Sunday, 14 December 2014

Heat Wraps

I was out for lunch on Friday, and though lunch with a friend is a positive thing, the sitting on a wooden bench for hours is not. Usually, when I stand to leave, I am stiff and in such pain the rest of the day is shot.

Once I had tried some of those heat patches, I had the A 535 brand, but as they were expensive I saved them for “special occasions”. In the Dollar Tree store I found the same thing sold in individual packages. They are made by ASSURED, and are called Air Activated Heat Wraps.

I bought one to try and put it on about 11 am Friday, before I went to lunch. I could feel the heat as I sat on that damn wooden bench, and when I got up to go to the bathroom, (tea makes me pee) I actually could stand with little difficulty.

I was much more comfortable than I would have been without the wrap. The heat kept my back from going into spasms, or tensing up, or whatever it does to cause me such pain when I sit on a hard surface for hours. I don’t even remember if I took my usual dose of Advil before leaving the house.

I seem to remember the box of five, of the other brand, cost more than $15 but less than $20, the reason I rationed them out. At a $1.25 each, less than the cost of my tea that day, I intend on buying in a supply to get me through the winter. I’ll have to check the local dollar store to see if they have them in stock, as there is no Dollar Tree in town.

Pain relief is wonderful, especially when it means you can get out and enjoy time with friends or family. Just thought I would pass the information along. 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Lacking in Sensitivity

I have often said how surprised I was at the kindness of strangers. This has never been more true than this last year when I started using the walker.

Even when I used the cane, people were kind, opening doors or holding doors open, making space for me so as not to bump me off balance. In McDonald’s the staff offer to carry my tray to the table as it can be awkward.

Today was the first time I have ever been treated as if my physical impairment meant I was stupid and not an independent person who could think, act and speak for herself.

My daughter and I were in Costco, and were approached by a staff conducting a membership drive. They were offering a discount for people who were in the store as a guest of a current member.

My daughter had the store cart, I had my walker. When the staff approached us with the pitch, I turned my walker around and sat on the seat. It was a good deal and my daughter needed to sign up for her membership, outside the display section of the store, so our concern was the cart we had loaded with items. Could she take it with her or should she leave it and I would wait (and save myself some steps) for her to return?

I’ll give the woman some benefit of the doubt, maybe she didn’t mean to be so insulting, but I don’t know. I became a non person, more of a thing. She agreed that the cart could go with them to the Customer Service Desk, but then asked my daughter if it was OK to leave me there, alone.

There is the possibility that she was paid according to the number of new memberships she brought in, and so my daughter became her focus. But I felt insulted and demeaned. Not the response I’m used to in dealing with a public that has become more sensitive to the needs of the disabled.

It bothered me enough that I’m taking this opportunity to vent. I don’t think I’m being overly sensitive, which can happen, because my daughter also made note of the woman’s lack of understanding. These things happen, I was just surprised because it hasn’t been the norm.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

A Temporary Cure

Sometimes you just need a dinner out...a hot meal and some friendly conversation. I got both tonight, came home and made myself a coffee with a generous swig of Kahlua and ate some chocolate.

Not to say that I won't feel down again, but as I ready for bed tonight, I feel better.

And to think it's barely December, it bodes for a long winter. I need to find a cure other than booze and chocolate, or I'll have another whole series of problems by spring.

Feeling Blue, and more Blue

It hit me full force this morning, though I shouldn’t have been surprised. If I’m honest with myself I’ve felt it coming on for a few weeks now.

The “it” is depression. From the minute I woke up I’ve been fighting back tears. My emotions seem to be right on the surface. Maybe this is why I’ve been on a bit of a self destructive bender this last week. By that I mean staying up most of the night and sleeping most of the day, a great way to avoid life.

I’ve had depressive episodes before. Most often these were reactive in nature. I bottomed out after my Mom died, after I was given my MS diagnosis, and one other time, when I went on disability. For those episodes I went on Prozac, and weaned myself off the medication a few months later.

There have been other episodes, cases of the blues, the doldrums, and I’ve just plodded my way through them, sans medication. This latest change of mood is probably due to the holiday. For the last two years I’ve done the NaNo challenge (write a novel in 30 days) and finished with barely three weeks until Christmas and so much to do. I decided not to participate this year, but to work on completing the book I had in progress and concentrated on writing and getting ready for the holidays.

I’ve made some personal items for family, things like hats, boot cuffs, head bands etc. And let’s not forget the 11 stockings I made for the kids and their families.

OK, let’s be honest. The fact that my fatigue has reached a level that I can’t do near what I want to do, the pain interferes with everything, it’s the cognitive issues with memory and concentration that have me down.

It’s the cognitive issues that have had me struggling to finish this current book. But now I have the ending, and I see the finish in sight, and I’m frustrated that I can’t concentrate to put the words together.

So I did the smart thing, I called a friend and asked if she wanted to go to Swiss Chalet for dinner, an annual holiday event for my kids and I when they were small, an yearly event with my friend for the last few Christmases.

I told her I needed a “Festive” dinner, and if a nice meal doesn’t work, there’s always the chocolate that goes with it. Chocolate has been the cure for many things, maybe it will help my mood this time.