Friday, January 30, 2009

Stem Cells Cure MS ??

Article in The Independent today regarding a successful trial of stem cell implants in MS patients All 21 in the trial had their MS stopped in it's track and in some case reversed. Keep in mind all the participants were young and in the early stages of MS. They were also taking Alemtuzumab, (wouldn't be great if these drugs had simple names ?) so it is unclear how the drug effected the results . Still with all the gloomy news these days something to hope for.
Here's The Lancet article (warning: heavy nerding in this one)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fun While It Lasted

A couple of weeks ago I joined Wellsphere, a health website, only to find out today it's been taken over by Health Central. Which is too bad as I'm a believer in " smaller is better". If it remains a separate entity I will stick around, otherwise, I'll pass . Not that I have anything against Health Central, it's just too big and they already have loads of MS bloggers on it. I'll have to get rid of my little award too. I put it on here simply to direct traffic to the site, because I thought it was worth checking out. It's really just a symbolic award and has no significance. I would hate anyone to get the idea that I'm some big MS expert. No, I don't think I'll ever figure it out.

Had an awful day. I was a zombie and this tingling is a nuisance. Nothing makes it go away.

If the weather isn't too bad tomorrow I'll get the camera out again I'm taking part in a small photo project. A lady in Taiwan sent me a postcard with a picture of a teddy bear on it that her artist friend made. I have to take the card and take a photo of it. I think a shot of a big pile of snow will be a typical Canadian scene and we have lots of it right now. I'll post the pictures here on the weekend if I take any.
Now I have to go have a look at herrad's blog, so I can post a link to it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Even More Snow

We had 20cm of snow pile up. It started last night and finally ended around 6:00 this evening.
Not fun walking home in that blowing snow storm. I'm really tired tonight,so instead of a long post I decided to read other blogs , do some comments and update my blog list.
My hands and feet are mega tingly tonight.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Miss Me ?!

Guess who sent me this card today? No, not any long lost friends or family. A credit card company ! Seems they are sad that I no longer use their card Gave me a toll free phone number to call to discuss what they can do to make me start using it again.

OK credit card company who shall remain nameless, otherwise you might complain to Blogger, and issue a" take down order" of my blog for violating your copy right. ( yes they can do that).

I'll tell you what you can do to maybe get me to use your card again. First don't lure me with a cheap interest rate and then try to find any feeble excuse to double, even triple, that interest rate . Oh !what am I saying, you don't even need an excuse you just go right ahead and do it .
You think I'm so dumb I didn't notice ? You think I don't have twenty other credit options, for example my line of credit,which is a zillion times cheaper than your dumb card and I don't have to worry about identity theft or some thief going on a shopping spree online because you have such lousy security? Didn't your bank get a ton of money from the government to keep you going
after you got into debt and made stupid investments ? So why are you chasing me ?

Interesting that you can afford to send me a fancy card and come with this toll free line . Normally trying to get any service is a nightmare of phone menu options and naturally I always pick the wrong one. When I finally figure it out you make me key in my credit card number or phone number before I can speak to a customer service person . Then when they come on the line they ask me for the same info. I know they are using headsets because there is always this odd sounding delay between me speaking and them responding and vice versa. I won't even bother to complain about the awful music and promos I have to listen to while I'm
" put on hold ", nor will I bother to ask what country I'm calling, since all companies outsource , shove ads at me, and use the same Musak. As for service, you and all the others should change the name to "customer excuses", since you enjoy so much blaming me for what's wrong and run through a litany of policies and procedures as to why you can't help me.

Hey! you did ask

Guess I' crabby today because I'm disappointed in my self and my MS. That sounds silly doesn't it ? I really thought I would be able to give up the Amantadine and not take the Prednisone.
Wrong, wrong! I feel like a zombie, my hands and feet feel like they are are falling asleep all the time I'm having anxiety attacks and I feel like I'm walking on a sponge floor.

I'm fed up with these dilemas. Take a drug or not ? Are the side effects worth it? Call the doctor or not ? Quit work, work part time, retire ? Fed up with the constant reminder, every day, every minute, that I have MS.

Time to watch Bruce Lee kick ass.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Breast Cancer Screening Test

Found this article today in the local paper. Henderson General Hospital will begin testing molecular Breast Screening. It promises to detect tumours as small as 9mm, even through dense tissue, which is common in younger women. Supposedly much more comfortable and less hassle than a mammogram, the two reasons why women avoid getting routine check ups.

The weather is still bitter cold . I'm certain it aggravates my symptoms as my hands and feet were exceptionally tingly last night. I have have survived the day nicely without Amantadine. I simply forgot. I will have some tomorrow, later in the morning, and if things are OK will go to every other day taking it.

The Sims 3 will be out soon I thought I didn't have a good enough processor on my computer to play as it needs a minimum of 2 ghz Turns out I have 3.1 Yay! Can't wait to waste even more time in that virtual world.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Waterfalls and Wellsphere

Did you Hamilton is the waterfall capital of the world ? 121 waterfalls
Have a look here:
Waterfalls of Hamilton There's a listing that includes amazing photos and directions to each one.

It never hurts to have additional resources for health information. I signed up at Wellsphere. They have a growing MS community there . Always nice to find new and different MS bloggers.

I'd like to post these links on the upper part of my main page, but honestly I can't remember how to do it. The help section isn't much help to jog my memory, although it sure is better than the help at my new web host. Never believe IT people when they say something is "as easy as 1-2-3" Trying to get my website going again is turning into a big hassle.

I dumped the old web host because I could never make any changes to the site without the photo section getting messed up. All the pictures would disappear! The tech support people couldn't figure out why. They also billed me twice every month on Pay Pal and I had to go in and cancel the additional payment. When they emailed me to say that the subscription was canceled by accident and I had to sign up again, that was it. All the money I gave them and I always had to clean up the mess they made. I decided not to renew and go with a new company.
So instead of being decent about it, they took my site down and now I have to start all over. I still had a month of service left too. The new web host will be better, if they ever let me get into the site builder that is.

Had to change my keyboard on the computer The t and j decided to not work anymore. Lucky I have a spare, althoughI find the keys very stiff on it.

I have these evil thoughts of wanting to kidnap a techie . I would keep them around to fix up all this computer stuff for me . I have similar thoughts about electricians and carpenters . They would all live in the basement and I'd be happy to feed them, do their laundry and supply a t.v. and computer.

I decided to go off the Amantadine. Not cold turkey, as I know that could lead to side effects worse than the ones I have taking it. Not that they are so bad, I'm just fed up. I want to see if the fatigue will be worse without the medication. Honestly I can't remember how bad it was before. I take as much time off work now as I ever did . I was hoping the medication would curb that. Maybe I expect to much ?
What I have done is instead of taking a pill first thing when I get up, I wait a couple of hours. Each day I increase the time and have now reached the point were I can skip the afternoon pill.
Gradually I will keep on delaying the time until it's too late in the day to take it . Then I will skip a day and so on. I want to be off it completely by the end of January.

No ill effects to report so far.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Oh Yeah ! I Have a Phone Camera

It was a pleasant walk home this afternoon with bright sunny skies and above freezing temperatures. I forgot my camera, then I remembered my phone camera! I guess my old school mentality can't get use to having a phone that does twenty things.

Above you can see how the snow has piled up The top photo was taken in front of my house. I don't have a car, so my parking spot is vacant. It is used as a communal snow dumping area by my neighbours . I don't mind, since it prevents the usual weirdos from parking in front of my place. The last photo above is an abandoned church I don't know the name of it. All the times I have walked past and never bothered to check that out.

Below is an interesting building on my street, Central Public School . Built back in the days when we cared what public building looked like.

Now public money goes to bail out crooks, with no strings attached. We will regret it. If you don't believe me, read what the Cassandra's at Asia Times have to say about it. Yeah they are over the top but at least they have a different perspective. Unlike our own media. They seem to be going along with whatever the government says. It is not the job of media to be cheer leaders. They should be casting a critical eye on what is happening and informing us, the ones who will end up paying for everything.

Slowly we are creeping toward the end of January. At work management is quiet, no word from the union, the medical officer and Health Canada are silent. I'm waiting till the end of the month to ask about what is going on with my medical. Usually no news, is good news. In my case, no news is driving me crazy !

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cream Puffs

It's been a quiet weekend with snow, lots of snow. They have a commercial on the t.v. and radio,
of an immigrant couple talking about how excited they were to experience their first snowfall. I think it's to sell snow blowers or shovels. The man says" Oh I was dancing and crying, I was so happy" Yeah I guess it would be an amazing thing to see for the first time. I know when I was a kid I loved it. After about a couple thousand times though, it really loses it's charm. At least I'm lucky that I have somebody around to shovel the stuff. I can remember a time when I use to actually enjoy doing that.
I'm on a baking kick, which I really shouldn't be on . I started watching all these cooking shows on Saturday and one called "Every Day Baking " is to blame for my pastry mania. Today I made cream puffs with custard and whipped cream filling. Too good. I think I should stick to watching Bollywood movies like I use to on Saturdays,. They aren't fattening.

My leg is recovered at last. It felt really good today to go out for a walk and not be limping.
The tingle in my hands is become more pronounced. They feel like they are falling asleep all the time. Not painful, just annoying.
I might try tomorrow to get out at lunch and take some winter scene shots with my camera. Haven't done any photography for awhile and I miss it. I have to admit the snow does look pretty. It just isn't very practical in the city

Friday, January 16, 2009

Blog Anniversay

One year ago I began this blog. My symptoms decided to celebrate by flaring up on me. I would have preferred a cake.

As I have stated before, ( first post) my main reason for starting a blog, was to have a day to day journal to record everything that was happening to me with MS. Unlike the photo above, I never thought of it as my own mike to tell the world my story .My own soap box to spew my opinions.
Not that I'm saying you shouldn't do that. That's the beauty of blogging. You can do whatever you want.

One of the benefits of having an MS blog, has been the knowledge I've acquired, and for that I have to thank all the MS bloggers out there. You have helped so much to give me a better understanding of my condition. How to cope with it, what might happen, what won't.

I really helpswith the frustrations of MS And it's So ! frustrating!

So all you MS bloggers out there. Thanks for a great year of helping me survive this crazy MS life. You are a decent bunch.
Oh and Thanks to the folks who take the time to stop and post comments. I've published everyone, so don't be shy . I enjoy all opinions as long as you keep them reasonably clean.

Wonder where we'll all be next year?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Laundry !

You know times are strange when I can get excited about doing laundry.

Finally the washing machine I bought a month ago is working properly. I feel vindicated too.
The repair guy kept insisting over the phone that: 1. the machine wasn't balanced properly (it was) 2. It wasn't hooked up properly(it was) 3. I didn't understand how to use a front loading machine(what's there to know ?) Turns out the circuit board was faulty and had to be replaced
Now the machine works like a charm ! I'm saving the old board to go along with the old computer hard drive and some other bits and pieces of tech garbage. I might make a sculpture ?"tech fail"?

Have to face it, the doctor is right, I'm having a relapse. Heavy tingling in my hands, wonky balance,twitches, tremors, and sparkly in my right eye. I'm also making more and more spelling mistakes, and not just when I type. It happens when I write too. I don't seem to be able to put the letters in the right order. It made me cry, because I think what a fool I am to have believed that my MS was going away and that maybe I would never have another attack.

Talked with my union rep. today. She claims she is pushing ahead to get me tele work. She too is frustrated with the delay of the Health Canada report. She also noticed I was a bit unsteady on my feet. Progress? I'm not sure. Who knows what goes on behind the scenes. I know when I was a union steward years ago, I was always uncomfortable with how cosy the upper echelons of the union were with management. Still though, the union would get a boost if it were successful to get me tele work So many people want it and would benefit from it. Just hope I don't go bankrupt in the meantime.

Now I have to go check out Wellsphere and see what it's all about. I'll comment tomorrow if I have the energy.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dr. Wii?

Had a thought about the Wii. Maybe doctors should invest in them? There are so many balance and strength exercises on the Wii fit that include graphs to show your balance for each leg. Messages even pop up while you excercise,with comments like " I notice your left leg is a bit shaky", right on for me. My left leg is the weak one . It's interesting to look at the graphs and compare my right leg, which charts as fairly stable, and my left, which strays all over the graph.
I do better on certain ones, such as the warrior pose in yoga, although once again, the Wiii notices that my left leg is not as strong.

I thought this would be a fun, easy way, for doctors to test a patient's balance and perhaps a therapist could recomend certain excercises ? The board would be disinfected after each use, or cotton, non slip, socks could be worn. Cetainly would be more enjoyable than the typical test they make you do like walking in a straight line, heel to toe (I hate that one) or closing your eyes while standing and the doctor pushes on you.

I don't get Blogger, it seems to do some half wit spell check . Red lines under correct words and none under real obvious mistakes.

Have had a set back with my leg. It's really stiff and swollen tonight. I thought it was getting better but I think it's just the pain killers fooling me.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Tonight I'm finishing off the weekend watching a "black sploitation" movie, TNT Jackson.
Not only politically incorrect, but racist and so sixties. The names they are calling each other !

It's been quiet around here except for the constant barking dogs. Attention neighbours!!
The only dogs that like being outside in the cold and snow are Huskies, otherwise your dog wants to be inside where it's nice and warm. Just like you do.

Had some twitching in my face and legs yesterday. It's gone now. I'm pleased that I was able to go for a decent walk and not limp. Haven't been doing the Wii as much as I should. My leg needs to get better before I can tackle any of the good exercises. That's my excuse for being lazy. I know the next time I turn on the Wii , it will admonish me for not sticking to my routine .

Hey I finally saw a photo of Barack Obama smoking ! They kept that well hidden. For me that totally shatters the image of the young, fit, soon to be president.

Well back to the snake pit tomorrow. I wonder what bureaucratic nightmares await me

I just hate it when the computer tries to guess what I'm going to type (no I'm not going to type "chili dogs")
Back to this kooky movie.

Friday, January 9, 2009


So many things I want to write about only as usual, I'm too tired. What a wasted evening. I did buy a cd today by IL Divo, which I might pop into the cd player and listen to it in bed tonight. That should help to chase away these blues. Yeah I know I should be downloading this stuff on to the mp3 on my phone, but I'm old school and still enjoy listening to the radio and cd's.

Spoke with the doctor this afternoon about all the tripping I've been doing lately. One thing about him is he's very quick to call back when I leave a message, unlike all the service technicians I've had to deal with these past few weeks. After talking for awhile he said he would call in a prescription to the pharmacy for Prednisone, an anti inflammatory drug I took years ago for asthma. Not too thrilled about taking it as it can cause weight gain and insomnia, two things I'm already struggling with. It sure would be great to have some drugs that didn't cause side effects .
My son was nice and went to the laundromat today to do a couple of loads . That should last us till Monday, when the service guy says he will show up . Not holding my breathe for this wahser nonsense to be resolved.
A guy at work was commenting on how technology is the road to ruin Have to agree. It's handy and yet a pain in the ***( insert where you want the pain) .
Must be the weather getting to me. Every year I find winter less appealing and get fed up with it earlier.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Memory Foam

Another day at home exhausted . Good thing the Health Canada report has been pushed ahead and should be ready before the end of this month, instead of the initial deadline of March. I'm not expecting any miracles. Having a decision will at least help me to figure out what to do next.

If you need new slippers I highly recommend Foam Treads with memory foam. They cost more than regular slippers but it's worth it. I use to buy slippers at Payless, because other than the Tall Girl shop, they were the only store that had my size. For some reason they don't sell them anymore. I wear size 12 shoes . I don't have any problems finding foot wear except for there being much less selection in my size. That actually is a good thing, otherwise I know I would be a shoe-aholic . Any way I bought two pairs of slippers on sale with free shipping. They are so comfortable and truthfully my leg hurts much less when I wear them.

I have a memory foam mattress which is super comfortable too. I wish they could put that stuff in everything: shoes, boots, chairs, sofas, even clothes. Too bad I can't have a memory foam brain that could bounce back from an MS episode . And speaking of brains I saw a news report that there is a shortage of them around for research purposes. I would happily donate mine in future but would they want it ?

Got a call from the appliance store.They're sending a technician out to have a look at my washer. The customer service person said they think it may have something to do with the way it's draining. What ever, I just want to do some washing. Then the guys who were supposed to remove all the debris from the basement show up with a full truck. Dummies said they thought my junk would fit in. I don't see how when the truck was full to bursting. They said they would be back tomorrow afternoon with an empty truck. Once again what ever, I just want the old rotten wood gone.

The grocery guy called and said he would be late due to the bad weather. We had snow and freezing rain today and it really is a mess out there. I sure wouldn't want to be driving.

I don't know about staying on this Amantadine, it doesn't seem to be working. I think I'll give the doctor a call tomorrow to discuss going off it. Have to tell him about all this tripping nonsense too.

Think I'll do my Wii fit now and see how old I am today. Until my leg gets better I can only do the yoga and balance exercises, which I really like. Never thought I would enjoy yoga.
I wish the the Wii had better graphics and sound. Why can't the trainer speak to me rather than me having to read all that? even if it is praise.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

It's Over

Here's the latest photo of my friend who lives in the South West. Oh how I miss him.

The holiday is over and it's back to work tomorrow. The pies, cakes, cream puffs, and chocolates have all been eaten. Time to get back to eating healthy stuff. I have my fruit, veg, and water packed for lunch and I baked oat muffins for breakfast.

Lots of frustration and disappointment these past couple of weeks. Why can't people live up to their promises or at least admit it when they can't. Is a phone call that big a deal ? Here we are with a dozen different ways to communicate instantly with others and yet it seems to be more difficult to do it.

The next three months are going to be a challenge. I have used up all my vacation time and sick time . There are no long weekends or holidays till Easter. This has never happened to me before. It wasn't that long ago that I always had leave credits to spare. Weeks and weeks of sick time and at least a few vacation days to make it through the winter.
Guess I'll have to take lots of naps to make to the new fiscal year in April.

My new washer doesn't work, it's a lemon. I may end up getting a replacement . I told the store manger's assistant, that I don't want another front loading machine. They're too finicky,too easily unbalanced. We wasted a few good hours trying to set it up so that it would remain stable Built a platform for it , no good, took it off the platform and moved it to the flatest spot on the concrete floor and adjusted the "legs " snug . It was perfectly level and straight .I checked it up and down with my level. It was solid enough,I doubt an elephant could have moved it and yet the silly thing just wouldn't continue spinning. I tried everything suggested in the manual. End result is my hands are sore from wringing out soggy clothes. Ahh, so many hours wasted on so called time saving conveniences .

Time for a shower and the Opera show. Thank goodness there are small pleasures to smooth over all the crap.

I was looking over my blog. January 16 th It will be a year I've been blogging. I don't know why I thought I started it in March 2008. Where did those three months go ?

I'm going to read the whole thing over and do a summary on anniversary day.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Pretty Good Odds

Here's an article about New Year resolutions . I don't know, 45% success rate sounds good to me. If the lottery had those odds I'd buy a hundred tickets.

I don't have any resolutions I have wishes :
1. I would like to have my work situation resolved one way or another so I can get on with my life
2. I would like to stop tripping and messing up my leg all the time
3. I would like to move south, however 1 above will need to happen first.
4. I would like to have some spare cash to give to my son to start his newspaper/ news website
5. Also spare cash to start a micro loan company That's were you give a person a small loan at a low interest rate, to start up a business.

Hey the lottery is $12 million this Friday
Have to keep this short. I notice some Email that could prove interesting
Happy New Year 2009
To paraphrase Anne of Green Gables, " A brand New Year with no mistakes"