Wednesday, December 31, 2014
That's me December 31, 2014 12:00 p.m. I was saying good bye to this year at the Multicultural Association office where I do mentoring.
OK, even though I don't normally go for these year in review summaries, I decided to write one for my blog, because 2014 really was an interesting time. So here they are, the highs and lows of 2014.
I lost 30 lbs. thanks to a low cab diet and plenty of swimming at the Golden Hawk recreation centre. This regime has also greatly improved my walking and my strength. My neighbours have commented on how much better I'm walking compared to when I first arrived in July 2013. I think about what bad shape I was in that summer and how much better I feel now. I look forward to my evening swim and also to seeing my swim buddies .
New interests have resulted in new friends. I have met so many great people through my mentoring at the New Brunswick community college. I'm going to write a separate entry about that and have some photos, just as soon as everyone is back from their holidays.
I have also joined the Miramichi Search and Rescue . I don't think I'm strong enough to go out on searches, but they really need help with their administration, so I'm happy to do that for them. They seem like a great bunch of folks too.
All that volunteering has boosted my social life . I get invited to lunches, dinners, networking events and concerts. I can't do it all thanks to my buddy MS, yet I do enough to keep me feeling social. For a very long time, before I retired, I never had the energy to do much and I often felt isolated. When you turn things down all the time, people just stop asking you.
The luxury of time. I feel really spoiled that I can do pretty much whatever I want these days. Sometimes that means doing not much of anything, once again, thanks to MS. The difference is now if I need to rest ( which is every day) I don't have to worry and I don't have to feel guilty. That makes a big difference in my quality of life. How many times the doctor said" you need to rest" and I always kept going until I collapsed, because I couldn't accept it. resting made me feel lazy; now it makes me feel great.
Spare time has me looking inward as well. I'm studying Philosophy and Buddhism. I can't do much reading due to fatigue ; MS is to blame of course, so I'm using audio books and online courses. Now when I'm resting, I can listen to a book and I find I get much more out of it. The online courses allow me to work when I feel up to it which also results in retaining more of the information..
When I first moved to my new home I wasn't sure if I would be able to adjust to life in a small city.
When I was younger I thought life in a big city with all the crowds and intensity was exciting. Now I see that it was just another thing that gradually ruined my health. What a fool I was to believe that stress was good for me. That it was what I needed to keep going! Wrong!
I can say that I really am happy to be living in a place that is slower paced and quieter; although sometimes I find it a little too quiet, and I have to have music playing softly, all night.
Medical marijuana! I can never say enough about how much it has improved my quality of life.
I still have MS and it still frustrates the hell out of me!!
I miss my son, who is still in China, teaching English. I hope he will be back this Spring.
I find myself attracted to a married man which has never happened to me before. Not that I will pursue it. I have seen what damage affairs can do, so no way. I also find that I don't like men my age and am only interested in younger men. Another thing I won't pursue. I just don't have the energy and it would be too strange.
I broke off a long term, long distance, relationship with a man because I could no longer cope with the travelling and more importantly; his denial of my MS. He is one of those people who thinks that positive thinking will cure it and I'm too tired to live up to that. I still care for him, but I can't live in a dream world.
I'm having difficulties dealing with the fact that I'm 60 years old. Sure, I feel good and I look pretty good. and menopause isn't that bad, yet I'm still 60 years old. It feels strange and a bit scary. I worry about losing my independence. I worry about MS and ageing.
Adjusting to retirement isn't easy. I use to have such a busy life and I know it wasn't good for me, however, I still feel funny not having a job and not having all those responsibilities. Being a renter instead of a home owner is hard too, although it sure makes life easier to not have to worry about the roof or the plumbing. Still though, I sometimes miss that money pit of a house I use to own.
So that's most of it. At least what I can think of at the moment. I guess I should have listed the lows first and then the highs in order to finish on a positive note. I'll finish by saying that these days, there are more highs that lows.
2015 I'm ready for you!
Saturday, December 6, 2014
Here's a pic of the very first Christmas wreath that I have made myself, and all from scratch.
It's funny how things work out sometimes. I was accepted to be a mentor at the local community college, New Brunswick Community College. It's to help people who want to start their own business and need some free advice. I'll be writing a separate post about that program as soon as I get permission from the college and my mentee. Anyway, one thing led to another, and I was asked to join a wreath making course.
What fun it was and great to learn how simple the technique is. I could have kept going for hours.The only thing is, as usual, my MS decided that I was using far too much energy. I came home after the course and crashed out. I was too tired to eat or even get myself a glass of water. I was lying there for about three hours and got up only because of the bathroom. One of my fears with MS, and I know this might sound silly; I worry that I'm going to pee the bed. It's never happened, yet, but, I have done it in public, and even worse than that. It was when I didn't know I had MS and didn't know how deadly being out in the hot sun was for me.
I blamed it on a weak bladder, irritable bowel, my doctor said it was due to ---------( fill in the blank with anything but MS).
I will never get use to having this condition. It frustrates the hell out of me. I can go swimming and swim laps for an hour and feel fine, but try to read a book; forget it, I can barely manage a couple of pages. I can make a wreath, but I can't do that and socialize at the same time. I can go to a Christmas party , have a good time, and then on the way home lose my wallet (An honest person found it)
So that's my life. I can only do one thing everyday. Well, if that one thing is a making a nice wreath.I guess that's not so bad.
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Here is one of the few things left that is made in Canada and owned and operated by Canadians.
This is how I get my weed now; from a licensed producer, purchased online, and delivered to my door by express post. Amazing that it comes from the other side of Canada; British Colombia, in less than two days. They also have custom strains of marijuana for different needs. I use the ones for pain relief, muscle spasms , anxiety, and for sleep.
MS fatigue is bad enough and insomnia only makes it worse. My fatigue can actually be dangerous. It comes on so suddenly and then my brain switches off. I can't function at all, so the only thing I can do is sit and wait for it to pass. Sit and wait, rest and rest. It's boring and frustrating and at times gets me so down.
For me, having MS is like living in a medium security prison. I have some freedom, but the warden, MS, really is in charge. The biggest challenge is that I don't look sick. Everybody thinks I can still function like a regular person, but I can't, so I disappoint others.
I just keep going . Swimming is one of my main activities. I swim and swim, and yes, it is a huge benefit, but how long can I keep going? I just keep going. What else can I do?
Here are a few of my swim buddies who really help to keep me going.
It was a great summer at that pool. The indoor pool doesn't open till the 20th ! I already feel out of shape.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Here's a little crab that was found on the beach during a field trip to Bouctouche Dunes in New Brunswick.
I do mentoring with grade three kids at the local public school where I live and they asked me to join them on this class outing .
It felt good today to be out breathing the ocean air. I have to say that the first year of my new life has turned out pretty good. My physical health is much improved and my MS is under control. I have lost weight and toned up my body, thanks to the indoor swimming pool that is right across the street.
I think back to the wreck I was last year at this time and I'm so glad that I decided to change my life. Retiring and getting out of the big city was the right decision. There are some things I miss about living in a large urban area, yet don't miss them enough to want to go back.
Things have even improved with medical marijuana!!
Health Canada has changed the way patients can get approval to use medical marijuana and has licensed producers to sell weed to us. It's now a very simple application process and the new licensed producers sell excellent quality weed. Still though, I think marijuana should be legalized but I doubt it will happen in my lifetime.
One thing that is strange and unexpected. I never thought that looking younger than my age would be a problem. Most people would probably say that they wish they where in that situation, but no, really ; just like MS, it's causing misunderstandings and disappointment.