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Archive for November 2007

Back home, weeeeeh! … slump.

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The hospital visit wasn’t bad at all. Short and sweet. Could’ve been even shorter and sweeter, if not for a misunderstanding between my doctor and one of the nurses. They phoned him to remind him that he had to come down to the hospital to discharge me (otherwise med. aid doesn’t pay). He was on his way home  from Pretoria, and said they could let me go home, if I was feeling okay, and he’d pop in later to sign the discharge papers. Well, somehow, nursey translated that to mean, you stay here till the doc comes. So I waited there from 10am to 2pm needlessly. Eventually phoned the doc on his cell, and he sounded annoyed and said of course I can go home, he’d take care of the paperwork later.

Mmmm, someone needed her ears boxed, but I managed to restrain myself, lol.  Only just, though.

Other than that, I didn’t have a bad time at all. My ward-mates were very pleasant. The one lady had been bitten by a tick, and developed tickbite-fever, which does NOT look like fun. The other lady was displaying disturbingly MS-like symptoms. She has not been diagnosed with anything yet, and the GP seems to be buggering around a fair bit. She is walking with great difficulting, using a walking-aid. This has developed to that point in little over a month. They had her on a cortisone drip and she appeared to be doing a little better today. She had an MRI scan which showed damaged on her spinal cord. I didn’t want to mention the letters M or S, as I might not be in possession of all the facts. But I did give her the telephone of my neurologist before I left and told her to pay him a visit if the GP couldn’t shed light on things, and he’d help her figure it out. She seemed to appreciate the gesture.

Right now, I am feeling completely knackered. Might have to do with the fact that I only got two hours of sleep last night. I was so hyper after the first dose of IV-solu-meds, thoughts clamouring for attention in my mind, pushing and shoving each other. Luckily, I brought my portable CD-walkman along, and had a fantastic time listening to some really nice music all night. Got to sleep eventually, only to be woken up at 4am to get the second dose attached to my short-drip. *yawn*

I really gotta get to bed. I’m nodding off at a rate of knots.

Hope I’m not going to crash too badly tomorrow. Oh please.

If I don’t make an appearance for several days, you’ll know why. Because I’m being my normal maudlin, and or aggressive post-steroids self.

Written by Maggie

November 24, 2007 at 8:56 pm

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Off I go, weeeeeeh.

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(To those of you who have not read Bridget Jones’ diary, pay no attention to the title).

I can’t possibly lie in the hospital the whole day. Too boring. (No internet! 🙂 And I battle to read a book comfortably with a drip in my arm. Obviously not very good at multi-tasking 😉

So I’m going to the gym first, then I’ll come home, have a bath, eat lunch and then get M to drop me off at the hospital on his way back to work after lunch. So I’ll only have to stay there from 2pm till about 9 or 10 am tomorrow morning. Not too bad.

That was the main reason I hated going for the full course in previous years. Lying there for FIVE days, totally at the mercy of various loony room-mates. Believe me, I had my fair share!

So a simple overnighter is nothing in comparison.

I think I’m striking a good balance this go round. I didn’t run screaming for meds at the first sign of trouble. I gave it a chance to sort itself out. It didn’t (after a good two months) so now I’m calling in the big guns. On the other hand, I’ve not left it so late that I’ll end up regretting not going sooner. Took me a good six years to get to this point.  

I’ve done this many times before, so why do I still feel nervous about possible side-effects? I kinda do. But I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Wish me luck.

Written by Maggie

November 23, 2007 at 8:15 am

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I’m going to hospital tomorrow for some IV Solu-medrol. But that is not why I am annoyed. I have been expecting it after all. Apart from the numbness that is slowly  moving into my hands as well as my feet, I am experiencing shortness of breath. This is typical of a spinal lesion, and is not a particularly good sign, for obvious reasons. I remember when I was diagnosed, the neurologist, after seeing the placement of the lesion on the MRI (also a spinal lesion) had me on a cortisone drip so fast my head was spinning. He said it could seriously hamper my ability to breath at any moment.

Anyway, I took all this as a sign to stop buggering around and go take the meds. First had to phone the neuro in JHB. He sounded quite concerned and said although ideally he’d like to see me first, because we aren’t local he thinks I should go ahead and take the meds. We couldn’t agree on a dosage though. I wanted to take my usual once off, 1 gram dosage, he wanted me to take the full five-day course, or at least a three day course of 3 grams. Eventually, he told me the very least I can take is 2 grams, over two days. This makes me mad. I know my body, I know that 1 gram works perfectly fine. But I didn’t want to argue it back and forth, so I capitulated. I have a good mind only to take the 1g, though. I wonder if they’d check up on me. The thing is, M & I have been invited to a friend of ours restaurant’s grand-opening tomorrow night. I do not want to miss it. But if I’m booked into hospital, which I will be, it’s going to be kinda hard to attend. Rats. The larney private hospital where I am booked into from tomorrow morning is full tonight. Maybe I should go to the less larney hospital and just get it over with. Then I can still attend the restaurant opening.

As if this doesn’t have me in a bad enough mood, the *%#$@!!-ing neighbours from  next door keep spraying this disgusting fly/ toilet spray that is obviously doubling as deodorant. I HATE aerosol deodorant. Aerosol anything, really. I am so allergic to it. After inhaling it through the open window (wafting over from next door) I had a violent sneezing fit, after which I got these big numb patches all over my face. I think the stuff does so much damage to the environment that it is going to be outlawed one day, and I only hope I live to see it. As it is, it is already illegal to spray perfume in public in Europe, because so many people are allergic. It sucks being a human canary, but that stuff is bad news, I’ll tell you that for nothing. What’s wrong with roll-on, anyway? I swear the sprayed stuff is ten times worse than second-hand smoke! Sometimes I think we are a very backward (and obviously stinky) civilisation.

Rant over. Mmmm – that does feel tons better. Thank you for listening 😉

Written by Maggie

November 22, 2007 at 2:57 pm

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8 things hidden in here somewhere…

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Mmm. Last night’s post was a little on the personal side. And with all the feed-readers out there, it’s pointless taking it down. I don’t know what I was thinking last night. Actually, I’m fully aware that my brain works differently at night. The closer it gets to midnight, the more ‘out of my shell’ I get. Ha ha. (Big night-owl here). Complete with narcissistic tendencies of posting close-up photo’s of myself. Cringe. 

But. I got so many lovely comments that it was worth it to share a little piece of me that usually gets hidden under several layers of Maggie. In fact, now that it’s out, I may as well expand on it. 

Thing is, the more the MS backs off, the more the existential crisis shifts in. Very weird. Or maybe not so much. Maybe just human nature. 

I’m recovering so nicely and consistently that I predict that I will only be on the disability pension for one more year. And better that I get my act together before then.  

As far as the relapse goes, it is not progressing, thankfully. The trial meds are obviously working, because this relapse is battling to pick up momentum. I’m tired of the numbness though, and it is affecting my eyes slightly, which I do NOT enjoy. Haven’t quite made up my mind on a course of action yet. Previously, it always backed me into a corner and then I went for meds. For now, I am going for a weekly detox, which does seem to be helping. 

Sister Anne passed her grade seven violin exam. I am so proud of her. She only started with the violin after she left school, so this achievement is very impressive. She has a lot on her plate at the mo, including work, a baby in the making and of course her hubby, so for her to have passed this exam is brilliant. Grade seven, for those not familiar with music, is a big deal. It only goes up to grade eight, and then comes the teacher’s licentiate. Way to go! 

And to finish off this post, some good news. I found out yesterday that I’m definitely not colour-blind in any way anymore. Several years ago, I was chronically colour blind. Red robots and green – no difference. But my eyesight has improved in leaps and bounds over the past year or two, and I did a test yesterday which included a question on colour-blindness which I passed with flying, uh…colours. Yay! 

And here are the promised…8 Facts about me 

(I was tagged by Mr. mdmhvonpa himself 😉  

1.     My full name is Margaret, after my maternal granny.

2.     When I was 17, I was thrown off a horse. Wasn’t hurt at all, but it makes me sound adventurous 😉

3.     I have two brothers and three sisters.

4.     A couple of years ago, I had a short story published in a national magazine.

5.     My hair is 100% its natural colour and always has been, except for highlights when I got married.

6.     Everyone in our family calls Michael and I ‘M & M’.

7.     My favourite book has always been Gone With the Wind. I’ve read it at least 10 times.

8.     I am a huge sucker for comedies. Never ever watch horror movies, though. 

And a bonus one for luck – I am a vegetarian, 99% of the time J

Written by Maggie

November 21, 2007 at 5:47 pm

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loving the skin you’re in…

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I’ve never had a problem with self-esteem in my life. Until recently, that is. All of a sudden, I had issues, felt that I wasn’t being a good enough version of myself. I wasn’t managing my MS properly for starters. How’s that for being hard on myself. It’s a chronic disease, that no-one knows the answers to, but I felt like I could be doing a better job of it.

I’ve been real hard on myself, berating myself for not having a killer career, and living up to my potential. For not eating better, not being tidier, not using my time more wisely, not contributing my fair share of the household expenses … and on and on.

I didn’t initially want to go to the reunion. I thought they’d tear me apart. What have I achieved, anyway?

Boy, was I wrong.

I’m not sure what happened on Saturday, but my self-esteem levels are back where they should be. I just realised that my friends like me for who I am, and not how much money I have in the bank, or what I do for a living. They like me for me. That was such a liberating realisation.

Maybe I just needed to get out and have a good time. I’ve been spending too much time on my own, brooding about rubbishy notions.

I dabbled half-heartedly and briefly in low self-esteem, but it just wasn’t me, y’ know. Sure, there’s always room for improvement, but deep down, I wouldn’t trade me for anyone in the world!

Big (((hug))) to me!!

Written by Maggie

November 20, 2007 at 9:39 pm

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Just to be clear about yesterday’s post – I didn’t actually take the money from the grocery-packer! I put the bread back. But I did appreciate the gesture enormously! I want to buy him a chocolate or something as a token of friendship, but I don’t wish to appear patronising, so I probably won’t. I’ll greet him extra warmly from now on, and give him a nice tip if I ever go on my own to SPAR and he carries my parcels for me. Or maybe I could give him the chocolate as a tip. Yes, that’s what I’ll do, then he won’t feel embarassed to accept it. I just really appreciate friendliness in this day and age. It’s practically an endangered species.

I’m really having trouble posting photos on here. They show up fine on the draft, fine on the published entry, and then just mysteriously disappear the next day. Why would this be? C’mon. Anybody?

I experienced the cutest thing on Wednesday that made my toes curl right over. I was sitting in the caffeteria at the gym, waiting for my dad. The junior care is right next to it and has glass doors so one can see in. There was a little baby on the floor, I think it was a girl. She was trying to crawl. She’d obviously just started recently and wasn’t really moving much, but the concentration was intense. I was smiling, watching this unfold. Suddenly, the baby looked up, straight at me and seeing me smiling at her, gave this big beam of a grin. So we sat there beaming at each other for a while, and then she started doing baby-push-ups, obviously showing off. I mimed clapping hands, and she just about collapsed with glee. It was the cutest, cutest encounter, right from across the room, and separated by a glass door.

I don’t have the heart to redo the whole damn reunion post. And the pictures don’t seem to be much of a success, either. For those of my readers that are linked to me on facebook, the pics are all up there.

Suffice it to say that it was a total and utter BLAST. I haven’t had as much fun in ages. The food was really divine, the weather was cool, so I could wear my dressy black pants and not overheat. Also, no mobility issues at all. I walked around socialising and no-one looked at me askance. In fact, the word “MS’ never came up once the whole night. It was like a little vacation, lol. There was no snobbishness at all, everyone was delighted to see everyone else, and it came back to me what a lovely bunch of classmates we were.

Michael was the perfect, perfect escort. He was so friendly, and more than one person came up to me to say they’d met my husband and he was so nice and friendly. Also, he took it upon himself to take photos of me with various groups of friends for which I am so grateful. He got lots and the people that were unable to attend, were very grateful to see the pics.

All in all, it was way, way better than I’d hoped. I was a bit nervous about the whole thing, even having second thoughts about going, but I’m so glad I did.  I missed those crazy people I was at school with, lol.

Tune in tomorrow, for the 8 things about me meme 😉 Yup, I was tagged, good and solid.

Written by Maggie

November 20, 2007 at 2:02 pm

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Blog of the day…

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Our neighbours at the back are tormenting me with the vile odours they generate. They braai (bbq) at ten pm on a week-night about three times a week, and the smoke wafts straight into our bedroom window, just as we’re getting ready to snuggle up for the night. And in this heat, it is not a pleasant experience to close all the windows. But we have to, otherwise we’ll be asphyxiated by the smoke. So we put the fan on to shift the hot air around, at least. Tonight, it smells like someone has set a pig alight! And not the prepared meat from the butcher’s, either!

My baby sis, Anne is having a baby GIRL!! They found out today. She is half-way through her pregnancy, and I can’t wait for little Sarah-Kate to make her entrance to the world. I am going to spoil that little Miss rotten.

I made my name a bit arse at SPAR tonight. M & I felt like having some rusks, him with his coffee, me with my rooibos tea. Only problem being that we did not have rusks in the house. M said if I’m willing to get out at SPAR, he’s willing to drive us. It was after 8 (their official closing time) but we decided to drive past and see if they were open. They were, so I hopped out the car, clutching R40, enough for bread, the rusks and an optional and unspecified ‘treat’. Once trawling down the ‘rusks’ aisle, I remembered M’s breakfast cereal that he likes is finished, so I took a packet off the shelf, grabbed the cheapest rusks I could find and a loaf of brown bread. (Don’t ask me to get white, ever). Got to the till, and I was R2 short, can you believe it. So I said to leave the bread (it was a bit stale, anyway). There was quite a queue behind me, and it was at this stage that the young guy who packs the groceries offered me some money for the bread. There I was, clutching the (not cheap) rusks, and the luxury cereal, and he was offering me his tips so that I could get the bread. I nearly cried, only I was a bit embarrassed at the whole thing, lol. Actually, this young man has been very kind to me in the past, when I have been battling mobility issues. He always made sure no-one took the trolley away from me at the till, knowing that I used it to get to the car. He always checks with me first, before he takes it away, even now. It is so nice to come across people that are so in tune with others’ needs and feelings. I never realized before tonight how fond I am of him. .

What else? Oh yes, burnt my hand to a crisp tonight. After we got back with the rusks, I made a cup of tea. It was a bit on the full side, and as I picked it up, a little of the boiling hot tea slopped over the edge of the mug, onto my hand. I got a shock and as a reflex, jolted the cup, sending about half of it all over my hand and arm. Ouch!

I’ve been having a lot of trouble with wordpress. I wrote out a lovely, long post about my reunion and when I tried to publish it to my site, the whole thing upped and vanished. I was so disgusted, as I had no back-up. I didn’t have it in me to write it again. I’ll give it another stab tomorrow. Till then, nighty-night.

Written by Maggie

November 19, 2007 at 11:36 pm

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Brilliant reunion.

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I had the best, best time tonight. It was way beyond the best I imagined it could be. It’s 11:52pm now, and I still want to have a quick bath, so I think I’ll write about it tomorrow. I’ve had a bit of trouble trying to upload photos, but let me see if I can leave you with one or two for now…

M and I before we left…


And here’s one of my and some good friends…


Till tomorrow then.

Written by Maggie

November 17, 2007 at 11:56 pm

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All a matter of perspective…

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 I had the most fun last night trying on outfits for the reunion. The invite said ‘smart-casual’. I hate being overdressed. Even more than being underdressed, so I thought I’d wear something uncomplicated and jazz it up with some jewellery etc. I got M to take some photo’s so I could see what went best.

I was horrified by this photo, in which I look horribly short and squat. Eventually deduced that it’s because Michael is so tall, and he’s looking down at me from behind the camera lens (from a height that reduces me to about 2cm tall, lol)

But I’d gone off the cream pants and decided to wear my charcoal ones instead. They go well with my new black crocs.

I’ll post a pic of the finished product tonight 🙂

Written by Maggie

November 17, 2007 at 8:49 am

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All detoxed up and nowhere to go… ;-)

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This morning I went for a Body Cleanse, which involves putting your feet in a basin of water with an element that causes the osmosis of toxins from your feet to the water. Beforehand, your readings are checked via the acupressure points on your fingers, and then these readings are compared to the ones taken after the detox. I know, it all sounds quite way-out, but it really works. You should see how filthy the water can look when the session is over.

I haven’t been for this treatment in ages. My initial readings were quite shockingly low. Even to me. After sitting with my feet in the deliciously cold water for an hour, the readings were looking quite a bit better.

And danged if I ain’t feeling a sight better, too!
(And no, it is not psychological. My feet feel less numb, and that counts for a lot).

I think I could stave off the dreaded (though beloved) C.O.R.T.I.S.O.N.E. for a while with this treatment. I certainly intend going again next week. Only problem is that it’s a R100 a pop, whereas the cort. is free on our medical aid. I think it may be worth it, though. We’ll see.

How classic a movie is Me, Myself and Irene? M & I caught the end of it during lunch. It was one of the first movies we went to watch as a couple and we laughed so hard that M got a mini asthma attack and had to go out the cinema to get some fresh air. Quite a deep and sometimes dark comedy in places. Certainly brought back some memories.

Written by Maggie

November 15, 2007 at 2:37 pm

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