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.