Thursday, 29 December 2016

Pain and MS

MS is not generally a disease associated with pain, but as many MS sufferers will tell you, there is a pain component.

I have experienced the 'MS Hug' and the pain in my feet and legs, from actual pain, to numbness,  tingling and/or burning sensation.

As I have a generalized arthritic condition, I feel the leg and back aches from a changing gait. I found this article about the different kinds of pain one one find with MS and wanted to share.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

A New Perspective

I was at my grandson's hockey game on the weekend. The stairs into the stands are brutal, as are the seats. I usually take the elevator to the top and sit in the last row, better view than at board level.

After the game I returned to the elevator to make my way back to the main level. Before the doors closed a man squeezed in and with a smile asked if he could ride down with me. I had my cane with me, so my need of the elevator was obvious. He, on the other hand, was younger, much younger, and gave all initial appearances as to being healthy.

I am never one to judge, been there, done that...the being judged part, not the judging. He must have felt the need to explain himself. "I have MS," he told me.

"So do I," I replied.

We then got into a conversation, as we were no longer strangers. And, as things work out, we have the same neurologist. His son plays on the opposing team, and they were from the city where I go to the MS Clinic. We were both of the opinion that we have a great doctor, and the clinic is great.

I learned he is on one of the newer drugs, that require daily injections, and has been for the last twelve years. These injections come with a cost of $1800 a month.That is a long time to be doing injections, as any insulin dependent diabetic would agree. He's now suffering the side effects of the drug, and it's causing him joint problems and pain.

This led to discussion of the cane and or walker. I admitted to a great reluctance to using the cane, which I am now very comfortable with, and the walker, which I am not. I use the walker to and from the car, when walking to the main building in my complex, but otherwise avoid using it in public.

My excuse is that I am usually going shopping and can use a cart, so taking the walker is not required. I gathered that my new friend was also reluctant to use an assisted device. And I can understand why.

This man is young, with an eight year old son. There are so many things he can't do with his son, because of his disease, the pain and the fatigue. He's had his illness for twelve years, so his son has never seen him healthy.

It made me think of one of the stories in the book "Women Living With MS" where a young woman talked about using the cane in front of her young daughter's friends at school, and the daughter being upset. I think this might be part of this man's reluctance.

I can understand how he feels. My grandchildren have only known me with MS. Though I was more active in the early years, the first couple are too young to really remember. They have accepted the changes, the cane, and the walker, as it is what it is.

But, I'm a grandmother, living alone, retired, so I can rest when I need to, before and after any activity. I am not a young father, struggling with a chronic illness, while working, and trying to live as normal a life as possible, for as long as possible.

My meeting put a new face to MS, and my heart goes out to this man, with empathy and understanding. I hope the treatment he's on slows the progression of his disease and gives him the time he needs, for himself, and for his family.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Feeling Good

I don't know why, but some months ago, I stopped taking anything but prescription and pain medication. I think it had to do with difficulty swallowing, and some of those vitamin pills are really big.

Last week I went back on everything, and I am feeling so much better. So I'm back on the B Compound, the B12, the Vitamin D and the Omega 3.

A lot of MS people are low on B12, and of course the Vit D and Omega 3 are recommended, so I guess I can see why. I'm feeling better. I have a bit more energy, and maybe have lost some brain fog, but unfortunately, the pain is with me still, unchanged.

On a positive note, I'm getting into some crafts other than crochet, which means I'm persevering and trying to stand for longer periods. Which s good because I have this Christmas stuff I need to finish, well start and finish.

I even took a bit of a walk the other night, not far, but good for me. My 89 year old neighbor still puts me to shame with how far she can walk, but that's the way the ball bounces.

Wish the younger generation would listen to me, take a good look and listen. Maybe then they would take more care and not abuse the luxury of youth that might take away the pleasure of old age.

Oh, the things I wish I could do over.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Crazy for Crochet

Since last winter I have been having more difficulty sitting upright. It seems I'm losing upper body strength, so sitting where I have no support is a challenge. I bought a recliner chair, on the advice of my physician, but have to admit, I don't like it.

I suppose if I was just relaxing, watching television or reading, it might be okay, but I can't seem to do just one thing at a time. So I might read and watch television, but I really like to read in bed. I find the chair, when reclined, puts me at an odd angle, for using the laptop, or for doing crafts. And to be honest, I don't like lying on my back.

So, in order to put my feet up, and be reclined, more on my side than my back, I go to bed extremely early. I spend my evening in bed, going from crochet to reading, to maybe a book of puzzles (I suck at Sudoku).

A friend asked if I ever made those toppers for tea towels, you know the ones, they hang from the handle on your oven door or cupboard, and are handy for drying your hands. I said yes, had made a set, with matching dish cloths for each of my kids a few years ago for Christmas.

My friend asked if I could make her a few for Christmas, but never got back to me with any details. I went ahead and looked for patterns, and was anxious to start. I found myself between projects, so to speak, and needed something to do.

With no handy tea towels, and no idea of colors, I found the perfect solution. It is a crocheted topper, but instead of being attached to the tea towel, the towel is inserted through an elastic covered ring, and can be changed for the season or just for variety, and of course for washing.

I have a big stash of leftover yarn, and sooooo many buttons, I got started right away and am sharing the results. If my friend doesn't want these I'll donate them to one of the upcoming Christmas bazaars that are coming up.

I don't do anything by half measures, obviously.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

No Frills...No Thrills

No Frills is a bag-your-own grocery store, that has great prices. Right now they are having their famous 'Dollar Days' sales.

As much as I love the produce, the sales and the selection at this store, I rarely shop there. First is because of the parking. They do have disability parking, usually full, but the lanes are small, and the place is so busy, you have to be on your toes when backing up. Pedestrians think the back up lights are meaningless.

Second, after walking about the store, when it comes time to check out, I'm usually tired and hate the stress of having to rush to bag my groceries and get out of the way of the next customer.

My 89 year old neighbor is sick and needed groceries, so I volunteered, as my cupboards were looking a little empty too. Her list had a lot of heavy items, soup and more soup. She is sick after all.

Anyways, I arrived at the store, all disability parking full, so I parked off to the side, in a No Parking, where numerous other people had parked.

I had the neighbor's list out, mine was a mental one so, of course, so I forgot a few items I needed and picked up  a few I didn't.

The nice thing about Dollar Days is that most of the sale items are located at the end of the aisles and save a lt of searching. I found the soup easily, all in one spot, and picked up the 6 of one, the 2 of another and 2 of the third. I found the cereal, hers and mine, and everything else on her list.

I was tiring, couldn't think of what else I needed and was ready to check out...and then I remembered. I needed toilet paper. I grabbed the package on sale and headed for the cashier.

I did my order first, then hers, and pulled my bags out to pack everything up. And there's something else, I hate those bags. They won't stay open so you can pack in a logical way, which is why my daughter has these great bags the are open and easy to pack.

I struggled and struggled, and had to lean on the counter as my back hurt. I lifted and packed, and lifted bags much to heavy for me until I finally got everything on the cart. By then I was totally fatigued, in pain, and overheated from the stress and struggle.

I made it to the car, again more lifting, home, more lifting, and finally had the groceries delivered to the neighbor and mine in the door.

I wish I could have left it all where it was, but...frozen I put the necessities away. Left the rest. Today, after a night of pain and feeling totally worn, I still have groceries to put away.

I grabbed the package of toilet paper, and, as I was down to the last roll, proceeded to rip the package open to put it all away,


The one item I needed, toilet paper, and what did I buy...paper towels. I'm not going back to the store, not today anyways. I figure if I run out I can borrow from the neighbor, I figure she owes me that at least.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Cognitive Testing

Years ago, early into my disease process, I went through two very painful days of cognitive testing. I was never genius level, but I was smart, and I had a terrific memory, especially for numbers.  I could feel when it changed, the lapses in memory, short term, and knew it was affecting my job performance. That was when I sought help, and ended up in testing.

At my recent visit to the MS Clinic, the Occupational Therapist did a short test of my cognition and memory. It's a painful process...when you fail, though there is no real pass or fail, more like you remember or you don't.

I couldn't repeat the five words she gave me without repetition, and after a delay, not without prompts. There was a test for sequences and patterns. 1 to A, then what follows? Of course, it was 2 to B and then 3 to C and so on. It took me a few minutes to get it going, not a good start.

What really surprised me was the clock. She gave me a circle and told me to put the numbers on it. Easy-peasy, I thought, and did it right. Then she said "Put the hands on the clock at ten after eleven."
I did ten to two. I couldn't believe it. I know how to tell time, not all my watches are digital. But the brain is a strange and wonderful thing.

The rest of the tests were simple, at least I didn't struggle or make any big mistakes. Still, those lapses are enough to give you a moment of consideration. Have I made mistakes I'm not aware of, what have I forgotten that might have been important?

When you've been smart, held a responsible job, successfully, it's a hard thing to accept.

What's that old saying...A mind is a terrible thing to waste. That's exactly how I feel.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

A Trip to the MS Clinic

As I am not under any specific treatment plan, my visits to the MS Clinic have been a yearly affair. But the clinics have been so busy, as each serves a large geographical area. My trip is 200 KM, so imagine the area they pull from.

My annual appointment became every 18 months, and this year even longer. So, when they called with a cancellation, I grabbed at the chance, better than having to do that drive in winter.

But, I still hate the drive alone. Well. not the drive itself as it's an easy highway drive, it's the city streets in a city I don't know (previous visits aside).

I called my brother and he drove over an hour to get here and another almost two hours to get to the clinic. We stopped for lunch half way there, and did a small tour of Kingston, as we got turned around. Obviously my skills as navigator are not the best.

The visit takes time, as you see the nurse, the physiotherapist, and an occupational therapist. This time I had some tests done that support the balance issues I have, and the memory and concentration concerns.

In these cognitive tests, they give you patterns to repeat, like a list of words, and test immediate recall and recall after doing a different task.

They gave me a sentence and I was so surprised, I burst out laughing. Then I had to explain. The sentence was something like (I can't remember exactly, of course) "A man named John will help you today." Of course I laughed, as my brother's name is John, and he was a big help that day.

They asked the date, and of course I knew the day, Tuesday, the month October and the year. But the day gave me a moment's hesitation. I said the 16th, as my bro and I had been talking about it in the car, and he told me it was the 16th.

The OT said it was the 18th. And I said maybe it was my brother who should be having these tests, as I was following his lead. The dates get lost sometimes, once you're retired.

All in all it was a good day. I like the staff, especially my doctor as he's so easy to talk to, and love my brother for his ongoing support.

And the trees were beautiful heading east, the sky glorious on the way back, what more can you ask for?

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Paying for Activity

I love that quote from the movie 'Unstoppable' about the train being "a wreck on a wreck". That is exactly how I feel today.

It seems as if all the good work from my pain workshop has been for naught. I had a great day Saturday, a day trip through the lovely fall countryside with my son and his family. Hours sitting in the car, some walking, maybe a lot of walking for me, but well worth it.

That night it was pain meds and the heating pad, as it was the next day. "The cost of doing business" one might say. And I accept that, have lived with that for too many years.

Yesterday, I had a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving with my daughter and her in laws. Not so much walking, but more sitting around. It seems the choices to sit are low, cushy sofas, or hard wooden kitchen chairs. I made it home but, now pay the consequences.

If I had my choice, I would still be in bed, but it's garbage day, a day I like to get things cleaned up and organized. I barely made it to the curb and back.

Pain is one thing, something I've lived with for too many years, it's the all over lousy feeling, the headache, the brain fog, the extreme fatigue that I find distressing. I can work through the pain, it's this other that I have a hard time coping with. The feeling of being a wreck on a wreck.

The garbage is out, and that may be all I get done today. Such a waste as the sun is shining and it is a beautiful fall day. I would have loved another day trip just to enjoy this Ontario autumn.

At least I have left over turkey for a sandwich...which may be the highlight of my day.

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day. Sing it all together.....tomorrow, tomorrow...and I don't know any more of the lyrics, sorry Annie.

Monday, 3 October 2016


It must be the change in the weather, but I have been so tired of late. After a few days of marathon napping, I found myself wide awake at that awful time...4 A.M..

I read, but wasn't making any sense of what I read, so I watched television, but I felt restless, unable to focus. So I picked up my crochet. Lucky for me I always have a project on the go.

Today, I took my neighbor to the lab so she could get her blood work done, and then we headed to Walmart. I needed groceries, and my prescription, and of course, yarn.

There was a notice in the paper, calling for knitters and crocheters, and yeah, I qualify. Apparently there are winter games being held in January for those over 55, and they want to present people with a scarf, so they need about 1000 to be made.

The requirements were simple, colors to be a medium to dark blue, a medium to dark green and some white, 65 inches long and 6 inches wide. Any design, any combination of those colors.

I can do that, so I bought some yarn.

I wore my best loved jean jacket but it was too much for the weather today, too hot to wear wandering the store. I sat on the bench to wait for my friend, and remembered my prescription, and had to wander to the far end of the store and back.

By the time I got back to the bench I was in a sweat, so tired I needed to get home to rest, cool off, and in such pain with my back and hip.

I see another nap in my future, and should start setting a timer, so I don't overdo it and interfere with my night time sleep.

I do hate this kind of fatigue when I have things I want and need to do. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Peripheral Vision Test

My eye doctor suggested I have a test for my peripheral vision, and I had it done yesterday.

It seems like a simple, non-invasive test, but it was not that easy.

You cover one eye with a patch so the test is definitely measuring one eye at a time. You place your chin on the bar, to keep your head still and in place. The screen you look at is white, but in the center is a black circle, with an orange dot, slightly off center.

You are to stare at the black dot, and not let your eye scan to the side, above or below. They hand you a clicker, and when you see a flash, you click. The flashes are very small, and are only seen for a few seconds, so it's hard to know if it was a flash or not. The flashes move around your visual field in what appears to be a random pattern, all done by computer.

I began to think there was a delay, or disconnect between what I saw and how fast my brain worked to interpret things before I clicked. It got very confusing, which flash was I responding to, did I click too slow, or not at all.

Right eye, then left eye.

I found staring at the black circle to cause some confusion. The white area would darken, the black circle became more prominent and developed a green colored aura. Blinking rapidly made those changes go away, back to the normal, but it probably made me miss some of the flashes.

I felt I saw fewer flashes with the left than the right eye, but who knows.

I think they should give people a pretest, so you realize that the flashes are fairly pinpoint, and so one might better understand the test. Just my opinion.

At any rate, the office called, and I have to have the test repeated, why, I don't know. Maybe I failed because my MS brain doesn't work the way it should. It will be end of November now before I know anything for sure.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Isn't it Nice

The weather has changed, cooler temperatures especially at night so it makes for a good night's sleep.

The inside thermometer reads 71 decrees F., probably the lowest it's been for three months. I can feel the breeze across my feet, and need to put some socks on, my toes are cold.

I haven't been feeling the greatest, and, according to my neighbor, look pale and tired. I can admit she is right. Can't put my finger on what is wrong, maybe it's a response to the weather and my body is slow to adapt.

This morning I was lazing in bed, enjoying the cool, bundled up in my blankets, when the phone rang. It was my neighbor. She was checking in on me, concerned as to how I was. We talked for a few minutes and I got up to face the day. My mood is better, and how could it not be?

It's so nice to have someone check on me. We do this for each other, as my neighbor has no family close. She is a (hate the word) spry 89 year old, and is more mobile me, but I have a car and take her to the store with me whenever I go. Saves her the trek out to the bus.

We all have our issues. What's important is to help each other, so we don't feel quite so isolated and alone.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

It Never Fails

I had a productive day yesterday, for me at least. I love those days when I feel I've accomplished something, instead of just lying around like a slug, collecting dust.

One of those things I managed was to....dust. Doesn't sound like a lot, but for me it takes a lot of effort, and energy. I have four bookcases, filled with books and collectibles, so more work required.

I finished a project for Christmas, another check mark in the plus column.

And the biggie, I formatted my book, have it ready to go live on Kindle. As I haven't gone for my new computer glasses, it was a strain on the eyes, and a mental exercise I haven't felt up to with all this hot weather.

I called my friend, and she dropped by and I was able to pay her the money I owed and give her the little thank you gift I picked up. Next time we go to Costco I'll take more cash.

So it was a good day, and because of that, today isn't.

I slept soundly and would still be in my bed if I didn't have my housekeeper coming this morning. I know, I know, why did I dust if I had help coming? I only have her for an hour, so we agreed that she would do the bathroom and the floors.

I've told myself for the last two times she was here, I'd get the dusting done. Finally made it. Like I said, it was a productive day.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Struggling With Pain

Why is it that when your back hurts, everything is suddenly a struggle?

The toilet paper bin is empty, the new rolls in the bottom of the cupboard, the crock pot is in the back behind all the other pots and pans, and putting clean dishes away, in the bottom cupboard, of course, a plastic lid falls down and I have to reach to remove it so I can put the bowls away.


It seems that sitting for an hour or so, on the walker seat, is not good for my back, but better than standing.

I was doing this sitting in a horse barn, watching my granddaughter's riding lesson. So, over all, it was worth a bit of back pain.

This is the way it goes for me. Sitting for any length of time, on a hard seat, maybe without back support, and I pay for it the next day.

And, oh joy, hockey season is starting and my grandson plays, and have you seen those seats in the arena? I may have to consider that OBUS form again, and carry it with me. Another step of acceptance, like the cane, like the walker.

The only other choice is to stay home, and not be part of family events. I'll take the pain.

Friday, 2 September 2016

A Short Term Cool Down

I can't keep up with the changes in the weather. After months of it being so hot, we've had a few days where it been more comfortable days and cooler nights. The breeze coming in my window was so cool, my feet were frozen and I had to get socks.

Apparently next week it will be hot again, but it won't last for long, fall is inevitable, you know, because of the earth turning on its axis and all.

My place is not very big, so it seems to hold the heat. I've made do with fans, as I hate air conditioning, but fans don't help when you need to use the stove. My oven hasn't been on since June, and I've made do with the stove top or the microwave.

My neighbor has air conditioning, and I've been treated to muffins when she's baked. There is a plus, I guess, but I like my windows open, to see the breeze flutter the drapes, hear the noises of summer.

I hope to make a few day trips, when the leaves change color. I missed most of it last year, so have some routes planned already.

My friend was quite happy to go with me, said we could take our cameras and pack a lunch. I just looked at her and shook my head. We'll take the cameras, I told her, but we'll go out for lunch. We're old, I reminded her, with old bladders, so we'll need a bathroom. She laughed and agreed.

We'll see what we can manage.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

A Case of Disorientation

After a busy day at home on Sunday, shredding a year's worth of files, crocheting and cleaning up for garbage day Monday, I was tired, but still willing to go shopping Monday.

My friend and I drove the 50 KM into the city, had lunch (sitting on hard wooden benches) and shopped at Costco. Needless to say, I paid the price. By the time I was in the checkout line I needed the cart to lean on as my back was sore.

Gluttons for punishment, we hit two more shops on our drive home. I was hot, tired and in pain, figured a nap was in my immediate future.

Silly me, I fought through it, though at times it was a struggle. I ended up in bed to watch the Blue Jays game, and do remember that they won the game, but nothing much after that.

When I woke up, stiff and a little dazed, I looked at the clock. Eleven thirty. Eleven thirty! My immediate thought was morning, and I couldn't believe I had slept for the night and most of the morning. I felt like I was pulling myself out of a dungeon, I had slept so deep and sound.

Then I realized it was night, and I had slept, like the dead, for less than two hours. All this confusion and I couldn't go back to sleep, as tired as I was. So I played a few games of solitaire on the computer, read some of my bedside book and watched some television.

I finally settled to sleep, somewhere close to five A.M. and am now up, still feeling dazed.

Today, when the fatigue hits, I'm going to be smart and take a short nap and hope for a better night's sleep.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Good Neighbors

I'm sitting here listening to the spray and spatter of my neighbor's hose. She's watering my garden, which would otherwise be sadly neglected.

It's been too hot for me to think, let alone go out to weed and water.

My neighbor is in her eighties, and I see her walking about, with a cane though she doesn't use it in a real supportive way. The watering she does is from a distance, with her hose, and though the plants are doing well, the pots I have in the garden are not. That long distance watering is not enough, and even if we got a rain, the overhang would protect.

It's a little disconcerting that my two neighbors, both in their late eighties, are much more spry and mobile than I am. The one walks from here, four blocks through downtown to the drugstore. Some days it's a challenge for me to get up, or get to my car, let alone do a long walk.

I'm up, showered, dressed, and already worn out. I have two hours before a friend picks me up to go to lunch. I'll tire quickly as I had a busy day yesterday, by my standards.

I finished some crochet projects, cleaned out my files and did some shredding. Ok, a lot of shredding. I have some to finish this morning before I set the bag out for the garbage. I'm sure my shared wall neighbor will be glad, though if he complained, and he's the sort who would, I can remind him of the sound of his blender. Smoothies are so popular.

Tomorrow will be another do nothing day.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Off Balance

I figure it's this continued hot weather, but my balance is really off. I seem to be doing this solo dance routine, you know, one step forward, to the side and back. Lucky for me, I'm not moving very fast so I can recover.

It's the backward sway that gets me. For example, I stand up from leaning over the sink and sway back, my sense of vertical off kilter.

I've slammed back into the bookcase, or the door a few times, but no fall.

This backward sway also happens when I close my eyes. I can't maintain the vertical if I can't see the horizon, so to speak, to know where I am.

In the shower, when I have to close my eyes, I keep my elbow touching the wall, so I can keep my balance.

Just as I keep a light on, in case I have to get up in the night. I'm tired and don't need the extra challenge to stand, and stay standing.

The least little activity, and I'm overheated, which means brain fog, muscle weakness and more fatigue.

Needless to say, I anxiously await the end of summer.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Dredging Up the Energy

I've just had my shower and am resting, in my chair, answering E Mails and checking out my blog sites, Facebook, you know the usual. My bed is calling me but I have to resist.

I need to pick up my prescription, and though I don't want to go out, I must. I'm seriously giving thought to changing pharmacies, especially with winter looming in the not so distant future.

I chose the Walmart Pharmacy because I could get my meds, my groceries and my craft supplies all in one stop shopping. It seemed more efficient than having to visit multiple stores.

But, Shoppers Drug Mart has a delivery service, and that might be more convenient. I can still get out for groceries, or have one of the kids pick me up the essentials if need be.

Best get it done today, as the Humidex is slated to be 38 degrees C. tomorrow, and that is too hot for me to be walking about.

I had hoped the cooler weather would stay a bit longer, I was just getting a bit of my energy back, had actually accomplished a few lingering chores.

The hot spell better not last long, my one fan has refused to turn on, and I was just getting used to the silence. Oh well, the end is in sight.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Crash, Crash and More Crash

After a very busy start to the week, I fully expected to have a crash day. Thursday was a blur, as I slept most of the day, and when awake, felt like I was in a daze.

One day, and I should have felt rested. Had an errand to run on Friday, and found one day was not enough. I felt lightheaded in the store, my knees weak, and I knew my crash was not done. As I was to drive my granddaughter to work, we went for lunch first, as I hoped food would revive me.

By the time I was home, I was terribly overheated, still sweating, which was a good thing, as you sweat in heat exhaustion, no sweat in heat stroke. But my face was hot and dry, so I put a cold cloth across the back of my neck and sat in front of the fan until I cooled off.

Since then, I have done nothing but sleep.

Bad combination for me, activity and the heat. This is the third year that we have had extended periods of hot weather, the third summer I've felt like a prisoner in my own home.

My garden, which looked so pretty in the spring, looks horrible. My neighbor has been watering, but not enough to give the pots a soak, and let's be honest, the sun and heat have done the damage, just as the lawns are burnt and brown.

If we have an Indian Summer, will it be comfortable 'normal' summer temperatures. I hope I can make the most of it before the winter comes.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Give Me a Day...and I'll Remember

Give me a day and I'll remember. Sounds funny, but it's true. Twice this week, in conversation, I was stuck trying to remember a name, of a person and a then a place.

Don't you hate when that happens?

My brain frequently seems to be on a 24 hour delay. After talking to my son on Wednesday, and unable to remember this woman's name, it came to me, out of the blue, while I was playing a computer game the next day. Brain delay.

Yesterday, out for lunch with a friend and my granddaughter, we got to talking burgers. I said the best burgers were from a place in TO called Magoo's. The name of the restaurant came to me, but not the name of the grocery store in the same plaza where my daughter worked as a teen.

This morning, lying in bed, contemplating getting up, it came to me...Bruno's.

Bruno's was the name of the store where she worked.

This happens to me frequently, these ha ha moments, where my brain finally kicks in and completes a thought. Oh well, at least I finally remembered.

A day late, and a dollar short. Isn't that some old saying? Seemed appropriate.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

"A Wreck on a Wreck"

It's funny how often movie quotes work in real life, and need no further explanation, if others have seen the film, of course.

One of my favorite movies is 'Unstoppable'. It's the story of a train, initially thought to be a coaster, but is underway with no driver or conductor (through one employees stupid actions). They need to stop it, as it's gaining speed and heading for a populated area, with multiple cars loaded with toxic and flammable material.

The extra danger is that as it enters the city, the tracks have a major curve, on an elevated ell, positioned over fuel storage tanks. Could there be any other word to describe it but disaster?

And, just in case you thought this was a made up story for the movies, it was based on a real event in Pennsylvania.

Our heroes, a driver and conductor, drop the cars they were moving in a safe place and take off, going in reverse, after the break away train, hoping to connect to it from the rear, and by applying their brakes, slow the runaway train down.

There are exciting scenes as the management try to stop the train, but as we all know, yuo have to work the job to know the best way to deal with the problem. So their efforts failed.

Back to movie lines. Denzel Washington is the driver of the train, racing in reverse. His partner, the conductor, asks what will happen if they continue as they are, and the attempt to derail the runaway train is successful.

Here it is..."Then we're a wreck on a wreck".

Love that line, and to make a long story short, that's how I feel today.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Rain, Rain, Don't Go Away

We finally got some rain, and it was a downpour, but too late to save the grass I'm thinking.

It has been hot and humid for almost two months, since the end of June, I think. The time has passed, in a blur, in a fog, with me in a brain fog. I've managed a few episodes of activity, but most of my days and nights have passed by with me in a daze, in a continual sweat.

All the things I've wanted to do this summer have been set aside, because of this heat. And, with my MS, I'm more susceptible in hot weather and face the worsening of my symptoms as a result.

I had to start using the cane in the house, as my balance was off and I had a close number of near falls. My neighbor has been watering my garden, but the pots look terrible, the leaves gone yellow like the grass, from too much heat and sun, I suppose. I haven't been able to do the deadheading of late, too dizzy bending over the pots, too hot to stay out that long.

With no air conditioning, if I use the stove, my place heats up. I swear, by the thermometer on the wall, it has not been below 84 degrees F. in weeks. So my diet has been terrible. And forget getting anything done, like dishes, or laundry.

The dehumidifier runs all day. I turn it off at night because with two fans going, I can't stand any more noise. When I turn it on in the morning, it reads over 60%, and takes hours to lower, and yet I've not emptied the bin, so what is that all about. Evaporation because of the heat?

Better go and get the dishes done, they've been soaking for the last hour, and they soaked most of yesterday already. It feels more comfortable after the rain, I better take advantage while I can.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Should of Known Better

Had lunch with my brother on Tuesday, and the spot where we meet (at a half way point) has wooden benches. After a few hours of sitting, l felt stiff, but didn't really feel the pain until later.

We're not the brightest of people, and I mean we. After leaving the restaurant we sat outside on a cement wall for another 45 minutes. Cement...hard as as hell. But then why am I surprised, we do the same, standing, not sitting on cement, in the winter.

I think we have to find some cure for this long goodbye. It's just that we don't get together that often and there seems so much to talk about.

I made my obligatory stop at Michael's Craft Store and was a little slow getting back to the car. I stopped at a Tim's for a bathroom break and a cold drink. I could have waited until I got to my daughter's, except I'd have to do the stairs to get to the bathroom and I knew it was going to be tough. So I went where it was all on one level.

By the time I got home, I could barely walk, and if it hadn't been so hot and humid already, it would have been a heating pad night.

Yesterday I could barely move, and forget bending. I rested, napped, and did nothing.

Today I'm much better. If this is the price I pay for a great lunch, so be it. Though I may start travelling with a OBUS form, and save myself some of this pain.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Momentary Relief

For two nights I've had a great sleep,  and woke to a cool breeze blowing in the window that had me reaching for the cover. It felt great, but was short lived.

Hours later, I can feel the heat and humidity building, so another day spent indoors, with the constant whir of the fan.

I know a great deal of the fan stuff is mind over matter. The fan is blowing the same hot air that I'm trying to escape, but the fact it's moving makes it seem cooler. At this point I'll take whatever I can get.

As I'm inside, I'm taking the time to watch the ball game. Go Jays! Somehow, I've become a baseball fan. I also watched the tennis matches from Toronto, the Rogers Cup. I'm sitting here, doing nothing, and these guys manage to run and be in constant motion in this heat. That is true dedication.

I keep telling myself it can't last forever, and fall will come with all its colors and cooler weather. I look forward to that and no further, not to the ice and snow that will inevitably follow.

We're never happy, are we? It's too hot, it's too dry, it's too wet, it's too cold. But then, if we didn't have the weather to bitch about, what is there? Oh yeah, politics, but I'm not going there.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Humidex Blues

Hot and humid, hot and humid, hot and humid. I am so sick of hot and humid weather.

I run my dehumidifier most days, a necessity as my place is built on a poured cement foundation, and can be damp. A neighbor said she was told to close all her windows, or she was just taking the moisture out of the hot air outside.

I tried closing everything up, and it took a complete day to get the humidity from 60% down to 48%. And it was like a sauna in here, inside temperature was 84 F. When I was outside, it felt cooler out than in, so the hell with it, I opened the windows and let the air blow, with a nice cross breeze.

I finally ventured out today, but it really took its toll, I was exhausted when I got home, positioned the fan and laid back in my recliner to watch the Blue Jay game (fell asleep and missed the end).

Now it's raining, but just a light drizzle, not enough to bring back the green of the grass.

I may have to give in and get a window air conditioner if we continue to have summers like this. I can't see how it can last much longer, and hope August will be an easier month.

Meanwhile, all this ladylike glowing I've been doing seems to make my skin nice and soft. Always look for the positive.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

A Trip to the Beach

I ventured out the other day with my daughter and two of her kids, a trip to the beach to collect driftwood for a craft project.

I normally avoid the sun and the heat,but my new positive thinking had me wanting to give it a try. I actually managed to get through the sand to the shore, and could put my toes in the water. Someone had moved a picnic table near the water, so I sat and watched the kids. (Walkers don't move well in the sand).

I discovered that walking in sand is not good for my knee. Either was the bending down to pick up wood. You think you have a firm step, but it shifts on the sand, and adds another little twist to the knee. My one knee is bad, the cartilage completely worn away, so all these little extra shifts cause the bones to rub, and me more pain.

Here it is two days later and I am still hobbling around. Yesterday was a lost day due to pain, and a headache from being out in the sun. The hot weather and humidity continue, in spite of the rain, so I shall stay home and inside.

It's like living in a cave, curtains closed against the sun, trying to keep out the heat, my energy drained, so no ambition to go anywhere, do anything.

We're not even mid July, this can't last too much longer, can it? We need rain so badly. Our usual nice green landscape is nonexistent, with lawns burnt to a crispy brown,

I'll give the knee another day of rest, and maybe we'll have some rain to give the humidity a rest. I have a pile of books to read and some yarn, so I'm happy.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Finding Balance

I've been particularly active, for me, but it comes at a cost. I need today to rest, and do nothing. I see a nap in my future, maybe while watching the ball game later.

I picked up my grandkids from the bus on their last two days of school. The first day we came back to town and had dinner out, did some shopping (we all love the dollar store) and waited here for their parents to pick them up. The next day we stayed at their place and ate out, again, to celebrate the end of another school year.

A day of rest followed, sort of, as I made a quick trip to the store and then walked over to the main building to do a couple of loads of laundry. I will admit I crashed when I came home, left the folded laundry in the basket, on my walker, too tired to put things away.

Yesterday, I spent the day with another granddaughter, some one-on-one time we haven't had for awhile. She wanted to bake, something we always used to do together, and we settled for a no bake dessert (her favorite) and making coated pretzels. Both of these are treats I usually make at the holidays, but there's nothing wrong with a Christmas sweet in July.

Today is crash day. I'm not leaving the house. I took my diuretic, having missed a few days this week, and I'm getting rid of copious amounts of retained fluid.

The thing with being busy, socially, is that I need these down days, and I have no energy for anything else. And the anything else is something creative. I have itchy fingers, want to paint, have had this idea swirling around in my head all week.

I need to find some balance, so I don't have to give up any of these important things. The grandchildren are growing up so fast, one going to university in the fall, another in her second year of  high school. All of them are involved with friends and activities, so I grab some time when I can.

I know these years with them are precious, and I should give them all of my attention. The sad thing is, my time, or at least my time to create, is limited, and being creative is like breathing to me.

So, we need to find some balance: family, rest and creativity. Isn't it nice that some of these kids are into crafts. I have so much I'd love to teach them, share with them. And then I'll nap.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Memory Glitch

I have short term memory loss, so...I forget things. Over the years I have found systems that help keep me organized, one is making lists or notes, and another is a calendar.

The thing with the calendar, you have to write things down and check it often.

I had my annual eye exam booked for the end of May. I really needed this appointment as I have  had some eye issues. But, I got confused as to the date, because I hadn't been checking the calendar. I missed my appointment, thought it was the week after it was actually scheduled.

The clinic was very understanding, allowed one missed appointment, but if it happened again, I would be charged. I rebooked and made the next appointment as scheduled.

The doctor suggested I have my peripheral vision checked, as that can be a problem for people with MS, so I booked an appointment for that test, and my annual for the next year.

Things got busy, and I suddenly remembered the appointment cards were in my wallet, I had not added them to my home calendar. When I pulled the cards out, I noticed the date of one appointment was for June 7, and it was then the 13th of June. Damn, I'd missed another appointment.

I had a friend, in her eighties, also with a memory problem. She frequently missed appointments, arrived on the wrong day, too early or too late. It bothered her, and I understood that now better than I had before. It's embarrassing, and a blatant indicator that you are no longer in total control of your faculties.

I didn't know how I was going to face the people at the clinic, and avoided that call to apologize. The appointment cards were sitting on the table, a constant reminder. I put them on the fridge and looked at the dates. It made me laugh and shake my head.

One card read June 7, but for 2017, next year, my annual appointment. The other was for September, 2016. I didn't miss my appointment after all. What a relief. It does serve as a reminder that I need to improve my calendar situation. I need one on the fridge, where I can see it often throughout the day, not the agenda I have in the drawer beside my chair.

I'm so glad I didn't make that call. I would have felt even more foolish than if I had actually missed the appointment. I know, I know, pride cometh before the fall.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

A Reclining Read

I bought my very nice recliner chair thinking it would give me the back and upper body support I needed, and hardly ever use it to its potential. I rarely sit with it reclined.

One reason for that is it seems too much bother, all the reclining, upright to get out of the chair, recline, upright to get out of the chair. I've learned to get what I need, and have it handy, and to go to the bathroom, before I get stretched out and comfortable.

The other reason the chair is not working, is my laptop. The table I was using, which was awkward, broke. So far, I haven't figured out the new system, other than to get a new table to the left, that allows for me to slide the laptop off my lap and onto the shelf, since my computer table is gone.

Yesterday, my daughter arrived early, with a nice cup of Timmie's tea, and when she left I felt indulgent, and grabbed my book, my tea, and read for awhile with my feet up. I should have done this before.

It threw my usual morning routine off, coffee, yogurt and my must-take-with-food pills. I almost forgot the pills, good thing I leave them out as a reminder.

It was a good start to the day, a visit, a good book and a cup of tea. But all good things must come to an end. Monday is garbage day, and the day I assign to cleaning up. Garbage to the curb, dishes done, I heard my book calling me, and it was calling louder than the dust, so I gave my chair another test run. The thing about dust, it's patient, and will always be there, waiting for me.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Striving to Keep Doing

Out on a road trip with my granddaughter yesterday, taking pictures, we stopped at an abandoned country school, and found the door open, but were to scared to venture in.

We were laughing at our fright, being creeped out by the silent, empty building, and by the idea of being caught inside, when it was posted private property.

I'll admit I'm gutless, I thought my youthful companion might have been braver, but no.

As we drove away we made up our excuses, if we had been caught. She had her age on her side, as did I, and I had the disabled bit to back me up.

She was going to tell the police, or whatever authority might have questioned us that she was helping her poor, old granny live out a desire to take some pictures...while she could still get out and around.

We laughed, but it's not that far from the truth. I use a cane,  walk better with the walker, so there are many places where I might like to take photos that are now off limits, not because they are posted No Trespassing, but because I am not as mobile, or agile, as I used to be.

These trips out are another example of my positive thinking...and doing. I may never do anything with the photos, but I enjoyed the idea of the artistic challenge, and of course, the companionship. It was a win/win day.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Ongoing Positivity

I have this new found energy, and I give credit to the power of positive thinking. I'm doing more, and enjoying myself, but not without a cost. I'm just not giving in to the fatigue and the pain.

Tuesday I went to IKEA, a store I absolutely love to wander through. Wandering is not easy for me, but I took the walker and sat when I needed. I ended up buying a table, counter height, to use as a work table. Note, I have not sat a a table for a meal since I moved in here. I eat in my chair, as do family when they are here. (Pizza makes that an easy thing).

I'd been out Sunday and spent a night and the following day in pain, which is why I talked about the OBUS form. Maybe I was still feeling some fatigue from that, I don't know.

But, while we were at lunch, at Denney's all day breakfast, I had a choking spell, the worst one yet. Hash browns made from grated potatoes with a crispy top tasted great but sort of got stuck. all was well, but I have to say I was alarmed, a little frightened.

Wednesday was busy, but easier as I didn't go out. Yesterday I shopped, came home and slept before going to my grandson's lacrosse game in the evening. I do better with this little rest time, and I say little rest but really, I zonked and went sound asleep.

This new lifestyle is working, I'm enjoying my family more than ever, and have great plans for the summer. I just have to use some caution, and not over do. As I have many projects on the go, if I get too tired, or it gets too hot, I have plenty to do to keep myself occupied.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Oh Boy, Oh Obus

I had an old Obus form in my old chair, and found it very good for my back, but I got rid of it when I got the new chair. Should have saved it, but the cover was old and ripped and I thought I didn't need it anymore.

I remember a woman I knew some years ago, who came to meetings with her Obus form, and I thought that would never be me...well never has arrived.

I need to purchase a new Obus form and take it with me when I know I am going to be sitting for any length of time. It might save me from a night of pain like I suffered last night.

I went to my daughter's yesterday, and good timing on my part, was invited for dinner. She has a very nice dining set, a long table, four chairs and a long bench, great for seating many adults and the kids. But the chairs are wooden and hard.

I could feel the stiffness and pain when I stood to leave, even worse by the time I drove home. I was gritting my teeth with the pain, thanking my lucky stars that it was cooler and I could get some relief from my heating pad.

It was difficult walking and I collapsed on the bed, using the heating pad immediately. For the rest of the night, the pain was an issue, and it made me realize that my back had actually been pretty good for the last while. It was my knee and ankle that had been giving me grief, not the back.

This morning when I stood, the pain hit, and I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to walk, but I persevered. I made it to the bathroom, back to bed for a bit of a rest and up again. I even managed to get the garbage to the curb, though it was a chore.

So now I'm wondering, if I had an OBUS-Will-Travel, might I have saved myself the pain. Something I'm going to have to look into, and get used to.

Just as it took me some time to be comfortable using the cane, and then the walker, carrying an Obus form with me will take some time getting used to. But if it means I can stay active, and not lose a day to pain, it will be worth it.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

MS Hug

The MS Hug is another one of those vague symptoms that vary from person to person. I find it bothers me more when I'm tired, so I get it at night. Mine usually hits as a constant...ache, I'd say, more than a sharp pain.

It almost feels like someone is pressing their fist under my rib cage, usually on the right side. I turn to the heating pad for some relief, and pick up my book, diversion therapy.

Sometimes, it feels like I'm wearing a too tight band around my ribs.

I'll admit I've done a lot more of those deep breathing exercises since the workshop I attended on Living Better with Chronic Pain.

Whatever works, right?

Here's an article on dealing with MS Hug, maybe you'll find something new that might help you.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

MS and Heat Intolerance

Here is a good article, tips on dealing with heat intolerance when you have MS. This is a particular problem for me.

Hot baths are out, and I so loved to soak and read a book. Also shopping in winter, wearing my winter coat inside is an issue. But then the biggie, the heat and humidity of summer. It's the end of May and already we've had a week of higher than normal temperatures.

I hate that the heat bothers me so much. I sometimes feel like a prisoner in my own home, as all my MS symptoms worsen when I get overheated, so I stay indoors and out of  the sun.

Stay cool, and stay safe.

Summertime Sun

I seem to have acquired an allergy to the sun. If I go out without my sunscreen, my face breaks out in a rash. Even on a sunny winter's day I would find my skin red and itchy.

I bought some sunscreen...50 MPF...and I still get the rash. So the next step was a hat.

Last year my daughter bought me a garden hat, a straw creation worthy of Miss Scarlett. Needless to say, I never wore it, just didn't feel I could pull it off. And for sure, (sorry, Kiddo), I would never have worn it away from the garden.

Yesterday I bought a black ball cap, with a great design in grey and red that says Canada. I like it, and with my new shorter hair do, it looks not bad. It must be a large size, though it is adjustable, and fits nicely down on my head, covering my forehead and shielding my nose from the sun.

It suits me better than the floppy brimmed straw deal. What can I say, I'm more of a beer and ball game kind of girl than mint juleps on the porch.

Already did a test run, out to water the pots on my patio.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Stove Stupidity

I'm sitting here, on this hot and humid day, with all my windows and drapes closed against the heat. As the warm weather is a particular problem for me, I have no plans for anything that will require energy. I already watered my flower pots, before it got too hot to go out.

This is salad weather, no cooking, no standing by the stove, no oven. I decided early, after watering the plants, that an egg salad might be nice, to go with the other salads and cold meat in my fridge. I grabbed three eggs and put them on the stove to boil. And forgot all about them.

A minute ago I could smell something, and wondered what it could be, as I wasn't cooking, was I?

Foolish, foolish woman. Eggs! The brain finally kicked in and I checked the pot on the stove. The water had completely boiled away and the eggs were scorched, along with the bottom of the pan.

My taste for egg salad will have to be put on hold for a few days, at least until the smell of burnt eggs is gone.

It's a good warning for me. Hot weather and all my systems slow down, the brain fog is worse and my energy is nonexistent.

I remember buying a cute little lady bug kitchen timer, with a louder dinger than the timer on the stove. I need to dig it out of the drawer and keep it handy. And notes, notes are good. I could be enjoying a nice egg salad for my lunch had I set the timer and a note "EGGS" on the table beside me.

And it's still May, so much more of the summer yet to come.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Positive Thinking

I was reminded after the workshop about my..ha ha...positive experience with positive thinking, and continue to strive for the positive in life.

I'm making more of an effort to get out, had lunch out of town with my brother, watched my grandson for a day and revisited the feeling of being Mom, the taxi driver, when I assisted family members who needed a drive.

I also had lunch, in town with a friend, and have been working on my art project.

Yesterday I spent the early part of the day touring town with my granddaughter. She'd had a rough night the evening before, and I thought she needed some of my positive thinking. I handed her my camera and told her she had to take 100 pictures, of bright and beautiful things.

We started at the park, then went to the beach. We found flowering trees and other blooms and by the afternoon had hit the 105 mark. The last picture was of her Nana, who we found sitting on her porch with her mother, the GreatNana so to speak.

We've promised each other to do this again. I like how the grandkids are accepting of my limitations. They don't question when I say I'll wait in the car. My grandson always jumps to carry things and will offer me his arm, as he has seen his Dad do it, to help me over a step or walk on uneven ground.

Maybe that's a plus of having MS. My kids and, subsequently, their kids, are much more understanding and tolerant of those with a disability. It's made these very good people even better.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Heavy Feet

I was talking to one of my fellow workshop attendees at the break, and the topic of conversation was the weather, as it seems to be a common topic for people who are pretty well strangers.

It was a beautiful sunny day though there was still a bit of chill in the air. I said how wonderful it would be to have the warmer weather, to be back in sandals. Or, I laughed, crocs, as I had worn my crocs all winter instead of boots.

I commented that the running shoes I'd worn for years in lieu of boots had come apart at the seam, leaking something awful. I just couldn't replace them with boots, as they make my feet feel so heavy, and then I get so fatigued.

He gave me a surprised look, and laughed. "You're right," he said. "Walking in heavy boots is harder than most people would think or consider."

I don't know if winter boots, or any heavy footwear, are on a list of those things that cause fatigue, but they should be.

Right along with my brown winter coat. It's made of Melton cloth, a wool fabric, I think, and it's long, mid calf length. That coat is so heavy to wear, it tires me out, especially if I were to wear the winter boots at the same time.

Knowing the coat is an issue, I avoid wearing it on a daily basis, tell myself it's my 'good' coat, and save it for special occasions.

That's one thing I really liked about the workshop, that instant bond of understanding and the shared challenges. I was not alone in my appreciation that warmer weather had arrived, and for a few months,  we won't have to suffer the pain and fatigue of 'heavy feet'.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

End of the Workshop

I just had my morning coffee out on my small patio, the sun warm on my face, the sounds of birds in the trees and the breeze making my wind chime sing. I feel good, happy, and full of positive thoughts.

I'm going to finish up some projects today, looking forward to a day out with my friend tomorrow.

I know this sense of well being may pass, and that's okay, I'm just going to make the best of it while it lasts.

There is really something to be said for the power of positive thinking.

Yesterday was the last of my 6 week workshop on living with chronic pain. I'm sorry to see it end. I enjoyed the social aspect of it, realize I do spend too much time alone. One woman, a fellow artist, and I are going to stay in touch.

I learned a lot more from these sessions than how to cope and deal with chronic pain, and for that I'm grateful.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

The Comfort of Chronic Pain

I don't know what is going on with my shoulders. The pain in my right shoulder has eased off, so maybe rest was all it needed. I just realized it was better when the left shoulder started up, again.

Maybe this is part of the travelling Fibromyalgia pain show. You never know where the pain will hit next.

It's a comfort, in a weird way, to have chronic pain. At least then you know what hurts and why, Like I know my left knee is shot and bending, walking (especially on uneven ground) will cause me pain. Same goes for my back, wrists and hands. I do an activity and I'll feel some discomfort.

When I get a new pain that is more than a fleeting twinge, I have to wonder why, and what is causing it.

Like last night. I got a pain in my right rib cage, something new, that persisted all evening and into the night. Today...gone. At the same time, my left shoulder started aching, but not the same kind of pain as I have in the right. This pain extends up into my neck and causes numbness in my hand.

I'm sure HEART ATTACK may have crossed your mind, as it did mine, for just a second. I went that route a year ago, finally diagnosed with anxiety related chest pain. Meds had taken care of that, so I'm back to the Fibromyalgia.

Old pains, the chronic ones, are...a pain...but at least you know where you stand.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Still Learning

I've never been much of a joiner. The things I usually prefer doing, like writing and art, are solitary activities.

But I decided to join this 6 week workshop about chronic pain because, being honest here, the pain was getting me down and I knew I was giving in to it.

I learned a lot during these last few weeks, and have made some changes in my life, in my attitude.

It's been a productive week, got some art work done, taxes completed and mailed, house work complete (I did 't do the work but I did pick up).

So this morning, the sun was shining and it looked beautiful out. When I woke early the back pain was bad so had another little sleep on the heating pad and when I got up an hour later, it was better.

I drove to my daughter's place, and though she wasn't home, my granddaughter was. While she got ready, we contacted her Mom and waited for her sister to come home. Then we hit the streets for garage sales. All totaled we hit three places, plus Timmie's for coffee.

Everybody bought something, and I found some interesting metal pieces for my art project. We had lunch (not very healthy, mind you), poutines, from the chip truck before I took the girls home.

I was in pain, needed to lie down, but feeling good, if you know what I mean.

I made it to my heating pad and had a nap, and rested as I started the new book I'd picked up at the Treasure Trove. A good day that I would have missed if I'd given in.

All in all, a good day. I need to do this more often, and isn't it nice that this new awakening has come when the weather is getting better.

Friday, 29 April 2016

I Think I Can, I Think I Can

I can't remember the exact story, was it something about a little train trying to make it up the hill, saying I think I can, I think I can?

I'm trying to keep this positive thinking think I can.

Yesterday was a good day, considering I had no hot water and my day got all mixed up. I wanted to put the dishes I'd ignored the night before in the sink, to soak, while I had my shower. Had the sink filled before I realized it was cold water.

I'm glad the sequence was dishes then shower, because that water was really cold, and I wouldn't have wanted to be under the shower spray when I discovered the hot water tank was gone.

I spent the day working on art projects I'd had on the go, and was pleased with the results. Not so pleased when I went to wash out my paint brush and found they'd turned the water off.

So, we went from cold water, to no water, and after a time and a lot of sputtering to clear the lines of water. Yeah.

I didn't let it get me down, made it a stay home work day. And while I was sorting through the piles of paper for the collage project, I found the rough copy of my tax return. Oops, out of sight, out of mind. The deadline date is really close, like Monday.

So there is something positive to be said for not having hot water.

Now, showered and ready to go out, first thing is to mail my return, and that other government form I was to have sent in. All is good.

It's going to be a good day, and the sun will be shining when I'm ready to go out. Positive thinking.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Power of Positive Thinking

I was at my workshop yesterday... the one Living Better with Chronic Pain...and one of the topics was positive thinking.

I am a firm believer in the power of positive thinking, though I must admit it's not something I've practiced for some time. Years ago a colleague gave me a book with that title, The Power etc. and I read it and took it to heart. Another book I read at the time was called Choices. The combination was powerful.

The book Choices made me aware of the number of choices I make in a day, and how I was making some bad ones. Not all of these choices are major life issues, but can be as simple as "I chose not to eat that cream filled pastry, but chose the apple instead".

I used all of this and incorporated 'self talk' into my daily life. I became more aware of the mini choices, and chose better. I started feeling better about myself and part of that was losing weight. I gave myself the self talk as I drove to work...."Your metabolism is running high, it's going to be a good day" etc.

Unfortunately, in the following years, after my MS lost me my career, I forgot that self talk and positive thinking. Yesterday reminded me of that. I'm willing to give it another try, and hope it will end up in a weight loss again, as in those negative years I regained the weight I'd lost.

The day didn't start well, and I'm trying to turn it around. My self talk is bad start but it's all uphill from here. By afternoon I'll be feeling better and will do some painting.

The sun is shining, and I've been outside, done some deep breathing, have my windows open to the fresh air and the sounds of the birds. If I had my new chairs (on my To Do List) I'd be sitting outside enjoying my coffee. Positive thoughts, positive thoughts. I WILL get my new chairs this week, so I can enjoy the morning son on my patio.

Positive thoughts are another of those daily choices. What is that old saying...Life is what you make it?

Monday, 25 April 2016

Annual MS Walk for a Cure

The MS Walk was held yesterday, and my family make the trek in force. The group started last year to get into the team spirit and all wore neon green T-shirts. This year I ordered 12 matching hats, like ball caps, in black with a neon green front.

I was waiting at the library, a half way pit stop, and it made my heart proud to see this colorful group turn the corner and approach, laughing and smiling, having a good time. I've never worn a ball cap in my life, but I wore one yesterday.

I took my granddaughter, age 7, with me and we went on ahead to the school where the walk ended. She thinks we should add socks and gloves to our outfits for next year, and as it was cool enough yesterday, that's a good option.

We gathered at the school, listened to the music, ate the lunch provided and left, feeling good for our contribution in fighting this disease.

For the kids, this is an annual event, something they schedule and plan for. But, funny, they didn't talk about it, and as I don't get the E-mails about the event, it kind of snuck up on me. I assumed the kids had declined this year, maybe being too busy, or uninterested. And you know what they say about assumptions. So true, so true.

I did them a great disservice, for they were planning for it, just hadn't mentioned it until it got closer to the day. This one day equals Christmas in my mind, for the feelings of love and support I feel from the family. They may never understand what my day to day struggles are like, but I know they will be there for me, whenever and for whatever I might need.

Love you all, more than you will ever know..

Friday, 22 April 2016

Comedy of Errors

I was just out of the shower, when the phone rang. The caller's number was my friend, the one I was meeting for lunch in a few hours. Uh oh, change of plans?

I answered, could hear her voice, but obviously she couldn't hear me. We played the old phone tag, but couldn't manage to get through. I figured it was my phone, as there was some little icon on the screen. I didn't know what it meant, or how it got there, or, of course, how to get it off.

She left a message, but the phone wouldn't let me listen to it, kept telling me I had the wrong pass code, which I didn't.

The phone kept ringing, and each time I could hear the caller, but my end was silent. There was a new caller now, my son, and his voice was sounding more and more frustrated.

I understood his feelings, I was obviously answering the phone, but not speaking. He would immediately have worried that something had happened to me. I had to get the phone working.

My phone is not that complicated, two extensions, one by my chair, one by the bed, wireless, so I can move around and still talk. I played with the buttons, muted, un-muted, speaker, no speaker, and went over and over the numbers in my call list. Not sure what I did, but the little icon disappeared.

First, I called my friend. She wanted to know if I could do lunch today, instead of Monday, as she'd forgotten plans she'd made and double booked. I laughed and told her we were supposed to be having lunch today, as that was the plan, so all was good. Our plans had been made yesterday, over E-mail. It was her last day of work, and as she was retiring after thirty years. I can imagine the confusion and emotionally charged atmosphere at the work place, so many thoughts and feelings going through her head.

I called my son, to relieve his mind and now all is well with my world. I'm getting lunch out with a friend, and what better way to spend what looks like a dismal rainy day.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Tests Completed

Finally made it the 60 + K to the clinic to get the x-rays and ultrasound of my shoulder. It's a shame my doctor is so far away, but then when we began, I lived away. A good doctor is hard to find, so I guess I'll keep on trekking north when the need presents.

It is amazing the things that cause pain in the shoulder, things that seemed effortless a couple of months ago. Like pulling the covers back in the morning, wiping the kitchen counter or picking up a full saucepan. Even the movement of my thumb and index finger when typing causes pain from shoulder to elbow.

The technician was very understanding. I laughed when she asked if I could turn my hand behind my back. I could, but very carefully.

Got my trip to Michael's Craft store while I was in the city...20% off coupon, for all regular and sale items, plus 60% off one regular priced item. I couldn't pass it up, and bought more gifts than craft supplies.

Now to wait for the test results.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Expressions of Support

There was an ambulance parked next door yesterday, one of my neighbors also suffering from a chronic illness taken to hospital. My friend came home, saw it leave and immediately checked on me. I was having a sound sleep and didn't even hear the knock.

We just talked, and it makes me feel good to know people are checking in on me.

My daughter also called, and confirmed plans for next Sunday, the day of the MS Walk in town.

I don't think the kids realize what it means to me that they do this every year. I love the family photo taken at the end of the walk, love to see the kids and their families join together to support a good cause.

It's as if, on this one day, they give recognition, more than ever, to the issues I live with, and confirm their love and support.

Last year we all wore neon green T-shirts, this year we're adding hats. Every year something new, something to look forward to.

Thanks guys, it means the world to me.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Monday, Monday

I'm so glad to see the end of this last week. Today began better, I could put the cane back by the door and was walking about unassisted. Even got the shower done with minimal difficulty, and the hot water felt so good.

Today is garbage day. I gathered my bags of recycling and waste and carried everything out to the curb. It was raining and the sky was overcast, not a welcome spring feeling at all.

The problem with shopping and being busy is that I don't have the energy to prepare meals, and a lot of the fruit and vegetables spoil before I can get them eaten. So this garbage day, I have some cleaning out of the fridge to do. I may switch to frozen veggies, just so I'm not wasting the fresh.

I need to feel productive, in a creative way, and have a new project in mind. I have a beginning, but need to sit down for some of the finer details. This is where my set up becomes frustrating, the lack of space and the inability to leave everything out and within reach.

I do mixed media collage, and have a hoard of paper to use in my work. It would be nice if I could just sort through one storage bin for inspiration, but I have bits and pieces in too many places. The fine work I'll do with a temporary table set up by my chair, not the greatest as my back will be sore after.

What I do for my art.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

A Wretched Week

If nothing else, this wek has taught me that I can no longer manage three days of activity, not in a row at least.

Monday was shopping and out to get my car. Tuesday was more shopping (taking advantage of being in another town) and the Pain Workshop. Wednesday was another, longer trip out of town to have my x-ray and ultrasound. We hit a blinding snowstorm half way there, and turned around.

I was out Tuesday evening, and let me tell you the meeting chairs and the seats at the arena were harsh. I was in a great deal of pain, all night, and managed about 3 hours of sleep. It was easy to make the decision to reschedule my tests. We had lunch out instead and I came home.

The next couple of days were "crash" days. I accomplished nothing, not with the fatigue and brain fog. It was so bad I couldn't keep track of the days, and felt quite out of it.

When I got up this morning, I wanted a shower, and maybe to get out of the house, pretend I was normal and alive.

I got up to the bathroom, and barely made it back to bed. The pain in my back was horrible, the shoulder as bad, and then there's the knee. I had to use the cane, and I never use the cane in the house.  After a pain pill and a rest on the heating pad, I tried again, and could barely move, so it was back to bed.

The frustration proved too much, and I found myself crying with the pain. As I have lived with pain all my adult life, in various degrees, I found this demoralizing, and hoped it was not a sign of things to come.

It was after noon by the time I was able to get up, and I needed to get something to eat, to take more pills.

For all its  rough beginning, the pain eased and I was able to do a few things,as long as I could sit to do them, and am now heading back to bed.

Could I have avoided this day if I had not pushed myself for those three days? We'll see what happens this week, workshop on Tuesday, dentist appointment on Thursday. I'll watch, and see if scheduling my activities with more rest in between avoids a day like today.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Start and Restart

When I pulled the covers back early this morning, I got a sharp pain in my right shoulder, this new pain that is the reason for the x-rays and ultrasound booked for last week but cancelled because of the freak snow storm.

I stood and had to wait a second, to see what level of back pain I would have, but managed to make it to the bathroom, and as it was not a good start, made my way back to bed to lie on the heating pad.

I tried to read, but kept dozing off, so gave up and put the book aside. Why then, when I close my eyes do I not sleep?

Up for the second time, pain all over. I apply the 'Motion Medicine" to my back, right shoulder, left knee and left lower leg. I have more pills to take, with food, so prepare my yogurt with some fresh strawberries and make a coffee to go with the breakfast bar. Times like this I love my Kuerig coffee maker, it is so easy and there's no real cleanup.

Now I've been sitting in my recliner, checking E-mail, Facebook and, of course, my blogs and the pain has eased, all but the shoulder. Everything I do is with the elbow tucked close to my body, to limit the movement, but it doesn't seem to matter.

I hate this feeling, wanting to go places and do things, but hampered by the pain. It's barely noon and I can feel a nap in my future, maybe this time when I lie down I'll be able to read, and keep my mind occupied. There's still a lot of the day ahead.

Thursday, 7 April 2016


For years I have followed the blog about MS that I found on Ask About. The information was excellent, and often presented links to timely articles, like dealing with hot weather, that I shared in my blog.

I noticed that the e-mails from this site were no longer coming, and at first I thought the writer was just taking a break. But quite a bit of time has gone by, and today I received an e-mail, but from a different writer, this time from a doctor.

Te previous blog was written by a woman with a doctorate, so obviously she was very intelligent, very well educated, but more to the point, she had MS and all her articles came from first hand experience.

She is married, with a young family, and had been writing her personal experiences with some of the new drug treatments.

I don't know what happened that she is no longer writing the blog, but can only assume her condition has changed and she could no longer manage it.

I hope it's a case of prioritizing, that some things needed to be eliminated from her life to allow her to give her attention to the things that matter most, like family.

I miss her honesty and insight into this disease, and wish her the best.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Too Busy, Too tired

The workshop on living with chronic pain is getting more interesting. We're all more comfortable within the group, so maybe listen more, sympathize? empathize?

I had a nice talk with two of the women, old nurses like me, and found a kindred spirit in a couple of artists and writers. And to think, two weeks ago we were just a group of strangers, in pain.

Out on Monday, and out again yesterday, I was over tired last night and could not sleep. I had to get up and going, to pick my friend up at 11 am to go out of town for my appointment (x-ray and ultrasound).

We were about 15 K north of the lake and hit a terrible snow storm. I couldn't see the road ahead and the sky looked dark and threatening. If it was that bad, and we had a ways more to travel north, what would it be like coming home?

I made an executive decision to turn around. April and the snow this bad, I shake my head. I knew it wouldn't last, melting as it hit the pavement, but I don't like when it comes down so heavy I can't see the road ahead.

Turns out the receptionist at the doctor's office wrote the 6th on my appointment card, when my tests were booked for tomorrow, the 7th. I don't know what the weatherman called for tomorrow, but I know I don't have the energy to have another busy day. I rescheduled and can't believe weather could possibly be an issue.

We had lunch out, and by the time I got home, I was in a great deal of back pain. Laid down on the heating pad and slept for hours, through the dinner hour. When I woke I couldn't seem to get myself moving, brain fog something terrible. Made do with a sandwich for dinner, and now, after a few hours up, am ready for bed.

Just can't do these busy days, one after another, but circumstances don't always allow for that days of rest. I don't care, I'm taking one tomorrow.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Pushing on, Week #2

Last week, day 2 of the workshop living better with chronic pain, was cancelled, but we are back on track today.

I put off doing the reading for the workshop, my homework. Somehow I feel I should listen to the advice I gave my granddaughter about leaving things to the last minute.

My problem is my inability to concentrate, so as much as I want to read the material, I can't seem to retain any of what I read.

I did manage the recommended chapters, though I get a bad grade for completing the action plan. But, I did make a final effort, combined my objective to walk, with a trip to the laundry. I have to say, that is the one downfall to living here, that walk across to the main building to do laundry.

When I go, I stay for the duration. I can't manage to walk over, put the load in and go back and forth to change it to the dryer and the final visit to fluff and fold.

It was late by the time I went to the laundry, and I watched the hockey game in the common room until I was done. But it had been a busy day and I was in such pain by the time I got home, I left the laundry on the basket on the walker and went to bed.

Still tired from yesterday, though I did get the laundry put away, finally.

I'll need a few days to rest after Wednesday. Tomorrow is my shoulder x-ray and ultrasound. I have to travel out of town, downfall to going where my doctor is, but am combining the day with lunch out with a friend.

I feel like I've done nothing so far for the day, and can hardly keep my eyes open. I want a nap, but need to push on, get dressed and out the door. My new friends at the workshop should be sympathetic, we're all in the same boat on this.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Action Plan

I attended the first of six sessions, about living with chronic pain. It was very interesting, and the participants were of various ages, with a variety of ailments.

And we were assigned homework. We were to read sections of the workbook we'd been given, and we were to devise and record an action plan.

Much like my one granddaughter, I left my homework to the last minute, but was given a reprieve when the meeting this week was cancelled. I went to lunch with my brother instead.

My action plan was to walk ten minutes, four times a week. I managed it twice, three times if I count the time spent walking in No Frills, getting groceries.

Ten minutes doesn't seem like much, but given the state of my knee and my back, I would be hard pressed some days to get it done. Other days, I could manage, if I remembered, or got my head out of a book or some current craft.

I understand why you need to do this kind of thing with a routine. It becomes automatic. The only routine I have for sure in my day is first thing in the morning. I would already have taken my 1st pill of the day while in bed, as that medication needs an empty stomach and no food for at least and hour.

The next pill needs food, or I'm nauseated and feeling sick for hours. So, I make my coffee, and sit down a muffin, or granola bar. Then I have a yogurt and take my other meds,as I have some swallowing difficulties with the big pills.

While I do that, I check my E mail, go on Facebook, check my two blogs and do a turn around Pinterest. Then the rest of the day id up for grabs.

But now I have an action plan.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Living With Chronic Pain Workshop

I signed up for a 6 week workshop entitled "Living a Healthy Life With Chronic Pain". It was an interesting beginning, and I have homework.

The participants were of various ages, suffering a variety of ailments. I was the only one with MS, as most had more arthritic type conditions, or diseases like fibromyalgia.

They talked about the difference between chronic and acute pain. I get that, my knee, neck and back pain are chronic, something I've suffered with for most of my adult life. The shoulder is new, so its acute.

This week we were to develop an action plan. One thing, one activity, how often and for how long we want to do it. I chose walking. 

I always have good intentions to go out and walk the circle of my court. I never seem to get it done. Yet when the dog was visiting (I dog sat for a week) we walked every day until it got really cold. Why do I need a dog to get me up off my ass and out for a walk.

Because pain is an issue, I'm starting off slow, giving myself a chance to make my goals, and not set myself up for failure. I said I would walk 15 minutes, four times a week. Hopefully I can work up from there, once I make it a habit.

I'm feeling a bit shamed into this. My 88 year old neighbor walks to the drugstore and back, and from here that's a very healthy hike. 

I wonder if shopping counts? Next time I go to Walmart, No Frills or Costco, I'm going to time myself, see if I walk, at least 15 minutes. Of course, I'd add that as an extra, not one of the four times I'm dedicated to do.

I don't think store meandering is quite the same as a well paced walk. Oh well.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Doctor's Appointment

I was fortunate to get an appointment with my doctor yesterday. This pain in my shoulder is wearing me down. There are so many things I do that cause pain, like putting on a sweater. picking up the saucepan from the stove, cutting veggies. Even taking a swipe across the counter with a sponge hurt.

Apparently there are 4 tendons that work to keep the shoulder functioning. These tendons can become inflamed, tendonitis, or they may tear or rupture. Whether you call it a rotater cuff injury, tendonitis, bursitis, whatever, it's all basically the same. Pain and it's location depend on  which tendon. Hereby ends the lesson for the day.

I'm going to have an x-ray and an ultrasound to determine what's going on with my shoulder. I vote for inflamed, and maybe the least invasive cortisone shot rather than a tear and some surgery. I'm all for whatever is least invasive.

Meanwhile, I guess crocheting is out, as all this got much worse after my crazy binge of crochet after the holidays. Even typing causes pain.

I may need to find another hobby to get me through this time. Something without a lot of repetitive motion to cause strain.

Monday, 21 March 2016

A Bit of Denial

I haven't been writing in this blog as regularly as I should...could, and I think part of that was to deny how I was actually feeling. It's been a rough few months, some worsening of old issues, some new.

Losing some muscle strength and having increased fatigue has sent me to my bed early in the evening, even though I never settle to sleep until late. I was having some eye trouble, and couldn't read but for short periods. Luckily, realizing I could crochet in bed kept me from going stir crazy.

I don't get out much, maybe once a week unless special events come up. I looked at my gas receipts and saw I haven't filled my tank since February 2nd, and I still have 3/4 of a tank.

Along with the flashing lights I've been getting, there's been some blurring, and being on the computer for long is difficult, so no writing.

Pain comes and goes, and I never know what kind of day it will be. Today had a rough beginning, but better now.

I have a new pain, well, months old now, but nothing I've felt before. My right shoulder is very painful, with various movements, like reaching back to put my arm in a sleeve or with any lifting. The pain is not in the shoulder really, but now is constant, running down from the shoulder joint to the elbow, and then there's the pain in my wrist and thumb.

I finally decided enough was enough, the heat, the analgesic ointments are no longer holding the pain at bay. Of course, when I called the doctor's office, they were closed for the day. Tomorrow for sure.

When I was first diagnosed with MS my greatest fear was losing my vision, and the use of my right hand. I can deal with the decreased mobility, but I need my hands and my sight to be creative.

Fear or denial, I'll make the appointments first thing in the morning. I've suffered in silence long enough.

Monday, 7 March 2016

The Rain/Pain Connection

I didn't fully appreciate the last few days and the freedom from extreme pain. I can't understand why today I woke up in such distress, barely able to move with the pain in my back.

On days like this I seem to get clumsy, dropping things and having to bend over to pick things up, over and over again. And, of course, it's garbage day.

I've made it to my recliner and have the heat turned on,  I can only be thankful that it happened this week, and not last when I was dog sitting. I don't feel like getting up frequently to let the dog out, and standing, waiting for her to do her business.

Oh good, the heat is kicking in, time to sit back and put my feet up for a bit.

Maybe it's the rain, who knows?

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Pet Therapy

I agreed to 'babysit' my daughter's dog while the family was away. It's fortunate that Lily, the dog, is ten years old and quite content to sleep a good part of the day. We're a matched set in that regard.

I was crazily looking forward to having this house guest. Years ago in my other life, that married life, there was always a dog, one in the house and the hunting dogs outside.

Later, I had cats, as cats were more manageable when I spent so much time at work. I have been without a pet for nine years, so this is a treat.

We're getting into our routine, getting used to each other, and I'm writing about it more in my other blog. (See link to the side).

Pet Therapy works. I have all this love from my pal Lily, and because of her I've been outside frequently, and walked daily. I'm sure we make a strange pair when we walk the circle of the court, Lily on her leash and me with my walker.

I know I could do this without the dog, but I don't seem to get to it, but with Lily depending on me I rise to the occasion.

There is a down side, as having a pet creates work. I can see her footprints on the floor, and the dusting seems to be a priority. I'm fortunate that the weather has been relatively dry, so she hasn't come in with her feet caked with snow and ice.

We're on Day 3, still enjoying our visit.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

More Recliner Adjustments

As is true in so many things, when you change one thing, others things need to change, too, or at least be altered. If I’m reclined I can’t reach my phone on the side table. The table I use for my laptop, like a hospital over bed table, doesn’t work anymore as the recliner goes solid to the floor.

I found the table works if I raise the foot and pulled the table close, though it sits to the side and isn’t close enough to type without reaching, add in more strain to my upper back. If I pull the laptop forward, into my…ha ha ha, lap, it works better, but not best.

Right now I’m using the bed tray my brother gave me for Christmas. (He and his wife are so thoughtful). It didn’t work in bed, that lack of upper body support, but works in the recliner. Who’d have thought?

I just have to figure out how to rid myself of all of this, with the least little effort, when I need to get up.

I found another little problem with the chair, once I’ve powered back and am all comfortable, I need to have everything at hand, it’s not a fast thing to be upright again.

Like now, I left the remote by the bed so have no option to change the TV channel. The other day I ran out of yarn and needed the second ball, in the cupboard of course. It just requires a bit more planning than when I could just shove the table out of the way and stand up.

And, if I feel that urge to go to the bathroom, more urgent on those days I take a water pill, I need to listen. It’s not as fast as it was before, so I can’t take the time to finish a row of crochet, or a paragraph of writing. When the brain tells me to go, I need to get up and go.

All in all, the chair is a positive addition comfortable and cozy. The little inconveniences will be worked out over time.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Hot Spots

Early on in my disease I began to experience strange symptoms that could not be explained. I assumed it was due to wacky nerve impulses received in the brain, some message misinterpreted, or some miscued data.

One such symptom was a feeling that I had stepped, or sat, in something wet. The cat immediately took the blame as I jumped to the conclusion that he had peed on the floor or furniture. Another is the numbness down my right leg, and yet another a feeling of being chilled, sometimes my whole body, sometimes just a leg.

The other day I was sitting in my new recliner chair, all nice and comfortable, except I felt a hot spot under my right leg, above the knee. Since my chair has all the bells and whistles, including heat and massage, I immediately checked to see if the “heat” option was on…and it was not.

Like the cat before, the chair took the blame.

There was something wrong with the chair, a short, a breakdown, something that caused the heater to be on, when it wasn’t turned on. I was pissed, to put it mildly. I hated that I would have to deal with this issue when I’d been feeling good about taking charge and getting the chair in the first place.

That night, when reading in bed, my bed also had a hot spot, and later, so did the driver’s seat of my car.

So all is well, my weird MS sensations have changed from ‘wet’ to ‘hot’, and that’s just how it goes. This disease is nothing if not unpredictable, for you just never know. Dealing with this is manageable, considering what the possibilities could be.

At least I’m back sitting comfy and relaxed again.

The Recliner Chair

When I saw the doctor last fall, and we discussed my issue with declining upper body strength, she suggested I get a recliner chair. With the chair reclined, it takes on the burden of supporting my head and shoulders.

I received a lot of advice before making this purchase. My brother wanted me to get the deluxe model, the one with heat, massage and what he called the ‘ejector seat’. I agreed that the simple, more frequently found chair might work for now, but I needed to think ahead.

I found my brother really got into this project, and did some research, sending me pictures of chairs he found on line. He forgets my shopping is more limited here than it is in the city. He solved that problem by offering to pick me up and take me chair shopping. I appreciated the gesture, but found a solution quite by surprise.

I was on my way to the dentist, had a few minutes to spare and decided to check out the sale at the Medicine Shoppe next door to the dental office. There in the middle of the store sat a recliner, on sale, with all the gadgets and gizmos. And free delivery. Sold.

My son and his family were here when the chair was delivered, so he spent time and effort getting it properly plugged in and positioned. The kids sat in it and gave the power a try, laughing when the seat raised them to a standing position.

By reclining the chair I take the strain of sitting upright off my back, and get the added bonus of having my feet elevated, to reduce swelling. I don’t need the power ‘lift’ to get out of the chair, but can see that it will come in handy when I feel tired, or with what is most likely, more decline.

I’m a good Scout, and believe in the old motto…Be Prepared.