Friday, January 29, 2010

Skin Cell Research

Read here about scientists who have been able to turn mouse skin cells into neurons.

Lets hope the same procedure works using human cells.

And here's a rational article discussing the pro and cons of mammography. Myself I don't go for a mammogram every year and to be honest I only go to stop people from nagging me. That doesn't mean you shouldn't. I just am not convinced that they do much. That is my opinion. I'm not saying I'm right.

I wanted to write an entire post about medical research but truthfully I am way too tired after a week of dental and office woes. I'm grateful that I had a good zap of THC vapour last night. It killed all my pain and I had a great night's sleep. I will continue to praise the merits of THC in my blog so if you are anti pot for what ever reasons, you should stop reading my blog.

I shocked some co workers yesterday when they were discussing retirement. In my age group that's the most talked about thing at work. I said I couldn't think too far into the future because if I will feel as bad as I do right now, the idea of tolerating it for another 25 - 30 years is unbearable. Don't worry I am not a candidate for the suicide watch. I am very much taking it one day at a time.
I resent being made to feel that I must want to live as long as possible and if I don't I'm some how selfish or mentally ill. Why can't we ever have an intelligent conversation about this without people trying to impose their own sense of morality? What is so wrong with at least thinking about how and when you want to stop living?

If they or you don't like what I say or think, too bad. I'm not all that concerned about what others think of me these days. That is one thing about MS I find liberating. It's my life Baby!! Not yours!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

My City is Ignorant

Shame on you Hamilton and good on you Leafs. Read about how a disabled boy was denied access to a skating rink right here in my city!!

I mean seriously, you can't accommodate a wheel chair on an ice rink? Hockey players weigh three times as much. Anyway, the kid scored and you lose Hamilton.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Up And Down

A crazy sort of week has past and I'm glad. Just as my blog title says, MS is a roller coaster ride. Think that's why I'm avoiding my blog too. Living it is one thing, but writing about is getting harder. There it is in black and white and there's no getting away from it.

I kept busy this week doing catch up on many things. Busy for me would not seem like much to another person. There was a time when I could multi task. Now I have trouble completing a single thing without having to take many breaks.

A bit down about work too. Working from home is a big improvement for me, yet there are days when I feel as tired as I ever did going to the office. I also feel very discouraged after my office day. Seems like no matter what I do, I never am able to get on track, always feel that I will have to carry on having to prove myself. That this whole accommodation is something I have to continue to earn. Even more irritating is when I get sucked into the office sub culture. Thought I was smarter than that. When will I learn that there will always be people who get undeserved praise and rewards. When will I realize that there will always be people who can get away with not doing very much. And finally when will I stop and remember that so much of what goes on in the office is politics.

The idea of quitting is unpleasant and yet I know that day is coming sooner than I wanted.

It's not that I'm afraid of ending my work days. I certainly have more than enough things that I enjoy doing, so retirement wouldn't be a bore. I just don't like the idea that I will have much less money to live on because I will have to pay a penalty if I do retire early. How many people I have known who were able to coast through their last few years at work and here I am with the last being the hardest. It sucks. Then I see all the people who have no pension except Old Age Security and Canada Pension(if they are lucky). Just getting by; an old age of living at the poverty level and doing it for 30,40 years.

In spite of all that I do feel pretty good today. Last night I was talking to a friend and we both agreed that having a good imagination is truly a blessing. Emily Dickinson was right about that. Because I can't remember the blasted quote that I really wanted to use here, this one is almost as good. If anybody knows the one I mean, how she can travel in her imagination ("I've never been to sea"), please post a comment

"There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away
Nor any courses like a page of prancing poetry
This traverse may the poorest take without oppress of toil
How frugal is the chariot that bears the human soul!"

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Paying For It

Had a great day yesterday. A small group of us got together for a postcard meet up. We went shopping for cards and stamps and then wrote out cards to send out.
Here we are admiring some of the loot.

I was tired at the end of the day, but feeling good. Happy I was able to keep up the pace. Now this morning I'm a total wreck. I can barely move. What is annoying is I feel hung over, yet didn't drink or use any drugs, not even any THC before I went to bed, although that stuff never seems to have any side effects. Every thing I do these days comes at a price, but I don't care. I have to keep going and try to get as much enjoyment out of life as I can. Never thought postcards could be that much fun.

I think today is going to be quiet. I'll sit back, watch a few old movies, and eat left over Indian food. Why do I have this nagging feeling ?
I try not to worry about the future and then MS comes and smacks me in the head.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

So That's What You Look Like !

Had to attend a seminar at work today. I came face to face with a woman that I had only ever corresponded with for years. She didn't look anything at all like what I had imagined, which is no surprise. People never look like the way I picture them in my head. She is a very strong lawyer who works for the Department of Justice. I had this mental imagine of Portia, not the Shakespeare one, but the one from "Rumpole of The Bailey"
(played by Patricia Hodge).

I wonder if she thought the same of me ? Meaning that I didn't look the way she pictured me. Maybe she didn't even think about me at all.

As usual I am completely drained from my day in the office. Yes, the holidays are truly over

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Assissted Suicide Referendum

On Livestation today I saw a news report about possible changes to Switzerland's assisted suicide laws. The Swiss government is planning a referendum to restrict "suicide tourism" Some politicians there claim that Dignitas is not a "not for profit" clinic, but actually makes money helping people die.

Here's a an article about it.

Do you think people have the right to ask for help to die ?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Crumbling Teeth

Never fails; as soon as the cold weather arrives my teeth fall apart. Little chunks breaking off from the awful fillings in the back. I tried having some of these old silver fillings replaced with crowns, but what a disaster that turned out to be. The crowns all fell off and took an extra piece of tooth with them. The dental plan wouldn't cover replacements, because it had been less than five years since I had them done and some of them don't have enough tooth left to do much with.

I was a candidate for implants to be done at the University. Graduate students under supervision. Last year when then found out I was taking Prednisone, they wouldn't continue with the work. I called them today to activate my file and let them know I am drug free(except for the occasional THC) . You might think me crazy letting students mess with my teeth. Honestly though, I am much less nervous going to the university dental clinic, than I am going to a regular dentist. All the activity and busyness of the place is distracting So many people there suffering like me makes it a little easier to take. I have completely lost my faith in dentists due to all the butchers who have made my teeth worse. I was at the point of seriously considering getting the works pulled out and getting dentures.

I'll take one more crack at this implant thing and see how that goes. Implants can only be done on bottom teeth so I have no clue what they have planned for the top ones. I hate it !!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fish "N" Chips

On a lighter note Fish "N" Chips celebrate a 150 years of good eating.

That was one of the benefits of growing up in an English neighborhood when I was a girl. My Italian/French Catholic parents, treated us to this almost every Friday.
Old school Catholics eat fish on Friday. Do they still do it now? I'm a lapsed one, so I have no clue if the rituals are the same.

Mmmmm smothered in salt and malt vinegar with a bit of ketchup. The crispy batter encasing yummy Halibut( Brits prefer Cod). The fresh cut fries not too greasy, but fatty enough to be satisfying.
I don't buy it very often anymore A serving of halibut and chips is $10.00 which makes it the most expensive fast food now. It use to be the cheapest, when I was young.

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

This morning I realize that I must not think about the future too much. It's not an easy thing to do. I have never been one of those "live in the moment" kind of people.
Yeah, I know we have very little control over things, a giant asteroid could come crashing down on us, or I could end up like that guy in England, who won the lottery and ended up miserable and dead.

But you see I've always been a planner. Always thinking about what needs to get done today, this week, this month, this year. Then I have a day like yesterday, where I ended up feeling like a crumpled up hunk of garbage and couldn't do even half the stuff I wanted. I think I've got the hang of this MS thing, but I don't really.

Going on vacation and then needing a week to recover from it. Going for a long walk for exercise, only to pay for it later with extreme inactivity. Where is the balance? There is none. I have no clue how much is enough and how much is too much.

I never had to think about it before. I did things, got tired, rested, and then did more. Now, I do things, get tired, rest, and get even more tired, or do nothing and get tired. It's such a strange feeling to get up in the morning and know that I slept but I don't feel rested. I don't feel like I want to stay in bed either. In fact, I hate lying around in bed.

What is even worse is it doesn't happen everyday. Some days I am fooled into thinking that I'm the same old gal I use to be and I can do whatever I want. Then there are days like Saturday, when I get smacked in the face with the reality of how little control I have. My body does what it wants without any consideration of what I want. Stupid leg, stupid knee, stupid head. Why don't you obey me ? I'm supposed to be the boss, not you! So much for the power of the mind. Mine went for a coffee break and forgot to come back.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Had a long post to write but I feel like a wreck . I was fine and had a long walk today but then started to feel sore and tired in the evening. Really need some vapour tonight to straighten me out before I go to bed. Maybe I will feel like writing in the morning.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tech World vs. The Real World

As the rest of the world deals with insane weather,we continue to deny it has anything to do with climate change. Why can't we just be honest and admit we are simply to lazy to do anything about it ?

Had an interesting discussion with some people about using technology. Yeah it's great to have all this stuff but at the same time it can be a huge hassle. I have a phone that does twenty things, a t.v. cable program with a million features, even my furnace has a program you could probable use to launch the space shuttle. Great stuff, except when it goes wrong, and Oh then doesn't it go horribly wrong.

Techies, leave well enough alone. Don't bog us down with dozens of apps if they are going to cause us aggravation. I'm the average user of technology and getting fed up up with the tyranny of the nerds. Don't you have a website you want to hack instead of pestering us with all this junk ; only to shrug when we need help sorting it out? Do you even know how the average person like me lives? Believe it or not I have a life outside of the tech world.I hate having it sucked up, wasting precious time figuring out all this junk. Yes it's superfluous junk that you try to convince me I need, but I don't.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hopewell Rocks,New Brunswick

Rei suggested I post photos when I didn't feel like blogging. Good idea! Here you go, courtesy of my son's recent trip to Nova Scotia.


Winter Blues

Had a case of the winter blues today. It always happens to me after the holidays. The weeks building up to Christmas with shopping, decorating, cards, parades, baking, eating and more eating, and other festivities. The big day arrives and next thing you know it's New Years. Now here I am, it's already the 4th of January. The decorations are put away, the holidays over, and all the mess picked today, garbage day. I have no vacation time left and unlike my American friends, no long weekends to look forward to till Easter. Besides that, it's the last quarter of the fiscal year at work and all the talk will be about stats, stats, and stats. Bleck!

So there I was staring out the window, watching my woodpecker friend doing his usual assault on the trees out back. I wondered how the heck that guy survives in the cold and then I felt guilty. Got up off my backside and got busy. Yes guilt can be a good motivator.

I still think we should have some sort of national holiday in February though.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Not a bad start to the new year, in spite of the fact that I have laryngitis and a sinus infection. Haven't been able to speak for a couple days. I don't feel deprived not being able to go out. It's -23C out there with the wind chill.

I'm sitting here quietly organizing my new postcards. I bought a ton while I was traveling, my son sent me loads from Nova Scotia, and I received lots in a Christmas swap. If that wasn't enough, I ordered Valentine postcards and the entire Vancouver Olympic collection. Next week the Year of the Tiger ones will be on sale. What an addiction ! A happy one. I have said in previous blog posts that postcards are an ideal hobby for a person with MS. Picking the cards and stamps, writing a person a short message; is a pleasant way to communicate without it becoming tiresome. I can only manage using my brain for short periods of time before I get exhausted, so it suits me.

Glad I have this old movie channel on t.v. Seems like every week they have at least three or four movies I have never seen or show ones that I haven't watched in years. Last night I saw "The Defiant Ones" with Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis. A very good movie about two prisoners who are chained together and escape when the truck they are in has an accident.

Over the holidays I was invited to go to the theater to see some of the new movies that are out. The previews of Avatar look interesting but Oh! the thought of sitting through a film that is close to three hours, is very unappealing. Will have to catch that one when it's on DVD.

I use to love going out to the movies. Now I find most of the films out there I have no interest in seeing. Just like most of what's on t.v. I find boring and much of the music that I hear too. It makes me feel like an old fogey. I think it has more to do with all the ads. There's no escaping them and there's more and more of them all the time. I'm taking a break from listening to the radio simply because I can't stand that ad for laser vision correction anymore. And if I have to see another of those "cash for gold" ads on t.v., I'm going to crack!!

Tomorrow is back to work. Good thing I don't have to go into the office till Wednesday. The doctor said I must not speak (not that I can) and I know I would try if I was around people. Besides I feel like I haven't worked in ages and need a couple of days to get ease into it. Thank goodness for tele work. What a blessing it is. Can't say it enough.