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Archive for May 2007


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Man, but it’s cold here!

I’ve read that it’s healthier to drink your water (or whatever) at room temperature. Easier for the body to handle. I always drink my water at room temp because I prefer it that way. But this morning the water that was next to my bed tasted much more chilled than fridge water. Which makes a person wonder about this ‘room temperature’ thing.

I’m really warming to the idea of taking my Fingolimod pill every morning. Because I suspect that it is starting to work for me. I always felt sorry for people who had to take medication every day. “Oh, so-and-so is fine now, but she’ll have to take a pill every day for the rest of her life!” Poor so-and-so. But I don’t feel that way anymore. It is a wonderful thing to find a medication that can treat your particular ailment. And really, swallowing a pill is not such hard work. Sure beats taking an injection every second day. I’ve noticed no side-effects whatsoever from the Fingolimod. Always assuming that I’m not on the placebo. (But please do remember that my pulse rate plummented following the initial dose which is a textbook side-effect. Although if they hadn’t been monitoring it at the time, I would have been none the wiser.) My point is that I’m really happy to be on these trials. I think this drug is going to be huge in MS treatment when it goes on the market.

My cold is nearly history. Not quite, but nearly. Only sneezed about 4 times today, definite improvement.

Today’s joke: (I thought it was hilarious)

Misproununciation?President Clinton walks into a restaurant and is seated at one of the finest tables. A particularly voluptuous waitress wearing a short skirt and legs that won’t quit comes to his table. “What would you like, Mr. President?” Clinton looks at the menu and then scans her beautiful frame top to bottom, and answers, “A quickie.” The waitress stomps off in total disgust. After she regains her composure she returns and asks again: “What would you like, Mr. President?” Again Clinton thoroughly checks her out and again answers: “A quickie, please.” This time her anger takesover, she reaches over and slaps him across the face with a resounding “SMACK!” and storms away. A Secret Service agent, sitting at the next table, leans over and whispers, “Um, Mr. President, I think it’s pronounced ‘QUICHE’.

Written by Maggie

May 23, 2007 at 7:56 pm

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I made it!

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I’m feeling much better today. Yesterday was awful, the whole sorry thing peaked and I pretty much spent the day in bed. But today I feel quite awesome (by comparison, that is). And I even look better. Yesterday, I was looking positively skanky. Dry, cracked lips, pasty complexion and a schnoz like Rudolph from all the blowing. (Not Valentino, the other one, ha ha) But today I have some colour in my face and a bit of a sparkle back in my eyes. Just so you know.

I’ve been reading a book that I got as a gift from my sister. Carole Matthews’ Welcome to the Real World. It’s really charming and sweet, and has done me a lot of good while I was feeling so blah. Haven’t read a good book in a while, so I’m finding it most enjoyable.

My sister Anne (who gave me the book) has coached her choir (she’s a music teacher at a fairly larney primary school) to victory amidst stiff competition. The organisers of the competition are even talking about having the children record their song professionally. I’m so impressed.

The same sister and her new husband are in the process of applying to emigrate to Australia. I have very mixed feelings about this. I’ll miss her like crazy if she goes, but I’d certainly worry less if she was in Brisbane than in Joburg. I, along with many other Saffies, have some serious issues regarding the crime.

I’ve developed a little problem recently where, when I sneeze, the muscles in my air passage sort of go into a spasm. You know how a sneeze is usually followed by a sharp intake of breath, especially if there is another one on the way? Well, after I’ve sneezed, my air passage spasms, expressing what little air I have left in my lungs. And I normally sneeze at least 3 or 4 times. It’s quite scary. Especially as I’ve probably sneezed about 200 times these past 3 days. Seems to have calmed down now, finally. Thank goodness. Can’t say that I fancy death by sneezing.

We all know laughter is the best medicine right? Couldn’t find any capsules or bottles of it anywhere, so I found a couple of joky sites on the net to tide me over. I thought the following three were worth a chuckle or two.

How To Prepare Chicken…  

A waiter asks a man, “May I take your order, sir?”

“Yes,” the man replies. “I’m just wondering, exactly how do you prepare your chickens?”

“Nothing special, sir. We just tell them straight out that they’re going to die.”

I believe I’m a woman

MAN TO PSYCHIATRIST: “You have to help me, Doctor. I’m starting to believe I’m a woman.”

PSYCHIATRIST “Why do you think that?”

MAN: “It was something my gynecologist said to me the other day.”

 On the first day of college, the Dean addressed the students:

“The female dormitory is out-of-bounds for all male students, and the male dormitory to the female students. Anybody caught breaking this rule will be fined $20 the first time. The second time you will be fined $60. A third time will cost you a fine of $180. Are there any questions?”

A male student inquired, “How much for a season pass?”

Written by Maggie

May 22, 2007 at 3:54 pm

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Just call me ‘Rover’

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I’ve been as sick as the proverbial dog today. (What was wrong with that dog, anyway?)

Hardly got any sleep last night. Tossed and turned, but the post-nasal drip followed me. Woke  up with a headache from trying to sleep face down on the pillow.

Today wasn’t much fun. And you know what the irony is?? I caught the bug from my detox lady. But I will claim some responsibility for it – I haven’t been eating as well as I should have been, given that I am (most probably) on immuno-modulating drugs. Increased risk of minor infections, such as colds/ flu, they said. Oh well. I’m not feeling too shabby otherwise. Gotta take the good with the bad.

My darling Michael went out and bought oranges and made me a big glass of freshly-squeezed OJ. How cool is that?

Not looking forward to tonight. I hate trying to sleep with a scratchy throat/ hacking cough/ convulsive sneezing fits.  And I’ll have to forego my swimming session at the gym tomorrow morning. Not nice, but I guess if I really want to get very sick, I’ll go for a swim. Not bloody likely.

I got Michael to take a pic of me in my snazzy new swimming costume. I really like my cozzie. I usually get a ‘fun’ two piece to laze around on the beach with. But this one is an endurance Speedo for serious swimming. And don’t I look like a serious swimmer in it? Even sans make-up, how serious is that? lol


I officially weigh 10kg’s more than I did when I got married to Michael. A lot more of me to love, certainly. (Although, back then I was seriously skinny) I’m becoming quite a strapping girl. I only started swimming to rehabiltate my sacro-illiac joint, but I’m quite amazed at the way I’ve put on weight from it. I’m hoping that a large percentage of it is muscle. I think it is, though. My arms are starting to look positively butch when I flex them, lol.

This costume is a bitch to put on, let me tell you. I nearly dislocated my arm trying to squirm into it the other day. The best was when I tried to don a size 32 in the changing room at the shop where I bought it. That was a joke. I eventually managed to squeeze myself into a 36, after the sales lady assured me that Speedo’s have a notoriously small make. Okay then.

So now I get to swim in style, which is just as well, because my swimming style itself is not up to much. I had fantasies of participating in The Midmar Mile with my dad, but I think that is unlikely. I have to rest too much between laps for that. But hey, if Fingolimod does its job, who knows? In the meantime, I’m just deliriously happy that my sacro-illiac joint is behaving at last.

Did I mention that I’m feeling particularly grotty (read: snotty)? Michael has elected to sleep in the spare bed tonight. He definitely doesn’t want this bug just before his big cycle race next month, and I can’t say that I blame him.

Written by Maggie

May 20, 2007 at 9:29 pm

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It’s got me good!

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The bug, that is. It’s finally caught up with me, after threatening to for ages. I have a bit of a head-cold. Nothing too serious at all, just a runny nose, and a slightly scratchy throat, caused by – you guessed it – the post-nasal drip. Bit of an excess of phlegm, but I’m sure no-one wants the gory details so I’ll spare you. I just hope it clears up by Monday. I’d hate to miss my swim. There is a dire promise of a seriously cold spell on its way. I hope this doesn’t translate to the pool’s thermo being turned way up. I’ll rather freeze my ass off than run (swim) the risk of overheating and awakening the monster.

(I just heard a scary sound right next to me behind the curtain. I hope it’s not a locust! Oh well)

The final game of the Super 14 rugby was quite brilliant. The Blue Bulls have made history, being the first SA winners of the Super 14, very narrowly beating the Sharks by one point. They secured the victory (very unexpected) in the last seconds of the game. Very exciting, even to a non-rugby-fan such as myself. I made a bit of a pig of myself (again!) with a packet of Lays potato chips. New irresistable flavour: Carribean onion and balsamic vinegar. Very more-ish, couldn’t help myself. Didn’t help the sore throat one little bit, though. Go figure.

Written by Maggie

May 19, 2007 at 9:54 pm

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That’s weird

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Why does it say ‘comments off’ on my previous entry. I certainly didn’t (consciously) do that. Fellow wordpressers: where do you switch ‘comments’ on and off?

Written by Maggie

May 18, 2007 at 5:19 pm

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Nothing much to say…

…but I’ll say it anyway 😉

Yesterday, I watched the sweetest movie. I don’t watch a great deal of tv, but I’ve been waiting for this one to show. It’s called Just Like Heaven. A good, tear-jerking chick-flick, but funny, too. I enjoyed it no end.

Didn’t do a whole lot else yesterday. Well, house-work and cooking and stuff. Oh, and that damn computer-game. And a dose of our daily soapie. But nothing significant. Very unproductive. I lay pondering this last night as I was falling asleep. Quite a waste of a precious day. So I was determined not to waste today. Or any other day. So far, so good. I’ve drawn up a little roster for myself of all the things I want to get done each day. And I’ve got to do the things that I’m least inclined to do first. And the other, more fun stuff, last. Now that I’m feeling better, health-wise, I’m ready to tackle some long-standing projects of mine that just never seem to make it off the runway. Maybe I’ll compile one of those 101 in 1001 lists that are so popular in BlogWorld.

I went for an ion detox this morning. Feeling pretty good since then, let me tell you. Then off to the gym, where I did 32 laps in the pool, and a couple of reps on some sort of hip apparatus thingy, where you put your legs between two cushioned pads and push them apart with your knees. So it works the muscles around your hips and thighs. See, productive. But by far my greatest accomplishment for the day, was going to SPAR and not buying a strawberry cheesecake. No, siree. I just left it languishing there in the fridge. My diet (and M’s, too) has improved a lot lately. But! I see a new pizza place has opened up just around the corner from us. I am such a sucker for pizza. It’s my achilles’ heel. Damn. Why couldn’t they open up somewhere else? It’s all I can think about, lol.

Written by Maggie

May 18, 2007 at 5:10 pm

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Go to your happy place.

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My happy place, or one of them, at any rate, is depicted in the photograph above. It’s the view from our favourite holiday spot. We are boringly predictable when asked where we’d like to go on a holiday, but it’s always the South Coast. I wouldn’t mind being there right now. When I look at this photo then I am there a little bit in spirit. Just look at the detail, right down to the ginger cat wandering about the garden. And notice the swing-set under the palm tree on the right. We have spent many a happy hour canoodling on that swing. We honeymooned at these particular flats, and have been there three times since. It’s our little home away from home. But this year we’ll have to content ourselves with the photo’s. Thanks to the trials taking up so much of Michael’s leave, we’ll have to pass this year. But I’m sure the beach will still be waiting for us in 2008.


There we are on the beach, Oct 2006. I always get accused of being short, but please note that it’s only because Michael is so darn tall. He’s a honey though, isn’t he?

I’m feeling so skippy and mellow. That horrible anxious feeling I had at night is gone. Yippy! Well, mostly. It’s such a relief. I just can’t worry about crime anymore. Can’t spend my whole life worrying about it. All I can do is trust and hope that it’ll never be a factor in our lives. The anxiety was chemical related. But I’ve been ‘clean’ for a month and a half now. My face doesn’t look puffy anymore and the rash on my back has finally disappeared. Please let the Fingolimod kick in good and solid so that I don’t have to go down the slippery slope of IV steroids again. That’s my wishbone wish for tonight.

My hip is vaguely sore where I bashed it against the gym floor. Stupid thing to do, really.

I’m pleasantly tired now. Time to go snuggle up to my hot-water bottle (a.k.a. Michael). Winter has been dragging its heels in getting here, but I understand there’s a mean cold-spell on its way.

Written by Maggie

May 16, 2007 at 11:36 pm

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How can life ever be boring?

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M and I went to JHB again yesterday for a neuro appointment. On the way back, we stopped at the side of the road to take a photo of the farmhouse that I mentioned last month, and its tiny, matching dog house. Too bloody cute. This photo was taken with M’s cellphone, so the quality isn’t brilliant. You can’t actually see how the dog house is painted to be an exact replica of the farmhouse. How even its ‘gutters’ have been painted to match. But you can get the gist of it, and let your imagination fill in the blanks 😉

The trip to the neuro went quite well. In summary, I’ve gotten no worse than I was, my maculars don’t have oedema (possible side-effect) and my lung function is hunky-dory. So no bad news there, and now I only have to go back in another three  months time. Thank goodness for that! I was getting sick of it, going up every five minutes. I’m pretty sure Michael was too, but we’re out of the woods now, only having to go every 3 months till the end of the trials. The traffic was quite bad. I don’t know how you Jo’burgers handle it!

I went gyming this morning. It went well. The water was deliciously cold. Made me gasp just a little as I got in, and that’s the way I like it. I did 32 laps (800m) and was actually okay afterwards. My back is feeling pretty good from the swimming, it is so worth it.

However, on the way out I may have been a bit overconfident. I was walking alongside my dad, carrying my walker in one hand, when next thing I knew I was sprawled on the floor, in front of everyone. I don’t know what happened. I think I overbalanced and then slipped when I tried to regain it. It happened so fast. I didn’t get hurt much (only my ego) though I did land quite heavily on my side. I was up pretty fast, but I’d had quite an audience and a couple of people came to ask me if I was okay. (At least they asked me directly!). I feel fairly embarassed about the whole thing. There’s only one thing I hate more than falling, and that’s falling in front of people. So unladylike! I hate being a klutz.

My side is a bit tender now, but I reckon I’ll make it. The irony is that I hardly ever fall, considering how bad my balance can be at times. Happens every now and then, though,  just to keep me on my toes. 

Written by Maggie

May 16, 2007 at 3:58 pm

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Marvellous Monday.

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Today has been just fab so far, couldn’t ask for better.

For one thing, Michael is feeling better. He was so sick last night. Remember that 24 hour thing he had two weekends back? Well, it happened again, which is very worrying. We were out visiting (luckily it was family) when in the middle of the conversation, Michael got very dizzy and nauseous. He could barely make it out to the car when we took him to the hospital to be checked out. His blood sugar levels and blood pressure were normal, which is making it seem like it might be a middle-ear thing. He’s okay today, though. But I think we’d better make him an appointment at the ear, nose and throat dude to get it checked out. Poor M!

The gym thing went really well this morning. Turns out it was definitely the pool being too hot that threw me last time. (Heat is after all Public Enemy No.1 if you have MS) Today the pool was on the cool side. Possibly they turned the heat off over the weekend and were still in the process of heating it up. I did 36 laps, by far my highest so far in that pool, and felt fine afterwards. Well, I wasn’t doing cartwheels, but you get the picture. Actually, it was very enjoyable.

I’m going to see my neuro tomorrow, and I don’t think I’m going to beg like a dawg for cortisone. I’ve decided against it. You see, I don’t really want to say it out loud, but I think the Fingolimod pills may have finally kicked in. I’ve got more energy than usual and I recover faster after an exacerbation. This is a brand new development, hot off the press. Could be a fluke. Or perhaps my relapse has subsided. I’m not feeling too shabby at all. Still slightly worried about my left hand, but not to the extent that I’d risk the side-effects of the meds.

I’m really not doing bad on the energy front. Yesterday I took myself (as in drove) to the local mini-supermarket, did some shopping, even carried the bags back to the car, and still had enough energy left to make soup, and a chocolate mousse for Mother’s Day.

Today, I’ve gone gyming, done a truckload of weekend dishes, a load of washing in the machine and some tidying up. Usually I can just about manage one of these items. It feels too nice!

The attending doctor at the hospital last night, told me MS is his passion. Apparently his uncle has it. I thought it a bit odd, the way he phrased it. Like someone saying, “I have a passion for cancer”, or “I have a passion for AIDS”. Is it just me or is that a bit weird? I can understand a doctor having an interest in a disease, in its research or in finding a cure. But a passion? He should try having MS for a month or two, and then we’ll see how passionate he is about it.

He did an entirely unsolicited examination on my eyes (remember, this is the guy who was supposed to be examining Michael) to check for some abnormality or other.  He gave a disappointed sniff and said, “You don’t have it. Yet.” Thanks a million, doc.

He asked me if I’m legally married to Michael. Why would he ask that? That was the weirdest. I don’t get it, doc. Please explain.

You know, I’m not that crazy about doctors in general.

Written by Maggie

May 14, 2007 at 3:46 pm

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I’ve been having a bit of trouble posting. First, the internet connection was down last night, and then today I was battling to load WordPress. But here I am, so no worries.

Yesterday was one good day for SA Rugby. Not one, but an unprecedented TWO of our teams won their games in the semi-finals of the Super 14, where we compete with other provincial teams from Australia and New Zealand, for those of you in non-rugby playing countries. So next weekend we can look forward to an all South African final between the Sharks and the Bulls. I can’t profess to being a huge rugby fan, but I am Proudly South African, and this is exciting. We watched the games at my parents’ house yesterday, and the air was very festive. I ate half a (big) packet of NikNaks on my own, sadly, but it was a lot of fun 😉

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there. How awful would life be if there were no moms?

Thanks for the virtual hugs and response to my packing out the other day. Like I said to Donna, there’s a part of me that likes to ‘wallow in MS’ and I’ve been pandering to it. (So not a good idea). But I’m turning my back very firmly on that (ungrateful) part of me. I’ll still get my bad days, I’m sure, but I’m going to try and keep perspective. I’ll get a chance to put it to the test tomorrow, as I’m going to the G-Y-M. Ha ha ha. (Don’t all recoil at once now, lol) 

Watch this space 😉

Written by Maggie

May 13, 2007 at 3:46 pm

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