Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Where have I been?

So where have I been and more importantly, do you care? I have been busy with work and kitten duty and just taking a break from the blog. I have been thinking very little about my multiple sclerosis and about multiple sclerosis in general. I haven't even been reading my MS friends' blogs. I have just been living in the moment, sometimes blissfully and sometimes woefully but I have just been breathing and going with the flow.

Christmas was wonderful. It started with Christmas Eve at BJM's house where I arrive early to help out/chat for the party that takes place at her home. Christmas was spent at my parents' house with my younger sister. It was her first Christmas home in three years because she has been in Iraq the last two years. My brother is stationed in Germany and he traveled to Rome and Turkey with some friends for the holidays.

Gifts were exchanged and I had great joy in my heart as presents were opened by family and friends. I think that is one of my most favorite parts of the holiday: buying gifts for others. It's a neat challenge to seek out something special for someone special.

My sister leaves tomorrow to go see her best friend for a few days. Then she is off to Afghanistan next month. It was weird to hear her say, "I'll see you in 2011!" I was at the house helping her make deviled eggs today. Something so simple compared to what she'll be doing next month.

So how was your holiday? I hope it rocked!

I'll try to come back with more regularity. :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Edison kitty


I *know* I haven't been updating the blog as I should but I have been busy being a kitty mom again. I adopted a two and a half month old kitten two weeks ago. His name is Edison. He is keeping me running from sunup to sundown.

We've been to the vet for our first series of shots. He has been treated for fleas and come out flea-free on the other end. He is three and a half pounds of cuteness with incredibly sharp claws.

INCREDIBLY sharp claws!

My legs are still trying to heal from all the claw marks from him scaling me like I am our seven and a half foot tall Christmas tree. I have to admit he is cute but those claws placed on my skin have caused me to curse every now and then.

He is darned cute in the tree even though he isn't supposed to be in it. Sometimes he just climbs it to sit amongst the branches. Most of the time he's knocking the ornaments out and I just pile them up instead of replacing them on the tree. Needless to say, our tree is looking a little pathetic now.

I talk to Edison about his big brother from another mother Franklin. I have a strong feeling that Franklin led me to Edison because I always talked to Franklin about how cute he must have been as a kitten. I had adopted Franklin as a two and a half year old cat so I missed kittenhood then. Now I am more than making up for that.

Edison also does this one-eyed wink that Franklin used to do. Even more reason to believe in Franklin's help from above.

That's all I feel like writing for now. Thank you for so many of your kind comments on here and on Facebook.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

And so it goes...

I am doing rather well with dealing with the loss of Franklin. Not that I didn't love him because I did but because I knew it was his time to go. He was just sick for so long and not eating and I knew he was suffering. On the night he was to be put down, the vet's office called to say they were on their way. As I was hanging up the phone Franklin started to make this guttural scream type of a noise and started to vomit on the floor. He never moved from that spot on the floor again. It was just too much for my poor sick baby.

It took three shots for Franklin to finally make it to kitty heaven. The little bugger just wouldn't stop breathing. He was a fighter to the end. I just kept petting him and telling him I loved him and that it was okay to go on. I cried and cried, knowing that soon they would take him away and I would never pet him again.

But there's news...

I *am* going to be a cat mom again! I had filled out the paperwork on Franklin's last evening and I told him all about it. He purred away so I figured he was okay with it. I have also been "talking" to him and asking him to guide me to a new kitty.

Last night I got the approval so I will have another cat by the end of the week! It looks like it will be a female, an orange tabby already named Patty. Her new name will be Edison. I am adopting from the local SPCA. My parents have even offered to pay the adoption fee!

This in no way diminishes my love for Franklin angel. It just shows him that my heart is still open to love. I adopted F from the local SPCA and my cat before him. I have always chosen cats that aren't kittens, ones a little older with their personality developed and a need for a forever home.

It's nice to post such pleasant news.

I will be going to my parents' house for Thanksgiving. It will be just the three of us and a 20 pound turkey. I like those numbers as I love turkey! Yummo!! My brother will be in Scotland and my sister just chose not to come home. I hope she comes home at Christmas as she deploys to Afghanistan in mid-January.

Wishing all of you a blessed Thanksgiving with family, friends, and fur babies.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Franklin

It is almost 4 a.m. for me and I am very tired. I just wanted to let you know that Franklin was put down last night at 9 p.m.

It was the most difficult thing I have ever done but things had turned for the worse. I will write more later, when I can.

:C

Friday, November 13, 2009

My miracle!

If you read yesterday's post then you know about my little pal, Franklin. Today I was supposed to put him down at 9:30.

There was a miracle! Praise be to the powers above.

I received a call from the vet at 8:46 p.m. last evening. It went to my voice mail because I was on the phone and I abhor call waiting. I got the message after nine when they close. I tried to call the vet's office anyway and the doctor answered.

She suggested we try chemotherapy on Franklin to extend his life instead of ending his life. We talked about it and I agreed to give it a try.

What a difference a day makes! Franklin is now home and napping at the top of the stairs. He purred the whole way home in the car and does so anytime I am near him. I am so happy that we may have the opportunity to be together for a little longer.

We still have to battle with pills three times a day but I can handle that. It takes love and patience, something I have for my wonder cat.

PS: Thanks for the messages on yesterday's post. They brought me comfort.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A broken heart






My heart is breaking. Franklin, who has been at the vet's since Monday, has had a slew of tests done and then surgery today. I was praying for a miracle.

I'm not going to get one.

The surgery found several tumors (seven) in his gut. When the vet called me (while I was teaching) they asked if I wanted to euthanize him right then. I said no. I wanted them to sew him back up and I wanted to see him one more time. I couldn't let him go yet. That is selfish but that is my prerogative right now. I have spent many wonderful years with him and I wanted one more day. One more day when he knew me and I could spend some time playing with him before he goes to sleep and doesn't wake up.

I just visited him yesterday on my day off and we played for 25 minutes. I brought his two snakie snake toys and rubbed him down with them and sang our snakie snake song. I brought him up to the window to see the outside twice. Hard to think that was his last view of the outdoors, that he'll never be coming home again.

I have made the appointment for 9:30 tomorrow morning. I will go in at 9 to see and play with him and take pictures. I will ask someone there to take a picture of the two of us as I don't have any of the two of us together. I will sing to him, bring him some catnip, and bring some toys. I want to have the most pleasant thirty minutes possible. I love him so dearly and deeply that I want him to know that he was a wonderful blessing in my life.

I adopted Franklin from a local humane society group in spring of 2000. I was newly separated from my husband who would not allow me to take my cat with me. Franklin was one of a few cats, the oldest at about two and a half, but he was definitely the lovey doveyest! He had been rescued from an abusive owner so we had a lot in common. Franklin also had a nervous condition where his fur was falling out.

I took him home that day. I figured, that like Charlie Brown's little Christmas tree, all he needed was a little love.

The first few days with him were awful! You weren't expecting that were you? He yowled and howled all night long that first evening, holed up in the back of a fake fireplace. I called the lady and begged her to take him back at once. No way could I live like that!

She managed to convince me to keep him for one more night and then I could call the next day and return him if I still insisted. Well, he was just as awful the next night so I tried calling the woman back. She wouldn't answer the phone for days. (Smart woman!) Suddenly, things started to cool down and we developed a sense of detente, a somewhat peaceful coexistence.

Franklin wouldn't let me out of his sight in the beginning. A closed door equalled a crying cat. It also equalled a cat who would literally smack himself into the door over and over until the door would pop open. Showers were now meant for two and all doors stayed open.

Then Franklin's fur started growing back, too. Without any medicine. All he needed was a little love after all.

We've been through a lot over the past almost decade. A divorce, other failed relationships, moving four times, my MS diagnosis, and my almost year-long sick leave from the past school year. Franklin was always there, letting me know I was loved and not alone, even when I felt that I was in deep and dark places. He would come to me when I cried and nuzzle me. He slept near me on the big comfy bed at night. In the morning he would be squeezed up tight between the end of the bed and me, tucked in so he knew the exact moment when I was awake which meant foodie time for him.

Now the lack of appetite of the last three weeks symbolize the tumors that were inside eating away at him. Franklin was a big cat but he has lost three pounds in three weeks. I used to call him Gobble Guts because he ate so much and so voraciously. Those days are gone. What I would give for a healthy Gobble Guts day!

If you are not a pet person then this might seem to be much ado about nothing to you. But, I know there are lots of pet people out there. I have seen your messages to me and I have appreciated them.

Tomorrow will be one of the hardest days of my life. I do not want to do this. I do not want to leave him there at the vet's office. I do not want to say goodbye to my most loyal and littlest pal. How do you say thank you for all the years of love and selflessness that Franklin gave to me?

Maybe there is a miracle in this story, just not the one I hoped for. I had years with a wonderful feline who loved me as much as I loved him. I know tomorrow there will be a river of tears, a torrent of anguish. I know I will be sending my little boy to a place without pain. I just hope he can feel my love and gratitude. That is what I will pray for through my tears.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sadness again

Today was my Tysabri infusion. I cried all the way there and all the way home because I am so sad about Franklin. He's at the vet's now awaiting tomorrow's X rays and ultrasound.

When I came home in the middle of the day I found F on the big comfy bed. He had thrown up a large amount of bile on the bedspread. However, he started to purr as soon as I came up the stairs to pet him.

When I came home from the Ty appointment the two of us went up to get the comforter to wash it. Franklin likes to "help" make the bed so he was delighted with a new comfy and fresh smelling bedspread. Then he proceeded to loll all over the bed. I spent some time up there petting him and scratching him under the chin. He had a little snooze before I corralled him into his carrier.

I hate leaving him at the vet's but the women there adore him and know him well now. I asked them to give him fluids tomorrow after his procedures. That has to help a little.

I'm thankful for my bestest pal. I'll miss him something fierce tonight at bedtime.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

More on Franklin

My little furball is still not eating much. He generally licks the gravy off the soft food and maybe eats a few kibbles of hard food. Not good!

We went back to the vet yesterday and F got checked out all over again. The good news was no fever so his two antibiotics must be working. The vet felt a bump on F's sternum which could be a tumor. We decided that Franklin would be going back to the vet on Monday to stay overnight for testing on Tuesday. Tuesday will be the X rays and ultrasound day as they look for potential tumors.

If there are no discernible tumors then it looks to be FIP which is fatal. I try to remain detached about it but inside there is a lot of hurt and late at night the tears come.

Thanks to all of you who have written to ask about F and those who have sent up prayers. I really appreciate it. God bless you!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Franklin update

He's out of the hospital since Saturday after spending last Thursday and Friday back in for meds and fluids. He's eating teensy bits of food but not a lot. Frankly, I don't know how Franklin can eat so little and still act so healthy. He purrs and loves me still but his belly must be a rumbling.

He goes in for a checkup on Saturday morning. We'll see what the doc has to say about the whole situation.

Thanks for your prayers and thoughts. My littlest pal is still hanging in there.

Time to go watch Survivor now. Happy early weekend!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Update on Franklin

Franklin goes to the Fruit Valley Animal Clinic which is by the college near our home. It's so close to our home, less than 5 minutes away, and more convenient than his prior vet. Plus, they are open late hours which has been a Godsend since he has been sick. They have been really good about getting him in!

I talked to the vet yesterday and things didn't sound too good. They have possible reasons why he hasn't been eating and the top two are not good: A virus called FIP which is fatal and a tumor or cancer. They can't really diagnose either one of those things easily.

I visited him yesterday for about 20 minutes and he gave me some attitude about being in the hospital. In a way that's good because he still is himself and feels good enough to do that. He was lovey dovey by the end of the visit. The topper is when the vet tech came back in to get him and he gave her kisses! I guess someone is still a little pizzed at me for now!

I hope he can come home today from the hospital and be with me. I miss him something terrible!

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sadness

My bestest little pal, Franklin, is back in the veterinary hospital again. He was there Monday into Tuesday after not eating much for about 5 days. They told me that he *had* to eat or he would go into liver failure.

Well, he's not eating so I called twice today and he's back in the hospital. I am just heartbroken and sad beyond belief. I cried the whole way home from the hospital and then back in my humble apartment.

I know people without pets sometimes don't get "our" attachment to an animal. I love my furry little buddy. He's a big part of my quiet little life. He sleeps with me on the big comfy bed, greets me at the door when I come home, and generally makes himself look loving and adorable the rest of the time. He's even cute when he's asleep.

He has been with me since my split from my wasband. He's been there through a husband, a divorce, lots of short term dating, an MS diagnosis, and four homes. He's even been through literal thick and thin with me. We're in the thick part now.

So if you're a pet person, and especially if you're a praying sort of pet person, think of Franklin the Wonder Cat and send one up there for him. He's just got to start eating and get healthy again. I simply can't ponder any other outcome.

Come on Franklin, eat some foodies for Mommy!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chef Weebs

Grab on to your aprons because I am cooking. Okay, don't get too excited. It's not exactly making something from scratch but I am making Tuna Helper! I rarely cook, maybe once or twice a week so this is big stuff.

Yummy and I happen to like Tuna Helper so that's a good thing.

Work was good. I didn't mix up any meds. Work went along swimmingly. Tomorrow is expected to be around 70 degrees so that means shorts for me. Yippee.

That's all I've got but I have been trying to post more often. The truth is that I've not had that much to kvetch about which means life is good. I'm trying to be and stay more positive.

Good night all!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Drain Bamaged or is it...

If you read yesterday's tiny post then you know I was tired. I now know why I was dragging tail all day. Chalk it up to some minor brain damage...

I lined my morning meds up today to take after ye olde shower. I sat down and started opening and closing pill bottles. I was on the last bottle when *alas* I realized yesterday's error. The last bottle was not my Provigil which keeps me awake and going. It was, instead, my Klonopin which helps to knock me out while it fights off muscle cramps and stiffness!

No wonder I about passed out on the drive in to work in the morning. I already take some meds which slow me down in the morning and the Klonopin on top of that made me doubly tired in the inky early morning darkness.

I remedied the situation and placed the Provigil in the right place and sucked down that pill along with the rest of my morning pharmacopia.

I'm still not sure why I took my pills that way this morning because I NEVER do it this way but something moved me to do it. I'm grateful for whatever higher power that was that helped me out. We all need a little help now and then.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fatigued

Folks, I am tired, worn out, exhausted, insert other appropriate phrase here. Call me Fatigueo Girl with a giant F on my sweatshirt and one on my cape.

I slept most of the weekend away and I was still exhausted today. The Provigil didn't seem to even kick in. I came home from work as soon as it ended (skipping a meeting) to take a nap.

No dice there.

I kid you not when I say that the phone rang once and my neighbor knocked on my door four times. Four flipping times.

'Twas no nap to be had today.

Turns out my neighbor's apartment was robbed and the door was kicked in. He wanted to know if I saw or heard anything, which I didn't. All I wanted from life was a nap not a ransacking of my neighbor's place.

Now it's time for some reading and sleep. Please do not knock on my door or call!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Another week down...

Another week down, a short one at that with only 4 working days, but it felt like oh so much longer. Today was Friday so yippee for that and the drinks we had after work. I like to call our little klatch the Meeting of the Minds. Others in the group think that's rather funny and it is. We get together to debrief and empty our minds of all of our worries.

I am starting to work on my next big fund raising project for work. I have done two projects in the last three years with nothing going on last year because I was out of work due to MS. Year one was raising money for Malaria No More and donating bed nets to people in Africa. Year two was raising money for the John Dau Medical Clinic in Sudan. This year we are going to raise money for Heifer International. Check them out at www.heifer.org to learn all the ins and outs. In a nutshell, the donated money goes to purchase animals that are given to people around the world who raise them and then pass on the offspring and teach others how to raise the animals. It's a sustainability project that works internationally along with several projects within the United States.

Hey, a thought just occurred to me! I have started exercising again for half hour intervals. I'm no Buns of Steel here but I am walking and shaking my ample booty a bit. I have also stopped eating a lot of the foods that I used to be addicted to. I am breaking the binging habit. I'm not saying that I am eating healthy all of the time but I have cut way back on the amounts I am eating. Something is changing within me.

Also, therapy looks like it is going to wind down here within the next six months or so. I am no longer the angry and defiant woman that I used to be. A lot of the stuff that I used to carry around has been taken off my yoke. Actually, consider me yoke-less. I am no longer tethered to anything that has to be carried around all of the time. I have learned to let things goooooo. There is less stress in my life which is a great thing when you have MS. I still battle depression but that is well under control with meds. I'll still be taking them but cutting the strings of therapy loose from my life.

All right folks, it's about 9 p.m. which is my bedtime (laugh if you must) and I am not proofreading this so sorry for the lameo, rambling post!

Night.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy anniversary to me!

Today makes 13 infusions and one year of successful Tysabri treatment! Woo Woo!!

I lucked out and had school off thanks to Queen Isabella so I didn't have to take any more time off for this month. I did take Friday off as a whole day for a different medical appointment. I also had another med checkup today after my Tysabri.

It was a busy day, all in all.

How do I like the Tysabri? I love it. The worst part is having to take off time to have it infused. The best part is that it's once a month, four seconds worth of an IV stick, I get to watch good cable, and I feeeeeeeeeeel better.

I feel so much better than I did a year ago. Last year I had terribly weak and painful arms. I had horrid fatigue and issues with severe depression. I was losing my train of thought as I was teaching. I was, in a word, a mess.

Now I feel like I am living a different life. Tysabri has been in me for a year now working its magic. I am still tired and I need a lot of sleep but I go to bed early to get up early. I take my Provigil and that helps keep me puttering along during the day. I take my morning med menagerie and off to work I go with some pep in my step.

I am mostly on top of my paper work and my grades. More on top of things than usual, I'd say. I'm happy most of the time. I smile. I joke and laugh with the kids. I don't let things stress me out as much. I do have some issues with my eyesight lately but they are pretty much benign. I sometimes lose clarity and everything blurs together. If I work my eyeballs right then I can see enough to get by until all is clear again. This only lasts for a short while so it's not worth a call to the neuro yet. I'm keeping watch on it, tongue in cheek.

So happy anniversary to me and to Tysabri. It's been a wild ride.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Much ado about nothing

Yes, I have been away for a while. Yes, I have neglected ye olde blog. Yes, I have been keeping my head above water. The good news is that I just have not had anything to kvetch about so I have been keeping my distance from the blog.

Just today I received two messages asking me if all was right in my universe. The answer is a resounding yes. Work is going *much* better than last year at this time. Last year I was floundering and had been out sick a lot by this time. This year finds me doing much better health-wise. Little fatigue, less pain, and my brain is working at peak strength when I need it. I have a lovely little classroom and I am in love with my new SMART board. It's been down for two days and I was bereft without it.

But truly, I am doing so well it is rather astonishing. I do go to bed early because I love me some sleep. I am a gal who can hit the hay at 8:30 and then awake at 5:30. I do still need my Provigil to get me going along with the rest of my morning meds. Then I am off around 6:30 driving my short route to work.

I loved my birthday time. It's great to be 39 and on the right side of the dirt as I have mentioned before. I love a birthday and feel as if it is my own personal holiday. I must have had at least 40 or so happy birthday messages on Facebook on my special day. What a great way to feel like a star!

There is some news in my little part of the world that is not all sunshine and roses. I just found out that my younger sister will be deploying again, in January to Afghanistan. She'll turn 26 in a few weeks but she is looking forward to going. She is an engineer by training and a captain.

I'll worry about her of course but I am so proud of her. She loves what she does and she is good at it. Thank goodness that we have an all-volunteer army so that there is no need for a draft.

I do hope we get ourselves out of the quagmires that are Afghanistan and Iraq sooner rather than later but until we do, thank goodness for all of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and women, and Marines.

Anything new in your world?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Birthday blogging

Today is my 39th birthday. Can I get a woot woot?

What did I do today? Did I have a raucous good time? Not so much, but I am totally okay with that. I like my quiet little life. It beats the miserable one I had when I was married to the wasband.

Yesterday we had my birthday lunch at work. I had requested homemade meatballs and sauce on sub rolls and a homemade almond chocolate cheesecake. Yummo! After that I received a flower and teddy bear delivery from my sister. Then at the end of the day I drove home and read some more Dan Brown and took a little nap.

Today was quiet again but busy with little errands. I started out the day doing laundry which I desperately needed to do for days, got my hair cut, returned overdue library books, went to the bank, off to Burger King for a cherry icee, and then on to the grocery store. I put the groceries away on the table and once again hit the bed with Dan Brown. (Sounds naughty, doesn't it?)

After the nap I checked Facebook and read lots of happy birthday wishes. (Thanks everyone!) I put away the clean laundry, changed the bedding, shredded some mail, and vacuumed the living room. Talked to my best pals today too. My what a busy girl I have been...

Tomorrow is more of my birthday extravaganza as my parents are coming over with some gifts. Then we are off to see "The Informant" and on to the local Chinese buffet. Can you picture some delicious crab rangoon and coconut shrimp? Double yummo.

I don't need a big party or lots of gifts. I just need to be on the right side of the dirt.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

So sorry ...

I'm so sorry but if you can believe it, I forgot all about the blog recently. I have been so busy and somewhat productive with school and that has been taking over my life.

This past weekend I slept my Saturday away and woke up when most people were getting ready for dinner. I know, you can hate me for being so lazy but I have no one counting on me for anything so I can cuddle up with my Dan Brown novel, my little Franklin the wonder cat and my comfy bed.

Sunday was a pleasant day with me sleeping until 10:30 a.m. and then thrusting myself into the shower so I could meet up with my parents for a fun lunch out. We went to Rudy's which is closing for the season soon and offers up all sorts of yummies like fish sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, fries and such. It's right on the shore of Lake Ontario and you just *have* to go at least once during the summer. You just have to watch out for the sneaky and subversive seagulls that are just waiting to steal your food away.

Yep, I totally had no cares in this world about ye olde blog and writing something profound, or more likely, more drivel. I hope you accept my apology. I didn't mean to ignore all of you!

Weebs (who will be turning 39 this weekend!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tidbits

School is going smashingly well. I adore my little fifth graders and the year is off to a great start. I know I have been neglecting ye olde blog and its readers but I beg your forgiveness.

I have a Tysabri treatment tomorrow and next month will be one year on Ty. I really think this stuff is working for me. Yippee.

A *huge* shout out to B.J.M. who bought and brought me the new Dan Brown novel. Another yippee!

Wishing everyone a fab September,
Weebs

Thursday, September 10, 2009

School bites

I have survived the meetings and the last minute set up of my classroom. I have made it through the first day and now the second. Yahoo. Today we actually did some learning and I did some teaching.

I am getting used to the SMART board in my room which is a fantastic piece of technology. My neighbor teacher has been kind enough to show me lots of things that I needed to know to use it. Today we played with freeflour.com during our snack time and the kiddos loved it. It's a game much like freerice.com except this one asks Social Studies questions and for each question correct a spoonful a flour is donated to people in need. In ten spoonfuls there is enough flour to make a bun. We played long enough to make two buns. Tomorrow we'll play freerice.com.

My class has only been there for two days but this seems like a group that I could really enjoy. What a difference from last year both in kiddos and in myself. I was actually enjoying what I was doing with them today. I feel much better than I did at this time last year. What a difference a year makes.

Monday, September 7, 2009

< than 48 hours

Anyone remember that the symbol < means less than in math? If you do then good for you. I have less than 48 hours before I really start teaching again. Yikes! I was so nervous last night but I did a tiny amount of prep work today so I am feeling a little calmer.

I typed up a new class list, a new schedule, a word search with everyone's name on it, and printed out our classroom rules. I still need to go through the September folders to see what else might be useful for the first day and first week.

I am also calmer because I had a nice nap today after getting out to the grocery store and buying a little bag of delicious Paula Reds. Yummo. I also got some milk so I can have my cereal, blueberry muffin shredded mini-wheats, for breakfast.

Tomorrow is meetings and last minute room preparations. Wednesday is the really early real deal with students and everything.

Argggggggggggh! (Charlie Brown yell there to get the nervousness out.)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The last hurrah

It's almost time to start work for real. Meetings start on Tuesday and kiddos come on Wednesday of next week. There's no turning back now!

I worked on my room on Thursday by myself, unpacking lots of boxes. Then on Friday I worked with a coworker/friend from 9-2:30 and we got the room into school-worthy shape. The new room looks great and clean. My SMART board isn't hooked up to the projector so I haven't been able to play with it yet. I really hope I can do some of that on Tuesday.

If I say so myself, the room is really ready for kids to come in. I have a few things left to do like put up some fabric on a small bulletin board and putting name tags on desks and the classroom door. I do not have any major bulletin boards in the room and none outside my room. That means a lot less upkeep for me. I guess the end room does have some advantages!

I have done the shopping at Wal-Mart and purchased a lot of crayons, scissors, white board markers, pens, and writing paper. I have purchased no folders or notebooks yet. I'll see what the kids need when they get there and go out and buy them after. I did buy a football for the kids and a new kickball. I also bought two Rubik's cubes and a go fish game. I am on the lookout for more Sudoku and word search books. I already have lots of books for free reading and silent reading in the room.

My eating has been fairly decent until today when I sabotaged myself by not eating breakfast and then going shopping at Wal-Mart during lunch time while I was buying food for back to school. That was a not so smart move. I came home and fell face first into Combos and Ho-Hos.

I think I may go to the fruit stand tomorrow and buy some more apples and corn. I need my fiber! I have also discovered that I like an apple called Paula Red. I am breaking out of my Macintosh rut.

So this is my last hurrah, the last weekend before work really starts. I hope all the teachers out there are enjoying this long weekend, especially those who have been back to work already.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The big comfy bed and other tidbits...

I had a lovely time on Tuesday checking out the Hobby Lobby craft store. I even purchased some things for school: fabric for bulletin boards, border for the boards, some Rubik's cubes to stump the early finishers, a little teacher's plaque for my room, and two new display boards in light blue and purple. It just happened that everything I bought was for school; it certainly wasn't intentional.

After that we went to lunch and my friend paid the tab (How nice!) while I forced her to take some money for the tip. We had these great sandwiches at the Chicago Grill. They had turkey, bacon, and melted swiss on them and they were divine. The weather was also fully cooperative as it was a perfect time for me and my MS: 70s, sunny, and with a gentle breeze.


**Off topic ( not that there was one)**

Is anyone else besides me excited for Dan Brown's new novel to come out? September 14th or 15th I think is when it's expected to hit the shelves. I believe it's entitled "The Lost Symbol". I am so psyched that I may just run right out, or at least try and walk quickly, to the local bookstore to pick it up.


**Returning to my previous train of thought**

So Tuesday was a nice day with actual face time with a friend. I came home and took a nap with the wonder cat joining me on the big comfy bed. I kid you not when I type the big comfy bed because that is what I actually call it. It's a queen size bed for me and one feline. When I first got hired at the job I currently have I went out and bought two pieces of furniture- a couch and a bed.

When I had first left my wasband I had no furniture except a kitchen table and some chairs. I also had a computer, a TV, my clothes and some other whatnots that were actually mine. Other than that, I had nada. I first slept on the floor and watched TV with my kitchen chair. Thankfully, my trusty friend BJM and her sister-in-law helped move my pathetic amount of belongings and they brought me stuff to use like a couch and a bed. I will be forever grateful to them for that.

But when I knew I was going to be paid a real salary instead of the paltry Catholic school wages I was making, I had to go buy me some furniture. I picked out a couch rather quickly. I sat on all the ones I liked, bypassing the butt ugly one my wasband had bought, and found one that was girly and comfortable. The sleigh bed frame came second in my purchases. Then it was mattress time. I tried out mattresses for about 45 minutes narrowing the crop down to the final and winning mattress. I'd just walk from one to the others and push on them and then climb up on them and lay down. I feel that I have picked out the right one for me, not too hard or soft, and it has served me well for nine years now.

When I say I love my bed, I mean it. I spend a lot of time sleeping, reading, and napping on it. If my bed was a man, I'd marry him. I know he'd be a perfect fit.

PS: I simply must go to work tomorrow to unpack and start to organize my classroom. I was a total lollygagger today and slept and read until almost 1 p.m. I must get my body up when the alarm goes off. I'll let you know how that goes.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Small stuff

Tomorrow I am going to Hobby Lobby (a craft store) with a friend/coworker. I hear this place is going to knock my socks off but I'll be wearing sandals anyway. Not sure what I will be suckered into purchasing but I imagine there will be something I must have.

This will give me some much needed face time with another person. Yippee. I'll be back amongst the living again. It will also be good because I will not be lolling around all day as I have to get up early to meet my pal.

Wednesday will be my first day back to school which means I will be cleaning out my room. Some of you may remember that I had to switch rooms at the end of the last school year. That means a lot of unpacking and organizing. Sigh, what a pain that will be.

Off off topic**
Can someone tell me why I am waking up at 3 a.m. every day? It's freaking annoying. I get up to pee and then am awake for an hour or two. This chit has to stop SOON because work starts next week. I get up for work around 5:30 so this will just not be possible to live on this schedule.

In the immortal words of fifth graders: The End!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

It's official ...

I made the reservations today for my ticket to fly to Maine over my Christmas break. I am going to see my college BFF for the first time in about ten or eleven years. That's so exciting that I am acting like a little kid! We talk pretty much every day but it's been a long time since we've actually been in the same place.

I've been to Maine a few times to visit and she came here when I got married in 1995. The last time I saw her I was still with my wasband and we've been divorced since December of 2000. Since then she's been engaged and built a house with her future betrothed. She's a successful business woman and been kind enough to put up with all my shenanigans for years since we became friends in 1989 during our freshman year at Sweet Briar College.


Off that topic*
How's the eating going you ask?

I don't plan to really start my Weight Watchers program yet. That's a craptacular disclaimer which means I have been eating things that just don't work so well with the program. The good thing is that I think my meds are getting back in to my blood level so I am not as depressed. However, I am lonely as all get out and missing face time with friends. I mean I talk to my one friend (and yes, I have more than one friend, smart a$$e$) every day but there is still that disconnect of being with someone else. In no way am I advocating a loveless marriage just to have someone to talk to regularly.

It would be nice to be back at work for the face time I so desperately need. That is coming soon enough. In the meantime, I have things to do like anticipate my trip even if I will need a seat belt extender, sigh.

PS: BJM, faithful BFF from HS, is supposed to watch Franklin the wonder cat while I am away. Here's a shout out to her as I have been unable to contact her lately for a phone chat. Thanks in advance, B!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Weight Watchers

I have been on WW before with some level of success and some level of failure. I am considering restarting the program on my own again with the materials that are from the last go round. It means a total retraining of my food brain but I have done it before and I can do it again.

I am thinking about asking my college BFF to join in with me. She wants us to diet/eat better and lose weight before I arrive at her house in Maine. Then we will feast with reckless abandon for a week and then rejoin the WW lifestyle.

I have also made a commitment to using the WW message boards 4-5 times a week, especially this one thread called "Afraid to Lose". It's filled with bright articulate women who write about their struggles, past and current, and their reasons for being afraid to lose weight. Like Dr. Phil says, "There's always a payoff." Even with being overweight there are reasons people stay that way and it's more than just the taste of food.

For me, the reasons go back way in my past but almost always go back to that point where I feel unlovable. I harbor the feeling of being unworthy, of being a bad girl and I'm not sure why I started to feel that way. All I know is that I do feel that way. Part of my talk therapy is to get to the crux of that feeling.

It's time to get out my materials, dust them off, reread and start planning out healthier meals. School is a-coming and it would be great to be in a routine for the start of a new year.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

P.S.

I see that I have had my first visitor from Central America and from another new continent, South America! Yippee.

That means I have had readers from all of the continents except for Antarctica. I'm still gunning for the continent to the south though.

Thanks readers.
Weebs

Depression

I have definitely been in a depression lately. Probably because I have been non-compliant with my antidepressants almost all summer. Doh!

I will be taking all of my meds starting tomorrow. My ADs need to build back up in my bloodstream and work is starting soon. I can no longer spend my days in bed until 3 or 5 p.m.

That's all I have for now...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Time and weight

In two weeks I will be back at school. Two flipping weeks, can you believe it? I haven't written much about it because school is still closed until next Wednesday. Then I have less than a week to get my room up and ready after having to switch rooms at the end of the last school year. I think there is still some of the other teacher's stuff in my room that needs to be moved and vice versa. One of the good things about the new room is that I have a SMART board even though I have no idea how to use it.

**Off topic
My cooling vest came today! It's still in the box though because it is so much cooler and nicer today.

**Back on topic
A SMART board is an awesome tool to have in the classroom but it is always better when you have some actual training in how to use it. I guess I will rely on my coworkers to help me out with it and maybe the students too. They had one in their classes last year. I was supposed to get one last school year but because I was out so much of the year they bypassed my room and they never installed one the last two months I was there. That leaves me feeling dumb about the SMART board.

**Other topic
Weight! How many times have I kvetched about that? I have too much of it and need to lose lots of it. But here I am at the end of my summer almost as fat as I was at the beginning of the summer. Heck, I weigh slightly more because I weigh less when I work because I can't eat and drink freely because of the bathroom issues.

I have an appointment with my shrink on Thursday and it is time to delve deeply into this issue of weight. Being obese isn't a good thing ever let alone when you have multiple sclerosis. I worry about waking up and needing health care from someone else like a nurse who would never be able to lift me.

I have to do something about my weight. It's a huge mental part for me and goes back to when I was young and overweight. I have always been overweight except when I was sick with my eating disorder. Then I was thin and purging several times a day and running and doing thousands of sit ups. I just don't know what normal eating is. I need to find out and start down that road.

Sigh, Weebs out.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Weebology: yet another meme

***********FOODOLOGY******


What is your salad dressing of choice?
Ranch or Italian Seasonings dressing

What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
I don't have one. Weird, huh? I do like Olive Garden for the salad!

What are your pizza toppings of choice?
Meatballs and sausage.

What do you like to put on your toast?
I almost never eat toast but I am considering Nutella with all the new TV commercials.

What food could you eat for 2 weeks and never get tired of it?
Pizza maybe but I doubt it.

***********TECHNOLOGY***************

How many televisions are in your house?
Just one.

What color cell phone do you have?
It's a gray trac-fone.

***************BIOLOGY******************

Are you right-handed or left-handed?
Right-handed.

Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
Wisdom teeth.

What is the last heavy item you lifted?
My dresser to make the bed.

Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
Yep.

If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
Nope. No thanks.

If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
I wouldn’t change it. I kind of like my name.

Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?
No way.

************DUMBOLOGY******************

How many pairs of flip flops do you own?
No actual flip flops but sandals. I wear the same pair of slippers and LL Bean shoes every day.

Last person you talked to?
Lola

Last person you hugged?
My family, yesterday when my brother left.

**************FAVORITOLOGY****************

Season?
Autumn even though it means school!

Holiday?
Christmas

Day of the week?
Saturday

Month?
September

***********CURRENTOLOGY*****************

Missing someone?
My brother who just left for Germany.

Mood?
Refreshed

What are you listening to?
The TV in the background

Watching?
TV's on but I am not watching it. It's more for background noise.

Worrying about?
Getting my weight and health under control!

***************RANDOMOLOGY*****************

First place you went this morning?
The bathroom, of course.

What's the last movie you saw?
The Time Traveler's Wife (I didn't really care for it but my brother paid)

Do you smile a lot?
Not as much as I used to.

Sleeping alone tonight?
Nope. Franklin the wonder cat sleeps up on the bed, too.

***************OTHEROLOGY*****************

Do you have any nicknames?
Velma, J Ski, Weeble, Weebs, Jewel

Do you always answer your phone?
Not if I am exercising or doing something else that keeps me busy.

It’s four in the morning and you get a text message, who is it?
My little phone is always off so no text messages.

If you could change your eye color what would it be?
I wouldn't.

What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic?
Never been to a Sonic because we don't have them here.

Do you own a digital camera?
Yes I do, an easy to use Kodak.

Have you ever had a pet fish?
No, although I wanted a turtle in college.

Favorite Christmas song(s)
Not sure anymore love them all. I do love the Snoopy Christmas album and Josh Groban and Michael Buble'

What's on your wish list for your birthday?
Surprisingly nothing at the moment and my birthday is about a month away.

Can you do push ups?
Maybe one girlie one.

Can you do a chin up?
No, but I can lift my chin up.

Does the future make you more nervous or excited?
Both for different reasons and the same reasons!

Do you have any saved texts?
Yes, one from my sister.

Ever been in a car wreck?
Yes.

Do you have an accent?
I say no but when I talk to friends in other parts of the country they say I do.

What is the last song to make you cry?
Home by Michael Buble'

Plans tonight?
Nope, staying in as always and watching some TV or some Netflix.

Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom?
Yes, more than once. Thankfully I have friends who have helped me out.

Name 3 things you bought yesterday?
Orange Hi C, small fries, a McDouble sandwich

Have you ever been given roses?
Many times

Current hate right now?
My fatigue and energy levels.

Anybody change your life?
Yes, for better and for worse. Certain men got me into situations and certain men helped get me out.

How did you bring in the New Year?
Asleep long before the ball dropped.

What song represents you?
Lost by Michael Buble'

Would you go back in time if you were given the chance?
Yes, but would I know what I know now? If so, I would NOT get married.

Have you ever dated someone longer than a year?
Yes, my wasband and I dated for several years before we were married.

Do you have any tattoos/piercings?
Ears pierced and no tattoos

Will you be in a relationship 4 months from now?
A friendly one with my cat, yes.

Does anyone love you?
I think so and I try to return love to them also.

Would you be a pirate?
No way. Too dirty and all that scurvy nonsense.

What songs do you sing in the shower?
Usually made up songs because I am a dork.

Ever had someone sing to you?
No, I don't think so. I am pretty sure Michael Buble' was singing to everyone at the concert.

When did you last cry?
Yesterday when my brother left to go back to Europe.

Do you like to cuddle?
Yes, but only for a certain amount of time and then I get sweaty. Ack!

Have you held hands with anyone today?
Nope.

Who was the last person you took a picture of?
My parents and brother.

What kind of music did you listen to in elementary school?
70s music because that's when I was in elementary school.

Are most of the friends in your life new or old?
A mix, although the best ones have been around for a while.

Do you like pulpy orange juice?
Argh, no.

What is something your friends make fun of you for?
For being a dork.

What were you doing at 12 AM last night?
I was actually awake reading, trying to fall asleep again.

What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up?
I gotta go to the bathroom.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A shortie

Today my brother left to go back to Germany. It was good to have him home but so sad to see him leave again. He has openly said he won't be home for a few years and he has Afghanistan in his future.

I went over to my parents' house and we had a delicious ham dinner and rhubarb pie. I watched most of "We Are Marshall" with him while we splayed out across my parents' bed. We took some pictures outside on the lawn. We hugged. Then it was time for him to go.

I was parked behind him on the lawn so I pulled out first and headed my way and he went in the opposite direction. I was listening to my pretend boyfriend, Michael Buble', and I started to cry as I drove away. What was Michael singing? A song called "Home"...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

One word answers: a new meme

It's harder than you think!! Here is what you are supposed to do...and please don't spoil the fun...copy and paste into your own note, type in your answers and tag a bunch of people - including me.

Where is your cell phone......................purse
Your hair........................................graying
Your mother....................................worrier
Your father.....................................golfer
Your favorite thing............................books
Your dream last night.........................sexy
Your favorite drink............................cool
Your dream/goal...............................peacefulness
The room you are in...........................living
Your fear........................................illness
Where do you want to be in 6 years........healthy
Muffins..........................................fresh
One of your wish list items...................self-confidence
Where you grew up........................... rural
The last thing you did..........................typed
What are you wearing.........................clothes
Your TV..........................................news
Your pets........................................sleeping
Your computer.................................necessity
Your life.........................................quiet
Your mood......................................pondering
Your car.........................................silver
Favorite store................................. unchosen
Your summer...................................dwindling
Your favorite color.............................green
When is the last time you laughed............evening
Last time you cried..............................yesterday
Three of my favorite foods....................chocolate, cheesecake, pizza
Three places I would rather be right now....... Maine, Washington, Italy

Leaving on a jet plane maybe?


I may be leaving on a jet plane but instead of going to Roma it looks like I will be going to Maine instead. My BFF from college lives in Maine and she asked me to come if I didn't go to Italy. So Christmas looks to be stateside but happy in a different way.

I haven't seen my best pal in about ten years, since I was still married. My siblings will be in Rome and my parents will be in Las Vegas. I stayed home alone this past Christmas as my parents were in LV and my siblings were in Iraq. At least this year I know everyone will be safe. I guess holidays truly change as you grow up and everyone moves away.

It's sad in a way because we'll probably never have a Christmas where we're all together again. Both my siblings will be in the Army which will take them far and away and my brother has told us he won't be home again in the states for a while. It's the same with Thanksgiving. Those are my two favorite holidays and we're so far apart. Maybe that's why those two days seem more special than ever now that we're separated.

I guess going to Maine will just be another way to celebrate. And I'll be able to decorate two trees instead of just one. You have to look on the bright side.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Happy birthday


Happy belated birthday to my blog, Happy belated birthday to my blog, Happy belated birthday to my blog, Happy belated biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirthday to my blog!

I went back today to look up when I started ye olde blog and it was at the beginning of last August. So somehow in all my summer slothiness I missed my 1st birthday. So here I am celebrating a little bit late but you have to admit my cake looks fabulous. There's plenty of cake for all of you and the best part is it contains no calories.

I reread all of my August entries and thought to myself, "D@mn, I used to write well!" I'm not quite sure what happened to me along the way but I feel like you're not getting the best of me anymore. Maybe the slow corroding of my brain is eating away at my humor cells.

I do notice I am not complaining about going back to school and being afraid of it like I was last year. I am not in as much pain as I was so I will place the thanks for that squarely on Tysabri. A few more infusions and it will be my Tysabri year anniversary. Tomorrow is infusion number eleven or twelve but because we get them every 4 weeks you have more than 12 infusions in a calendar year.

I'm looking forward to my Tysabri as always because I get to watch real cable TV. Afterwards I am going out to lunch at Applebee's with a colleague of mine so that will be nice too. I may even sneak a drink in there at lunch. Then again I may just have water. That will save some calories and some money. Money is always running low at this time of the summer.

Everyone always says teachers have such a plum job getting summers off. It is great, don't get me wrong, but we don't get paid in the summer so you have to save money all year long so you can get through your summer. We have to be good financial planners although I am in some serious debt. Serious debt. But I live with it and try to live within my means and pay it down.

Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting and telling me things in person or on Facebook. It means a lot to me to have people who still read even after a whole year. Thank you!

Weeble Girl 8-D

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cooling vest


Above is a picture of the cooling vest I ordered today. I am tired of the heat and humidity of the past few days so I relented and purchased one from the MS Shoppe. It was marked down to $135.99 I think, if my memory serves me correct. I am hoping this will be a good buy for me.

I got the biggest size to fit my portly frame. I figure I can wear it on hot days and maybe I'll even debut it at work when I go in and try to set up my new room in September. If it's really helpful then maybe I'd even break it out during the hot days at the beginning of the school year because we don't have any air conditioning.

We'll see how it fits and feels first, before I wear it at all. Then if it fits and feels okay I can wear it around my little apartment. Then maybe I can move it out into public and see how I adjust to life with a cooling vest. Perhaps I'll sew a letter or a snazzy symbol on the vest so I'll be like a super hero for those with MS.

Anyone have any ideas about what I could sew on there, feel free to drop them off as a comment.

Does anyone else have a vest that they actually use? If so, how does it work for you? I'd love to hear any responses you might have.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thoughts....

I wonder if other MSers wonder what the future will bring for them. It's been on my mind lately and more so now that I caught this story from Facebook that showed MS in mice being cured at McGill University. Here's the link to copy and paste if you'd like to read more:

http://www.physorg.com/news169211700.html

I also saw on Facebook today a comment by another MS blogger about seeing an older MSer using a walker and being helped to the bathroom by her daughter. She hoped for a cure so she wouldn't be in the same situation. I responded that I would like a cure too because I don't have any kids or a spouse to help me if I was in the same situation.

I sometimes wonder about life with MS five, ten, twenty years from now. I know MS brings with it so many surprises. That's perhaps the most difficult part of the disease when you're in remission, the unknowing of what will happen next. Will I wake up unable to move part of my body? Will I wake up with vision issues, unable to see from one eye? Will I wake up with such weakness or numbness that it affects how I move?

They say people don't get MS until they get MS. That may be partly true in some sense. MS is so different for each person who has it that even if we all blogged about it no one would be able to keep up. Heck, I can't even keep up with all the blogs I have listed on my page.

But I worry. Will I sleep through the night without leg cramps? Will I wake up tomorrow with my numbness back? Will I make it through the school year? Will I remember the words I want when I am speaking?

What happens to me when a big relapse comes? I have so many stairs to get in and outside which makes even things like getting the mail or getting groceries a marathon. I have had to use a cane in the past when I have had severe leg weakness. I have had times where I couldn't drive because of leg weakness.

Who will be there to help me? I have no children I can put to work on small chores and I have no spouse. I live alone. I sometimes fear that I will need help but I won't have anyone to help me with that.

Sometimes living with MS is a scary thing. I can't let that run my life or ruin it but it is something I think about.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Adding to my home pharmacy

Today was a day for drinks with the girls but I didn't go. Instead I made the decision to finally call the neurologist's cute initially guy and ask him for another prescription. I have mentioned before in other posts that he offered me Ditropan for urinary urgency at my last appointment and I said no.

Then I almost had some accidents this past week and I thought about my almost accident on my last day of work. (And that was a day when I could use the bathroom whenever I wanted!) I decided to give this stuff a try or else I was never going to be able to drink at a normal level ever again. I don't drink much now and even less when school is in session.

So I put a call in and waited for him to call back. I told C.I.G. (cute initially guy) what I wanted and he promised to call in the script for me. He did and I just picked it up a little while ago with some A&W diet root beer. (I have been jonesing for soda in the worst way lately and this way I could have soda and root beer floats!)

I'll start the med tonight with the rest of my pharmocopia, which is a word I think I may have just made up. Then again, it could be a real word just spelled horribly wrong.

Side effects include dizziness (what's new?), weakness (again, what's new?), dry mouth (so I drink more) and possible vision problems. Hopefully the dry mouth won't be working against my urgency at the same time. Drinking more = needing to go more, right?

I'll keep you in touch with how it all works.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mishmash ...

Finding Nemo Alert**

I missed the last 15 minutes or so of the movie and I need to know how it ends. I mean I can guess how it ends but I need to read about it. So can anyone help me? Lanette, are you out there?

I think I left off with everyone in Sydney and the pelican gently putting Marlin and Dori(e?) back in the water at the dock. Then Marlin was telling Dori(e) to leave him alone and he was starting to swim away. I think they had tried to get to Nemo but it didn't work out.


Brother update**

I went out to lunch with my brother and my parents this afternoon. We went to the Chinese buffet and we were there almost two hours between eating and mostly talking. My sibling brought his digital camera and I looked at 600 pics of his month-long trip throughout Europe. He also brought me some paper money from different places to look at and some post cards.

It was good to hug him because the last time I saw him was in the early part of 2009 when my dad was really sick and going through three open-heart surgeries. My brother gave up his leave to Australia and was flown home from Iraq. At the time my brother and sister were both in Iraq and both had come home because my dad was so sick.

This time when he was home I knew he didn't have to go back to Iraq so that was a real relief for me. I know he will go back to Germany where he is safe for now. His unit has been home (in Germany) for about three months or so. One of those months was his European tour. Since his unit has come home there have been three suicides amongst his fellow soldiers. That gives one food for thought. Sometimes coming home is safer but not easier for soldiers.


Potential trip**

My brother and my sister are planning to go to Italy for Christmas. My sister is stationed in Kentucky now that she is done with her tour in Iraq. My parents are supposed to be going to Las Vegas for the holiday. My brother mentioned that I could come with the siblings to Italy. At first I said no because of the cost but now I am thinking about it.

I have wanted to go to Italy for a few years now, mostly due to Frances Mayes and her books Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany. There are also some great cooking shows on PBS that focus on real Italian food that make me salivate when I see them on the weekends.

Anyway, back to the topic now... I am really thinking this whole thing over. My brother doesn't plan to come back to the US again any time soon. His next tour will be in Afghanistan and he already has a potential deployment date for that tour. My sister will also most likely be deployed again which means who knows when we'll be able to spend another holiday together. So this might be our only chance to enjoy Christmas together in Italy for years to come.

Anyone want to send in donations for my potential Italian holiday?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Finding Nemo and my brother!

I have never watched "Finding Nemo" before and it's on TV tonight. I'm watching and enjoying it. I'm not generally one for kids' movies but I have been interested in this one because Ellen DeGeneres does a voice in it. I think she's a hoot. I catch her television show a lot too. Can't wait for her new episodes to air in the fall.

As for my brother, he's been in Germany since he came back from Iraq. He just made a surprise visit home tonight. My parents didn't know he was coming and neither did I. My sister (she's also in the Army in Kentucky since her tour in Iraq) knew he was coming home but never mentioned it. I guess no one told me because they thought I'd tell but let's face it, with my MS, I am more than likely to forget. Half the time I forget what people first tell me because I just don't retain it. It's that whole pause-delay thing again but it happens with plain English too.

Another random tidbit... I went to the library yesterday and picked up the new Diane Mott Davidson caterer mystery called "Fatally Flaky". I love to read her novels and this is her brand new title that came out last month. I was reading something else but switched to her book this afternoon while I lolled around in bed. It's so good.

I also have a major desire for cake. I want cake with some ice cream. It's more than a month away until my birthday but I want that cake now. CAKE. I'm like Cookie Monster gone awry from cookies to cake. Me want cakey!

That's all the randomness I can muster for today.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fresh smell (and no it's not me)

Okay, I am going to admit my major dorkiness for the day. I have changed the bedding on my queen sized bed and I am loving it. I love, love, love the smell of fresh sheets, pillow cases and a comforter.

I inhale all the smells of the laundry sheets and detergent and smile like a giant goofball. I sprawl all over my queen-size bed and just smell it. I hold the pillows up and smell them. Then I turn on my back and feel the fresh bedding beneath me.

The only thing better would be if I had a clothesline to dry my bedding on. Alas, I live in an apartment and there's no way that I can wrangle that to fruition.

I also will tell you something else. I sleep on top of my comforter with a little blanket on me. I have a Sesame Street blanket from when I was in college that I use. Why not sleep under the comforter on the sheets? It's just the way I roll. I've been doing this since about fifth grade.

Usually my wonder cat, Franklin, hears the whole shenanigans going on with the changing of the bedding and he comes rushing up the stairs. He likes to be in the midst of it all. He gets in the middle and is on the sheet as I am trying to fit it in the corners but this time he missed the whole thing because he was sleeping on the sun porch. Wonder of wonders that I could make the bed all on my own.

My name is Weeble and I love the way my bed smells right now. Yep, that makes me a dork but I'll take it.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Good news

Good news: The thigh numbness is gone. I am chalking it up to an MS fluke.

In other MS news, I am going to call cute initially guy and ask for a new med to be added in to the mix. I had another almost near accident today and thinking about another near accident last week at work makes me reevaluate things. He suggested adding in Ditropan the other day to help with bladder urgency.

I think if I start it now then I'll get any potential side effects out of the way before school starts. By the way, did I mention that our school building is closed for the entire month of August? That means I can only get my new room in September to get the room set up. Which also means that I just cannot worry about the whole school thing right now so I am not.

Other than that there's nothing else new. My legs and back are still giving me some impish problems but not anything bad. I'm just watching and waiting. Most of my waiting is spent in bed asleep or reading. I do love me a good nap and a good book.

Later taters! (Also stolen from Mike!)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A bit on my thigh

No, I won't be showing it to you but my right thigh is numb. I woke up this morning with this new symptom. Could be the start of a new flare and that just wouldn't be fair, especially after I saw initialy guy yesterday.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled internet. (Borrowed that from you, Mike!)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Neuro appointment

A quickie:

Drove out to see the neuro today, err rather his N.P. or his P.A or something else with initials. I get the funny guy who speaks good English; that was my choice when I first went there. The other doctor is good but when he speaks my hearing is on a pause-delay system and by the time I understood what he's said, he's on to talking about something new.

So I go to see funny guy and I don't really have much to report. I talked about the urgency issues for #1 and #2. He suggested Ditropan (sp?) for issues with number one but I told him I'd rather hold off on more meds for now.

He suggested I actually take the fish oil that I store in the freezer and that will help me with my leg cramp issues. The more I do physically, the more I cramp.

I told him I noticed that I walk slower but that's just the nature of this beast. I can walk, heck I could even do something akin to a run if absolutely needed (it just wouldn't be pretty or feel good).

We shot the chit for a while as we usually do and then he brought up the oral meds coming out within the next year or two. He told me flat out that they would not be suggesting or allowing any of their patients to start on the oral meds right away. He said that he is hearing their efficacy rate to be around 45%, which he says is lower than anything out on the market already. They are coming with some hefty possible side effects like heart problems and lymphoma. Then again Tysabri, my current med, comes with the possible side effect of PML and death.

So I won't be switching from Tysabri any time soon. I will watch what happens with the oral meds for the first few years and then see what happens. Maybe down the road I won't need to take time off each month for an infusion. Maybe I'll just pop a(nother) pill and that will be all I need to fight off MS, plus all the symptom meds.

Either way, in the meantime I'll still be seeing the kinda cute initialy guy. I have another appointment in six months and we're not doing any new MRIs unless something comes up between now and then.

Sounds like I am doing okay for being on summer vacation, folks. Now if we can just make it through setting up my new room at school in early September and make it through the whole school year we'll be doing swell. It would be the bees' knees, baby.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Today

To what we call today, that is what I've decided to write about. What did I do today? First off, I woke up around three a.m. for the bathroom and was up for a while. Don't ask me why but I decided to eat breakfast then. Yes, at three a.m. And what did I eat? A bowl of my freshly made veggie beef soup.

Then back to sleep after being up, eating, and reading for a bit. I slept until almost 8:30 a.m. I was up to feed the cat, go to the bathroom, and then back to bed to read. I fell asleep again and woke up around 11 which was just in time for my alarm. Well, I had twenty minutes to spare with the alarm so I was doing well.

Shower and coiffing and then some online time before I left to go to my parents' house for lunch. I managed to cut myself in the shower while shaving my legs in the same place I always cut myself. This led to major bloodletting and a nasty looking cut on the back of my right ankle.

I drove to the grocery store to pick up some already barbecued chicken and fruit for the luncheon with my parents. I arrived at their house on time. I could notice that my left arm was weaker than my right as I was helping out by shucking the corn. I could also feel a visible weakness in my back and a slower walking rhythm. I was still tired after we ate and I realized that I had forgotten to take my morning meds cocktail. I also don't take Provigil during the summer so I sleep a lot. I wanted to lie down over there but I didn't have my C-PAP so there wasn't an afternoon nap.

I had a nice visit and I was hoping for a phone call from my brother in Germany as he usually calls my parents then. No dice today though.

I drove back home and read and tried to sleep. It was too late for a nap according to my body clock so I am now looking forward to an early bedtime. I go to see the neurologist on Tuesday and I know he will not be happy with my weight and lack of concerted exercise. I imagine we'll talk about finishing the school year out for the last two months and my plan for the new year starting in September (the day after Labor Day is when we officially start working). I'll mention my tiredness and my walking which is soooooooo slow compared to everyone else, and my bowel and bladder urgency. When I have to go, I HAVE to go right then. Sometimes it just comes upon me likethisfast and I have to go within seconds or I will have an accident.

Yes, I have had accidents. That's embarrassing to put out there but it's true. There have also been times when I have been at work or out and have almost had accidents, too. My shrink has suggested using "products" to deal with this but for now I can usually get to a bathroom in time when the feeling comes on me. I just have to monitor how much I eat or drink at certain times. You'd think I'd lose weight with this kind of program. Plus, being 38 and dragging my cart around at Wal-Mart with a giant bag of "products" in it is not cool when you run into your 10 and 11 year old students.

So that's my life today, totally in the present. Could be better, could be a lot worse.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

And now...

Yesterday was all about the beginning of my life with multiple sclerosis. Today's writing will be about my life with MS now. I am doing much better with it. I've been diagnosed since December 2005, seriously ill with it since December 2004. Looking back I can see signs of it before even then. I was always seriously fatigued, even going back as far as high school when I should have been full of vim and vigor.

There's lots of little things that connected the dots to the diagnosis of 2005. Severe pain and weakness in my arms thought to be carpal tunnel syndrome, falling down when I tried to maneuver a curb at the mall with my friend BJM. Cramps and twitches during and after my running.

Then came three days in the hospital and a final diagnosis.

Since then I do not spend all my extra time on MSworld.org searching through posts. As a matter of fact, I stopped by the other day for the first time in about 4 months! Now I do spend time reading some of my favorite blogs written by fellow MSers. And there are lots of blogs out there, trust me.

My family recognizes the MS now. As a matter of fact, my mom wants me to move into an old folk's home so I can live without stairs. There are lots of stairs where I live now. (I'm not moving in yet!)

I now take a medicine called Tysabri which is a once every four weeks IV regimen. I call it my tune up. I have no site reactions or post injection reactions like I did with the shots that I started with a few years ago.

I'd like to write more on this but I am feeling tired so I'll end this for now. More to come, I promise.

Friday, July 31, 2009

In the beginning...

Nah, I am not going to quote the Bible or anything like that. I just want to talk about my life with MS in the beginning. It seems so different from now.

In the beginning my diagnosis was a long, lonely haul. It took me a good year to get a real diagnosis and it was no surprise when it came. I had long since diagnosed myself after my MRI had come back with lesions on the brain and I had been having some symptoms that fit that criteria. It just took months for another neurologist to believe me and correlate my findings.

My family was not very supportive in the beginning, meaning my parental units. They could have been worse but they could also have been a lot more kind and understanding. I mean, my mom didn't even believe me when I told her the doctor officially diagnosed me with MS. She thought I was making it up. She believed me to be a hypochondriac of sorts throughout my life. As an aside, my mom is a nurse who also turned her face away when I was a very sick and thin bulimic.

In the beginning, I turned to online sources such as MSworld.org. There I found people in my same situation, people who could relate to me and answer my questions. That site was my home away from home for months, for probably a solid year or two of my diagnosis. I spent so much time there that it did feel like a safe place for me to be and to talk about MS. I encourage anyone who wants more information about MS or multiple sclerosis meds to stop by their message boards.

That was my life in the beginning of this mess. I'll write more later about what it's like now.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Another Facebook meme: Get to know me more

Here's another meme from Facebook that some of you bloggers may want to use on your own page. I love reading these from other people so I hope you enjoy mine.
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1. What time did you get up this morning?
The first time was 5:59 but then I went back to sleep eventually.

2. How do you like your steak?
I know people will think I'm a freak but I don't like steak; I'd rather have a hamburger. If I was forced to eat steak I would want it well done.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
At the cinema.... Confessions of a Shopaholic. At home, from Netflix.... Dedication.

4. What is your favorite TV show?
Right now, it's America's Got Talent and Wipeout. I love Survivor and bought some buffs a few years back..

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
D.C.

6. What did you have for breakfast?
Umm, I dragged my fat arse to McDonald's and went through the drive thru. (I did make fabulous veggie soup yesterday in the crock pot!)

7. What is your favorite cuisine?
I don't think I have one. I do like a good barbecue with some burgers, dogs, corn on the cob, salt potatoes, salads, and deviled eggs.

8. What foods do you dislike?
Mushy peas, organ meats, kielbasa, cube steak because my dad told me it was turtle tongue when I was younger.

9. Favorite Place to Eat?
There isn't one but I do like Applebee's, Olive Garden, and Red Lobster.

10. Favorite dressing?
I use mostly low fat French/Catalina and Italian. I like full fat Ranch the best.

11. What are your favorite clothes?
Shorts, T-shirt, and sandals

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance?
To Europe to see my brother in Germany and then to Italy to make my trip to Frances Mayes's home.

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full?
1/2 full

15. Where would you want to retire?
Somewhere in Maine maybe so I can hang with my best single friend

16. Favorite time of day?
Just waking up after a long night's sleep

17. Where were you born?
A small town in central NY

18. What is your favorite sport to watch?
College hoops

19. Who do you think will not tag you back
No idea

20. Person you expect to tag you back first?
no idea

21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this?
Everyone's responses are always interesting

22. Bird watcher?
Nope, not really unless I am at my parents' house and see their bird feeder

23. Are you a morning person or a night person?
A morning person, not that you'd know it

24. Pets?
One, Franklin the wonder cat

25. Any new and exciting news that you'd like to share?
Nope, nothing exciting going on


26. What did you want to be when you were little?
I wanted to be a teacher when I was very young and then that moved to author.

27. What is your best childhood memory?
Playing with my friends at their houses, especially KH

28. Are you a cat or dog person?
like cats but prefer dogs....

29. Are you married?
Nope, happily divorced

30. Always wear your seat belt?
Yeppers

31. Been in a car accident?
Unfortunately, yes.

32. Any pet peeves?
Ignorant people, rude people, crazy drivers, parents who think they are better teachers than I am, parents who don't teach their children respect or manners

33. Favorite pizza topping?
Hmm, I do like a good meat topped pizza.

34. Favorite Flower?
Lilacs (love the color and scent) and carnations (ditto)

35. Favorite ice cream?
It does change but I love soft vanilla ice cream now whereas I was a choc kiddo when I was younger.

36. Favorite fast food restaurant?
I love BK Whopper Juniors and Coke icees.

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test?
One and it was traumatic. I almost had an accident.

38. From whom did you get your last email?
MAB

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?
I'd rather have the money to pay off my credit cards!

40. Do anything spontaneous lately?
Yes, started going out with friends for drinks and being more social. I went to my 20th reunion after saying for months that I wouldn't!

41. Like your job?
I do even though it runs your life during the year.

42. Broccoli?
I like it with ranch dressing (raw) and on a baked potato with cheese on it (cooked)

43. What was your favorite vacation?
Going back to D.C. on my own with a tour group a few years back

44. Last person you went out to dinner with?
I went out for drinks last night with some people from work

45. What are you listening to right now?
The TV

46. What is your favorite color?
Blue and Green. Blue is the color of the lake I live by and green is such a wonderful color of spring and grass and new beginnings.

47. How many tattoos do you have?
None

48. How many are you tagging for this quiz?
Don't know yet.

49. What time did you finish this quiz?
2:58 p.m.

50. Coffee Drinker?
Nope. Hot choc in the winter or sometimes tea.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hi ho Hi ho, it's off to work I go

I have to work the next two days so that means setting my alarm and waking up at a reasonable hour. It also means showering before three p.m. I cannot shower the night before because I wake up looking like Medusa.

There will be drinks after work on Wednesday; I think at a new locale. It supposedly has inexpensive daiquiris and margaritas. Yippee for that.

I walked tonight for 30 minutes and then put up my legs on the couch in a restorative yoga pose. It's supposed to move the lymph in your body more efficiently because you're basically upside down. I'm going to use the heating pad on my legs before I go to sleep. I've got the air conditioning on to balance that.

I also need to get to the post office and grocery store so I can make some beef stew and veggie soup. Yummo.