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


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 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


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.