Sunday, 8 April 2018

Almost Spring Like

I can't believe it's been Christmas since I last posted. I'd like to say it was because I was out doing things, going places but, alas, that is not the case.

It's funny how one change in your life, living circumstances, health, can change everything. Because everything is connected.

I was having trouble sitting in the recliner and got a new-to-me wing back chair with ottoman. This chair was comfortable but I faced the same problem I had before, no table that would allow me to use laptop and keep my feet up. So I wasn't on the lap top long enough to do much work.

It was the holidays and then that down period that always follows. The recliner was still here, shoved into the corner as I was going to attempt to sell it, but weeks went by and the walls started to close in on me as my already small space seemed smaller, and I was getting out less because of the weather.

I also got an I pad and could use that for most of my internet stuff, games, research, E mails and now texting, so the lap top that is, for the most part, for writing, sat idle.

I think my MS is gradually progressing. The fatigue is constant and yet I don't sleep well at night, and miss the first part of the day trying to catch up. Pain limits my activity so that I take the walker more and more so I can sit and rest. This is a big change for me.

I use the walker going to and from the car, but then it stayed in the car. I think I was still in denial of my need for it, as I seemed to treat it as a cart, handy to carry my groceries from car to house. But if I hope to manage any activity, alone or with friends or family, I need to admit I can do it better with the walker.

The days I'm out and have to support my upper body sitting are so draining. That is why I spend the evenings in bed, and many afternoons, I admit, because my head and body are supported. Not a position for writing but I sure as hell am doing a lot of crochet.

Newborn baby hats and chemo hats for the hospital, stuffed animals for the women's shelter. You know what they say about idle hands.

But here we are into spring, though the cold and recent snow would not support that, and I want to get organized. The recliner is gone, my space is my own, and I want to make it work for me. So, in spite of recent setbacks, a worsening of my back and a fall, I am eager to get things around here that work for me.

Summer cannot be that far off. I'm sure if we ever get spring it won't feel as long as winter did and it will be blue skies and sunshine.

Friday, 22 December 2017

What a Pain in the Back!

I have Multiple Sclerosis. But it is not the MS that plagues my day, it is the back pain.

I can barely walk any distance and I can only stand for a few minutes without something to lean on.

When I go shopping I can barely make it through the store, and believe me I don't attempt every aisle. But, as it is, I cover enough distance to make my back ache horribly. Why, I ask, do the refrigerated items have to be at the back? Why not the mops and brooms and all the water and pop?

I know, I know, it's because of the refrigeration and how they fill the shelves from behind, from another refrigerated area. Still.

I was out with my son yesterday, just company when he had to pick up a gift from a store out of town. We grabbed our coffee and hit the road. Mother and son time.

The store was in the country, on a highway heading north, and was a supplier of all and everything related to hunting and fishing. The store was huge and had everything you could imagine and more. I was curious and went in to look.

On the drive I had been talking about how far I could walk before hitting my limit. I managed to get through the front area, up the step to the back section and did a circle through. Then the pain hit, mild at first, then getting worse as I continued to walk.

I looked at my son and said, "This is my limit".

I walked down to the cashier as he checked out and made it to the car with little problem.

At home I needed to sit, glad I didn't have anything to do, no groceries to put away, nothing but to say goodbye to my son and thank him for the day.

I see now why those shopping days really torture me. It's the walking, the lifting, the loading and unloading of the car. I get the frozen and refrigerated stuff put away and forget about the rest, needing to lie down.

It's a cruel fact of life that when you want to shop more frequently (so you carry less and don't have to buy so much fresh fruit and vegetables at one time), you can't get out that often. How nice for younger people to just drop by the store on the way home for  those few items needed. We older and less able people don't/can't get out as often and so need to stock up.

I hate having so many fruits and vegetables that I can't eat it all before some of it goes bad. I know I shouldn't buy so much but it's hard to resist.

Here I am, a few days before Christmas, sitting in my comfortable chair, complaining. I should be glad on a day like this to be old, older, and less abled. I don't have to worry, as a manager, that needed staff can't make it to work because of the snow, or that I need to go to work and my kids are home from school, yeah, a snow day.

We all have our challenges, life is never easy, but we can help each other and make our burdens less.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Facing Dreaded News

I have a friend, an older lady, who got the bad news the other day that all older people dread...that she can no longer drive. For her it's a visual thing, and she is no longer safe to drive even the local streets of our small town.

She knew it was coming as she'd already quit driving at night or to out of town places that were not as familiar. But knowing it's coming is not the same as hearing those words that make it true.

We talked the day she'd been to the doctor and she seemed fine, accepting.. I called her today to see if she wanted to go to the store with me, but she was stuck at home waiting for a service call. You know the old 'he'll be there between one and three' kind of thing.

She admitted yesterday was a bad day, reality sinking in. It wasn't that she had anywhere to go, it was the idea that she couldn't just 'get up and go'.

As I've been dealing with the changes in my own status I can sympathize. The list of Can't Do gets bigger than the Can Do's.

I'll have to think of her more often, see if she wants to accompany me on my shopping trips. It's fun to have a friend along, maybe to turn shopping into a lunch out and some conversation.

Always a plus for those of us who live alone.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Brain Blip

I haven't written for awhile, and though I'd like to say it's because I've been out and about, too busy to write, that is sadly not the case.

As prepared I was for Christmas, or so I thought, I had a little brain blip that caused me and everyone else needless stress.

I have a journal that I use to keep track of my Christmas shopping. I find this necessary as I start my shopping in January and have to find spots to hide the stuff throughout the year. I could tell you what I bought everyone on my list going back about 10 years.

I divide the pages so everyone has a column, and it takes four pages with 7 grandchildren, my two kids, their spouses and the other friends and family I buy for.

I'm a bit OCD, as I not only write it all down, I highlight it when wrapped. That way I know when I have to search for the gift I hid away eight months before.

I was wrapping what I though was a few last minute gifts and found my journal almost empty of entries. How could this be? I had the feeling I'd shopped a great deal and my first thought was I'd neglected to write it down.

I asked my son about gifts I'd wrapped and given to him to store. My daughter had one bin and I thought my son had two. Unfortunately he couldn't find them. And I was adamant they were at his place.

Stressful times. Here I was thinking I had all these presents and now, weeks from our family gathering, I had very little.

Given that I have not been out much this year, my back pain greatly limiting my activity, I figured my son was right. The 2 boxes of gifts I thought I'd given him were from the year before. I made my apologies to all concerned.

What I had was a plethora of crocheted items. I had made 4 sweaters and numerous hats, scarves and mittens. I also had the 15 items that I make, different each year, one for each person. This year it was stuffed animals, a fun change from socks, slippers and hats.

I did do a mad dash of shopping to complete my list, easily done through gift cards as the older grandkids are fussy and too hard to buy for, particularly clothes.

I got it all done but this total loss of awareness of my shopping/buying status, and the prominent memory of last year that was so dominant scared me. I hate any of these brain blip episodes as they come without warning and jar what I think of as my reality.

At least I can stand by my journal and its effectiveness. My system works, it's my brain that let me down.

Wishing you all the best for this holiday season.

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.