Wednesday, 8 November 2017

As Days Go By

I'd like to say that the reason I haven't posted of late is because I'm busy and having a good time, but unfortunately that is not true, or not completely true.

Some times the days kind of blend, and pass without any real sense of time. I've been out and around, but I don't call running errands or shopping for groceries a big deal. Though there are days I struggle to do even that.

There have been a number of day trips. One to Kingston to the MS Clinic, my yearly check in. Not a lot has changed, so that was the good news. Sometimes I think the MS is quite manageable, if only my back and knee were not so problematic.

I did manage another day trip out of town, went with my daughter and grandson for his doctor's appointment. We went to Costco and out for lunch.

Yesterday I met my brother at our halfway point, him coming from the west, me the east. We had lunch at our usual spot and I even managed a short visit to Michael's before rushing home to meet family.

It was my granddaughter's first night of indoor soccer, and she, her Mom and siblings were meeting for pizza first. It ended up a long day as it was also my son's birthday and as he worked until seven, the timing was right for us to all meet for ice cream to celebrate.

Today I'm a little slow, tired and my plan is to stay home and get a few household chores done. Or maybe I'll have a nap, and move my today's To Do list to tomorrow.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Anger and MS

Who would have thought there were different kinds of anger? Well, this article about anger and MS describes the different kinds of anger often found in MS patients.

I think it was a very interesting article, especially how MS may be a factor in anger. So, I may not just be a miserable bitch at times, holding on to anger, because....well...because I'm a miserable bitch. There is a disease process in the works.

I do believe these descriptions work for all people, not just those with MS. Recognize anyone in your life who has anger issues?

Friday, 13 October 2017

A Commercial I Avoid

There's a commercial on television for Voltaren gel, a topical pain medication for joint pain. It shows a grandmother with knee pain, who uses the gel and is good to go, no more pain.

I wish it worked that way for me. I use a topical called Motion Medicine that my son got for me at the chiropractor's office. I use it on my back, my knee and on my shoulders when necessary. It's my favorite topical pain reliever.

In the commercial the young boy talks about his grandmother, and it shows her being very active. His final comment is that he's glad his grandmother "is fun again."

If it were only that easy.

It made me think that my grandchildren, ages 8 to 19, have for the most part, never seen me healthy. I have been on disability since the second grandchild was born, 16 years ago. It's been a steady downhill slide since that time, MS and the arthritis.

There was the original concern, about tiring me out, but at least I was mobile, better than today. They've seen me progress...though decline is more using a cane, and then a walker.

How I wish there could be more, I could be more, but it didn't work that way.

Hate that commercial, when it's on I check the schedule or the weather, no sense being bombarded with what can never be.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

"We are Experiencing Technical Difficulties..."

I am often frustrated with simple tasks or challenged beyond my coping ability when something stops working, most often something of the technical variety. For me it's usually the computer.

Hard to imagine that for my friend, a very active 90 year old, I am her 'Go To' person for such things.. For the most part, I can help her out, though there was that one time I had to call my daughter, my 'Go To" source for technical help.

I was getting ready to go to lunch yesterday when my friend appeared at my door in a real frazzle. Her phone had a constant busy signal, and her personal alarm was flashing, and not working. For someone living alone, these are her life lines.

If I hadn't been aware of my other friend coming any minute, I might have thought things through better, but that's part of my disease process, not being able to do the quick thinking and respond appropriately.

I checked her phone, and found a busy signal. We checked all the connections and all were secure.

I had the bright, and useless, idea to try her phone in the wall jack, rather than the modem. Of course it didn't work as the wall jacks are old Bell Telephone lines and we use Cogeco, the cable company through the modem. A waste of time.

My friend is now sitting in the car out front.

I wonder if it's her phone, maybe the actual phone is no longer working, in which case she would need a new one..

"What about your cell?" I ask.

She shows me the phone, a very simple model that is dark and dead. When I ask about the charger, I'm told it's in the closet, and I shake my head, but hold my tongue. I explain that the battery on her phone loses charge, even if she doesn't use it and still needs to be charged.

Now, I'm in a frustrated dither because I'm keeping my friend waiting. I decide to hook my phone up at her place so she has a phone at least, and promise I'll check it all later. She doubts this action as she thinks it will be my number, but I explain that the number is not in the phone itself, but in the line.

So I run back home, across the walkway, unhook my phone and re-hook it up at her place.. No busy signal, no anything.

I can't deal with this anymore, the self imposed stress of trying to think and do, with the added pressure of having to be somewhere else. I leave her and tell her "I'll be back."

I calm down over lunch and come back, thinking more clearly. The stress was hard on my friend, I found her worn out and napping in her chair. To give her her due, she is sick right now and not feeling at all like herself.

I take her cable bill and my phone back home and call the cable company. Well. lo and behold, they are having technical difficulties with their digital phone lines. They gave instructions to do something to the modem and see if it corrects itself.

I go back across the path, and we grab a flashlight and try to find this tiny hole in the back of the modem the voice told me about. Of course, her modem is on the bottom shelf of her bookcase. She gets down on her hands and knees, because my knee wouldn't allow me to put the pressure on the joint and once down, my back would not help me get back up.

We poke the hole as directed and we have phone service. All is well.

I am now totally drained and take a three hour nap.

But, I have to say, being able to help my friend gave me a good feeling, my good deed for the day.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

My To Do List for the Day

Finally, after almost a month of suffering with back issues, I seem to be moving better, back to my norm. I still can't stand for more than a few minutes, but am moving around better, not waking up and worrying if I can make it to the bathroom.

I got a bit carried away with my new status, as I'm tired of seeing the mess that has accumulated for the last month when I've been able to do dishes and that's about it. I badly need to vacuum, and that was first on my list for yesterday.

I love lists, but never seem to start at the top.

Before I got to the vacuuming I decided to clean out the stacked set of drawers that serve as my bedside table. As I crochet in bed, little bits of yarn get scattered about, and I swear they were all tangled around the casters of this bedside table. That's where I started. Luckily the casters came off, to make cleaning easier, and once I removed all the drawers I set to cleaning the frame, one section at a time.

I sat to do this chore, and it went smoothly until I scrubbed a spot and was too enthusiastic, hitting myself in the nose and mouth. One job done, drawers cleaned and organized, caster free wheeling.

Next I decided to dust my many bookcases before vacuuming. That was delayed because I wanted to reorganize, pulling the books off the shelves that I was deleting from my collection. There were too many books (not that I think you can have too many books, just too little space) crammed into every cranny.

Because of the back situation, I had to take frequent rest periods to prevent a repeat of last month. While I was resting I picked up one of those books from the 'to get rid of' pile and started to read.

Need I say more. Now today is my day to vacuum, first on my list.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Back to Back

Time has passed and as much as I'd like to say my back has improved, that I'm walking with ease, it just ain't happening. My bad back and I are together for the long haul.

I saw one of those commercials on TV about laser back surgery, and I have to admit it crossed my mind. How wonderful it would be to go in, have a quick bit of surgery and walk out pain free.

It must have been in the back of my mind when I saw the doctor on Friday. I asked about a new MRI, thinking maybe something could be done for my back. She said no. There was nothing to be done, to many degenerative discs, pinched nerves, arthritis. Not something to be done by a quick in and out.

I realize the things that cause me problems, like lifting anything over 18-20 pounds. It doesn't help that my walker weighs 24 lbs. and I lift it in and out every time I go out.

I am making an investment in a new mattress, hoping that will make it better for me in the mornings, that it won't take me most of the day to get moving. I am definitely not a morning person.

One thing I have noticed, is how much dust and dirt accumulates in three weeks. I have been unable to do even the most basic housekeeping. The dishes is all I've accomplished, and that is only because I've had basic meals and used paper plates.

If it could just get a little bit better, that's not asking for much, is it?

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Oy, My Aching Back

I made it through the week, feeling a slow, but sure return to some easier mobility. Had my shower and felt better, almost human.

Human enough to try for a trip to the store, my refrigerator had never been so empty. I made it around the store, using the cart like a walker, leaning on it quite heavily by the time I made it to check out.

The night was rough, the pain I usually feel on standing and sitting plagued me in bed, making it difficult to turn and find a comfortable position.

I'm trying to keep moving, up walking, sitting in my chair, stretching out flat in the bed. I'm taking Advil at its maximum daily dose, for the pain and the anti-inflammatory effect, and hope this will soon pass. I will never be totally free from back pain, but this exacerbation is hard to manage.

I had an MRI done a few years ago, and my doctor's words on seeing the report..."Your back is a mess".

I can't agree more.

And why is it that when your back hurts you get clumsy and drop things, or need things on the very top or bottom shelves? I need to vacuum, but that will have to wait. It will be enough to get the garbage to the curb tomorrow, and if I don't get some laundry done soon I'll be in dire straits.

Day by day, that's how it's given so that's how I'll take it.