Archive for June 2007
Today was a bit weird. Contradictory.
First, I went to the gym, and it was divine. Pool 100% right temperature, plus I’m now on greeting terms with some of the other swimmers, which is nice. I swam my usual 40 lengths (1 kilometer) and for the first 20, didn’t rest in between. By far my fastest time thus far (even though I wasn’t officially timing myself). Felt good afterwards, didn’t actually need my walker. Well, a bit, but not much.
Then, I went with Michael to his parents’ for lunch. We were all sitting outside in the Winter sun. So delicious. But I know I can’t sit in the sun like that! I overheat, and all sorts of symptoms start rearing their stupid heads. But like always, I decided to test it to the limits. So when I stood up to walk back to the car, it was with difficulty, left foot dragging. We went shopping at the mini-mart, and I damn near kissed the pavement. You see, as far as I’m concerned, my brain has sent a message to my left foot to lift. Except it doesn’t. Still, no harm done. As soon as I’d cooled down I was fine again.
But for those fifteen/twenty minutes, I was suddenly rudely reminded of how a relapse feels. This is actually a critical month for me. Though I am feeling great, I have a month to go before I’ve beaten my previous space between cortisone treatments. So that will be at the back of my mind for the next four weeks. But I refuse to consciously start worrying about things that don’t need to be worried about. I’m on treatment. It seems to be working.
I’m becoming quite attached to taking my fingolimod every morning. It’s the sweetest little pink capsule. Love it!
My left ear is blocked. Think I got me a bit of ‘swimmer’s ear’. I should really go to the pharmacy tomorrow for some drops.
I did my yogalates yesterday morning. I can’t wait for this ‘whole new body’ that I’m supposed to be getting in 9 weeks time! (excluding the 3 weeks that I’ve been doing it). It doesn’t look all that different yet. (My body, that is.) But I must say, my core muscles are starting to feel…like they exist. lol.
Mdmhvonpa tagged me for this meme:INSTRUCTIONS: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so:
Select five people to tag:
Or be lazy, and invite anyone reading to do this if they want to. (I know, that’s not playing by the rules. Sorry.)
Q:What were you doing 10 years ago?
Finishing high-school. Eek!
Q: What were you doing 1 year ago?
Practically living at my chiropractor’s, I was there so much with my sore back.
Q: Five snacks you enjoy:
5) Quality Streets J
Q: Five songs that you know all the lyrics to:
1) We all stand together.
2) You belong to me.
3) How deep is your love?
4) A kiss to build a dream on.
5) Living on a prayer.
Q: Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1) I’d have a house built that runs solely on solar energy.
2) With a bio swimming pool. And a kick-ass organic fruit and veg garden.
3) I’d buy a premises and open up my own book-shop.
4) I’d get me a full-time chauffeur
5) I’d go on holiday to Scandinavia to see the Northern Lights, followed by a trip to Hawaii.
Q: Five bad habits:
1) Biting my nails.
2) Interrupting people.
3) Sleeping too late in the mornings.
4) Wasting time.
5) Taking baths that are way too hot. (parboiled!).
Q: Five things you like doing:
1) Talking on the phone to my mom and sisters.
2) Reading chick-lit.
3) Uh, blogging!
4) Playing the piano/ harmonica.
5) Eating chocolate.
Q: Five things you would never wear again:
1) A size 8/32, apparently.
2) High-heels/ stilettos.
4) Anything with a fringe on it.
5) Anything khaki.
Q: Five favorite toys:
2) Tea set.
5) My Little Pony
Snow in JHB! Can you believe it?! And JHB only two hours drive from us. Oh, I hope it snows here. It will only be the second time in my life that I’ve seen snow. There are funny looking clouds in the sky (snow clouds??) and the wind is bitingly cold.
And I went swimming today, call me a nutter. Although it is warm in the gym, and the pool is heated. It was lovely, actually. Looking back to a year ago, I can’t believe how far I’ve come. It certainly rocks to be living (virtually) pain-free! I look upon it as a bit of a miracle. But then, the body of every human being is a bit of a miracle. It has such power to heal itself.
I noticed something yesterday. I make butternut for Michael and I every day. The rest of the menu varies, but there’s always butternut. I’m crazy about it, obviously. I steam or bake it, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamon. But yesterday, it occurred to me to wonder if M also likes it so much? Or if maybe he’s getting really tired of it. Maybe I should ask, lol. He always thanks me for making the food, and says it was delicious, but I probably better check. Not everyone has a butternut obsession like me, heh. I could live on butternuts, I think.
On Sunday, M and I went shopping just for the sake of it, without buying anything. First time ever, I think. I was having such a good time. We went to two large shops, GAME and Sportsman’s Warehouse. It’s the first time in a very long time that I felt so free, able to walk around, browsing, checking out all the stuff without becoming exhausted and wandering how I was going to get back to the car. I don’t think I’d make it in a massive mall yet though. Baby steps, but it was a lot of fun. At Sportsman’s Warehouse, we wanted to buy a pool table. Then a table-tennis table. And a soccer-table. And I quite fancied the air-hockey-table. Then we laughed at us, because we live in a two bedroom flat. There’s not enough place to swing a mouse, nevermind play table-tennis. Although with my co-ordination that would have been a bit ambitious, anyway, lol.
At the gym today, an oldish woman stood next to me in the locker room, in front of the mirror (I was putting my cap on). She asked me if I was going to swim. I very politley repied that I was, and refrained from pointing out that as I was standing there in my swimming costume, putting on my cap, the chances were good. Then she asked me (bless her heart) if I swam in competitions. That’s the nicest thing anyone’s said to me! I can only put it down to my proffessional looking cozzie! We ended up having a nice chat. I love it when strangers are friendly to me. Just like I dislike it when I smile at someone I don’t know and they turn their head away as if I’m trying to stalk them, and not just be friendly!
My sis, Anne is coming to visit this week. I can’t wait. We always have such fun together. She better not make me sick though. She’s a bit fluey.
I’ll be off now. Gotta go make some butternut et al
I better post. It’s so erratic! I posted this morning, then wanted to log on again later for the promised long post, and…nothing. But I’m logged on now, obviously, so I’ll shut up and write, shall I? ♥
What is news in my world? Let’s see. I nearly had a job! It was offered me by my fab in-laws. We agreed that it would only be until they found someone else to fill the post of receptionist/ secretary in the office. This is because I am not the most reliable tool in the shed of late, courtesy of my health. And as they are going into their busy time with the tax season coming up, it would have been very inconvenient if my MS had come a-calling right slap bang in the middle of it all, leaving them in the lurch to find someone else. As it turned out, they found another real quick, so I didn’t even pass GO, lol.
I reckon this was for the best for a variety of reasons.
1) Tomorrow I celebrate 3 months clean from the cortisone. However, in the past two years, I haven’t made it past the four month mark. And while I have confidence that this time I will, if I don’t it will be right in the middle of the hectic tax run. Not a good time for a breakdown of any sort.
2) It would have been hard to keep up with my gym sessions, while working every day. I think I can safely say I would’ve been knackered. And my back is being rehabilitated so nicely, I’d hate to halt it now. I’d rather be poor than have a sore back. Really, I was completely miserable with it, like it was. Now, it’s like I’ve gotten a reprieve. I feel like a prisoner that got life, and then masterminded a daring escape from maximum security.
3) I’m so enjoying my newfound ENERGY. I don’t really want to expend it working, for heaven’s sake, lol.
4) My optic neuritis is hovering in the background, waiting for its chance. The homeopathic drops are fending it off for now, but I don’t fancy my chances if I have to stare at a computer screen for hours every day.
Speaking of energy, my darling mom phoned me this morning and said she was coming to visit me, and she was bringing breakfast. So I got out of bed, got my pillow-creased ass downstairs, and actually cleaned up the kitchen!!! Washed some dishes, wiped down counters and stove-top and swept the floor out. I know this doesn’t sound in any way remarkable, but this is the first time I have been physically able to do this in years. (Without being so exhausted I couldn’t walk). I had such a warm feeling of satisfaction when I’d finished, I nearly kissed the newly swept floor. My mom arrived with a bag full of fresh fruit, and we made ourselves the most delicious fruit salad. We had such a nice visit before she headed off to do her shopping.
Fingolimod totally rocks! I love being on these trials.
I happen to think that God doesn’t answer our prayers in the way we expect. Not like, woep! – a miracle. Not always, anyway. But I do believe He steers us in the right direction if we ask Him. I do NOT believe that the Lord created any of us to suffer. He wants us to have a joyful existence, and is just waiting for us to ask His help.
I’m feeling more and more like my old self. And I kinda missed me. Michael and I are just having such a great time. I looked at our life together objectively today, and it’s really great. I wouldn’t swop it for anything in the world.
I got tagged by Gen, from Inside My World with this fantastic moniker. Thanks a mill, Gen. You totally made my day!
It is now my happy duty to pass on this funky badge to the following gals, who all have amazing blogs that make for riveting reading:
1. I have to send this one back to Gen, because I love her blog, which is really cool and chronicles her incredibly sporty family’s adventures. She’s one of those people that you just want good things to happen to. Go check her out. (Inside My World)
2. Another Rockin’ Blogger is Donna at Can You Hear Me Now? I am in awe of how fantastic Donna is. She rocks Big Time. Plus she has really cute videos of her kitties.
3. Do yourself a favour, and check out Wenchy, at The Nocturnal Wench. She writes hilariously and poignantly, all at once.
4. Even though she already has a Rockin’ Badge, I award her another one. I’m talking about my SIL Mel, aka Supermom. Her boys are cute enough to make the site worthwhile apart from anything else, but she also has a great way of putting things, that’ll make you think.
5. Also, go take a squizz at Laura’s Housewifery. She’s my idea of a good Christian, and is currently enjoying married life and her first pregnancy. She’s also really entertaining in her observations.
“If you get tagged, grab the pretty badge up top (because you deserve it!) and then list five women bloggers who are TOTALLY ROCKIN’.” (I stole that last bit from Gen, but I couldn’t have said it better)
I don’t know what the problem was, but it appears to be fixed! I’m too sleepy to be psyched, though. With any luck, I can write up a long post tomorrow. Sleep tight.
This is the first time I’ve been able to log on since my last post. I’m finding this quite weird, because no-one else on wordpress is complaining. And surely if the fault lay with our computer, then it would consistently not log on, not sometimes, sometimes not. I’m mystified.
I’m finding it very hard to blog in such a disjointed manner.
Or maybe I just don’t feel like it right now. I had plenty of blog-fodder earlier in the week, but oh well. Thank you for the nice comments I received my previous post. That is what remains so charming about blogging. Sending a little bit of yourself out there, and getting something back. It nourishes the soul. Well, nice comments do, anyway.
Seems if I just try often enough, I can (occasionally) log onto my own blog.
Yesterday, I couldn’t log on at all, which was frustrating because I really felt like blogging. I’m a bit of a contrary person. I was going off the idea of blogging somewhat, until I couldn’t, then I wanted to with a passion.
Anyway, had quite a productive day yesterday. I re-instituted my weekly 24h fast. It went really well and I was so proud of myself. Except that it only lasted 7 hrs. So I basically just skipped one meal, heh. Thing is, Michael never knew I was fasting, so he came home yesterday from work with a divine-smelling chicken lasagne (I love lasange!) and very fresh Pick ‘n Pay granary bread (my favourite!), strawberry jam and a biltong flavoured cheese spread. Oh, and a strawberry yoghurt. How was I supposed to withstand such temptation? Okay, I know, it’s no excuse. Where has all my willpower gone? (isn’t that a good title for a song?) I used to have so much when it came to food. In fact, I think I may have already used up my entire lifetime’s quota.
On the plus side, I did manage to do my second (in two days!) session of yogalates. Very pleased about this. It went better than the first time. It may be my imagination, but I feel more flexible and toned already. Could it be?
Today, my dad and I went gymming again. We skipped Wednesday’s session because he went to Jo’burg for a presentation on the Mnt Kilimanjaro trek, which he said was very good. Today I swam 44 lengths of the pool, a personal best. This included 4 lengths of backstroke, which went surprisingly well, apart from me swallowing chlorine-laden water in a gulp. I go to all the trouble of distilling chlorine out of my drinking water, only to go and swallow it in the pool! Still, I felt really good when I got out, and was even able to go into the hardware store next to the gym to buy a plug for our downstairs basin, and walk like a normal person. More or less.
Today I had to get the maintenance people in to see to our toilet. That’s why I had to buy the plug for the basin. Yesterday when the toilet-man was here, he was plunging away in the toilet, and the water was shooting up the plug-hole of the adjacent basin. A bit gross, to tell you the truth. He couldn’t find that there was a blockage, but said that the ‘stuff’ may have packed on in the pipes. I didn’t ask what ‘stuff’ he was referring to. I had a pretty good idea. Anyway, today he brought some drain-cleaner, which he threw in the toilet, flapped the lid down, and advised me not to go near it till tomorrow, after which I can give it a good flush. Good job we have a second toilet upstairs. What do people do who don’t have another toilet, in such circumstances?
I’m a bit worried about Michael. During lunch, he was complaining about dizziness again. Apparently while he was driving, he turned his head to check for oncoming traffic, and it nearly overwhelmed him. I didn’t like that story at all. Hopefully, it was just a temporary set-back. After all, I did read that it takes six to eight weeks to completely recover from a middle-ear bug like this. Unfortunately , as much as I hate him driving around when he’s not 100%, I fear that I am even more of a danger on the road, so I can’t really drive him around. With my feet being so numb, I can’t always distinguish properly between the different pedals. It’s happened twice now that while pulling off in first gear, I pumped on the petrol, instead of the brakes. Luckily, I had the clutch in both times, and managed to rectify the situation.But frankly, I’ve lost my nerve for driving a bit. I’m scared I screw up big time, and total our new car. And myself, for that matter. And Michael, come to think of it.
When the nurse came to see M this week, to do some medical tests for the new policy he’s taking out (cholestrol, HIV, bp etc.) She measured his height, which is 1.97m. She commented that he was probably really good at high-jump, at school. He laughed, and said that although everyone always expected him to be, he was bad at high- and long-jump.
I was lost in my own thoughts after that, nostalgic for a time four and a half years ago. Nov 2002. We were at the beach, Michael and I, my older sister and her hubby, and my younger sister. For some reason, we got it into our heads to have a long-jump competition on the beach. And I out-jumped all of them, including my brother in law, who gave it a real good go. I’d had MS for a year then, but no physical problems yet. Now, I can’t jump at all. I can’t get both my feet to leave the ground simultaneously. Sometimes it’s hard to cope with. I was really athletic at school. Little did I know how fleeting it would be.
Okay, so that’s the glass half-empty. Now let’s take a look at the half-full version:
Back a few years to Jul/ Aug 2005. Worst two months of my life, hands down. By then I was resigned to having to take cortisone every six months or so to ward off relapses. But I was still taking the full 5 gram course, and the gap between infusions was in an ever-decreasing spiral. This was before I learnt of the 1 gram dose that I can get away with. No-one told me, because that’s not how it’s done. I had to be my own researcher, my own guinea pig. Anyway, what I was told was that I had to wait at least six months between cortisone drips. And when I started getting the next relapse after only two months, I had to bite the bullet and wait it out. Only, I started degenerating very quickly. By the time I had reached the four month mark, I was wheel-chair bound and then bed-ridden. I battled to turn over in bed, and had to use my arms to move my legs around. I couldn’t even transfer to the wheel-chair by myself. Actually, I don’t like to write about this too much, so I’ll cut it short. After four months, I said this is enough and went to hospital, got the drip, and have been recovering ever since. Today, though I can’t jump, I can walk around quite reasonably, drive a car, cook meals, bake, wash clothes and dishes, go shopping, irritate Michael [or so he says ], swim a kilometer, do yogalates with ease, as well as Chi Kung. I can get in and out of my bath with ease, work on the computer for hours without feeling so dizzy I think I’m going to fall off the chair. I can play the piano again, I can massage M’s back and feet for him after a hard day’s work. I can live my life!
And this is why my glass is not half-full. It is completely full. It is brimming over.
This is why I wake up every day with a song in my heart, and say, “thank You.”
Because the girl who wondered if she would ever walk again, is living the life she’s always dreamed about. Loving the little things. Not taking anything for granted. Appreciating what a truly wonderful gift life is.
The drought is far from over – I’m still battling my ass off to log onto wordpress. I must have tried about five times (unsuccessfully) today. Stupidly, I tried now just before heading off to bed, and of course, at this inopportune time, we have lift-off. Still, who knows when I’ll have the opportunity again, so here goes.
Today I actually (cue trumpets) started my yogalates. It necessitated a trip to Sportsman’s Warehouse to buy myself a resistance band, which I did, and then I tackled workout one (the gentle one) on my dvd. I feel so good for having done it! My knees are hurting though. Hope it’s not related, because I plan on doing the workout every day for at least a month. The swimming is helping considerably with my back-pain, and is strengthening my muscles, but I still have limited mobility. I have great hopes for the yogalates, though.
I found myself reading about the five love languages yesterday. Seems to be the latest buzz word in pop-psychology that everyone is talking about. I came to the conclusion that I am quite high-maintenance. The love languages are as follows:
Words of affirmation (Being told how great you are and how much you’re loved)
Acts of service
Different people speak different ‘love languages’ having a particular ‘primary’ language that is needed to keep them happy. The currency they deal in, if you will.
I found is very hard to do the quizz that determines one’s ‘type’. Because I basically need them all. Poor Michael, lol. Even I can’t work out which is my primary language.
First I thought, Acts of service. I really do love it when someone goes out of their way to do something nice for me. It makes me feel really loved when M does things for me, helps me out around the house, etc.
Then I thought, no. Definitely Quality Time. I love heart-to-heart talks with my lovie. His complete attention focused on me. Eye-contact, togetherness, having a warm chuckle together, whatever.
But. I’m also a big one for Physical Touch. I love it when M just suddenly takes my hand in his while we’re watching tv. Or a sudden hug that catches me by surprise. Or when he pulls me into his arms for a cuddle. Even a discreet pinch on the rear while shopping, lol.
Apparently it takes a lot to keep me happy.
I also need the words of affirmation. To hear that I am appreciated.
The only area that is not a priority is the Gifts one. Look, don’t get me wrong, I love little surprises as much as the next woman, but I’m not unhappy if I don’t get them. I’m like a camel as far as gifts go. I have to have gifts on my birthday! but I can live off that for the rest of the year. I don’t need to be given gifts to feel that I am loved.
Michael says his love language is quality time. No problems there because I love spending time with him, it’s not an effort at all.
Sorry if this post is a little on the mushy side, but I’m so glad he’s okay that I’m feeling particularly in love with him.
I just routinely tried to log onto wordpress, and what do you know! So better that I take the gap and do a quick update.
Michael: Michael is back at work and doing well. Back to his old self, except for a brief dizzy spell if he moves his head too quickly from side to side. I have full confidence that this will disappear too, in a week or so’s time. Great to have him back, I totally missed his zany character while he was sick!
Fingolimod trials: Going brilliantly. By this time next year I’ll probably be doing backflips and cartwheels on rollerblades. The only things that bug me are a) the mice that developed cancer while on the drug (although this was over a two year period, which is their lifespan, but still) and b) the fact that I’m not allowed to getl pregnant while on the drug, as it is a new and experimental drug and also because the poor mice in the animal trials gave birth to mutant babies. They didn’t go into detail, but I didn’t like the word ‘mutant’ there! So best not to even entertain thoughts about getting up the duff. Sad, because the better I feel, the keener I am to extend our family of two. Oh well, at the end of the trials I’ll be 29 which is hardly completely past it. And I’ll be able to make a more educated decision then.
Exercise: Also going well. My back is feeling loads better, and has stopped doing that clicky thing the whole time. Every time I go to the gym (3x a week) I swim 1km, and feel well afterwards. As of today, I’m starting with my yogalates dvd. Workout number one is particularly gentle, and I am hoping that it will strengthen my back and core muscles. I’ve let the Chi Kung slip, but I want to resuscitate it this week. After doing it for a while, you’re supposed to actually feel the ‘chi’ life force moving within you. I’m really keen to feel that. It sounds groovy, don’t you think?
Diet: I feel guilty that I haven’t been making healthy meals for Michael and myself. I know this isn’t why he got sick, but his system probably wasn’t as strong as it could have been. As the stay at home wife and homemaker, I realised that it is my responsibility to make sure that the two of us eat properly. So far, so good. The past week we have been eating really well. Hardly anything junky, and plenty of steamed veggies, lean meat etc. And juice, freshly made by yours truly. Carrot, pineapple and orange.
Today we did have some chocolate, but as luck would have it, we mistakenly bought dark chocolate, and though disgusting, everyone knows how good it is for you. Especially seeing as how it’s so gross you can only manage two pieces of the damn stuff
And to finish it off, how about another silly joke to release some of those much needed endorphins? :
Dave goes over to his best friend’s house, rings the doorbell,
and the wife answers.
“Hi, Nora, is Tony home?”
“No, he went to the store.”
“Well, do you mind if I wait?”
“No, come on in.” They both have a seat in the kitchen.
“You know, Nora, you have the greatest tits I have ever seen. I’d
give you a hundred bucks if I could just see one.”
Nora thinks for a second and finally figures, what the hell, it’s
for a hundred bucks. She opens her robe and shows Dave one of her
breasts. He promptly thanks her and throws a hundred bucks on the
They sit there a while longer and finally Dave says, “Nora, your
tits are so beautiful… I’ve gotta see the two of them. I’ll
give you another hundred bucks if I can see them both.”
Nora thinks it over briefly and again figures, what the hell, a
hundred bucks is a hundred bucks. She opens her robe and gives
Dave a good, long look. He thanks her and then throws another
hundred bucks on the table.
Another ten minutes passes by… Dave can’t wait around any
longer, so he leaves.
A while later, Tony arrives home and his wife says “Your weird
friend, Dave, came over this afternoon.”
Replies Tony, “Did he drop off the two hundred bucks he owes me?”
Maybe I’m not very mature, but that really tickled me.
Now let me go rise to the challenge of making something both healthy and tasty. Well, I’ll give it a shot, anyway, lol.