Sunday, 30 August 2015


I never walk with ease, but some days are decidedly better than others. Today is not one of those days.

I spent a good part of the night on the heating pad, and now have a pain patch on my back. I don't know what set this bout of back pain off, maybe the extra walking yesterday, sitting in crappy chairs, lifting the heavy bags of groceries? Who knows, but whatever it was...I'm paying for it today.

Add to that, I forgot my sunblock and have my rash back on my face and arms.

And people wonder why I don't make plans, but go day to day, almost moment to moment. When I went out yesterday I was tired, and I knew I was pushing it, paid for it with a sleepless, pain filled night, and now I'll be dragging for days.

I'll rest up and take care, there's a place I need to be at the end of the week, things I need to do. So, like an overtired toddler, it's afternoon naps and early to bed. Unfortunately a toddler will grow out of their need for naps, my need will only increase with time.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Noise Intolerance

I discovered that I was noise intolerant many years ago, and found it was most troublesome at family get-togethers. It was the number of ongoing conversations going on at the same time, and I figured my brain just couldn't track it anymore.

The noise level with kids around is always higher, so that added to this uncomfortable situation. I like the music on loud when I drive, but only if I'm alone. Driving, and paying attention to driving, with conversation is enough without music added to the mix.

In a store, there is constant noise and activity, and I have trouble concentrating and paying attention to conversation.

Years ago, I warned my kids. If they wanted to tell me something I needed to know, and remember, they needed to get me alone, in a quiet spot, and make sure they had my attention before talking, otherwise I wouldn't remember.

It's funny, but as much as added noise causes me this kind of difficulty, I don't like silence. I have my television on all the time, usually turned to crime shows. I don't like talk or reality shows because the sound can go from soft to loud and jarring and back again. And on these talk shows there are too many people talking at once vying for attention.

Sharing a link on this topic.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

MS and Pain

Very timely, here's an article on the different kinds of pain those of us with MS might suffer. I like how she begins by saying MS used to be considered a pain free disease. How many times did I hear that?

Anyway, it's a good explanation.

Monday, 17 August 2015

MS and Fibromyalgia

I have suffered from chronic pain for most of my adult life, joint pain in my hands, neck and back. I saw a rheumatologist as far back as 1976 who gave me meds, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs) for the pain, which I took off and on for a few years (not during pregnancy) and then daily for a consistent time.

The official MS diagnosis came in 1996. My usual pain became much worse, and as pain is not considered by some to be an MS symptom, I saw another rheumatologist in 2000 and was told my pain was due to fibromyalgia. Oh, goodie, another chronic illness, one where fatigue was also a problem.

Found this article about others with both, and found it interesting.

I'm off the NSAIDs, have been for a number of years. They can play havoc with your stomach and the cost was an issue (no benefits). I have managed for some time now with just Advil. Some days I wake and know it will be a 'bad' day, and other days I can manage the aches and pain with no medication.

If I have a flare up of pain, I take it regularly with maybe a dose of Tylenol tossed in for good measure. I tried the arthritic Tylenol, that has an eight hour effect, a slow release sort of thing, but reacted badly to it, not sure why as I've taken Tylenol for years.

I still swear by heat as a comfort and pain reliever, and am never without my heating pad and the neck wrap that I heat up in the microwave. This hot weather has negated their use for awhile, and as I have the typical MS aversion to warm weather, I'm trying cold relief, but it's just not the same.

There is no such thing as a day without pain, it's more a question of how bad. Such is life. I know I still have it so much better than other people and have learned to push through and make the most of the good times.

Thursday, 6 August 2015


My footwear has been of interest to people for many years, or should I say my choice of footwear.

I love clog type shoes, the covered toe with the open heel. I have worn them for years, in many styles and colors. When I first had problems with my gait, dragging one leg, tripping and such, my boss, and friend, was sure it was my shoes, no way could it be MS.

Well, the MS diagnosis was confirmed, so I continued to wear the same style of shoes. Not the best choice maybe, but I was having trouble making concessions to my disease.

When I was no longer working, I thought I left the shoe lectures behind me, but alas, no. My son took up where my friend left off, sure that if I wore proper shoes I’d walk better, be more sure of my steps.

As my condition has deteriorated, the addition of the cane resolved some of the walking issues as I could maintain better balance, and the walker has improved on that immensely. So the shoe lectures have eased off, until late.

I gave up my favorite pair of clogs, nice leather ones, too, because they had a heel. I need flats, or my balance is thrown off, and as I don’t go anywhere very dressy, I’ve been wearing a leather running shoe in winter and a pair of crocs in summer.

I’ve been getting the shoe lectures again, from my daughter this time, about the crocs. I guess some of that is from a fashion point of view, as they are very casual and...okay...kind of ugly. Well, I sealed my fate on Tuesday when I fell. The crocs have no grip and I slid on a wet floor, and down I went.

For sure, shopping is on my agenda, I need to put a stop to the lectures.But not for a few days.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

A Full Fall

I think I put a curse on myself, by talking about ‘near falls’ the other day. Yesterday I fell, right down on the floor, total mortification, etc. etc.

I was out with my daughter and granddaughter and we couldn’t make up our minds as where to go for lunch, so stopped at one of those places that offer multiple choices. We had just come through a storm, so of course the floor of the restaurant was wet, and I was foolishly wearing crocs, which have no grip on the sole.

We were laughing and having fun, so I wasn’t as cautious as I might have been. My first step on the wet tile floor and I could feel my foot slide and knew I was going down. That’s the thing with MS, your reaction times are on a delay, and there was no way my legs were going to move fast enough to stop the fall.

Down I went, and of course, as it was lunch time, there were a number of people trying to enter behind us and watching from inside. I crawled over to the wall, used it to brace myself so I could stand. My daughter was upset, handed me the cane and offered to help me back to the car. I refused, went to the bathroom to pull myself together and we had lunch.

I made it through the rest of the day, but the aches and pains were taking hold. I came home, took a pain pill and went to bed, slept for two hours.

Today I feel better than I expected, with vague pains hitting different parts of my body. I must have twisted my knee and ankle, landed on that same left wrist, so they are consistent, with little other surprises that come and go.

Definitely getting rid of the crocs. Fall will be here before you know it, so new footwear is in my future. 

Monday, 3 August 2015

Near Falls

Near falls are different than a full fall, than a land on the ground, face plant kind of fall. A near fall is when you catch yourself, or land on something so you don’t actually land on the ground.

I’ve had two near falls in the last week.

The first occurred when I was unloading something from my car to the walker. I use the walker to help me...walk, of course, but it also comes in handy to carry stuff. That day I had groceries, and the bags began to roll off the walker, I leaned forward to grab them before they fell to the ground. My head spun and I lurched forward, falling awkwardly into the walker.

The other day, I was looking for something in the bottom drawer. I have a bad knee and can’t kneel or bend at the knee, so I have to lean over from the waist. Again, things started to spin and I fell into the open drawer, caught my right index finger between the drawer and the cabinet, and landed heavily on my left wrist.

My wrist is still swollen and painful, but as I have full range of movement I think it’s just a sprain.

I remember walking outside, taking a few minutes to enjoy my garden, and do some weeding. I automatically used my cane to maintain my balance when I leaned over to pull at the weeds. But I don’t use the cane in the house, or walking about the car when I have to walker. So, this was a good lesson, and timely, as the next time I could fall for real.

I need to keep a hand on something when bending over, much the same as I do when standing. If I stand without touching something I tend to sway and fall backwards. I realize I have to make these concessions to make to be safe, and hate the thought that I might have to resort to using the cane in the house. My place is small enough that I’ve been able to make do with hand holds on the walls and furniture, and can leave the cane at the door.

Small, in the grand scheme of things, and I hope not a possible sign of changes to come. Now my wrist hurts from typing, so I guess I’m done for the day.

Saturday, 1 August 2015


I see all of these quotes that people post on Facebook, about friendship. They all say the same sort of thing, good friends are there for you no matter what, and time and distance makes no difference in how you feel.

But what about those friends, supposed friends, who fade away when you are no longer able to do the things you used to do, enjoy things as you once did.

I had a relapse two years ago, when pain became a defining element of my life, in addition to the usual MS symptoms I live with. This was the time I got the walker, and my tolerance for any activity was lessened as to leave me almost housebound. If walking on wintery roads was a deterrent in winter, the heat and sun was the same for summer.

The frequent day trips I enjoyed with one friend haven’t happened in the last two years, and I miss those days of taking off, seeking out new and different places to shop, to eat, to experience. It was just too damn hot, and my pain would not allow me to do the walking nor the sitting in the car. We’ve made do with meeting for dinner, but it hasn’t been the same.

I have another friend, a much older friend, who was getting slower, more of my speed. We shopped, met for lunch and talked on the phone if we weren’t getting together. One day we were walking out of the restaurant after having lunch, I was struggling, using my cane, and she was walking easy as could be, unaided. I laughed, and asked her what was wrong with this picture. She has grey hair, and is obviously older, and I was the more feeble, the one struggling.

We’ve talked less and less lately, and don’t seem to meet as often. But when we talk it’s all about where she’s been and what she’s done. She seems to have found some energy, and is staying active, with other active friends. I’ve experienced this before, with others.

This makes me wonder, have I given in?

The funny thing is I like being home, having time to be creative, whether it’s simple crocheting, or painting or writing. I need to be creative, the same as I need to eat. But creativity is, for me, a solitary activity, and I am not by nature a social person.

That doesn’t mean I’ve given in, it just means I need to make more of an effort to take a break and get out. Something I will do, as soon as this heat spell is over, by calling my friend and planning a trip to take off for the day.

I’m not done yet, and I have to say, I have accomplished a great deal during this time of being home. There’s always a plus side if you look for it. Now, where shall we go when we hit the road?