Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tag, I'm it again: another meme updated

Directions: Once you have been tagged, you have to write a blog with 25 random things, facts, habits or goals about yourself. At the end, choose 10 people to be tagged. Don't forget to tag them in the note. You can't tag the person who originally tagged you.

1.) I graduated seventh in my high school class, even though I was supposed to graduate a year earlier than I did.

2.) I check my Facebook page far too often for someone who has nothing to do all day. I have lots of "friends" but only a few friends.

3.) I love catsup on macaroni and cheese and I also put it on Tuna Helper stuff and in chicken soup. I know, I know - you think it's gross.

4.) I do not like Halloween as a "holiday" except for the little kids in cute costumes. I'm tired of too big kids going around and wreaking havoc on pumpkins and taking candy when they should be celebrating in some other way. If you're 6 feet tall then I suggest you put away the tired mask you've been using for the last 3 years. I also am not a big fan because I hate the scary costumes.

5.) There are days when I do not take my shower until late, like 4 p.m. Yes, I am that lazy.

6.) I went to an all-women's college for my undergraduate work. It was in Virginia, a beautiful private college called Sweet Briar College in central Virginia.

7.) I am pizzed at myself for not making Phi Beta Kappa in college. If I had actually worked just a little bit harder I would have done it but I am a great procrastinator. I am an Olympic procrastinator.

8.) I prefer swimming in a pool to swimming in the lake or the ocean. The ocean scares me actually because I have an unnatural fear of getting sucked out to sea or caught in a riptide. I do like the ocean for the seashells.

9.) I have author crushes on Frances Mayes and Laurie Halse Anderson. Frances Mayes wrote "Under the Tuscan Sun" and "Bella Tuscany". I read both books again every year and dream of visiting her in Italy.

Laurie Halse Anderson has written several books including "Chains", "Prom", "Fever 1793" and many others. I once had the opportunity to speak with her on the phone as my dad knows her and I about wet myself with excitement.

10.) I am a huge Survivor and an Amazing Race fan. I hate football season because it ALWAYS preempts the Amazing Race. I'm such a Survivor dork that once I bought myself and one of my BFFs buffs from CBS that were purple. They are about "thisbig" I have no idea how the women on the show can wear them as skirts or shirts, no matter how anorexic looking they become. I could fit the thing on my head and then it was tight.

11.) I have multiple sclerosis, diagnosed in 2005 after a year of being really sick with it. I was certain I had it long before my second neurologist finally diagnosed me about a year after suffering with all sorts of typical symptoms.

12.) This year for Christmas I almost bought myself a Snuggi, those giant blankets on TV with the sleeves. I abstained, probably for the better anyway.

13.) I watch The Girls Next Door on E TV and no I don't watch it for the blurred out nudity. I'm not gay, not that there is anything wrong with that. I just find the whole dynamic weirdly mesmerizing and I have a few other female friends who watch also.

14.) My dream job was to work for the FBI as a field agent. I applied twice but was rejected.

15.) I once wrote a 20 page paper in Spanish in one night while as an undergrad.

16.) Those of you that know old school Duke basketball teams may be surprised to know that I was enamored with Bobby Hurley. I also had a crush on Mike Hopkins of Syracuse who is now an assistant coach.

17.) When I was much younger I used to "steal" handfuls of bird food from the local grocery store and throw it out to the birds when I came home.

18.) I ALWAYS knock out my opponent when I box on Wii boxing. It tires me out but I always win.

19.) I love to watch fireworks and they amaze me now as they did when I was just a little girl.

20.) If I could, I would get paid to write. I can't so thank goodness I can do this for free and get paid as a teacher, even though I am out of work until the 1st of May.

21.) My first ever "boyfriend" is a friend of mine on Facebook now. That's all you'll get out of me.

22.) I have a terrible penchant for dating (and ogling) military men although I stick mostly to the Army because I am close to Ft. Drum. My most serious romance was with a Marine but I also dated someone in the Air Force and had a fling with someone in the Navy. A girl needs to support the military, you know.

23.) I used to collect Ernie stuff (of Bert and Ernie fame) up until last year. Yes, I said last year.

24.) I like hip-hop, rap, top 40, Michael Buble' doing it old style, and even country music.

25.) Sometimes I think pizza and chocolate can solve lots of problems even though they only solve the need for food and sugar.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What do you do with your steak knives?

This is a short but realistic look into my wacky life.

The other night my toilet stopped flushing. The only way to find that out is to use it and then flush. Ick! So there I was with a broken toilet calling the super who was loaded already by seven o'clock in the evening. My emergency calls go unheeded.

Another friend suggested I pour water into the bowl and it made all the stuff go down. First and immediate problem solved until the next day.

The next day dawns and I take a shower early, which for me is somewhere around 9:30. The super hasn't called back yet and my dad, who just had the surgery, decides that he and his chauffeur for the morning are going to come over and make sure the toilet really doesn't work.

Whilst waiting for my dad and driver to arrive, the handyman shows up as I am trying to call the super again. Enter handyman stage left.

Handyman needs to move the shelving around and above the toilet which he does in one fell swoop. Except the mouthwash falls into the top of the toilet tank. Don't need that anymore but the handyman puts it on the sink anyway.

Handyman needs to put something new in the toilet tank, some rubbery type thing methinks but I wasn't really paying attention. Dad and driver arrive and sit in my tiny living room as they are showing some really teensy female costumes for Carnival on TV. Handyman asks for a screwdriver which I provide. Then he asks for a....

steak knife!

What the heck does the man need a steak knife for in my bathroom to fix the toilet? The handyman is muttering about the need for the knife which I fetch begrudgingly. I hand it to him and he hands it back eventually. What on earth am I going to do with a knife that has been used on the toilet?

I'll tell you what. It went the same way as the mouthwash, into the trash.

What on earth do you do with your steak knives? LOL

Monday, February 23, 2009

New meme that's easy

Type out the sentence you end up with in the subject line and forward to your friends... also, send it back to the person that sent it to you, if you want to!

Here's my sentence: I danced with my sister in your bathroom because that's how I roll.

Pick the month you were born:
January-------I kicked
February------I loved
March--------I karate chopped
April----------I licked
May----------I jumped on
June----------I smelled
July-----------I did the Macarena With
August--------I had lunch with
September----I danced with
October-------I sang to
November-----I yelled at
December-----I ran over

Pick the day (number) you were born on:
1-------a birdbath
2-------a monster
3-------a phone
4-------a fork
5-------a snowman
6-------a gangster
7-------my mobile phone
8-------my dog
9-------my best friends' boyfriend
10-------my neighbor
11-------my science teacher
12-------a banana
13-------a fireman
14-------a stuffed animal
15-------a goat
16-------a pickle
17-------your mom
18-------a spoon
19------ - a smurf
20-------a baseball bat
21-------a ninja
22-------Chuck Norris
23-------a noodle
24-------a squirrel
25-------a football player
26-------my sister
27-------my brother
28-------an iPod
29-------a surfer
30-------a homeless guy
31-------a llama

What is the last number of the year you were born:
1 --------- In my car
2 --------- On your car
3 ----------- In a hole
4 ----------- Under your bed
5 ----------- Riding a Motorcycle
6 --------- sliding down a hill
7 --------- in an elevator
8 ---------- at the dinner table
9 -------- In line at the bank
0 -------- in your bathroom

Pick the color of shirt you are wearing:
White---------because I'm cool like that
Black---------because that's how I roll.
Pink-----------because I'm NOT crazy.
Red-----------because the voices told me to.
Blue-----------because I'm sexy and I do what I want
Green---------because I think I need some serious help.
Purple---------because I'm AWESOME!
Gray----------because Big Bird said to and he's my leader.
Yellow--------because someone offered me 1,000,000 dollars
Orange--------because my family thinks I'm stupid anyway.
Brown---------because I can.
Other----------because I'm a Ninja!
None----------because I can't control myself!

I can't wait to see what you get stuck with...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Going to the nutritionist

Monday afternoon is my first appointment with my nutritionist. I have been writing down all that I eat and drink for three days. It's not pretty but I knew that going into this. If I had a nice rounded healthy list of foods, I wouldn't need a nutritionist. Plus, I'd be thin which if you know me, I am not.

So I am going to put on a pair of PIP and take my papers and go. I am feeling positive about this. I need some meal ideas for fruits, veggies and protein. My diet is sorely lacking in all these areas. I eat far too many carbs, almost all carbs. Sigh, this is going to be a radical difference coming up in my life.

I can do it. I have been exercising and going to physical therapy. My exercise may not be the most intensive but I am doing something 4-5 days a week. Mentally, I am working on stuff with my therapist because I wouldn't be fat if there wasn't some purpose that the fat was fulfilling, to use Dr. Phil-speak.

As much as I hate to admit it there are reasons I am a Fatty McFatty pants. More than one reason really. Then there are some physical stuff that has messed up my metabolism. Like being overweight my entire life and then losing 40 pounds in two weeks when I was in high school. No kidding, 40 pounds on some crazy 500-calorie a day eating plan while I was swimming and being active. Then later on to maintain that loss I was a voracious bulimic. I spent years throwing up, over-exercising, and taking diet pills, diuretics, and laxatives. I was bulimic through most of high school, going through a period where I did three thousand sit-ups each night. Then I carried it on through college.

After college I put weight back on for lots of reasons, too. I ate too much and was involved in a physically and verbally abusive relationship. I was also in a passive-aggressive relationship with my mother. I was full of loneliness, depression, and anxiety. After my divorce I got myself involved with men who were good at avoiding intimacy and great at stringing me along.

So here I am FAT and with MS and needing to change more things in my life. I want to be able to bend over and tie my shoes with ease, put on my tight pants and have them become loose, and get myself healthier for when I go back to work in May.

Is there anyone else out there with weight issues? I need to lose a lot of weight, a good 80-100 pounds which won't be easy but is not impossible. I'd be glad to take baby steps with anyone who needs to travel the same road.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Weeble's Googlemania Game

Googlemania (This is one of those things that are going around Facebook. I thought I'd do it with my alter ego and this is what came up.)

a. Go to Google
b. Type your name and the words "likes to" all in quotation marks. (e.g. "Ryan likes to")
c. Report back on the first ten things that come up for your name.
d. Tag some people who think might be amused and/or up for a time-wasting silliness

"Weeble likes to. . ."

1. Weeble likes to sit really still and look like a lady.

2. Weeble likes to help make dinner like this, too!

3. Weeble likes to poo in one.

4. Weeble likes to say, “My sport is your sport’s punishment.”

5. Weeble likes to jump up and lick a lot.

6. Weeble likes to redo work.

7. Weeble likes to game.

8. Weeble likes to be chased first.

9. Weeble loves to Meeeowwww really loud to get food.

10. We have seen Weeble run, and we say his sport is his punishment.

I had to bend the rules a bit because there weren't really ten separate mentions on Google but as you can see Weeble appears to be a popular name for a pet, or at least I hope so.

I'm not tagging anyone but I hope someone gets a kick out of this. If you do decide to do this please let me know so I can get a chuckle out of your ten responses.

Enjoy your weekend, Weebs

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things

I don't know about you but I have a tendency to sweat a lot when I get the least bit overheated. And I do mean the least bit overheated. I've switched out of my big winter coat to a little fleece one because I go into a store and start sweating like a maniac. I was afraid people would think I was shoplifting because I was sweaty and they would think I was up to something.

I can sweat buckets too. Not a pretty sweat either but the red-faced dripping, sopping sweat of the people known as "ugly sweaters". Not the ones you wear, but sweaters as in people who sweat.

When I was a runner years ago I liked to run 5Ks. They were great fun and you got a free T-shirt and bagels and a bottle of water. Sometimes even medals when I was 29 and in an under-represented age group, I pulled off a gold, silver, and a bronze. Woot!

Regardless, because I am an "ugly sweater" after some races I looked more like a cardiac patient than a healthy runner. More than once the race people were worried I was going to immediately collapse. They tried to keep an eye on me as I slowly walked around and drank my bottled water and waited for the bathroom to go potty. My hair was flat on my head, my cheeks were beet red, and I was dripping in sweat. I don't know if there is anything more gross than feeling the sweat on you and your T-shirt and spandex running shorts.

I never knew how some people, namely females, could run a 5 or 10K and look as if they had been sitting on their front porch reading the newspaper without a care in the world. There were some women with great hair, still up in a style, with a little tint of pink on their cheeks who raced across the finish line and went to get their water bottle and chat with the other runners. I was always envious of those non-ugly sweaters.

I sweat at night due to my CPAP for sleep apnea and have a fan on me every night of the year. In the summer the only AC is in my bedroom. At physical therapy I sweat like a pig and am afraid the therapist can feel my obnoxious sweating through my sweat pants when they move my limbs around. Riding the bike for 6-8 minutes is enough to make me sweat like I had just run a 5K. Sometimes I just start sweating for no real reason.

Does anyone else have this issue? It's not menopause because I am just 38. I'd just like to know if other people use a fan in the midst of a snowy winter.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Role model: Ernie Davis

I mentioned this movie I wanted to see a while ago but I never made it to the theater. It's out on DVD now, called "The Express: The Ernie Davis Story". If you've ever watched another one of my perennial football favorites called "Rudy" and you enjoyed it, then you just might like watching this movie.

Like "Rudy" "The Express" is another football movie I liked even though I have no knowledge of football other than there are two different teams, one ball, and you're supposed to get the ball in the end zone or through those big Y-shaped thingies. I don't watch the Super Bowl and have no favorite team or player. Well, maybe now I do. I am a fan of Ernie Davis.

"The Express" is based on the life of Ernie Davis who was a black man from Elmira, NY coming of age in the late 50s and early 60s in a fractured and a separate but not equal lifestyle in the US. He was a football player courted by the Syracuse University college football coach with the help of legendary S.U. great Jim Brown. Ernie wanted to go to Notre Dame but S.U. (which is close to my home) snatched him up instead.

Yes, there is a lot of football in the movie but I managed to understand what was going on so most other people should be able to follow the plot also. There is more to the movie than just football as it sets up the kind of person Ernie was and the times of my country's "bound by color rules society" when I wasn't even alive yet.

Ernie had a spectacular college career capped with his winning the Heismann Trophy becoming the first black man to win such an honor. Ernie also gets drafted as the first-round pick for the Cleveland Browns where he is expected to play with his predecessor, Jim Brown from Syracuse. However, there is a twist in the story of Ernie's life as he falls sick. (And, yes, there is more to the story than what I have typed here. I didn't want to give everything away!)

The articles that I have looked up online and the extra commentary for the movie all show Ernie as a "gentleman and a gentle man", to steal something that I read that was written by someone else. I was appalled when S.U. played away games in the south where fans would throw bottles at the players to intentionally try and hurt them. The taunts of "fans" and sometimes even from Ernie's own teammates show how divided my country was not so long ago.

For a non-football fan, this movie brought tears to my eyes. If anyone has watched it or plans on watching it, let me know what you think. Ernie is a part of sports history often forgotten because he left his mark so young and for such a short time. This movie, though, brings his accomplishments to life and I'm proud to now have a new role model which I can use in my classroom as I try to get across to my students.

Hooray to you, Ernie Davis, for being such a gentleman and a gentle man.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hello my name is Weeble and I watch too much TV

Part of the reason I am fat is I watch too much TV and too many Netflix DVDs. Sometimes I have the TV on, like now, just to keep me company. You see, Franklin the wonder cat doesn't put out much in the conversation department. Although I'll take him over my ex-husband.

I have the cheapo standard cable which costs less than nine dollars a month. Then I also have a Netflix plan that gives me four DVDs at a time. I watch a lot of Netflix because I have the cheapo cable. I watch a lot of movies but primarily I am watching different TV shows that I missed when they were on.

I am trying to force myself to either play Wii Fit, or do the WATP DVD, or walk for 30 minutes while watching some of the TV shows and Netflix stuff. I am also happy to report that my recent chicken wing desire has found a reasonable answer to its cravings. They have these things in the frozen section which are real chicken bites that have no bones and are coated in a hot sauce so it's like a chicken wing from a pizza place. And I am a girl who knows a lot about pizza places unfortunately.

Now that I have these chicken winglet thingies I feel a lot better about this recent craving because before I was buying either chicken wing pizza or buying pizza and chicken wings. Now I can resist the urge to dial up a pizza when I have the need for chicken.

In two weeks I am going to the nutritionist and boy will that man have a field day with me. He's supposed to be sending me a food diary soon so I can track what I eat for three days. That will be a mess.

I really, really, really need to start eating healthier. I must lose this extra weight for a kazillion reasons. I need to be able to wear my regular PIP. I want to be able to tie my shoes without almost tying myself in knots. I want to wear a skirt and not start a friction fire with my thighs. I want my organs to not be squished up against and around all the fat. I want to see one chin and not a moon face. I want to shop in the regular stores again. No more of numbers with a X after them. I want to be able to buckle my seat belt easily. I want to feel my body move with less effort.

Especially with MS, I have to be cognizant of my weight. I know I put a lot of weight on once I stopped working. When I was working I didn't eat breakfast and barely ate lunch because I was so depressed and overwhelmed with everything. Then I was home and eating three times a day after a while and making lasagna. I soothed myself with food, a bad habit I've had since childhood.

Now I am making some healthier choices. I am eating Multigrain Cheerios which taste awesome once you get used to them. I am NOT willing to eat plain blah Cheerios. No way, forget that. I am trying to eat one yogurt a day. I'm trying to drink at least one serving of fruits and veggies in my V8 Fusion. I do not have any ice cream in the freezer. Not even the little tiny ones that Ben and Jerry's make that I was eating once nightly. I am trying to move more. I am in physical therapy and will go both times this week as I have scheduled them for the afternoon so I can sleep in as needed.

If I have so much time to keep my friend the TV on, then I should make more time to get myself healthier. I might even learn to, gasp, cook for one. Then again, maybe not.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

I know where everyone is for Valentine's Day. Apparently they are shopping at my local grocery store. The parking lot was parked and they didn't have enough cashiers working so there were some lines.

I just have to wonder why I saw so many couples there. I saw young 20 somethings holding hands and buying beer. Older couples were shopping around. Then there were families and some singletons like me thinking we found a good time to go shop. "Ha!" laughed Fate in my face.

I will say I did score a light version of the V8 Fusion drink I like. It has a full serving of both fruits and veggies in one serving. The problem is the drink costs a whole dollar more at the grocery store for the newly found light/lite version compared to the regular version at Wal-Mart. The grocery store has several more flavors than Wal-Mart so it's a toss up as to what to buy where. For me, I guess it is about convenience and where I am when I remember I need more.

I wouldn't mind having a human valentine but I don't at the moment. The biggest asset tonight to having one is that he could have carried the groceries in. Even with two reusable bags I had the juice in one and a half gallon of milk in another plus they tried to separate out the rest of my meager possessions up to balance the bags out. Then out to the car and drive home to unload the two heavy bags. Up the stairs I go then down and in to the apartment.

I will tell you what I think was a very cool, maybe romantic thing that a past valentine and I did. Get your mind out of the gutter. This is NOT that type of blog.

I had one great ex-boyfriend who moved to CA, ergo the reason we're not together anymore. Plus, he loved his Alfa Romeos more than me. I was a really close second though.

Anyway, we started out eating one evening at a local cafe that had a journal type memo book in it that people could write anything they wanted in. We read through it while waiting for our food and he suggested we write a haiku. You know, three lines of poetry, usually 5-7-5 syllables per line.

So we did. We wrote some haiku together. And we kept on writing haiku on scraps of paper and on napkins as we developed our relationship and waited for future dinners to be served. Until one day he bought me a notebook which we would bring to every dinner, lunch, or breakfast we ate out. It was our haiku notebook and I still have it and it's been years since we've broken up. I still read through some of them and laugh. Not many people have a record of their relationship like that.

If you've got a valentine I sure hope they treat you well and you're happy.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

More information about the teriflunomide study

Here's more information about the study I mentioned yesterday by MediciGlobal:

My name is Ashley Toal, and I work in Patient Advocacy at MediciGlobal. We’re working on a multiple sclerosis clinical research study assessing the safety and effectiveness of an oral investigational study medication, teriflunomide. We’d love your help in informing the MS community about this study.

Information about this study is also listed on a number of MS advocacy group websites including the National MS Society, MS Foundation and the Consortium of MS Centers. I hope that you can also help us inform you MS blogging community about the study. Please feel free to call or email me with any questions.


Ashley Toal
1014 West 9th Avenue
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(P) 484-674-6873

A Clinical Research Study Evaluating An Investigational Medication for Relapsing Forms of Multiple Sclerosis

Medical researchers are enrolling people in a worldwide clinical research study for people with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS). This study will assess the safety and effectiveness of an investigational study medication versus placebo (an inactive substance which contains no active medication) in people ages 18-55 years old with RMS.

The investigational medication used in this study is called teriflunomide (ter-i-flün-ō-mïde). It is derived from leflunomide (le-flü-nō-mïde), also known as Arava®. Arava® is already approved in many countries for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, another autoimmune disease.

The first step in determining eligibility for this study is to take the pre-screening questionnaire either online or on the phone. You will be asked a series of questions related to your health and be given additional information about study site locations. Visit or call 1-866-565-0246 today to learn more about the study and see if you may qualify.

I checked out the website and they are accepting "applications" for some different locations, even where I live there is a location coming up soon. Lisa over at Brass and Ivory has done some research on this medication so you can hop over to her site from mine and look for it.

It's rather windy today and rainy; of course, it happens on the day my hair gets done and looks good. Oh well, there are far worse tragedies in the world.

Have a fab Thursday!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Still sleepy but I'm a twitching and a message not from our sponsor

I received this message the other day in my comments section and I'm placing it here because I know some of you readers are also MS bloggers. I haven't done any searching to see what mediciglobal is and if this is even legit. Maybe one of you has already done the searching and can inform me or one of you will do the searching and then can inform me. I hate to put up any type of misinformation and I am wondering who Ashley is a Patient Advocate for as she doesn't mention the actual group she works for in the message. If anyone knows anything about this, please let me know. With no further ado, here is Ashley's message:

{I couldn't seem to find any of your contact information, so I hope you don't mind me leaving a comment on your blog!

My name is Ashley Toal, and I work in Patient Advocacy. We’re working on a multiple sclerosis clinical research study assessing the safety and effectiveness of an oral investigational study medication, teriflunomide. We’d love your help in informing the MS community about this study. Since your blog is so influential in the MS community, do you think you'd like to post some of the study information on your blog?

You can contact me any time at and I'd be more than happy to e-mail you the information.

Thanks again!

Ashley Toal}

Okay, now back to me, me, me.

I was still sleepy this morning but woke up the first time before eleven, methinks it was about nineish. (I went to bed about 9 p.m. so it was about twelve hours of sleep.) I got myself up and threw on some dirty clothes and ate a breakfast of salad and leftover pizza. I also threw some kitty vittles in the wonder cat's bowl.

I watched a little TV and felt tired again but I had taken my morning meds today after forgetting them yesterday until too late. I knew it would be a shorter nap because I had taken my Provigil this morning. The second time I woke up it was about 12:30 p.m. and I putzed around for a bit before taking my shower.

Since then I have played on Facebook, ordered contact lenses online, and dragged my laundry over to another building to use their washer as ours is broken again. I have since dragged it back over to my drier and it's spinning around. I am also washing the dishes in cycles, so many for a few minutes, then back to the computer, and repeat. I fed the cat his afternoon dinner. Now I am awake.

Not singing and dancing awake but awake. Oh, and the 60 degrees predicted for today was a big ole bust. It's raining now and I think it hit the high 40s. I am still wearing my shorts because by golly I shaved my legs and that is just the way it is. You only really get one good day when you shave your legs and this is it so I am showing those piano legs off.

Now to the twitches. I get them primarily in my fingers on the right hand, my eyes, my legs, and the bicep area of my left arm. I sometimes get them in other places like my lips or my buttocks; I can hear Forrest Gump right now telling the President he got hit in the buttocks from that famous movie. I mostly get them in my hands and eyes at night. Before I fall asleep while reading my eyesight gets really wacky from the twitching and getting tired. The words slip away off the page and lines disappear into other lines and letters aren't in words in the correct spots.

The twitches aren't painful, just sometimes slightly annoying, especially in the fingers. Now spasms can be painful. I generally get those in my legs at night and I wish them on no one. I have had spasms so bad in my legs that my whole leg pulses as my calf muscles spasm while the leg is pushed out into one straight line. You can't move or bend the leg and you can barely breathe because the pain is so bad. The muscle cramps and spasms for 5 minutes, then ten, then maybe twenty or more minutes. It's as if the calf muscle is trying to birth itself through the skin. Nice imagery, huh?

People say to get out of bed and walk or massage the muscle. When you get spasms like this the leg is no longer my own. It's taken over by the spasm and I cannot move. The slightest move makes the spasm stronger. It's all I can do to keep from screaming because I try to control the pain by the pregnancy type breathing and prayer. Unfortunately, once it stops and I do get out of bed I am hobbling and the muscle is twitching again which usually leads to another full on spasm and little sleep. This process can go on three times in an evening of "sleep" and basically gives you a rough start to a new morning. These kind of spasms I generally get in the summer, yippee.

So twitches I can handle. Anyone else out there get those annoying little bug you twitches? Mine are pretty much daily but I can deal with them. For those of you with spasms I feel for you, I really do.

I may not write tomorrow as its haircut in the morning and in the afternoon I am going to the doctor's with my dad and family and then we are eating at Red Lobster's for my brother's early birthday. He will turn 30 on Friday which is when he is leaving to return to Iraq so that's why we are going out tomorrow. I'll have to wear one of my new PIP, probably the jeans.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Snooze, needing lots of sleep

Lately I have been sleeping a lot. That of course pushes my night time bedtime back a bit to what may be a normal bedtime.

I'm not sure why I'm so tired. Perhaps it's just the last few weeks catching up with me. A lot of stress worrying that every phone call is bad news, which it usually was for a while. Then there were the trips in the car and standing and sitting around in the ICU talking to someone who couldn't talk back. Emotionally, there was another vortex of happiness swirling around because my brother and sister were coming home from Iraq and I was delighted to see them.

Maybe that's why I have been so tired. Then again it could be the MS doing its special thing and letting me know that it was in charge, no matter what I was thinking.

For example, I went to bed late on Friday night for me, somewhere between 9:30-10. I slept through until 12:09 p.m Saturday afternoon. And, I took a nap.

Repeat on Sunday and then today.

I was supposed to get up at 7:30 today for physical therapy at 8:30. I turned off the alarm and there was no way I could get up. I was exhausted. Granted I fell asleep reeeeally late last night, after ten for some reason (perhaps all the sleep I've been getting). I totally blew off PT; I didn't call them today and they didn't call me so I need to call tomorrow and apologize for missing my appointment.

I feel bad about it but apparently not bad enough to get up for PT.

Does anyone else with MS ever get into this type of hyper-sleeping mode?

If I take Provigil for a few days I can forgo the naps but then it seems to catch up with me and I need all this sleep. I know some people with MS experience insomnia and I can't even imagine that. If I had to stay awake almost all the time it would make me wacky, moreso than usual.

Anyone want to comment on sleep issues?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Do you miss me?

I've had a few people notice (ahem) that I haven't been writing on here much for the past few weeks. You're right, I have neglected my blog but in my own defense I have been busy. Now that things seem to have quieted down, thank goodness, I hope to be back here more often.

It feels like Spring has sprung where I live in the snow belt of central NY with temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s. It has not snowed for several days now and the existing snow is actually melting. Yes, my friends I wrote the word melting.

Melting snow is a good thing because the snowbanks make driving a dangerous obstacle course around where I live. You have to pull out into traffic in order to see if any traffic is coming in either lane. If no one is coming, then you're good to go. However, if someone is coming in either lane then you get a dirty look and usually have to put the car in reverse and start the whole process over again once the car has passed. So melted snowbanks is a good thing.

How much snow have we seen where I live? Somewhere about the average total for the winter season has already fallen. That's about 120 inches so far which is ten feet of snow. Thankfully, we don't get it all at once but there was a spell where it would snow every day to a point where you would have to clear your car off. That gets really flipping annoying because you have to schedule that extra time in time before you leave for any appointments. Then my car would tend to get stuck in my spot despite my rocking it back and forth. That would take even more time when you were trying to go somewhere. That kind of stuff gets on your nerves when it can start snowing in October and can keep on snowing into April.

So snow, schmo... It looks pretty when it first comes but it's all just an illusion. You stare in wonder at the trees all coated in white and think about the holidays and then before you know it your thought process has changed. You bitch and moan when you wake up and look out the window. You need boots and gloves and a winter coat. The path out of your building is probably not shoveled yet. Then there is the juggling on the ice while trying to get your car warm and ready to go. No wonder people are so miserable on winter mornings. I don't even have coffee as a vice to get me through this!

This means I still have February and March and I need to keep my eyes open for April. I do love the Spring with the grass peeking up, the daffodils pushing up through the last remnants of snow piles, the blue skies and the sun. Oh the beautiful orb, the sun, that is missing on almost all of our winter days, hidden behind clouds and snow storms.

On another note, I am glad to see that I am not alone with my PIP issue. It seems no matter how small, tall, or how much you weigh, that pants in public can be a downright important issue that links us all together.

Some of you have asked when I would be returning to work or if I would be, and the answer is Friday, May 1st. That means for now, with my physical therapy, my job is to get stronger by using my Wii Fit and the other Sports games and doing my Walk Away the Pounds DVDs. I'm working on the balance and aerobic games on my Wii fit. I can feel some of my clothes fitting differently but my old PIPs are still way too tight. I'm just so glad I have some new PIPs to wear so I can bench the sweats for physical therapy only. Most of the time I wear shorts around my apartment and they are starting to fit differently too. Yippee, baby steps.

Then I need to work on the food issues. All in due time.

By the way, on the local news they are forecasting 60 degrees on Wednesday of this week. This means I can wear shorts outside as long as I shave my legs. Woohoo!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

PIP (pants in public)

I ordered 4 pairs of pants last week from CJ Banks. I got them in the next size up and petite. (I resemble a short, squat moving refrigerator with a bit of a limp.) They arrived yesterday and when I took them out of the box I wasn't sure if they would fit as I held them up to my expansive waist.


They do fit. I have pants to wear in public.

PIP! Yes, yippee, hooray, woot woot!

All four pants fit me and not tightly either. I still want to get back into my old pants but until that happens I can shelve my sweats except for physical therapy.

Two of the pairs have a built in Spanx-type thing where it holds your tummy in but surprisingly my voluminous tummy doesn't quite hit that material. Don't get me wrong, I am no slim thing but just to have pants that fit, that I can breathe in, that I could bend over in if I could bend over is a good thing for me.

I feel so joyous to have pants to wear that don't look like they are going to split open like in the new Subway commercials. Have you seen them? The ones where people break the chairs or the buttons on their pants go flying off at the speed of light? That was almost me in my other pants.

Thank you to the Goddess of Pants.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Welcome back dear readers

Wow, it has been a long time since I've been back here, over a week. It's good to have something positive to write about on a day when the sun is actually out and shining where I live.

My dad finally came home from the hospital yesterday afternoon after two and a half weeks of being a patient. He has gained 35, yes you read that correctly - 35, pounds of fluid from his hospitalization so his clothes don't fit right now either.

{As a complete and selfish aside, I wore PIP (pants in public) the other day and they fit me. Must be using the Wii fit is shaking off some of my fatness.}

Dad now has to wear a special vest 24/7 for three months. It has something to do with measuring the electrical conduction of his heart. He was going to have a defibrillator put in earlier this week but the doctors were in disagreement over whether he truly needed it. Instead of getting that done he has the vest which apparently beeps all night according to my mother.

My brother is still home on his emergency leave (instead of going to Australia he came home) and he is a big help to my mom. My dad has a hard time walking because of all of the fluid and being in a hospital bed for more than half a month so my brother can help out with things like taking him to the doctors' appointments that he has tomorrow. My brother is home until his birthday (2/13) and then he goes back to Iraq.

My sister left on Tuesday morning and is back at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. Her unit is returning today from Kuwait after being in Iraq for 15 months. I believe her next stop will eventually be for captain school in Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri in April.

My brother is officially a Sgt. now as of 2/1 so I am proud of him for that. I feel bad that he lost his R&R to Australia but I am glad that he is home to help out with dad. I will go over now and then but I am not really tall enough for Dad to lean on at my meager height of about 5 feet. My mom is about 5'6'' and my brother is 6'1'' so they are more in line with the height of my dad.

Hopefully he will stay off the cigarettes as he can't drive for four weeks so he'll have no real escape unless someone picks him up and drops him off somewhere. I suspect he'll stay close to home due to feeling uncomfortable due to all the fluid and being unsteady on his feet. He is now on a diuretic so get out of his way when he has to go!

I'm back at physical therapy and riding the bike each time to warm up. It's rather pathetic because I am so short and have such a round stomach. I'm pretty much too short for the bike and my knees are riding up high when I try to pedal. I don't pedal in a super smooth motion but it's getting better.

I am also trying to play my Wii fit at home. However, I have been a little overzealous on that and seemed to have bothered a nerve of mine that runs from my right foot up through my right buttock. I generally do the aerobic and balance games. I do the running but it's more of a combo of a slow jog and a fast walk, the hula hooping, the slalom skiing, and the penguin one where you're trying to catch fish. I try so hard on the ski jump and it never shows me taking off even though I am squatting down and then go up on my tip toes (and no I do NOT jump on the board). The stupid ski jump always says I extended too late no matter how early or how low to high I move on the jump. Grrr....

It could always be much worse. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers and emails.