Monday, November 30, 2009

Furnace Day

Get my new furnace installed Tuesday. Good thing the weather is reasonable as I won't have any heat all day!!

Think I'll pop out and get my blood test done finally. Have to get started with the mega vitamin D soon.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Celebrity MS : Does It Help Us ?

Last night I watched the movie "Hillary and Jackie" 1998, a film about the cellist Jackie du Pre, who's career was cut short and died from progressive MS.

This film was a box office hit and received several Academy Award nominations.

Du Pre's rapid decline from MS and her debilitating symptoms were difficult for me to watch. Questions kept popping up in my mind "Does a film like this and the high profile celebrity of the person, do anything to educate people about MS?" "Is it because I am sensitive about my own MS that I was disturbed by this movie?" " Does being a celebrity, having an illness like MS, and going public with it, benefit us regular folks with MS or does it do more harm?" "Is any of this really the point?" "Films are meant to be enjoyed and not teach, unless they are documentaries?"

So many questions. I guess because no matter how much we try to inform people about MS, the majority have no clue what it is. My city has a small population 500,000. Every year there is an MS walk. One of our hospitals is a leader in MS research, yet most of the people who live here no nothing about MS or what they do know is so filled with prejudice and misconception.

So I guess I'm asking the big question. Does a film like Hillary and Jackie, help educate us concerning MS, or does it scare the bee geeburrs out of us and cause harm?

Du Pre had a rare, extreme, form of MS and how do we know that she didn't have other conditions that caused her death? Many MS suffers have additional serious illnesses. Just because you have MS doesn't mean you are safe from other health problems. It's not like God says: "OK you have MS so I'll give you a break". Maybe because her decline was so rapid they never did diagnose any other condition and just assumed it was the MS.

Imagine finding out you have MS, something you know very little about. You or a member of your family watches a movie like this and/or Montel Williams spreading so much misinformation about MS.

Not a very good start is it?

Bad enough you have journeyed through the maze of tests, and doctors, and diagnosis,
(if you are lucky) and misdiagnosis (most likely) and then your first experience with high profile individuals with MS, are a women who declines and dies, and a guy who tells you to drink lots of juice.

The celebrity world is not one I'm keen on. I could care less what they wear, where they go, and don't care about their views on anything. I'm just wondering if it is a good thing to show high profile individuals with an illness or does it do harm ?

I apologize for my sloppy editing. Typing this takes me so long due to my ever weakening typing skills. I'm simply too tired to polish it up.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Here's wishing all my American buddies a Happy Thanksgiving. Go easy on the turkey and may Santa bring you a decent health care bill.

I am amazed to read in the New York Times how many people look up turkey recipes.
Too late for today I guess, but here's my easy advice to cook a tasty juicy turkey.

1. Buy a fresh turkey. You are better off with a smaller fresh turkey, than a bigger frozen one. A smaller portion of something tasty, is better than a large portion of dried up tasteless meat.

2. Don't bother to stuff the turkey You can make the stuffing and bake it separate from the bird. Instead, put a half onion, a few celery stalks, a carrot, and a bunch of parsley tied with string (so it is easy to remove later)in the cavity. You don't even have to peel them, but wash and make sure the onion is cut in half. As for seasonings, that's your choice I rub a little sage on top and a bit of seasoning salt. This will add so much flavour to the pan juices for gravy later.

3. Start the oven at a high temperature 400-425 for the first half hour or so to give the turkey a chance to brown. Then turn the heat low to about 300- 325.

4. Check it every hour or so. Drain off any pan juices, and instead of using them to baste the turkey, use some water. Pour about half a cup of water all over the turkey and keep draining it off as you go along. Trust me, it really works and you will have enough pan juices to make a ton of tasty gravy.

5. You can use a thermometer to test if the turkey is cooked. I don't. I can tell from the legs( the skin will have shrunk away on them) and if the pan juices are clear, if it is done. Roughly one hour, plus another hour for every kilo. I have never had anybody get sick from eating my turkey, so I must be doing it right. And speaking of that: Allow the turkey to stand for about 20 minutes before you slice it, HOWEVER, DO NOT, let it sit around too long and don't keep it in a warm oven for very long after it is cooked. Half hour MAX. If you don't have time to remove all the meat from the carcass please find room in the fridge for the leftover turkey.
The greatest source of food poisoning is food improperly cooked and left to sit around. Also cross contamination. Clean any area, plates, and utensils used to prepare the raw meat and use clean ones to serve( yeah it's Mom again)

6. Take all your pan juices and if you want to remove the fat, place them in the fridge to allow it to cool and then just skim the fat off.

7. Put the pan juices to boil on the stove with the vegetables you used in the turkey. Allow that to simmer for a few minutes to squeeze as much flavour out of everything. Remove all this from the liquid and then taste to see if it needs more seasoning. Be careful not to burn your tongue(Gee do I sound like your mother?) The best way to thicken the gravy without having it turn out all gloppy and lumpy, is to use potato or rice flour or a combination of both. You can buy Veloutine which is a premixed combination of these and great because unlike regular flour, you can put it right in the hot liquid. Use a whisk to blend and if it gets a little too thick, simply add some water.
8. If you have to use regular flour, make a roux, which is flour blended with some melted butter. Add some of the liquid to this and whisk, then add that to the remaining liquid You can always make a bit more roux if the gravy isn't thick enough.If you still get lumps simply strain the whole works.

It really is much easier than it sounds and truthfully is much less tiring than me writing all this out. Don't be afraid It's only a turkey. If you have any questions feel free to ask. I'm always available to answer food questions. Food being one of my favourite things

Advice: Don't cook everything !! If baking isn't your thing buy pre made desserts !
Use frozen vegetables to save all that peeling They can taste as good as fresh if you don't over cook them.

Don't be a cooking martyr. If you don't feel like cooking. Don't do it! You can buy an entire cooked turkey meal with all the trimmings for about $90. it's supposed to be enough for 4 people, but I'm certain without gluttony it could serve 8.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's No Picnic

The gloomy, rainy, weather, has me in a funk. I really shouldn't be complaining about 11C temperatures considering that furnace use is at a minimum and I still don't need my winter coat.

I'm simply frustrated at the return of the pulsing in my ears and the pain in my left foot. I was fine and then out of nowhere the whooshing started and the pain, and now I feel crummy. Crummy because I wanted so bad to rest this afternoon due to a major fatigue jag. No luck though. Think I'll have an early vapour session this evening. I have to attend a "town hall meeting" tomorrow and with the entire group from work there, the last thing I need is to be all shriveled. They have enough to gossip about. I'm in no mood for the "poor Carole" or "she's faking it" comments. Whispered of course! Not only that, the agenda promises to be extremely boring. I don't do boring so good these days.

Strange that I had to see a news story about a recall of swine flu vaccine in Canada, on BBC World. Nothing about it in the local media. 178,00 doses were recalled by Glaxo Smith Kline, due to higher than normal allergic reactions which included breathing problems, rashes, and shock. I guess they thought the big story was a deer running around downtown Toronto.

At least I did get to see a movie I have heard about over the years "Mr Hulot's Holiday". The misadventures of Mr Hulot and his fellow vacationers was funny and
made me think of a few holidays I've had like that. Now in summer when anyone says to me "Lets rent a cottage on the shores of( insert name of Great Lake) for a week" I pretend I don't hear them. More about that another time. I need to shower and get my "medicine" ready. Gee I sound like those old ladies who sip their therapeutic brandy.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Follow Up On Some Research

Here is a very good summary about "Research into Blood Flow in the Brain and Venous Insufficiency, or CCSVI, in MS".

This research was in the news a couple of months ago and several bloggers did discuss it. I find this article is written in plain language. Well, as plain as any scientific research can be made. There is also a FAQ list that you might find helpful.

My understanding is that blood flow problems may be causing the inflammations that result in myelin damage. The researchers are building on studies that were abandoned years ago, as MS research moved toward studying the immune system causes of MS. This does not mean that current research is misguided nor that the old research was useless. It means (to me)that perhaps there is a new way to resolve the MS question and come up with treatments, that would lessen the need for the powerful drugs that are now used to combat MS. In future, a procedure such as one used to unblock clogged arteries might help relieve MS and prevent further symptom episodes. Not a cure, but a step in the right direction

I am posting this today aware that it is old news, however this article and the FAQ's really cleared up some of the questions I had about this research. It's possible my interpretation is wrong. That's why you should read it for yourself and decide. I am not an MS expert as some blogger claim to be. I am trying to find something positive, that can make me and maybe others, feel a little more hopeful about our situation.

It might have to do with me feeling better about things these days and make up for all the whining I do.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Results

The neuro appointment went smoothly My balance is not so great and my reflexes aren't either, otherwise physically, things aren't that bad.

My doctor wants to try mega doses of vitamin D. This seems to be the latest treatment for MS. I have to have a blood test first and then will most likely take about 4,000 units a day to start. I was just too tired to go for the blood test today. I'm already taking 1,000 units a day as a supplement, so I'm part way there.

I don't know what the big deal was about the Health Canada report. The doctor there DID, recommend for me to work at home and my neuro DID, give a diagnosis of relapsing remitting MS. Yes, there was a suggestion I go see a psychiatrist but that was not mandatory, as my employer insisted. I discussed it with my doctor and he said that's a standard recommendation when an individual is diagnosed with an illness like MS.

I explained to him that at the time (last fall) I was so stressed out about my work situation that I was depressed and I did feel suicidal. When you are losing half your pay cheque due to illness and your employer is stone walling, on top of the MS, that would make most anybody depressed. Regardless of how low I was feeling, I would never have killed myself.

What happened is instead of trying to resolve my work situation my employer focused on one thing. Lets pack her off to a shrink and he will fix her up. If that doesn't work, we will pension her off and be done. Not sure if it's lack of caring,laziness, or both. Luckily, a court case( Lloyd vs CRA) came along just at the right time to help me out. Now things aren't that bad at work. I'm at home four days and one day in the office per week.

I've decided to move on and look ahead. Will I forgive and forget ? NO !!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Said Doctor, Doctor, Mr MD

Have my Neuro appointment in the morning. Not exactly over the moon about that.
What's the point? At least I will finally get my hands on the Health Canada report I had to fight so hard to get released. Tonight I don't feel like a bag of bones. I feel like a piece of raw bacon lying around.

You want a nice, no whining blog ? Sorry, guess you will have to go elsewhere.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Not much in the mood for writing. Way too tired. Here's an interesting article about the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland. 80% of people who get permission to end their life decide not to That's how effective the counseling is. We need to have a dialogue here in Canada to allow assisted suicide No I'm not contemplating it. I just think it would be worthwhile to know that if things were really bad I could die with dignity.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It Started With A Mirror

Watching the silent version of "The Thief of Bagdad' with Douglas(hunk) Fairbanks.
These silents films have been given a boost with new music soundtracks

It started with the installation of a new mirror. I was at a discount decorating store on Saturday looking for Christmas cards, and noticed a dusty mirror sitting in a corner. It was such a good deal I couldn't resist. Oval shaped with an ornate antique gold coloured frame. Today I put it up and it looks pretty snazzy. Had one of those rare bursts of energy, so next thing you know I'm practically reorganizing the entire upstairs of my house. Managed to conquer the dust bunnies too. The weather was bad out otherwise I would have gone for a long walk. It was so nice to feel good for a few hours. I hit the wall around 3:00 and couldn't do much after that. Still, tonight I don't feel so bad.Tired but not weak.

I think my feeling good is partly due to my THC vapour knocking me out, which allowed me to have a nice long sleep on Saturday night. I am only using it a few times per week in the evening at stronger doses, rather than every day mild ones. Saturday I was in so much pain with the sensation of a nail being shoved up the bottom of my left foot. Decided I may as well have a good stiff shot of vapour and it worked. My foot calmed, my twitchy leg relaxed, and I fell asleep. Nice !

The beauty of it is I wake up the next morning and I don't feel like a zombie like I do when I take sleeping pills. Haven't had one of those in awhile and I don't miss it. Don't miss the yucky metallic taste in my mouth either.

Haven't had much time for my blog and when I have time, I don't have the energy. This week I had seriously considered packing it in. I wonder if there is any point to this blogging? Well, here I am at it again.

The weather continues mild. Saturday was like a spring day. I know it won't last. The Santa Claus parade was today and snow is just around the corner.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Energy Audit

No, not on me, although I could use one. This audit will allow me to get a rebate from the government when I install a new furnace, which looks like I'm going ahead with. Getting a new central air unit too, thanks to MS. Meaning, that I always thought of air conditioning as a luxury and now I see it as a necessity.

On December 1st it will be bye bye, to the old clunky furnace and noisy air conditioning unit. Plus I should save some money on my gas bill.

Got the Swine Flu shot today. It was pure fluke. I was in the mall on my way to the bank and noticed another clinic . It was so quiet, not like the long noisy lines of the last two weeks. I thought what the heck, may as well get one. I was in and out in less than five minutes, aside from the twenty minute wait after the shot.

Remembrance Day
" Never Forget - Never Again"

The Berlin wall fell without any violence. Why can't we resolve all issues that way?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

MS Update

Well it is called Carole's MS Blog, which I haven't had the energy to update.

I am soooooooooo tired. Not sleepy tired. Weak, bag of bones, tired. I have one good day were I get busy and then one horrible day were I can barely move. Even now I don't feel liking typing this. Only doing it because next week I have to see the neuro and I want to remind myself of how awful I feel.

AND how many people come to me for advice. I help them yet nobody can help me with this. I suppose if I was rich and had servants it would be less bothersome. Only I don't and lots to do, only I don't have the strength. It sucks !!!!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Veterans Week

Once again I'm a little late posting this. Here are some links to veterans week activities and Operation Legacy "Never Forget - Never Again"

veterans affairs

operation legacy

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Charles and Camilla

Well I managed to get at least one decent shot of the famous wave.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Marijuna for Autism

Read here about a mother's decision to give her son medical marijuana to treat his autism. I disagree with some of what she has to say. A vapourizer, although not cheap, isn't nearly as expensive as she says and it doesn't leave the house reeking of pot.

Might go see the royals at Dundurn castle tomorrow. Not a fan of the monarchy. Just want to see Camilla up close, which might be possible as the public is welcome and they want it to be informal. Sir Allan McNab, the laird of the castle, was her great, great, great, grandfather.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Go Dad !!!

Congratulations to my Dad, on passing his driver's license test. Pretty good for a ninety year old guy. I pity the fool who tells him his license is fake!

Got a new HD cable box. Oh what fun on the telephone this evening trying to get the thing activated. Me reading out two long number codes, being put on hold, rereading the codes, being put on hold, rereading the codes, until at last! The tiny light turned on, only to shut off again. The tech guy assured me that it would magically turn on again in half an hour. Here we are, three hours later, and no magic.

Heard the new swine flu, public service ads on the radio today. After weeks of brain washing to get the shot, we are told only high risk groups can get one for now. And they try to make it seem like this was the plan all along. Don't you just love government propaganda ?

Monday, November 2, 2009

More Pointless Research

Came across this story today in the Toronto Star. Read about the Marshmallow Effect.

Yeah put marshmallows in front of a kid, leave the room, and then you are surprised when they eat the marshmallows, even though you promised them more if they waited.
This is credible? Sorrow to tell you dear parents but your child is doomed because they couldn't wait to eat a marshmallow! Sheesh!! What next? Any wonder we still don't have cures for so many illnesses?

Feeling Guilty

OK. You may think this post adolescent and/or tell me to ask an advice columnist.
Hey! What's the point of having a blog if I can't use to sort out some of my dilemmas, even if those dilemmas are no big deal in comparison to big problems all around me? Age does not always bring wisdom and I find myself confronted with situations that are no different than ones I faced in kindergarten. AND I know there is loads of free advice out there, so feel free to post a comment, even if it is simply to tell me to grow up.

Do you ever find yourself starting a friendship with a person only to find as you get to know them, that you don't really like the individual? There is a saying "the less you know a person, the more you like them". It's not so easy to tell a person to buzz off or cut ties, especially when that person has been kind when others didn't care.

Yet I find that certain people thrive on helping others, not so much because they want you to feel better but because it makes them feel better. I also dislike that this results in the person claiming bragging rights "Oh if it weren't for me you would be a mess" and "you have this and that and it's all thanks to me". They also like to remind you constantly about how caring and compassionate they are.

What I would like to do is tell this person "Yes I am grateful, you did help me, only now I feel you are holding me ransom to that help. How long to I have to go on paying you back? You are a good person, however I find your constant bragging and constant need of compliments very draining. Yes you do good in the community and you have a big heart, yet why do you have this need to always tell everyone, all the time about it? Why must you always tell me how much you paid for everything you own?" Remind me all the time of how you live in a ritzy neighbourhood and everyone is jealous of that. You think that is why you don't have any friends, because people are jealous of you, when in fact they are just so fed up and really don't want to hear how your expensive designer sunglasses were stolen or your that your husband bought you an expensive designer watch, or that you just won another award for your good works."

Nah, I may as well face the truth. I will never say those things. I just can't be that cruel. Perhaps I'm also afraid that I will be confronted with my own annoying faults and I can't handle it. Meanwhile, I still have a buddy that I don't really want.

I also have a fair weather friend and a relative I don't get along with who is in jam, but that will have to wait for another time.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Standard Time

A beautiful mild day today for the start of Standard Time. Why can't we leave the clocks alone and stop this nonsense of day light savings time. What exactly are we saving?
My stairs and walkway are finished at last! A few finishing touches still to do but at least I can use my front door again. How nice to have shallower stairs and a wider path. I went out tonight to organize the recycling and it was effortless to climb up and down. Ah! relief for my wonky knees. I'll take some photos once everything is done. Next will be the windows and doors to be replaced.All this reno work, maybe I should have torn the house down and started over.

It's official. There isn't enough Swine Flu vaccine to go around. The clinics are still on for this week, yet only for high risk groups. Apparently there was a foul up at the plant producing the vaccine. Shots for regular folks won't be available for several weeks. The chief medical officer said they weren't expecting such a high turn out at the clinics. Well what did they expect? They have bombarded us with ads to "get the shot" "get the shot" and now that we have decided "OK I will get the shot" they don't have enough. If they don't have them available again before Christmas, I'm not even going to bother. Seems rather pointless. What a total cock up of a mess, the way this whole situation has been handled. I wonder what would happen if we had a serious plague? Best not to think about it.

I switched my cable t.v. channel line up this weekend. So many channels I didn't watch anymore. I now have Silver Screen Classics, which is turning out to be a great channel. I watched "A Night To Remember" this evening. The 1958 version of the sinking of Titanic. When I first saw it as a girl it made quite an impression on me Although the recent version by James Cameron is good I still prefer this one. Not sure if that's due to nostalgia or not. Anyway, I'm a movie nut, so this will be a great way to pass the dark, chilly, winter nights.

Well even with an extra hour I seem to have used up my day. Time to shut everything down and get ready for sleep.