Archive for February 2007
My shoulder is much better today, yay! It still gives a twinge or two every now and then, but on the whole, much improved. Phew, it had me worried there. What would I do without my right arm? Have you ever thought about it? Hypothetically, a person would be in deep sh*t.
Unfortunately, my hips are burning and sore now, having had to ‘go it alone’ for a couple of days, no support from the armies. (Ha ha, I do crack myself up, awful habit of mine. Especially because most of the time, no-one else knows why I’m laughing. With the notable exeption of Michael. We share the same crazy sense of humour.)
Anyway, my hips are sore for above reason, but also because I need to go take some serious ‘roids. Walking is way too wobbly. We have to go to JHB on Friday though, so I’ll take it after that.
But seeing as my shoulder should be 100% in a coupla days, better that I start getting ready to begin my stretching program. I bought this brilliant ‘how to’ book by Bob Anderson. Also, I really need to go for some physio therapy. Really really!
I had my Ion Detox today and it went pretty good. I get on very well with the practitioner. She’s a very kind soul.
Other than that, it’s quiet here on the home-front. Yesterday I spent just about the entire day in bed, and it was B-O-R-I-N-G. Which is a really pathetic viewpoint of mine. I mean, what a brilliant opportunity to get some serious meditation done. But no. I hate being forced to do something, lol. In my defense, my shoulder was quite alarmingly sore. Oh well. Thank heavens it’s better. At least now I only have the pain that I’m familiar with. See, clouds and silver linings, and all that…
My last post seems to have published, to my relief. I thought it was the end of my blogging career, because I don’t have it in me to change servers again.
I’m in a bit of a pickle at the moment. I have injured my right shoulder muscle swimming. A sports injury, doesn’t that sound impressive? I know exactly how I did it. As I finish each lap, I sort of twist my body around, using my right hand. On Sunday, I did this 70 times (I did 72 laps) and I felt a twinge in my shoulder at one stage. From yesterday, it was bloody sore – hope I haven’t done serious damage. Why I’m in a pickle, is that I rely heavily on my arms to compensate for lack of strength and balance in my legs. So I’m really taking care of my shoulder at this stage. I’m doing as little as possible with my right arm and haven’t even gone downstairs today, as that will mean leaning on the hand-rail. (There is only one on the right hand side). Basically, I’m doing everything I can to help it mend. I’ve realised how important my arms are to me. As soon as my shoulder is feeling better, I’m going to embark on a special stretching program.
Michael and family went eating out. It was touch and go, but I decided to stay home. Getting washed and dressed alone would have been too much for my shoulder. I was there in spirit, though, lol.
My lovely detox practitioner is coming to see me tomorrow here at home for a session. Very kind of her. I don’t want to miss a detox again, but I can’t really use my walker, because of the shoulder, and it’s quite hard getting into her house, as there is a fancy little footpath, made from planks of wood, leading into it. Don’t know how I’ll tidy up though, with this arm. Oh well.
Afterwards, she will be going to see that other lady with ms that I mentioned who is bedridden. I so hope that the Ion Cleanse will help her too.
Must go now, even typing is aggravating arm.
I know I’ve been awol for a while. In my defense, however, I wrote a lovely post on Friday about Aesop’s Fables, complete with history and links and personal anecdotes. Published it to wordpress and then… it just disappeared. Bummer! Since then I haven’t felt all that motivated to post an entry. The Aesop’s thing is haunting me, but I can’t bring myself to rewrite it. Maybe at a later stage.
Thought I better give an update on the Fingolimod trials. Here goes, I am experiencing no side-effects whatsoever on the drug. No improvement (although that is not the job of this drug, it is supposed to reduce relapses, and active lesions on the brain). I am still having relapse symptoms, but I was having a relapse before I ever started on these trials, to be fair). The jury is still out to a certain extent whether I am on the placebo or not, but it does seem unlikely considering the marked drop in pulse-rate that I experienced on initiating the drug. Still holding thumbs for the best.
I actually wanted to take a dose of IV cortisone this weekend. Fortunately, I didn’t as I am feeling a bit better, and that would have been solidly attributed to the meds. Actually, I think I have the swimming to thank for that. I’ve started up again, and it’s doing me a lot of good.
I wasn’t consciously aware of it as such, but there has been a little balck cloud hovering over me the past couple of days. Helped along by certain recent events, the chief one being that I overexerted myself. Must learn not to do that. At least until such time as I’m feeling better.
Doing better today, though. Went for an ion-detox this morning, and I already feel better. My readings were quite a bit lower than last time I went. Was expecting that. They did perk up again after the detox though. Tomorrow, the practitioner is very kindly giving me a complimentary Footology session. It’s similar to reflexology. Don’t know all that much about it, but what I do know is that I will be having my feet massaged for two hours. That sounds good, doesn’t it? Yeah!
I made a real breakthrough with my piano playing today. I’m talking leaps and bounds here. I tried playing Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer years ago, way before I got ms. It is a very tricky piece. But fabulous, if you can actually manage to play it. Anyway, so years ago I had trouble with some of the chords of the right hand. For those of you who know anything about music, you have to play three notes at a time, a chord of middle C, E and C an octave up. Then you have to play a succession of these three note chords, quickly. I always kind of missed a note or two of the chords and produced a jangling cacophony of sounds. (Oh, and while concentrating on the right hand chords, the left hand is at it, too. A lot to think of).
I recently started working on The Entertainer again, although I didn’t hold out a lot of hope. But finally, finally! I saw the light. I wasn’t opening my fingers wide enough! Sounds simple, but do you know what a difference it has made? I have to kind of splay my fingers wide open to manage it, but it’s already sounding much better. Better than it did years ago when I was on top of my game It will still take a LOT of hard work. But it looks like my fantasy of playing that piece properly might come true. Hey! Maybe I’ll be a lounge pianist yet.
Go and check out this gorgeously cute video of Donna’s kitties: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fchyR38dtGA Heart-melting.
I don’t feel so hot today. N0o, that’s a lie, I feel too hot. Just not that perky. It’s been coming a couple of days, so it’s not just yesterday’s upset that is responsible.
Thing is, my left leg is busy going numb up to the thigh. My left arm is also feeling a bit weird. I may have to gets some ‘roids before the week is out, and we all know what a very good mood that puts me in! Yesterday was my three month anniversary of the last time I had. Well, at least that is something.
I’m going to hold out till the end of the week, though for a couple of reasons. 1) This heat doesn’t do anyone any good, and could be responsible for this exacerbation. 2) I’m going for a Body Cleanse Ion Detox tomorrow. I haven’t been in about two weeks, and when I first started with it, it took away some nasty new symptoms that I was experiencing at the time (totally unorecedented for any alternative therapy). 4) I’m eating better and that should start kicking in soon. 5) I’m starting up the swimming again. So yeah, I’ll give it a couple of days.
One positive thing the quack of yesterday said, was that I have lovely high levels of serotonin in my brain. She said she can see that I laugh a lot. (Impossible not to if you live with Michael). Of course, just before that, she asked if I’ve had a lot of emotional stress in my life. When I said not really, she quickly amended it to high serotonin levels.
Must say though, ms does tend to come with a fair amount of emotional stress, part and parcel.
Yesterday’s trip to the bio-resonance practitioner was a bit of a waste of time. A lot, actually. And the more I thought of the things she had said, the more upset I became.
I think she’s a bit of a quack. Now, I’m not writing off the Quantum machinery itself, or the bio-feedback techniques. I think they are invaluable and great steps forward on the more alternative side of medicine. But the practitioner wasn’t genuine. She’s obviously in it for the money, and I never got much for my money at that.
I had to sign one hell of an indemnity form, which all became clear afterwards when she gave me a truly awful concoction to get rid of my supposed gallstones. What a joke. Don’t you think I may have noticed if I had gallstones? The recipe called for four teaspoons of epsom salts, grapefruit juice and olive oil. I probably would have said goodbye to this world if I had drank it. No, man!
The recommended ‘diet’ for my individual system turned out to be the blood-group diet, which I don’t buy into at all. The diet is far worse than the one I’m currently on. It was merely a one size fits all computer printout. So much for being unique. The woman is completely clueless about diet. I know how to eat. I don’t always practise it, but I’ve read enough books on the subject.
She picked my brains like a fortune-teller to come up with her ‘findings’. I was so disappointed. And the things she did come up, were nothing new to me, and she phrased it in a way that really upset me.
Like she said that ms is like a slow version of what happens when somebody commits suicide by gassing themselves in a car. She said first of all the legs become paralysed, then the rest of the body, then the breathing, and then when the person changes their mind and wants to get out, they can’t. What an awful thing to tell somebody with ms!
As if that wasn’t bad enough, she then came up with another analogy. She said when you spray a bug with insecticide, you paralyse its central nervous system, and it is paralysed. It doesn’t die, just gets swept out the door, where it later dies of hunger and exposure. That bug has ms, she finished.
She was doing heavy-sell all the while, even asking me what my husband does for a living so she could determine our income and buying capacity.
I feel like I was totally screwed over.
But oh well, I guess you win some, you lose some.
As soon as I arrived at the place, I felt that something was amiss. There were pictures just of her on the wall, for example. In her place of work. Must have been at least twenty.What bothered me the most, was that she didn’t explain the process to me, even though I was asking questions. And you know how much I like to know what’s going on. No, she just told me all the things that are wrong with me. Including my liver. Surely all those specialists that I went to (who did specific tests on liver function) would have picked something up? She had a lot else to say, but I’m not even going to mention them. (BTW I can’t get the italics off, for some reason. And yes, I do know how). Better luck next time, I hope. But not with that charlaton.
Michael came home for lunch with a nice bag of goodies for us. I bribed him to go to Woolworths for me, and get me some Woolies apples (the only kind I eat). Also a little tub of coriander, for which I have acquired quite a taste. And a packet of dates for a treat. I am making a last-ditch attempt to rectify my eating habits, lol. Maybe I’ll give up some stuff for Lent, that should help. Today I’ve only had fruit so far, and for supper I plan on having some nice veggies (butternut, potato and spinach) and and some mung-beans that I’ve sprouted with some Woolies health-bread toast. See, I’m trying.
Another thing that M bought was a new CD for us. I think I’ve mentioned before that him and I are very into Afrikaans music. And a new Afrikaans song that has taken the country by storm, is De la Rey, by Bok van Blert. I heard it for the first time yesterday evening on our local magazine programme, Carte Blanche. A lot of people are in uproar about it.
You see, it’s a lovely catchy song about the Anglo-Boer war. Ancient history! But South Africans, being South Africans, have decided to make it political and racial. The Boere-Volk have decided to adopt it as their song for this generation. They sing it patriotically at sports events like it is an anthem. And the non-Boere-volk (to put it very diplomatically) have decided that the song is somehow against them.
What a storm in a teacup! All because someone sang a historical song about a famous Boer general who led his people into war. Is it so different from songs like Waterloo?
I myself am half Boer, half British. First and foremost a South African, but I have European heritage on both sides. I’m probably more proud of my Boer heritage, because we are an extremely proud nation. Very, very focused on culture and tradition. The British tried to wipe out the Afrikaner language and heritage back in the days when SA was a British colony. Hence the Anglo-Boer war. Nowadays, Afrikaans is again heading for endangered species territory. That is why (I think) Afrikaners are a bit on the defensive about their culture, and why they are embracing a song about their previous (over a century ago) hardships.
Like the person being interviewed on Carte Blanche said, the students that are sitting teary-eyed in pubs, actually get into their luxury BMW’s to drive home. Their suffering is imagined.
I don’t know what to make of the racial undertones of the song, however. Probably there is a communal memory of the last time the Afrikaners banded together so fiercely, which was during the apartheid years. I don’t know.
But people should seriously consider putting all this racist nonsense behind them. How are we ever going to move forward as a country if everyone is still holding bitter grudges in their hearts. We gotta lighten up here.
In the meantime, I am really enjoying De la Rey. Catchy, catchy tune.
My back is feeling better than it has in well over a year. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not doing backflips all over the place, but at least it is not the only thing I think about! It’s really doing better – hope it lasts.
Tomorrow I am going to a bio-feedback session. I don’t want to say too much about it, as I’m not quite sure what it entails, but apparently it gives you a lot of insight into your body, what makes it tick, (apart from your heart, that is) and what might be making it ill. The session will last for two hours. I am quite excited about the whole thing. Apparently they even give you guidelines about the specific dietary needs your body has, and any shortages in your system. I’ll post tomorrow after I’ve been.
I need to work on some of my fears and phobias. Urgently. I am very fearful of crime. Also obsessed that something horrible may happen to someone I love. I spend large amounts of time worrying about this, and it seems to be getting worse. I really need to nip this in the bud.
Also, to a lesser degree, I worry about how mankind is upsetting the balance in nature and screwing up the planet. There’s not much I can do at the moment re this. Maybe one day I will be well enough to go chain myself to a (indigenous) tree somewhere in protest, lol.
As I’m writing this, the neighbour is revving the sh*t out of his car, toxic emissions galore and ear-paining decibel levels. This irritates me almost unbearably.
But back to the phobias: fear is just the total opposite to Faith. I need to seriously concentrate my efforts on living a life free from fear. How very delicious that must be.
Last night we had a power failure. There was a funny storm. Dead quiet and humid, and suddenly the lights trip and then a crash of thunder that sounded like an explosion. We thought for sure that our modem had bought the farm. Fortunately, it didn’t. We sat without electricity for about an hour, sweltering in the humidity without a fan! Thankfully it didn’t last too long.
I didn’t go to church after all. I couldn’t find something decent to wear, as I usually go in long pants, but they make me overheat in this weather and I just couldn’t face it. Another thing that puts me off, is that in the Anglican church, which I (used to) attend, everyone drinks from the same chalice during Holy Communion. I think this is very irresponsible of the authorities. There is an aids epidemic in this country, as well as a big problem with a new strain of TB. Among other things. I am taking drugs that inhibit certain T-cells, so I am frankly not taking the chance. I don’t feel guilty about this, either. In biblical times, people with leprosy and skin conditions weren’t even allowed to live with other people. I don’t see why I should have to share a cup with people who may have even a simple head-cold or flu. I think I will attend the Methodist church instead, until the Anglicans catch a wake-up call.
Never did mention South Africa’s Grammy Award win that we garnered. Congratulations to the Soweto Choir with this outstanding achievement.
Had a lovely visit at my parents today. Went there at 6:30am. M was on his way to the golf-club and dropped me off. My sister and her family came for lunch, too. She made a rather risqué remark and my parents said their daughters look so innocent, like angels, you would never think they could be so naughty. That about sums us up, hee hee. Lunch was brilliant, and like Michael said, it was such a fun visit.
Today was my 6th pill. No side-effects! No improvements, no deterioration. Okay, whatever.
I watched a video of yesterday’s party that my dad took. He filmed Michael and I as we arrived. Now, I’m a bit shy of the way I walk. In my mind’s eye, I have the impression that it’s a bit ungainly, and that I look quite obviously lame. So I was very surprised to observe on the video that I looked pretty much 100% normal. Or at least 95%. Michael was supporting me a little, but he does it in such a subtle manner that you wouldn’t easily notice it. But I feel much better about myself since I saw that video, especially as I know I was tired and hot at the time. Good stuff.
M and I just got back from our niece, Aiden’s birthday party. She is 2 now, and that is just the cutest little madam you’re ever likely to see. It was a great party. Aiden’s parents threw her a brilliant bash under their stunning new lapa. The food was lovely, too. I guess my diet will have to start tomorrow, lol. Hahahahahahah The birthday cake itself had an edible picture of Nemo on it, and that was quite delish. Aiden is quite a good little hostess. She ran after us when we left to personally come and tell us, “Bye. Byeee!” Such a sweetheart. We got her the sweetest little books from CNA. Slow Snail, Noisy Grasshopper and Greedy Caterpillar. Each character has some sort of sparkly 3-D material as part of its body. Too cute.
On the way to the party, we stopped off at the post-office to collect a parcel for me. It was sent to my by my lovely friend, Donna (thanks, Donna!) all the way from Canada. Anyone who gives me a good book as a gift is a friend that I will go to lengths for I can’t wait to start reading the book, Betty A. Iams From MS to Wellness. It is right up my alley at the moment. I so want to be part of the group of people that say, “What can I do to get well?” Find out what that is, and then do it!
M and I are a bit knackered now. When we got home, I took an ice-cold bath to cool down, and he settled down in front of the tv. He did 80+ kilometers on his bicycle this morning, so fair play to him. Not too long now till the Argus, biggest (most number of participants) cycle race in the world.
He’s going to play golf tomorrow morning, and I will be going to visit my parents. I want to go to church with my mom. I haven’t been to church in an awfully long time. In fact, I’ve let my faith slide quite a bit. I used to be a very regular church-goer. I really need to make an effort. At one stage I couldn’t attend church, because I wasn’t mobile enough. But now I am, so better that I make a plan.
Today I took my 5th pill. Still no side-effects to speak of. Or improvements, for that matter.
My new friend, L, is still in hospital. She’s not doing better yet from the meds. I want to suggest that she has an Ion detox like I have when she gets out of the hospital. I have gotten great benefit from it. Just maybe it would help her, too.
Yesterday, I stumbled on a site where you can get free sheet-music. Yay! They have some really great stuff. I was listening to the tracks, and hope I didn’t use too much of our bandwith. But it was just so good. They’ve got Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag, which I want to be able to play with a sore heart! I love ragtime and honky-tonk style piano. I can play a sort of basic version of Scott’s The Entertainer, but I would absolutely love to play the full version. Challenging piece of music that.
I have mastered Danny Boy, though, which I am loving playing. It is lovely to the point of bringing tears to one’s eyes. It was so worth the effort. Next is the Moonlight Sonata. And I’m still busy coming to grips with The Minute Waltz in between.
I’ve decided that if I improve sufficiently, I will buy a beginner’s keyboard book, and start giving lessons to kids. That should provide me with a modest income (Well, better than modest if I get enough students) and then I can stop feeling like such lay-about