Wednesday, 24 May 2017

In my Garden

My daughter and her husband took me to Canadian Tire today to get the mulch for my garden and the last of the plants I needed. I do so love the slave labor.

As I was not up to walking too far today I used the walker so I could sit when needed. Back home I sat on the grass and watched my son-in-law spread the mulch while my daughter planted the last of the plants. It was great to have the help to get a few things done that would tax my energy and cause me pain.

 I was sitting in the walker on the grass and streaming out the fairy lights as my son-in-law attached them to the trio of trellises against the wall. I pushed the walker back a bit, and suddenly felt myself falling backward. Luckily for me I was able to stand, if I had fallen back I would have smashed my head on the concrete sidewalk behind me.

The bruise I have on my shin from earlier moving the patio chair is all the injury I need for today. I had a close call, but a beautiful garden.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Annual MS Walk

This is the 4th year that my wonderful family gathered to make the MS Walk. It was a dull and dreary day, rainy and wet but that didn't dampen our spirits.

I picked the little ones up at the half way point, and took them to the school, the meeting point. There we listened to music as we waited for the gang to arrive. We had lunch and took part in the usual festivities...the silent auction, the awards. We won the award for most spirited team, which we can add to our awards from previous years, team name and team costume.

We wear neon green T-shirts as of year 2. The next year we added baseball type caps, in black with a neon green brim. I also made name tags, the ones in plastic covers you can hang around your neck, in, of course, neon. I did each person's name in a different font and added the team name on the back. I figured we could add the years as we went along.

I found some neon green mitts for the kids, which were a welcome item this year as it was cold and damp.

Not sure what to add next year, shoe laces maybe, or scarves.

I don't know if the family realizes how important this day is for me. It is like Christmas, only I get the big gift. I love seeing the team picture every year, and find it amazing to see the changes in the grandkids.

This year I saw a woman in an electric wheelchair, totally dependent. She was there with her helper, and for the first time, it bothered me. I felt a sense of fear and dread, could that be me, and how soon? I guess it hit me worse this year because I struggle more every day, can feel this downward spiral I've been on the last few years.

I have given up more and more, so I want to hold on tight to what I can do. I fear the day when I can no longer be creative, and am not sure what I will do when that day comes.

Didn't want to put a damper on the good mood, but I need to be honest with myself. "It is what it is".

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Pain, the Cost of Doing

I was out on Sunday, had a great dinner (barbecued steak) and a visit with friends and family. Before I left home I did a quick cleanup with my new vacuum, did the dishes and put stuff away. Then I had a little nap before I had the energy to shower and get dressed.

My granddaughter called later, asking when I was coming, and it was a good thing because I was resting and would probably have gone deep asleep and been late for dinner.

It was a good day and I drove home, tired but happy. It was a bit of a struggle walking from the car to my place, but I made it and immediately got ready for bed so I could lie down and put my feet up.

Anytime I have to sit with no back support I feel the fatigue, and the potential for increased pain in my neck and back. So I need to lie down, rest my head. That night I napped in the evening, and was asleep much earlier than usual.

The next day I was in such pain with my back I had trouble walking, so back to bed. I was up long enough to get the garbage out, but that was all I could manage.

I was up and about for short periods only, napped off and on all day, through the evening and slept until 4 A.M. the next morning. I was coming out of the resulting pain and fatigue cycle and read for a while, slept, then was ready to face the day.

It was actually a productive day, in that I had a visit with my friend, and finished a craft project. But the use of tools put a strain on my neck so it was early to bed. I crocheted and read, and all was well.

This is the way my life goes, for every day of activity, there's a cost paid in increased pain and fatigue, lost time. But, in the long run, it's worth the price as I got to spend time with family and am still mobile, able to do that.

I know the day will come when I'm not able to walk, won't be driving, and may lose my independence, but that day is not today.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017


Friendship is a strange and wonderful thing. The one friend I spend the most time with turns 90 this year, and she is fit and very active. She goes to a bid euchre group three times a week, attends an exercise class and has dinner at the church each week.

Our friendship came about when I moved in across from her, and she happened to quit driving and gave up her car. I got her prime parking spot, and as I was struggling to walk, had the walker, life became so much easier for me when I could park closer. In appreciation, I started taking her with me when I went shopping, and made those trips to the grocery store, Dollarama and Walmart. That stretched out to casual get togethers.

She replaced, in a way, the neighbor I had at my other place. She was also in her eighties, and we often got together, her place or mine, made out of town shopping trips and such. Sometimes, when you live alone, it's just nice to have a few minutes of conversation.

My daughter laughs at me and jokes about my 'old lady' friends. But here's the thing, they are more at my level of activity. One night, a few years ago, my friend and I were leaving the restaurant after having dinner. I was walking with a cane and struggling with pain and fatigue after sitting. She was walking with ease. I asked her what was wrong with this picture, as she's older, gray haired, and having no problem, and I was younger and having much difficulty.

I had other friends more my age, but they've fallen by the wayside. They don't call, they don't write. That comment was a bit smart ass, couldn't resist.

I had one friend, and we enjoyed day trips, checking out the countryside, stopping for lunch, shopping in some of those unique little shops we'd find along our way. The first summer we missed doing this, it was because it was so hot, and hot weather is not my friend. We continued to have hot summers and have never made a trip since. There are other seasons, but people move on.

I know friendship is a two way street, you have to be a friend, to keep a friend. But, I have a problem with my increasing issues of limited mobility, increasing pain and fatigue, that I not be a burden. I need those friends to want to spend time with me, even if it's just an hour over coffee at my place because I'm too tired to get dressed to go out.

I hate when someone says 'call me', because my calendar is open and free, they are one's who are busy. I think they should call me when they have some free time. I know that sounds a little 'woe is me' but I hate when I do call and they are busy and it's a 'call me next week' kind of thing.

I recently cancelled on lunch out of town with my brother because I didn't feel up to the out of town drive, sitting for hours and driving home. He didn't let me cancel, but drove all the extra miles to take me out for lunch here. That's a good brother and a true friend. I don't know if he really understands how much that meant to me.

Those are the friends who matter, who recognize that even though I've changed physically, I'm still me. Those are the friends worth their weight in gold.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Lost and Found

I lost something yesterday, something that was ridiculous for me to have lost, and yet...I couldn't find it.

I keep my pills in a seven day container. Each day of the week has four compartments, for each meal and bedtime. I fill the compartments with daily doses, to be taken whenever. The section for each day can be lifted out of the whole, and I set it by my chair as a reminder to take them. When it's empty, I put it back in its daily slot, and refill the whole thing once a week.

Yesterday, I went to take out the designated day, and there was no empty container for the previous day. I looked by my chair, on the kitchen counter, on the microwave where I keep the container, even under it in case it had been pushed aside and out of sight.

I could not find it anywhere. Strange, as where could I possibly have put it? I wondered if, when picking up, I had inadvertently dropped it in the recycling with the papers, but it wasn't on the top and I didn't feel like looking further.

I hate when something like this happens, when I can't find something that should be easily located. It is so easy for me to doubt myself when something stupid, maybe silly, like this happens.

I found it later, in the last place I would have looked.

I have a second seven day pill container, that has just one slot for each day. Those pills have to be taken early on an empty stomach, so I keep it in the drawer by my bed. I saw the container on the top of the bedside table and when I went to put it in the drawer, found my empty daily dispenser.

What was lost is found, and I'm not losing my mind, well, not entirely. A simple mistake I guess, but I feel better about knowing where things are. Mystery solved.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Activity VS Fatigue

I just realized how long it's been since I posted. I have created many posts in my head, as I lay in my bed, and like so many other things I want and hope to do, they never get done.

The fatigue that is a common complaint with MS has been particularly bad for me in the past few months. The other day I swear I was up and active for only six hours of the day. I had a late nap that lasted hours and left me feeling dopey and dragging for the evening.

Today I got up with good intentions. After a look in the mirror, my hair standing out all over the place, I knew I a shower was first on my 'to do' list.

The thing is, my back was aching, and I was having trouble walking and standing. I pushed on and got in the shower, finished and stepped out and right to the toilet to sit, tired out and in pain. I toweled off, applied the cream as my skin is so dry and it was back to bed. I was played out, so tired, worn out, and it was just after nine in the morning.

An hour or so later I was up, as I needed to get something to eat so I could take my medication that has to be taken with food. As I ate I checked my E-mail, Facebook and decided to write this blog post.

My head feels fuzzy, and I need to lie down again as I feel too tired and can't hold my head up any longer. But I have opened my curtains to the sun, let my neighbors know I'm still alive in here, so that's progress.

But, I feel a nap coming on and it's not even noon. I may not sleep this time, might read or crochet, but sitting is just to tiring and the position puts pressure on my knee so increases my pain. I need to lie down, straighten out my knee, support my head and upper body.

Maybe later I'll find the energy to go out and enjoy this spring day, which will result in another nap and a recovery day tomorrow. Such is my life, but what other choice do I have? And those times I get out and see friends and family, they make the crash days all worth it.

Friday, 10 March 2017

On Being a Hermit

I have been accused of being a hermit, because I like to stay home and don't go out unless I have to, or it's some family thing. I like the weekly soccer games for my granddaughter, because we have a visit first, and I get driven to and from the game. It makes my life so much easier.

I get to the store when I need groceries or a prescription filled, and think next winter I may make use of delivery services offered in town.

I realized just of late, why I like being home. Okay, some of that is that being creative is a solitary process, but the other is that I feel better at home.

I use the cane when I'm out, but after a short walking distance, am in such pain that walking is a struggle. I get tired, need to sit and there isn't always a spot to sit, so I lean on counters, whatever is handy. I look ungainly, and feel awkward. I should use the walker when I'm out, but it doesn't work when you use a cart in a store.

At home I walk about without the cane, and manage quite well, because I can sit when I need to, or even lie down for a short period. I do things in steps, with rest periods. Small chores take me days, like dusting or vacuuming, even dishes, and I can accept that as I have no one to answer to but myself.

So, I guess I am a bit of a hermit, but now I understand that at home is where I feel the most like me, and not that person struggling with a chronic illness. And isn't it fortunate for me that I have plenty of things I like to do...painting, reading, writing, fill my day.

I have always been a bit of a loner, but people didn't notice as much when I lived a regular life of work and family, and now that look at that as a negative, when I think it's a positive. If I didn't have my hobbies, the pain and struggle of MS would defeat me.

It is what it is.