couple of minutes to see what the bird was up to . I decided to take some pictures which didn't turn out any good. Hard to get good shots through a screen door ! The bird hung around for about half an hour, then suddenly was gone. Now I could go out and clean up the mess and Oh what a smelly, disgusting, mess it was . After that was done I went down to look at the flowers. The bird had picked the tops clean. I never knew birds liked cone flowers . Even though I do like the way the dried tops look in the winter with snow on them, I don't mind them being bird food, especially for such a cute bird.

Now as for the raccoons. Live in the city next to a ravine and believe me, you won't think they're so cute.

The Amantadine seems to be working, yet I find it's very uneven. Not sure if it will balance out eventually.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Nostalgia and the Weather.

Yesterday evening I was feeling too awful to do anything ,much less blogging. Even eating my dinner was an effort. I flopped on the couch and watched two concerts on the PBS channel which they should rename the "Boomer" channel . One concert was Queen, in Montreal 1982 and the other The Who, in Kilburn 1977. I'm not a fanatic about either band, not like some people for whom rock music is a religion. They were good concerts and helped get me through a very depressing, rainy, gloomy , night. A bit of nostalgia too, as they reminded me of an old boyfriend, and of my brother and his kooky air guitar playing friends.

I was also very sad seeing Freddie Mercury, which reminded me of my friend Craig, who also died around the same time from AIDS. It was like the title of that book by Simone Signoret "Nostalgia Isn't What It Use To Be"

I didn't mind the rain so much during the summer, it kept the temperatures down and saved having to water the garden. I'm starting to get fed up with it now though. I need to get some work done on my house and can't until things dry out. My garden is a total mess. I can't even imagine the pure hell it must be to live in an area with all the hurricanes. This week I got an email from a woman in Louisiana. She was replying to a message on a postcard I had sent her . I had written that I hoped the storms weren't causing too much problems for her and her family. Her reply was that Gustav, was a disaster for them and they have been without power for a week. Now this morning on the news I see hurricane Ike is causing havoc in Texas. I wonder if I ever had to evacuate where the heck would I go? If all the people living on the southwest shore of Lake Ontario were told to leave their homes, it would be chaos.

Feeling a little better today .Not sure what I'm going to get up to as the weather is looking like we will have more rain.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Green Power

The Green's are in !
Bowing to public pressure, the Conservatives and New Democrats, have agreed to allow Green Party leader Elizabeth May, to take part in the debates. Read about it here and commentary here that will lead you to more election stories and information about the Green Party.
Now we might actually hear something worth listening to instead of the usual "that other guy is a bum, vote for me"
I dare to dream that we might actually have the guts to elect a Green MP.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Drugs, Fall , and Elections

Here's a statue in the park next to city hall commemorating Ukrainian Immigrants. I didn't bother to take a picture of city hall, because it's so damn ugly.

I try to imagine what it would be like to pack up and leave my home for another country. Where would I go ? Now a days we get many immigrants from South Asia . Last week a couple of South Asian guys starting working at my office and I'm glad. We need to spice up that stale white bread place.
And it sure was stale today. The same old tired excuses . Won't bother to say why . I'll be so glad when I can go back to not really knowing my manager and not caring. It will just be some person I have to endure at the occasional meeting and make nice with at the Christmas lunch .

It's a cool 10C tonight. The weather all week has been fall like: cold mornings , warm afternoons, and cold nights. I don't mind except it's hard to know what to wear. It feels strange to ditch the cotton summer clothes , put on a jacket, and shoes with socks. I have to admit I was getting fed up with wearing sandals .My feet really take a beating by the end of the summer.

I've decided that tomorrow I'm going to up the Amantadine dose, taking another pill at lunch in addition to the morning one. I don't really want to, yet I'm noticing that the effect wears off by midday, so I could use an extra boost. I'm still not convinced it's the right thing to do but I feel I have no choice. I can't handle being the zombie woman anymore.

I'm disappointed that the election campaigns in Canada and the U.S. are becoming all about personality attacks . I'm so sick of hearing why the other guy is bad and I shouldn't vote for him. Why should I vote for you ?
I added Zach's blog to my hobbies list. He mentioned it on a postcard from Malaysia.
Check it out and help him decide if he should take the job with the airline.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

MS Info

Had an email today from MS Watch about an article in Reader's Digest Women's Issues and MS
I think it's a reprint, still it's worth a look.

Thanks to Anne at Disabled Not Dead I've discovered another MS blog by Linette which I'm adding to my links.
Finally a very good article in the New York Times about Life and Death read it here

Not much else to say I'm really tired and can't think straight Also have more house repair woes to look into.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Just Get On With It

No time today for photos . I was too busy being courted by management and the union today and writing up a report about my work/MS situation. Lots going on that I can't talk about except to say things are heading in a much more positive direction. Now if they would just get on with it and quit all the talking. Oh the bureacratic tribalism of the office!

The Amantadine seems to be working. I feel tired tonight but it is more of a normal, end of the work day kind of tired instead of a zombie, brain dead, tired. I even managed to get out for a walk after dinner. I also notice that it's a little easier to fall asleep as I have less of the twitches.

Tomorrow I have to get myself over to the Farmer's Market to buy what I think will be the last of the summer peaches. The apples are on sale now . I had my first Macs of the season and they taste really good.

I'm all talked out or rather typed out, thanks to all the yakking and writing at work today.

If you really want change vote Green.