Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 is coming

Well as this current year comes to a close I contemplate the past year.
I am thankful for a great husband and daughter.
I am grateful for my health.
I am happy for work to have kept me busy and welcome the challenge of the new tasks it brang.
I am lucky to have great friends and family who love me.

Looking back, I have had a fantastic year.
I only had a little bit of a relapse in January, I was lucky to be able to spent my entire summer outside. I planted many flowers and enjoyed watching them grow. I helped build Gracie's fort.
I was lucky enough to have great friends to spend almost every weekend in the entire year.

I may not have the best house or the most money but I am quite happy.

Can you truly ask for more?

I hope that 2011 brings us all hope and happy times. I Do not wish bad thing to anyone however the bad helps us realise how special the good times really are. So they are welcome too.

Happy new years eve to all and all the best for the new year.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wish...granted!

I hope your Christmas day was spent doing exactly what you like doing.
I hope there was joy, laughter, sharing, friends, family and food!

What a great day it was!

As you know we have been busy little bees doing what we love to do this past December. Sure at times we get tired, frustrated, run down and overwhelmed but Christmas day makes it worth every minute!

Here is how our Christmas has gone...

First we spent our evening last night "not avoiding" family but being with "our" little family!
We picked Grace up at 8 or so and she was just as pooped as we were! In the car she wanted to see the lights so we drove around looking at the great light displays so many people put together. Last month is was our "dream" to start small and get bigger and better next year. We didn't have the budget to go big or go home this year! When we got home we realised someone (or 2) stole the few light displays we had set out. I was heart broken. We all were. Gracie likes to touch our lights and was looking forward to it since we had seen so many lights.
Can you say Scrooge was in our neighbourhood?

So we told her we would celebrate Christmas in the house...
She bit, we had a tub, ate chicken, "Daw Daw" (this means drawing in our house!) and then opened gifts! Then it was bed! Ah...bed!

This morning we got up super early, got ready and went to Mark's parents. They made breakfast and we had our Christmas there before heading to the DI. What fun to see Grace playing with gifts! I love to give but am not very comfortable receiving so it was great to see all the faces!

The DI..What a fantastic day!
We got there, set everything in motion and let the day happen. Mark and I worked so hard these past few weeks for this perfect day and it was just that.
Like every year we had the best volunteers EVER!
They are dedicated, happy, helpful and smiling.
They help make the Christmas what is should be for our homeless friends. "Warm and Fuzzy"

The morning volunteers had so much fun and didn't want to leave. The afternoon volunteers came and were very happy to take over. The Morning's trained the Afternooner's and we were able to visit with the volunteers, trouble shoot and make sure all the volunteers were happy. We didn't do much work and that is a good thing. All the volunteers come in wanting to be helpful and they were fantastic!

Thank you for being there, believing not only in Santa's workshop but in our Wishlist program.

I am now headed to bed to rest up for the last day of our Christmas Craziness!

Merry Christmas and to all a great night!
...
And a very happy birthday to my Mom and my best gal Chantale too!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pumpkins in December?

"look Mommy...Pumpkin!"
"Where Gracie?"
"Right there mommy" ...she points...
"Where?...the Snowman?"
"Yeah! the pumpkin!"

Welcome to a minute conversation with Grace!
So the next time you are talking with me and I am just not getting it...It's probably because I have brain washed to have a completely diffrent vocabulary!

I have been working like a mad woman this month. I love it but I am ready to celebrate with the DI clients and then veg at home!
Along side by side to Mark we have been working double time this past month to make sure the Clients at the DI get a Christmas worth celebrating. Our hearts are at the DI on a regular day but this time or year it just seems more important.

For my tidbit this week of writting I want us all to think of the important things we don't stop and take time for during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

Grace has been at the DI with us morning noon and night. He have been noticing that she has been far more needy lately. I finally this past weekend... "I miss you mommy..." Break my heart.

Last night Mark and I took a break from work. We got home for 5, delivered gifts to our great neighbours, ordered a pizza, rented a Christmas movie and snuggled on the couch.

This was exactly what Gracie wanted. Time.

Did you remember to take Time lately?
Time to say Hi, or ask how a day is going, offer a pat on a back for work well done?

Thy it...it's far more rewarding then anything else you will do this busy time of year...I promise!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Volunteer...It's a good thing!

We've all heard or been told how great volunteering can make you feel, what great things can come from a few hours of your time given to a good cause.
Mark and I have run the Christmas programs at the Drop-In.

This year it has been a bigger commitment but very well worth it.

We run the Sock program. This program is simple. In our homes we all get to have goodies in our stocking on Christmas morning so we make sure the DI residents have one too. We get stuff we mostly don't need or will forget about in a few days.
For the clients we give them a stocking of items they need. Things they will use for a few weeks or even months!
Mark makes a call out to all his volunteers. The big corporate companies, the church groups, the school groups and the individuals. He asks for donations of socks (the ones we use everyday), hygiene supplies, coffee mugs, candy, gift cards, bus tickets...you name it we'll take it!
We then get groups to come in and help stuff the socks. We take one of the socks and stuff it's mate in the toes. We then stuff it with as much stuff as we can fit and deliver to the clients on Christmas morning.

We also run the Wishlist which I have spoken about on my blog before. We just finished entering the stories into the website and as it stands today we have 50% of our clients sponsored. Way to go everyone! Thank you for supporting our clients!

Mark and I have been working morning, moon and night. Gracie has been joining us and she even helps sort some of the donations. It means the world to me to show Gracie the true meaning of Christmas. She loves going to daddy's work! Her eyes go big and she starts to squeal! Too fun!

One thing that was new this year was we entered the stories on the database ourselves. It was amazing to read all these stories but what hit me hard was the interview questions "What puts you in the holiday mood?"

I think people often forget that the homeless are human too.

I think it's safe to say that 60% of the clients said that the thing they enjoyed the most was "the look on kids faces on Christmas morning" and "Kids seeing Santa". Doesn't this warm your heart?
The clients love when we bring Gracie in. They want to play with her, read to her, they sing to her. They offer their own snacks or chocolates just to make her happy and I am happy to bring her in. These people don't get to be with their families, they don't get to see their kids all the time, they miss the everyday things that we all take for granted.

What will you do to help this year?
What puts you in the holiday mood?

There are lots of things to think about...

Physio, chiro, doctor - repeat!

Being part of a car accident is never fun. Being in one just before Christmas is a major pain. Being in one and having to involve WCB (Workers Compensation Board) because it's the law...well that takes the cake.
The first thing you are supposed to do when injured at work is to report it to your employer and complete a WCB form. Well, when you are in a car, heading to a course that you wanted to take the last thing you think of is...hmmm.. I really should call WCB...
I got into trouble for being late completing that report but they gave me a break.

I have been struggling with MS symptoms since the accident. The jar from the accident completely undid the progress I've done over the past year with my upper cervical care with Dr. Kale. I could cry. I hadn't been to the chiro in almost 2 months and I am back to going twice a week. I used to get my neck adjusted once every 3-5 months. I have been adjusted 6 times in 2 weeks. When my neck is out I get dizzy, nauseated, tired, cranky and just all round icky.

On top of the need for chiro I have had to do Physio. I met the best Physio ever. Her name is Stephanie and she has a great energy and personality. I say it often and here I go again....Thing happen for a reason. It's a small world. Her best friend graduated from the same high school I did! She did great work on my neck, back and shoulders. She has moved back to Ottawa and I wish her the best. It was nice to have a French speaking practitioner. I don't get that very often out here!

I have been doing my regular work while getting better but most of my work has been filing out form after form after form as well as running from one appointment to the next.

Being that I didn't know about the WCB stuff I have been going to a chiro and physio clinic that is not WCB approved. This week I owe almost $900. I've been told that this has to come out of my pocket and that once WCB makes up their mind if they will cover me or not then I might be able to get re-imbursed...yes might...

I am so frustrated....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Whiplash

Today was day one of physio.
I really thought I didn't need it. and I really think that most of the pain is relative to the MS stuff vs. the car accident but a person does what a person got's to get done!

I have spent 3 days of completing form after form after form only to fill out some more! There really must be a simpler way to do this. I have filled out the same info on about 4 forms!

I really like my phys therapist. She is French, from Ottawa and I went to school with her best friend! Small world.

Today I got simple muscle massage and acupuncture. I feel way worst now then I have the last few days but I know I'll get better.

On Friday I am going to see Dr. Kale (chiro) do fix my adjustment for upper cervical care.

On a personal side of things I have been super busy doing what we all do this time of year...Everything Christmas! Cards, shopping, baking, cleaning not to mention the extra 20 -40 hours a week for the Wishlist. Go take a peek...The stories are so special!
Poor Grace...she must feel like we forgot about her all together!
She is still without her "la susse" and in big girl panties!

Life...as always...is great!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I gave in

I woke up pretty stiff this morning so I gave in and went to the doctor's office.
After some waiting I was seen and was told...
"Given your past history of back pain, car accidents and MS you would be silly not to get seen at a physio clinic."

So I guess I will have to give in again and find a clinic downtown.
She also agreed with me that given my last year of chiro care it was probably a good idea to go see Dr. Kale again as I might have gotten jostled enough to undo all the progress I have made.

I love when people don't pay attention on the road...

Please, for all of our sake...Pay Attention to yourself and others while on the road.

Be Safe!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Car accident

Today I returned to school!
Just kidding...kind of!

I am taking a one week class on Excel to help me better myself at work.
So far so good! I am taking the class from Chinook Learning Services and they seem pretty good!

We were running late getting there this am. Traffic has been horrible since we have had this cold snap. We were finally one minute away. We could see the parking lot and WHAM some bone head hit the back passenger side of the car.
I think I am OK, I am a little stiff but I have been struggling with pain for a few weeks so I will have to wait and see what the morning brings.

Follow up on Gracie...She is doing very well with the big girl toilet!
Yeah Gracie!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My symptoms

Now that I got my feelings and opinions out...
I don't very often complain about my symptoms. I won't even acknowledge them most of the time. I feel that would give them power...strange eh! but it has worked this long!

For about 2 weeks now I have been getting pretty bad migraines. Today I actually seen stars.
I have been getting double the rest and symptoms seem worst. How does that happen!

With Grace...This weekend we got her big girl panties...she is now potty trained!
Well mostly! She still has accidents but she wakes up with a dry diaper and the rest of the day she is in panties! What a girl!

The Drop-In...The Christmas Wishlist gets a move on this week!
We are so excited! We have been working very hard, with lots of help from great people.
The interview with the clients start this Wednesday. Then their stories will be posted on wishlist.thedi.ca where members from the general public can sponsor them.

Mark and I truly love this program.
I hope to find an elf outfit and bring Gracie for a few hours this year!

This week...put up your Christmas tree...ours is up ;)

Life is good! Even with the bitter cold!

One death for Liberation

Many have asked me how I feel about the news of one death after the Liberation treatment.

I have many views on this.
My first being that I feel very sad for the family. A loss is never easy and this is not an exception.

My second is anguish. I'm angry that media will find one person, one death and focus...capitalize if you wish on such a horrible thing. They failed however at showing how many MS'ers have gained from the treatment. How many have been able to stand up, or move an arm or even had better bladder control. Why is it that they show one death and make it sound like this treatment is the worst thing out there.

I am disgusted that the Canadian doctors refused health care to a Canadian resident. A person who was born here and has participated in paying taxes and CPP and most likely all other things "Canadian". I am discussed that people from other ethnic groups will come to Canada (don't get me wrong immigration I have no problems with) and bring many other family members here simply for our health care (this is were I see the problem). How is bringing an 80 year old to Canada help anything other then lining the doctors pockets with more money.

Do I sound a bit harsh...Yes but I think that some if not most probably think the same but won't say anything.

How I feel...It's a good questions.

If I was a serious MS case, if I met the requirements for the Liberation treatment, I would do an other fundraiser and get my butt where ever I could and get operated on.
I think that if you get even one day of sweet relief from your symptoms...it would be worth it.
I hope that people do not give up on hope. This treatment has helped and just like any other treatment...it's not for everyone.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The busy life of me!

I don't think I have to tell you that I've been busy!

I was in Vancouver last week for work. What a great time I had!
We covered lots of subjects in our meeting and after hours was even better!
We went to visit Mink. Marc the owner is so nice and funny too. He talked to us about how he traveled all over the world before deciding to start making chocolates. He told us of his wife's favorite chocolate bar and of certain stories attached to certain bars. If you are in the Vancouver area I must recommend a visit to Mink!
Thank you Marc for your time and congrats on baby #2!

While in Vancouver we also had a team building activity thru Canadian Outback Adventures. We chose to try out the "Cake Boss" activity. This was so much fun! We decorated lots of cakes and then we got to enjoy the cake with some coffee. If you are looking for something to do with a bunch of people give them a call!

While I was away Mark played super Dad.
I say super Dad because Grace had a bout of food poisoning and was quite ill.
Mark was great with her, did too many loads of laundry and lacked sleep but was wonderful!
It was heart breaking to get calls from Grace saying "Mommy...come home".

While away I was doing well until Thursday.
Travel + lack of sleep and worry = bad health.
I was in a dark boardroom for 3 days. I forgot my vitamin D3 and was not feeling "right".
I started getting headaches, that weight on the back of my neck was back and I was hoping for the best.

This week I am still not feeling bang on but am feeling much better.

Tomorrow I hope that you take 5 minutes and thank someone who is part of the forces.
They deserve our Thanks!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Meat balls, burns and visits

I have been so bad and I am so sorry.
It's been a very strange past month but here goes!

On October 5th it had been one whole year back at work from Maternity leave. I can't belive it!It's been a great year. I still love my work, love coming home to be with Mark and Grace and still look forward to both going to work and coming home! Life is good!

Mid-month, after a very busy weekend we were looking forward to having a good home cooked meal on a Sunday night before going back to work...that was too much to ask for!
Mark was on meat ball duty and I was on veggies and something else I forget!
He browned the outside of the meat balls and placed them in the oven to finish cooking. He took the pan out of the oven and placed in on the stove. He then turned around to grab a plate and start serving. He had the oven mitt on the right hand but usually served with that hand...He grabbed the pan with his left hand (I was cleaning dishes and not looking) and I heard him say "Wow, this pan is hot!" "What's that sizzling sound?" Then I heard the pan hit the floor. I turned to say..."What the hell..." And realised what had happened.
A trip to the ER scared us even more since they were talking about possible skin grafts and all kinds of things. We had a few visits to the Burn Clinic and Mark is doing very good. He is now peeling and the new skin is very sensitive but I'm so happy things are better then we could hope for!

My mom came for a quick visit. That was fun but too much shopping for my blood!
Grace had a great time playing with her, showing her all her books and toys. They had a tea party or 3! But mostly just hang out was the best!

As far as me. I have been SUPER!
Even with lack of sleep on most nights I am doing great!
I had a strange sensation while my mom was here and it made my heart skip a beat but was only around for a few hours.
I was sitting at the computer and Grace came to see me for something. I turned and bent down. I always get to her level. When I bent down my sight all went pink. Kinda like when you put a colour filter on a picture and it is all in a certain colour but diffrent shades.
It was the strangest feeling. I automatically sat up and tried to focus on my hand thinking the light went funny but wasn't! It went away as soon as I sat up but came back twice for a few minutes. It hasn't happened since and I guess I really should call the doctor but if you know me...

Let's see if I call!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The big 2!

Wow...
After staying home on Friday I just kept getting worse.. This cold is no fun.
But as they say...the show must go on and it really did! We had Gracie's 2nd birthday party on Sunday so we had lots of things to do to get ready!

Shopping, cleaning, decorating and of course time out for a hockey pool!
By the time we got home I could barely stand anymore. I was congested, sleep deprived and I was really feeling my MS knocking but I had a party to plan!

Once we got to bed...at midnight! I was so happy to visit with my pillow but Grace was up at 4AM...Are you kidding me...I grabbed her, put her in my bed in hopes of getting maybe 1 more hour of sleep...please... NO! She tossed and turned, giggled, tickled, poked and squeezed.
Yeah... there goes that idea!
By 6:30 we were up and getting ready for the day and what a day it was!

We are so blessed to have wonderful friends! We love them and love to be with them. It was a nice treat to have all of them together for fun. Birthday aside what a fun time!

Back to birthday...having so many friends with so many kids (we really do love kids!) that we see on a regular basis we invited all of them - 18 kids in case you were wondering!
So we planned big! Having a small house, we did a little dance hoping for a nice day. The weather Gods and I where on the same page!
Bouncy castle, ball pit, lots of food and a great big cake!

By 3 o'clock everyone was gone and we were all hiding in our bed napping! Then we got the best call of the day!

"Hi kids, what a great party! We are making dinner. Steak, veggies you know,the usual, come on over if you like!"

Aw Donna - what a life saver! There was no way we were making anything for dinner!

Now it's Monday morning, we are all sick like dogs but it was a great weekend!

Friday, October 1, 2010

The joy of being a mommy...

Have you had the sneezing fit yet?
Just you wait...it will catch up to you and you will share my pain!

I started sneezing at work yesterday like I have never sneezed before. Within 2 hours I went from tired to sick as a dog. I was feeling horrible and by the time we went to bed I could barely see straight. But that wasn't enough to let me sleep. I think I was overtired with a little of a runny nose and a 2 year old still waking up at night...

I stayed home today which I rarely do. I didn't get any sleep but it was nice to just veg.

But back to my 2 year old...She has discovered "pockets".
I know you are all thinking "Aw" and "that's too cute". I know because I thought the same thing until I you know...I got sick, stayed home and of course we all know you never just get to veg!
I have done 5 loads of laundry today (we have been very busy over the passed 2 weeks!) and let me tell you of the treasures I found!

I founds lots of "pennies" - Gracie's words for coins...where does she find all the money!
I founds about 1/2 cup of sun flower seeds - again...where did she find them?
I found a lip gloss - OK...that one was probably mine!
I found what I think to be 5 crayons - hard to tell once they are all broken!
I founds some rocks - at least this I know where she got!
And I found...Kleenex - you all know how much fun that is!

So on top of my daily "duties" as a mom I now have to add ...Grace...empty your pockets!

But you know as irritating as this was to find in my washer I just had to laugh.
It's amazing to see and watch her grow and discover.
Let's see what my next load will uncover!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A warm weekend ahead!

If you are like me then you have been listening to the weather report every day hoping to hear the words sun or +20 something weather...And guess what...you heard correct this morning!
No you weren't dreaming...but I can only promise that tomorrow!

I woke up tired this morning and did think I was dreaming with the sound of +23 for Saturday...What!!!!
The good news is that I woke up tired from sleeping the whole night. It was the first night in maybe 3 weeks, maybe more that Grace slept the whole time!
Not to sound superstitious but I wish I could remember exactly what we did leading up to bed time!

I'll be taking advantage of the +23 to the fullest this weekend!
Mark and I are going to clean the flower beds, mow the grass, plant some bulbs and maybe we'll make it to the park for Miss Moo to enjoy herself too!

What will you do to enjoy the warm day?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sun...at least for a few days!

Peek a boo...I see you!


Finally.. the sun pokes through the clouds...


It's a sight for sore eyes...I mean it makes my eyes sore!

Wow! I walked out from my office building at lunch today and thought my eyes were going to catch fire! It was so long since they seen the "brightness"!



Unfortunately with the days getting shorter it's hard to enjoy the few hours of sun but having a nice lunch with great friends in a well open area let me get some sun and relax! Thanks you 2 ;)



I have not been getting full nights sleep for a few weeks now and I am getting ragged.


Grace has been getting up every night and calling for me and a bottle. Lucky Me I figured out how to get her back to bed but it involves a white lie...every night. I feel like a bad mom but I get to go back to bed!



My lie..."I'll be right back..."



I do eventually come back...in the morning, after a nice warm shower and something in my belly!



All kidding aside, being waken up every night is not good for anyone on a regular day.


For me the fatigue is starting to show in my left eye muscle. It hurts when I I look to the far right. My entire body hurts from head to toe. Almost like I had a full body work out and I have just felt a little bit off.



Hopefully Grace will start doing her nights again soon...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Comfort food anyone

I think we are all thinking the same...soup, pot roast, hot chocolate...
Am I on to something here!

I must admit that with this weather I too have succumbed to the soup (I hate soup on a regular day), the nice bone in beef roast (I had 2 in 3 days!) and the hot chocolate in our house turned into watered down apple cider (less sugar). the comfort food was definitely designed for a good reason but one thing I want you to keep in mind is the "good" food we still need to keep enjoying from the summer months.

I am struggling with eating my fruit and veggie snacks everyday but there are so many good vitamins that we all need. Keep eating them! Even if it's only 10 grapes, or 5 strawberries or the alternate for the season...grab a pear!

I stopped taking my vitamin D3 over the summer months since I was outside every day.
Did you know that you need a minimum of 2o minutes in the sun with your arms and legs bare (even from sunscreen) to get your daily dose of D3?
I have started taking my D3 x 4 tablets everyday again. It's hard to get back in the habit but I certainly feel the difference when I take them.

That's all for today!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A quote and a picture


"Stop and smell the...sunflowers"!




"Dance like no one is watching you!"





The summer seems over

Well folks...Calgary has seen it's first snow fall and being September that sucks!
Thursday was my birthday and I was blessed to have so many people wish me the best. It was the second time in my life that I woke on my birthday to see snow...what a wake up call!
I guess that means summer has said it's goodbye.

I am not sad to see the end of summer.
In our house the month of September marks the beginning of the Christmas season. I know...you are thinking we are nuts! This is where we start to plan for the Christmas Wishlist at the Drop-In Center.

Our hearts have been in this project even since day one five years ago. We plan it, we organise it, we see it through to the end and enjoy all aspects of it.

I will keep you posted over the next few months!

As far as health wise I am doing very well. I have been working out with Mark at least once a week.
On September first Mark's total weight loss for this Fundraiser was 32 pounds. In total he raised over $1,000.00. He is still collecting so it may get higher!
I have never followed my weight but I feel better, my clothes feel more comfortable and an happy with how we are doing.

My MS has been dormant and I am grateful every day!
This past week my eyes have been dry and the muscle in my left eye (the one where I loss my eye sight) has been sensitive when I look to the left. I have been lacking sleep so I have to work on that one!

I hope with the end of summer I will be able to Blog for you more often.
See you soon!

Friday, September 3, 2010

1 year check up late!

Well I just seen Dr. Costello for my 1 year eye recap.
I was supposed to see her in late June but I had to rebook for my trip to Ottawa.

I am no longer a lab-rat! I have graduated and am now free!
Both studies that I joined under her care have now been completed and she is very satisfied.

After 14 months my eye sight has returned to 93%. According to Dr. Costello this is an outstanding result. I was told that I heal amazingly well. In fact...

There are 4 - 6 eye tests that she and her team performed on me over the past year.
Showing me all the results she indicated that without knowing my history or seeing all the test result collaboratively she would not be able to guess where if any damage occurred.

Isn't great!

I will see her again at the MS clinic soon but I am done with the Rockyview Eye Clinic for now!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Working out...

Well..as promised I am making an effort to write 2 days in a row!
This vacation is exactly what we needed. We have been going so hard for so long and hadn't really had a vacation in too long to mention.

It's been a little piece of heaven.
Every morning we wake up, have breakfast and while Grace visits with family Mark and I go for a work out....
Yep.. you read right.. I have been working out!
That is a first and I must say I have been loving it. Today we skipped out for a family brunch and and I feel like I missed out on something!
After workout we sit by the beach, take some sun, enjoy the pools and do it all over the next day.

Tomorrow we are headed back home and it makes me sad to think of it.

I have been doing surprisingly well in the sun and heat. The work out even was fine.

All in all I am quite happy and healthy at the moment!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Almost one month...

Wow.. I have been busy enjoying the summer and hope you have been too!
I am currently sitting on a beach in Kelowna stunned.
Stunned that I am sitting in the sun.
Stunned that I am able to sit and enjoy the heat.
Stunned that I am in a warm climate in Canada?!

The weather here is amazing!
I was told to bring light clothes but thought to myself...come on...it can't be that nice...right?!!
Oops!
I had to go out and get some short sleeve shirts.

I have been doing very well and I know this is a short entry but Gracie is calling to go feed more birds!

I will write again in the summer sun soon!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer Days...

And the livin' is easy!

Don't you just love summer?
When else can you sit outside...just to sit?
When else can you bring out the plates and plastic cups and eat a meal?
When else do you have the chance to get to know your neighbours?
When else do you get to have a tan without having to pay $99.95 for 100 minutes?

I have to say summer is now my favorite time!
Granted I have had a few days this past week where I couldn't so much as look at the sun never mind being outside but we always have to take the good with the bad!

Grace has been struggling at night time for about 3 weeks now. Last week it got the better of me and I could barely sleep and I ended up having a melt down on Friday. I got some sleep on the weekend and now all is good!
And...Grace finally slept all night last night! Thank God!!!

Yesterday we went to the Eau Claire YMCA. We had so much fun and we are hoping to go once a week!

Grace and I along with Grama and Bumpa played in the pool. Did you know there is such a thing as a pool where the bottom raises for the "short" people? That was a first for me!
Mark went for a workout and had a good time too...However he came home injured.

We spent the day so far at the doctor's office, the x-ray office, the pharmacy and it's only noon!
We thought it was a fracture but the doctor is pretty sure we are only looking a at bad sprain. Let's hope!

Go out and enjoy the summer...while you still can!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Reminder...

Everyone needs a gentle reminder sometimes that we are not invisible...
I am not...I like to think I am but nope! Not even me!

What a week..
Monday we had golf ball size hail...lost of damage to so many people. We were spared!
Tuesday...more rain and yuckness...Please bring some sun..I am getting depressed!

You see, I was off at home with Grace this week and had so many plans to get out and have fun with her. Our first 2 days weren't what I had in mind!

Wednesday Mark took off and we went to Stampede. What a great day! We had lots of fun so much so that we decided to go again in the afternoon after a power nap! We walked and walked and heat and walked! Fun!!

Thursday was a great day too, Grace and I played in and around the house. Planted lettuce seeds. That started out great and then Grace grabbed about 100 seeds when I turned for 6 seconds and dumped it...Should be interesting!

Today was a great trip to the zoo with Gramma. Thanks for the pass! I can tell there will be lots of fun to come!

We were there for about 4 hours. Seen lots, ran lots, played hard, ate and played some more. Then we headed for the car with 10 seconds to spare before the rain and thunder started! Ah..we were safe in the car!

My friendly little reminder...came knocking when I got home...Wow...
(This is were I start talking to myself!)
What a headache...haven't had this in a long time.
Hmmm...maybe I should nap while Grace is sleeping. I'll wake up all better. NOT!
I had some of my remedy - not working. Thank God Grace wanted a quiet moment!

Mark got home and I thought maybe I was just hungry. We headed out to eat.
No go. It was still there.
A little bit of caffeine..that must be the problem....no go.
We went and got some groceries and by this point I was so dizzy from my headache I could barely watch Grace walk.
When we got home I sat. Just sat. I was hoping this would help take the spinning away.
No go again.
This is when I got desperate...2 IBP 600 later and I still have a headache but I am not so dizzy.

This is what I am calling a reminder.
It is very important to listen to your body. If you feel tired...rest. Hungry? eat.
I have been very lucky health wise and maybe I was starting to be too confident...

Let's hope tomorrow brings calmness and a happy head!

Monday, July 12, 2010

A sun burn...

On me?
Can't be!

Well...it's official.. I was able to be outside in the hot weather long enough to buy myself a sun burn!

This past weekend we worked lots on the yard...It's like a second baby!
We (and by we I mean mostly Mark :P) Removed all of our concrete stones that was a small sitting area, took out all the weeds, roots and other random items...did what needed to be done and we are half way done.
Along with that Bumpa came over and kept working on Gracie's fort!. I was up there too helping.

Lots of hard work...good food and great company makes for great progress and a good looking back yard!

I am very happy yo be in the back yard now!
What makes me happiest however is the fact that is was nice outside and I was able to help.
You see, last year we had to re-shingle our roof. It was like 28C the day we choose to do the work and I was only able to come outside for 5 minutes at a time. It was so hard because I like to be in the action, getting dirty and learning how to do the "manly" things!

Here to health!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mark - Healthy Life Style change

As mentioned a few times, I have created a page to keep you posted on Mark's progress.
I am so proud of him.
He is very dedicated and I thought it might be nice to share a few of the recipes that we have tried and liked! Maybe you will too!

Take a look up top!

A cold summer in Calgary

Most would say...Please bring on the heat!
I one the other hand...quite like it!

I has been very cool here for the past week or so. Maybe even a little too cool for my liking but I am happy!

On Saturday we spent some time with friends for dinner and some more time with our neighbours later on. It was very nice to spend time with friends and relax. The problem with this is that relaxing and taking it easy typically leads to a beer (or 3 good drinks ;)). I have no problem with alcohol but you see...the last time I had more then one drink was before Grace was a "thought!"

We stayed up way past 2 am and it was a very early morning on Sunday...Even if Grace slept until 9am! It took me 2 days to recover. I was dizzy, headache, the "brick on my shoulders" all the typical MS stuff that pops up when I skip sleep!

I know that I must watch my rest and be sure to get to bed at a reasonable time and blah blah blah! But like anyone else..I like to have fun once in a while. I had to pay for it!

Tomorrow I am headed to the park with Chantale and the kids. Should be lots of fun.
We have going to have a picnic and play in the kiddy pool!

I will do my best to post a picture or 2!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ottawa

What can I say...
First...Mark. I love you and thank you for putting up with Grace alone while I'm away.
Mark called a few times, Grace has been miserable and looking for me for 2 days. His question..."How do you explain to a 2 year old that mommy will be back in a few days?" Valid question...thoughts?

I wanted to make the most of my trip in Ottawa. What have I done? Well, first I had a great dinner with a lady who I consider a great friend. We when to the Cornerstone Bar & Grill. The food was great and so was the company!

This restaurant was in the ByWard Market which I was told I had to visit. Been there...spent some money...had fun!
While at the market I hit #2 on my "Karl's to do list"...Beaver Tail! Yummy..I've had these before put never the one with lemon juice on top...I rather have the sweet!

Today after my training I grabbed a cab and got myself to the Canadian Museum of Nature. This was a great visit too! They have great exhibits from all possible birds, frogs and rocks. They also had ocean, mammal, bugs and so much more. A great visit. Love the interactive stuff..Go see it!

I then had a great 20 ish block walk back to my hotel. Looked at the shops, scenes and people.
By the time I got back to my hotel my MS kicked in..
My legs were numb and I was tired but what did I expect? It was warm, I walked for almost 2 hours in a building and then almost an hour back to the hotel!

All in all it was great...let's see what tomorrow brings!
I really miss Mark and my baby...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Busy...travelling?

Wow..I have been too busy!
I must admit that being busy is much better then sitting at home wondering what I could possibly do to amuse myself but some days...

Last weekend I was in Winnipeg with Mark's family.
Gracie's Great Grampa Gord turned 80 so we headed there for a 5 day weekend. The boys drove out and I flew with Grace and Donna.

Can you say mosquitoes out there! Wow!
I turned into the best game ever...killing them indoors and keeping count!
On Saturday the big birthday gift was delivered and that was a brand new roof on Grampa's garage. Good work boys!

Sunday was the big Birthday party and it was almost fantastic...
I say almost because it started out great...then I decided to give Grace a quick tub...In the Hot Tub...I got over heated and then the day went downhill real fast.
Once I got out and got dresses I realised I was a bit dizzy. No big deal, have a sit and drink cold water then I'll be good as new. WRONG!

By lunch time I had a headache, I was tired, my neck hurt and I had that feeling of carrying bricks on my shoulders again. I took 6 Advil's and very still for 4 hours to feel somewhat normal again.
Amazing what an extra 5 minutes in a hot tub can cause. I think I learned my lesson!

Tomorrow I am off to Ottawa for my first time ever by myself. I'm looking forward to it.
When I was on my injections I stopped travelling because it was just too complicated. Now that I am off it I realise and remember how much I love to travel!
I will miss Mark, Grace and girls but I'm sure I'll enjoy their company that much more when I am back!

Now...what should I plan next? Hmmmm!?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What did you do one year ago?

Can you remember what you were doing one year ago?
Do you remember what you ate, what you wore or even who you saw?
I sure can....
Yesterday on June 19, 2010 it was one year from my MS Diagnosis.
Crazy eh?!

One year ago I had an appointment with Doctor Yip at 3:30pm.
I was blind in the left eye, my right side was numb from my rib cage down and I was dizzy. I was very tired all the time, couldn't stand being in the heat and so much other stuff.

Today, one whole year ago my eye sight has improved more then my Neuro could expect, I have not been constantly numb. I do still get numb when walking but nothing like last year. I have not been dizzy for a long time. I am not half as tired as I was in fact I have energy simply just from knowing that I am healthy then I was last summer. The heat doesn't even phase me anymore.
I have been able to go for a walk, garden, even sit and relax.

Wow what a year can do.

One year later...I am grateful to have my diagnosis. I am happy to feel better.
I have learned to appreciate every little thing. I am happy to know that there is research being done. I am happy to know that some have had positive results with the Liberation.

I hope that everyone finds the good in a strange situation.
I call it a strange situation simply because I do not find it a "curse".

It happened to me for a reason and I am OK with it!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

MS Focus Group

Let the summer begin...Please!

Tomorrow AM I will be attending a Focus Group for MS patients that are taking Copaxone for less then 2 years.

I have been asked to attend. For 60 minutes I will sit with a few others and discuss the side effects of Copaxone. They will film our little chat and I presume use it for research.

The good part...I will get paid for my time!
That...that is always nice!

I am still doing very well health wise. Having been so busy I am tired but hanging in there!
I have no symptoms at the present time and am loving it!
I wish all fellow MS'ers could be healthy.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Life Style Change

I talked about Mark's new "diet" a few days ago...
I decided to create a page on my blog to keep you posted on his progress and fill you in on a few things....
It's good!
Go check it out!

Monday, June 7, 2010

More of Sunil!

Sunil is in Calgary for the week doing consults with local patients.
Mark and Gordie got to sit with him this AM.

Both their visits went well and Mark is Volcano! He seems to think that he won't need much help which is good!

I have been doing super myself! Thank you!
Yesterday "Bumpa" came to visit and we started building stage one of many for Gracie's fort.
I sat in the sun for a few hours playing with power tools and didn't feel like fainting, never got dizzy and even came out of the day with a little bit of colour.

Simply Amazing!

Last year when we redid the shingles on the roof I was stuck in the basement with the A/C on as high as it would go, made lunch and came back inside ASAP.

I love being healthy!

Don't take it for granted!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Busy and loving it!

So many things have been going on that I am not sure where to start!

First, I am feeling very healthy still! I am very happy with this.
I have not been sleeping well only of my own fault. Grace and Mark seem to be sound a sleep.
I haven't figured out yet if I have too much on my mind or not!

Second, I hate the rain! Please make it stop!

Mark has started a "Life changing diet regime". This is what he calls it.
I am so proud of him. He is doing well 5 days in and I am 100% behind him cheering him on!
He says he already feels like he has lots a few pounds.

I hope to write again tomorrow when I hear more to clarify what I think I heard today!
I think I heard that 2 MS patients are running to be on the National MS Society Board.

I hope to confirm this. This would be a great leap for us!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Free Assessment - Part 2

I am really getting bad at my daily blog session!
I have been batting a once a weeker...I have been far too busy enjoying Family and the Outdoors! I hope you have been doing the same!
After all...that is what is most important!

My last entry I promised to share more information once I had it. Here it is!

Please visit the following link for the information in "their words" ;)
http://www.welladjusted.ca/doctor/chiropractor/77L/calgary-chiropractor/chase-clinic.htm

When it comes down to it...
On Saturday, Dr. Kale and his team is offering free assessments for family and friends of his patients to see if you could benefit from chiropractic care.
They have set aside a few spots under my name for my readers.
If you would like to attend, please call 403-246-0334 and let them know you are calling for one of my spots!

I hope to write later tonight but we'll see!
Enjoy the "lovely" weather!

Think positive...The Farmers really need the rain and so do the firefighters in northern AB!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Free assesment...

I promise to share more information once I have it but I want to share with you the little I do know!

My Chiro Clinic (Chase) is hosting a speaker from the US on June 3rd at the Globe theater and continuing with the health and wellness theme that Saturday they will be doing free assessments by appointments to see if you could benefit from treatment.

They have placed my name on 5 spots for my fellow bloggers if you are interested to attend.

I'll post more in the next few days once I receive the info!

Oh what a treat!

I did not forget about you...I promise!

I simply have been enjoying the "treat" of being able to enjoy the outdoors!
You see last summer I missed the whole season. Being in an active relapse I was not able to endure the heat, the sun and I also couldn't see from one eye so it just wasn't working for me.

I have spent every possible moment outdoors since the weather has been nice.

I done some gardening, I've painted with Gracie on tree stumps (Great Garden accessory!), I sat on the sidewalk and drew with chalk (Do you remember the last time you did that?) and Even just sat. I forgot how much fun summer can be and it hasn't really started yet!

Bring it on and PLEASE keep me healthy!

I always have believed that you only take things your body is telling you that you need. Same when you are taking a prescribed medicine and then you start to forget to take it...typically you aren't needing it anymore. I have been forgetting to take my Vitamin D3 tablets on a regular basis! OOOPS!
I think I have been getting so much sun that I don't think I need my 4000 IU's daily at the moment.

My advice to you today...GO ENJOY THE SUMMER!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

So strange!

So little time!
It seems we have been too busy to think lately. Have you?
Between research, work, home, family and simply me I just don't know what way it up sometime!

That is a great seg-way...

I have heard and read of many fellow MS'ers talk and write about the "Fog". I never could relate until this past week. I think I get it now! I always do my best to look to the bright side so on this one I tell myself "it only last a few minutes". I can't imagine what it must be like to be like this days in and out!
How can I describe?
It's like this..I'll be sitting doing something and a few minutes later I wonder how long I was "out" for. I am still awake and conscious but I haven't a clue how to connect the dots for a few minutes. So strange!

Another strange thing that has been going on for some time that I never really wrote about was my numb legs. This has been going on for some time but I again don't dwell on it so I always forget to talk about it!

I walked to Mark's work on Friday afternoon. I walked about 1 city block before my legs went numb. They only ever go numb when I am walking - not looking around in the grocery store walking ;). I am also a fast walker.
To describe this would be like this.
I hate to make you think winter...Spring is finally just starting to make an effort but here goes!
Try, if you will to remember what it's like when there is a snow storm and you are out shovelling. The wind and snow make your legs really cold. When you come in from outside and touch your legs...this is it...You can feel yourself touching them but your legs can't really feel you touching them. This is just before your legs start to sting because you are so cold and starting to warm up!
That's what my legs feel like when I walk fast to get somewhere. I can feel my pants, the stitching of my pants, my pockets, the hem...all of it.
Once I sit for a few minutes I am ok again.

So strange!

Friday, May 7, 2010

CCSVI treatment - BC#1&2

I failed to tell you of a meeting that was taking place in Vancouver the night I left.
I should have shared!

The night I left after my imaging there was a meeting being help and Dr. Godley was to attend to speak of CCSVI. I was not able to attend but did watch the broadcast online the next morning.
He announced that he and a team of surgeons had performed the first Liberation in BC earlier that day.

I cried.

That patient speaks out now 3 weeks later to a Toronto news paper. He was on his way to being bed ridden and he now goes to the park with his wife.

Please take a minute to read the story!
Deb - thanks for sharing!

http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/05/05/ms-ccsvi-bc-ont.html

You should also know that today the Victoria Island Health Authority is looking to rebuke the radiologist. Read more....
http://www.timescolonist.com/health/Victoria%20radiologist%20faces%20possible%20professional%20rebuke%20experimental%20procedure/2998012/story.html

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Comment moderator..

Hmmm....What's that?

Well I was changing my blog around yesterday - as you may have noticed - and there was a notice saying I had to moderate a comment.

If you would like more information on the lberation treatment and how to get it please go check out my entry on March 5th called the Liberation Treatment.

I do not know the person or company. You will have to do your homework but they placed a lot of information for you to read!

I guess I'll watch for that from now on!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

An update on me.

I thought that since today is Global CCSVI Day I would recap my story.

Here goes!

On June 19th,2010 it will have been 1 year since I was diagnosed with MS.
Last May - one year ago...my time flies! - I was going through a very stressful time personally. I wasn't sleeping, hardly eating and dealing with a few things I won't share here.

On June 4th I was blind in one eye. Being the hard headed woman I am I ignored it.
We had a family diner that weekend and the whole family was urging me to get it looked at. I caved and seen my eye doctor on the Tuesday. His report was that I either had MS (I had to idea what it was at the time) or a tumor on the brain. Common sense kicked in...Eh! I'll take MS please! It didn't sound as serious!

This did not worry me one bit. I mean Hey..I was 26 and a healthy young woman and new mom. I couldn't be sick.

But by Friday I had seen an eye specialist and she basically said oh you must have MS...I'll send you for an MRI. She was not friendly what so ever and leaving I broke down in worry. Only lasted a hour. I must be fine!
(As a side note here - I received a call in late October to book my MRI in January. Hello...8 months I would have waited to know what was going on.)

Mark's work was very worried and knew more of MS then I did so they told us to book in for an MRI at a private clinic and they would cover the cost. Ends up Mayfair Clinic covered the cost. Thank You!

By June 19th I was back in Dr. Yip's office and had my diagnosis.
I left his office and went straight to Chapters. Spent too much money on books and started reading.

Other then the one hour I spent being worried and sad I have not let this beat me down. I have always looked to the bright side and I truly believe that this is a healing methods in itself.
I don't look at MS as a bad thing. Simply something that has been given to me as a mission to either fix or find answers. I has also given me a different outlook on life, how I deal with things and what is truly important.

A few months later Greg turned me on to blogging! Thank you! I very much enjoy this now!

By Late August, Chris and Ann gave Mark and I this research paper they got in Europe by a doctor named Zamboni.
Wow what a dry read that was! But I knew it was breakthrough stuff and I shared with all my doctors. No one knew what this was about. I researched and dug and dug for information. Dr. Kale actually thought it made sense and coincided with the Upper Cervical Care he provides.

October 5th I started work again from being on maternity leave. A few weeks later I was out of office and I had a co-worker call me to tell me of a W5 report I should watch.

Oh....Dr. Zamboni!
Finally you pop out of the woodwork!
I cried.

Now almost one year later he has come a long way and so have I.
He is making progress spreading the word and pushing for more answers.
I have been for the testing and am healthy and not a candidate for the procedure.

I am continuing to gather information and hope that one day something will apply to those of us who do not seem to be affected by CCSVI at this time.

Let the research continue!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Global CCSVI Day

Tomorrow, May 5th will now be known as Global CCSVI Day.

Please take the time to visit a few links, learn of the disease (linked to MS) and share with some friends what you know!

http://www.msliberation.ca/MS_Liberation_Group/May_5th-Liberation_Day.html
www.direct-MS.org
www.csvi-ms.net
http://healthblog.ctv.ca/post/MS-as-a-vascular-disease-Eureka-moments-throughout-history.aspx
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/researchers-labour-of-love-leads-to-ms-breakthrough/article1372414/
http://www.thisisms.com/forum-40.html
http://www.fondazionehilarescere.org/eng/pubblicazioni.html

Thanks everyone!

1 Happy pill please!

My "Happy Pills"... I know you are wondering what this is!
Let me elaborate the situation first!

Last week I seen my neuro, Dr. Costello.
I failed or more like omitted to tell you everything right away. You see, I needed to have something else to write about!

Being that I was so healthy in my blood work, my MRI's and seemed to be symptoms free. Homeopathy and Upper Cervical Care also seems to be working and all that on top of my eyes being almost 100% healed I had a heart to heart with Dr. Costello.

"I am fed up of taking my injections!"

And Voila....

"Well, let's stop them then."

!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And there we have it. I have been injection free for one week tomorrow!
I am relieved and happy but I have this tremendous feeling of guilt. Almost like I am cheating on a big test and not wanting anyone to find out!

I fully expect to have a relapse or at the very least have some symptoms pop up.
I used to take my injections at night before bed.

Day 1 was normal and didn't find anything different.
Day 2 & 3 I could feel "goop" draining from my brain. Such an odd feeling!
They last few days I have been super busy and therefore very tired. Yesterday I was up at 5.30am and didn't stop until 9pm.
I was getting overheated and dizzy and by 9pm I simply folded and passed out. That was it.

In comes the Happy pills!

Dr. Yip prescribed Alertec when I was first diagnosed because I could barely stay awake. Having a 6 month old at the time I needed to make sure I was up to tend to her.

This morning we had an important meeting and I was falling a sleep every time I would blink.
I needed HELP!

I took a pill and an hour later it was like a cartoon....DING!
Happy and speedy!

Thus I have named them my Happy Pills!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Upper Cervical Care

John - this one is for you!

I started seeing Dr. Kale Matovich from Chase Clinic here in Calgary a few years ago.
When I was pregnant I could hardly move and with his team I was up and moving again.

They are very committed to their patients health and well being and very often attend conferences around Canada and the States I believe to increase their knowledge as well as introduce new techniques that have proven to help patients elsewhere.

Dr. Kale's secondary study in University was Neurology and therefor he was an interest in MS as well as other neuro-related conditions.

He has been treating patients in Calgary with Upper Cervical Care for a long time and once I was diagnosed with MS he was eager to get me in and start the treatments.
It is a little bit nerve wracking since he adjusts your Atlas vertebrae but I must say...WOW...!

I had one adjustment quite a while ago and I felt better the very next day. In January when I felt a relapse coming I knew I needed to see him again. Sure enough my Atlas had slipped out of place and once he used his magic I was better in a few days.

I am not sure if he was anything on the website since it not his #1 treatment offered but if you would like to send them a message on their website I am sure someone would be able to send you more information!

http://www.welladjusted.ca/

I am not off to look outside and hope the snow we got last night has somehow miraculously disappeared!

Paying it forward

I came across a fellow blogger a few months ago who also shares the ups and downs of MS.

He has been bound to a chair for some time now. He also has a daughter and a lovely lady who is there for him in every way.

He has booked himself in for the CCSVI imaging (Steve, please share with us were you will be going) for August 10.

He is now facing the challenge that I did last month or raising funds to help him pay for the imaging as well as the travel and accomodations.

I was and am very greatefull of the help that I received and I promissed to Pay-It-Forward if the oppertunity came up. I will be sending Steve $200.00 towards his imaging.

Please check out his blog. He has a great story to share!

http://krippleone.blogspot.com

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My visit with my neuro

Well, I must have been busy because I don't think I ever been this long without blogging!

I have been healthy and upbeat. Grace is still enjoying her Terrible 2's but we are working hard at getting her to sleep at night. We may need all the help we can get. She is so stubborn.. wonder where she gets that from! ;)

Mark and I have been very busy landscaping our yard. It needs so much work!

Today I saw my neuro and she was very happy with how far the healing has come in my eyesight. She told me to keep doing what I was doing both with homeopathy as well as the upper cervical chiro care as it seems to be working for me! Yay!

She was impressed at how well the sight has come back and told me that many of her patients do not heal as well as I have done so far!

She is waiting for news on if she will get a grant for a CCSVI study. If so, she told me that I would be a good candidate since she has so much data on my as well as my having already had imaging done in Calgary and Vancouver.

She was very intrigued that I had different results in both cities and said that this is getting her even more excited about getting a grant!

I'll tell you more tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cranky...

You bet I am!
I had a long week last week with the results not being what I was expecting as well as Grace having caught a form of the Norwalk virus. That was the longest week in history...so I thought!

She has now entered the "Terrible two's"... Ayoye...

I haven't had more then 3 hours of sleep in 3 nights and it is catching up with me. With us.. we are just once cranky household!

On Tuesday I got to speak to Dr. Steed who is the first radiologist who performed an ultrasound on my neck back in December. He was very excited to know that I had the imaging done and that I took the time to have a copy of the DVD's and reports made for him. I have sent them out and I hope he enjoys them!

I also heard today that Dr. Haacke and / or his team from Boston may be coming to Calgary for a symposium. I'll keep you posted.

For now, I am going to try and get some sleep!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Emotional week

I have not let anything MS related get me down since pretty much day 1. I have done my best to stay positive in every regard. I have had a few hard MS days were I was simply put "not well" but I have not let it get me down.

I think this past week has been a test to see if I was still strong.

I have not once thought that I was not a candidate for the angioplasty.
I had so much faith in the Liberation findings and the research that I guess I was convinced that I had occlusions (blocked or collapsed veins) and that False Creek was going to get me my proof to go on.

OOOPS!

I was emailed the result from the False Creek staff last week and it was great news in the sense that nothing seems to be wrong for me in the way of blocked veins. I have no significant occlusions from what the MRV report states. The Doppler confirmed that there is an abnormality however Dr. Cooperberg told me that they also see this in "normal" people.

Great news!!!
But not what I was expecting...
It hit me hard because for the first time I realised that CCSVI may not be something that will be there to help me. I am still waiting to see the neuro (Dr. Costello) on the 27th for her interpretation. She has applied for her own grant to study the Liberation treatment and am sure she will be interested to see my results. I am anxious to see what she has to say.

As for me...What to do now?
Well, I haven't given up hope. I have written before of Mitch Albom's line "I am in love with hope" and I plan to stay true to this.

My Chiro (Dr. Kale) has been performing a special adjustment in the first 2 vertebraes for a few years and it has shown to be very helpful to MS patients.

I stopped his treatments a while back because I simply couldn't afford it.

I also plan on seeking alternative treatments if / when needed to continue getting better.

Next time I think I'll write about my theory on why I seem to be getting better...!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My visit to False Creek - MRI / MRV

As promised here is the second part of the story!

After returning from lunch I was called in to get my IV started in the back room and to change into the very "sexy" blue scrubs!
Once I was in the room for the MRI, I was asked all the regular questions. Have I been in an MRI before, have I had the dye injection before, Am I nervous...

Again the staff were very nice, made extra sure that I was happy and comfortable. If you have ever been in an MRI for 90 minutes...you can appreciate the comfort part!

This is also were they connected me to the dye machine. One look at it and I couldn't help my self...
"That sure does look like the lethal injection set-up!"..."That isn't lethal is it?"
They giggled...was that suppose to make me feel better?

Half way trough the MRI I needed to pee. OMG!!! What to do.. I thought of every thing I could and I was getting to a point were I thought I should just pee! This machine felt different then the others I have been in. It made the hair on my head stand on end at times and it got super hot! I had a light blanket on and I am not supposed to move but I had to try and cool down so I lifted my index finger under the blanket and just that made it feel like 10C cooler! That... Was...Hot!

They warn you that the last few minutes of the MRI... for the MRV they will inject the dye. Some people have said that it makes you feel like you wet yourself. Being that I already needed to pee... that wasn't exactly a problem!
To me this dye went like this.
"OK Natalie, we are going to put the dye in and you will be done and out of the machine in about 2 minutes." (Yes! Finally!)
I felt the cold dye run in the IV on my arm and going up in my arm. Next I felt it and heard it bubble at the back of head going into my neck. Within seconds I had a tingling sensation all over my body and extremities. Almost like every little hair on my body was standing on end!
Then "it" happened.
My very first panic attack!
Have you ever watched a movie were someone is trapped in a car and finding that one corner pocket or air trying to get one last gulp of air? Well that's how I felt but only in my mouth. It felt like my mouth was full of water and I was going to drown. I had to stick my tongue out and slow my breathing down. Once I realised I wasn't having a panic attack and that it was simply the dye making me feel weird I felt better.
All this in 2 minutes!

When I came out of the machine I was out of it. I felt very strange and Donna said I looked like death. I felt it!

Tomorrow... the results are in.. Tell me what you think...any guesses?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My visit to False Creek - Doppler

What a busy week!
I got home from Vancouver on Friday night to a sick hubby, lots of commitments for the weekend and started off Monday morning with a very sick baby. Grace is still very weak and this is why I haven't written about my trip yet. So here goes it!

Donna and I arrived at False Creek and I must say...It's pretty there!
I was given lots of paper work to read, sign and have witnessed. Thanks Donna!
The tests were running late so we decided to run out for a little shopping and come back.

We got back just in time as they were calling my name for the Doppler!

I must say, they staff at False Creek are FANTASTIC!

Our greeter led us to the Doppler room. I was given a gown in exchange for my shirt.
In the midst of all this I had a very big splinter in my thumb and it was very painfull!
I had a great doctor perform the Doppler (Thank you for coming out of retirement mode to perform testing. I appreciate it!).
I have had lots of people ask me "what is the Doppler?"
The Doppler is the same as an ultrasound except it is more (in layman's terms) 3D-ish. It allows you to see the blood circulation in blue and red. It also gives you the sound to attach to the image of the blood flow.
Here the doctor was looking to hear an abnormal flow. I was told that this is a sign of CCSVI however some normal people also have this irregularity.
I was told that I did in fact have the irregularity.

After everything was done and we were waiting for the DVD copies the Great Greeter got some tweezers and I was able to relieve the pain in my thumb!

We then had an hour to kill before my MRI / MRV. Being that is was lunch time, we headed out to eat and look around a bit too!
Across the street and up one block there was great shopping and food!!

I will continue to write of my visit to False Creek tomorrow with the MRI / MRV imaging ordeal!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Waiting game take 2!




I am back at home!






I have images to share with you. I won't be able to tell you of the results until I receive the report next week but the images are great to look at!





It was a great part of my journey which I will share details over the next few days. I sayd this becuase Grace is up from her nap!













Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ready to go...

Well it's 5.30 am, I hardly slept. Mark and Grace aren't feeling well and I am still ready to go!
I am nervous and anxious but most of all...I am hoping for the worsts!
Ha! How often does one hear that!

I am hoping for the worst in the sense that if my veins are blocked or collapsed this will be good news for me.
It will give me and doctors proof that the operation is an option.

I don't think I will have access to a computer this pm but I will for sure tell you all about my trip tomorrow.
I think I'll be leaving False Creek with images on disk but no report until I see Dr. Yip next week.

Fingers crossed for the worst y'all!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Leavin' on a jet plane!

I do know when I'll be back again!
Tomorrow morning I leave bright and early for Vancouver.

I am booked in at False Creek for 11 AM and am very anxious to get the Doppler and MRV testing done!

I'll keep you posted!

Bon Voyage to me...!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Weekend

Relapse..almost!
Wow.. Time was catching up with me on Thursday and Friday. I was really feeling tired and dizzy. My short term was not working too well and I had lots of pain in my feet and legs as well as my left thumb.

Today I started a new regime of my Elaps homeopathy remedy. Twice daily for 1 week.
This should be interesting!
I say this because this remedy is well special...I have yet to write anything like this...personal but here goes!
This remedy gives me the runs!
Sunil explained to me that he was trying out the remedy these past two times and having all kinds of symptoms come to surface was a good thing and a sign that it was time to go more aggressive.

I am also counting down the days to my Vancouver trip!!!!!!
I am very excited and nervous!

And I promised to keep you posted on the fundraising...
To date the total in the bank account is $7,105.00.
This does not yet include my out of pocket costs for the event and soon I will be taking money out to have the imaging done!
Thank you once again and I appreciate it all.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A quick one

This is going to be a quick one as I am at work but can't help and share.
I don't cry very often but this news article brought me to tears.

I don't understand why Canada is not performing the Liberation but please read this article.
If you had the smallest chance of getting better...even if it was for a short time...Wouldn't you take the risk?

Obviously the doctors are not the ones that are ill.

If you went blind and were given the chance to see..even for one day, one hour, just to see your child's face one more time...Wouldn't you take it?

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/editor-s-picks-ignore/moment-of-truth-for-tiger-after-his-ms-treatment-1.1017675

Wow.. I had to write that out!

Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A few days later...

I am still catching up on my lost sleep from the past week.
I am still tired and my eyes burn but otherwise I am doing well.

I still have to Thank everyone!
I think this is the biggest past of anything and quite possibly the most important!
As I mentioned on my last post, I still have some money coming in.
We are currently at $6,605.00. Good work you guys!

Mark and I love organising fun activities for anyone.. anytime! We always have and we are already gathering ideas for the next event...If it comes to that!

I have been doing lots of research on the patients who have been abroad for the operation. Amazing results. Amazing Stories.

You may have heard of of the 2 brothers who have been to Poland for the operation.
I was reading their blog yesterday and I must quote him...
I can't seem to connect to the link at this moment...I'll take this up tomorrow!

I am now very excited for my trip to Vancouver on the 8th. I have been somewhat ignoring that this was coming but it's coming very quick!
I have also avoided looking into all of what the operation involves because I wanted to take it one step at a time...but one can't help herself!

I will give you lots of interesting info and food for thought on my next post...when I can log into the proper links and share with you!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Drum roll please!

Well yesterday was certainly a success!

Thanks to everyone who came to help set up, help during and help clean up. Without you this would not have happened and I owe you BIG!

The Business Booths... you were fantastic! Thanks for being there and giving everyone something to do at the event!

Thanks to everyone who came out and participated in the event. The food was great, the Nerdcicles were a hit and the kids activities were definitely needed in a bad way! I didn't realise how many kids we know! I love it!

Thank you to the kind gentleman who heard of me at City Hall and came to support the cause. I missed your name but I with you and your wife the best. You are Fantastic and keep bringing her to the Rain Forest! She is lucky to have you!

Now down to business!
Our total from yesterday was just over $6,000.00! We still have some funds trickling in too!

We have some expenses to cover from the event but all said and done this is a great help!
I appreciate everything from every one.

This has definitely paid for the imaging in Vancouver on April 8th and is a good start to the surgery that may come.

YOU ARE AMAZING!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Today is "The Day"!!

Mark and I were up until midnight working on the finishing touches for today.
We are very tired!

We were up at 5.30 yesterday and didn't stop for 5 minutes! I even managed to sneak in a 1 hour MRI... too bad I didn't get ZZZzzz's this time!
Today it's 6 AM, we are up and getting ready to pack the car, drop off Grace, pick up food and helpers, run to the hall, set up, cook and hopefully see millions of people! Well...Not really..I'd run out of food :)

We have 17 Silent Auction items, a Penny Drive, 50/50, Stake a Claim, Picture taking, Food, Face Painting, Easter basket making, Easter egg hunt as well as business booths like Art, baking, Board games, Natural supplements and much much more!

I'll keep you posted on how it goes!

As for my MS side...Being this busy and tired is starting to get to me. I will rest up nice tonight but some of my symptoms are being dizzy, my body is sore and I feel a little disoriented.

It will all be worth it!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

SWAMPED!

I am so busy!

We are full steam ahead!
This week we have finalized silent auction items, purchased all the items for the kid activities, planned out the layout of the hall, purchased food and drinks...
I still have to work on the posters and 50/50 tags but I'm getting there!

I still have to get in touch with all my helpers and let them know to be at the hall at 9.30 - 10 AM to help set up and get everything ready!

I am amazed and overwhelmed with all the support we are getting.

YOU ARE ALL AWESOME!!!

Don - I did get your suggestion for a thermometer to shoe what I am doing in the fundraiser. I have tried to figure something gout and still am working on it!

To date I have received a whopping $735.00 in cheques and $245 on magazine sales.

I will be back on Sunday to give you news on how the fundraiser went!

Monday, March 22, 2010

I'm normal ?!

Last week I went to get blood work done.
I requested to have my vitamin D, B12 and iron as well as creatinine levels checked.

This is something I highly recommend we all ask for from our doctors.

Today I went to the doctors office for the results and was surprised to discover that everything is normal.

First, I have always had high levels of iron in my blood and to know that it's normal was a shocker! The good thing that Dr. Yip explained to me waas for me it would be dangerous to have the levels low as it would entice fatigue which is already a soft topic with us MS'ers!

I was also very surprised for the vitamin D levels because the common theme in MS is the low levels of vitamin D. Being normal may have to do with the 4,000 IU's daily that I take or it could be my body resetting itself from having the proper remedy!

The B12...I had a good reason to get it checked as well but I forgot what it was!

The creatinine levels were requested from False Creek. Dr. Yip told me that this is checked to monitor proper liver function due to the dye I will be injected with when the imaging is performed. The dye can temporarily put you in renal failure if the levels aren't normal. Yikes!

So I guess I am all round healthy for now!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Homeopathy update

A few months ago I mentioned seeing Dr. Sunil who is a homeopath.
http://drsunilanand.com/
Since then I have been sending him weekly updates on my symptoms and different conditions that I have had forever like psoriasis and diarrhea. Everything that I have sent him has been a good sign and that the remedy was working.

This past week I have had a few new things pop up and it's time to take an other dose of my remedy. I'll be doing this today! I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

As for my big plans today...We are going to Aggie days.
http://www.stampedeagriculture.com/events/aggie-days/
I am a bit nervous about walking much because my legs have been going numb on and off lately mostly when walking.

We'll see!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's booked!

My flight is booked... there is no way back now!

I have big Thank You's to say!!!

First - my husband for working so hard for the fundraiser!
Second - everyone who has been helping in any way they can!

Further to this I want to keep you in the loop.
To date, my flight is BOOKED and paid for as of today!
My hotel night is booked and paid for!
I have some money coming in daily and the fundraiser is coming very soon!
See the facebook page for more details: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=367841146711
The magazine site is doing well and everyone seems to think it's the best idea since sliced bread!
Take a peek: http://www.magfundraising.ca/GroupPage.aspx

As far as how I am doing, I went to bed early last night and it felt so nice!
By early I mean 8pm!
It was a good thing because I was so busy at work today that I didn't know which way was up or down or to my chair due to the paper in my way! Fiscal year end is always interesting in my office!

I will be looking forward to sitting down this weekend! Maybe watch a movie...

That'll be the day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Busy bee

I have been so busy preparing for the fundraiser, being a mom, a wife and a 5 star employee ;) that I have neglected you guys. I am truly sorry.

Every night that I climb into bed and didn't blog I feel like I forgot to pee before a road trip!
You know you should but there is just too much to do!

The planning is going well. We have so much support and it warms my heart to see all the kinds words, thoughts and actions that people are capable of. Hugs to all of you!

I have been bad in staying up too late at night planning and working on my resume. I am very tired and today I think my body is telling me to settle down. My legs were temporarily numb today but it passed rather quickly. I have "small eyes". You know when you are just over tired...

Other then that I feel quite well and always do better when I have too much to do!
I love it!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Campaign Summary Report

Campaign Summary Report

Please visit this site.
I have signed up to sell magazine renewal or subscriptions.
I will receive 37% of all sales and the funds will go towards my imaging and operation!

Thank you for your ongoing support!

Friday, March 12, 2010

a little bit of everything

What a week. I'm grateful today if Friday!

Today I am still recuperating from our casino night. I am tired, I've had a minor headache, a little bit of dizziness and a strange pain...My arm has been seizing in a strange way. I am not sure if it's an MS thing but I have not felt this before. It's almost like a needle is in the socket where my shoulder meets my arm. When the pain comes I can barely move my arm and it hurts.

I am quite busy planning for a great event and watching Gracie very closely as she took a bad spill outside yesterday and came in with a black eye and quite the scratch. To top it off, today she fought sleep very well and was staggering tired which led her flat on her face once more to have a fat lip.

I'm hoping to get some much needed sleep this weekend!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

BBQ fundraiser!

Mark your calendars people the BBQ is on!

On March 27th we will host a BBQ fundraiser at Renfrew Community.
You are of course all invited!

Here are some of the things we will have going on:
- BBQ...of course!
- Silent Auction
- Take a picture
- Pop a balloon
- 50/50

Much more is in the works but it's comin'!
I'll keep you posted but I will also post all of the events on the Fundraising tab!

If you are planning on attending I would love to know.
Please leave a comment or send me a message!

If you would like to help plan or would like to help the day of the event please send me an email.
mark_nat@shaw.ca

It's going to be SO MUCH FUN!

Headed to India ... Part 2

Further to my previous blog, please find attached the Herald link to my fellow Calgarian headed to India!

http://www.calgaryherald.com/health/Calgarian+opts+surgery+India/2669394/story.html

She is a very lucky woman!
My turn is coming!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Canadian headed to India

For those of you who may have missed the news this evening read on!

A Canadian woman is headed for India where the Liberation Treatment is available privately for $19,000.00.
She has been with MS for 20 years and has difficulty walking, her hands and feet are numbs among other of her symptoms.
Her story is not yet posted on Global news.

This 19K is far less then the 80K treatment in California.

This gives me hope.

As you may have read in past entries I am currently fundraising to get to False Creek in Vancouver http://www.falsecreekhealthcare.com/. This clinic is where I can get the imaging to see if I am a candidate for the Liberation treatment.

Today we have booked a community hall for March 27th and will be hosting a BBQ with lots of fun and games!

Please keep your eye on the new tab near the top of my blog named Fundraising for more information!

I've said it before...I too am in love with hope!

Casino = tired!

Yesterday was a very busy day!

Last night we volunteered for a Casino Fundraiser proceeds to go to the Drop In Center where Mark works. www.thedi.com
Our shift started at 11 pm and was to end at 3 am.
Being busy during the day and having Grace makes for a bad mix to get a cat nap! We headed to the casino very tired. We counted the money and it was lots of fun!

We got home at 3 am and got in bed. Grace woke up at 6.20am and we were up!

I was surprisingly not too tired, made it in to work and had a very full day! At about 2 pm the heat hit me once again. Every time I am very tired I get so over heated and simply feel like I am cooking. I get light headed, can't focus and just not well.

I am sure to get a better night's sleep tonight!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Oh my head...

After my "wonderful" day on Friday with Grace I was looking forward to her going to bed.
It was 9.45pm when she finally called it quits!

While Mark was getting her to bed I could barely stand up I was so spent. And then...
I heard screaming, and yelling, and fighting, and music...
Yeah, our neighbours 3 doors down decided to have a party. I went down to the basement, took my injections and was convinced they could be quiet by 11 pm. HA!..HA!..

After being in bed for 1/2 an hour I couldn't take it anymore so I asked Mark to call the cops.
By the time he finished on the phone with them there was 5 cop cars, about 60 people running out the back door, guys peeing on cars, puking on ours and well then it was quiet.

Today I had the worst headache ever. This is typical for me when I am tired so I woke up expecting it but man...Mark let me have an hour nap and I felt much better.

We spent the entire day outside cleaning the car, cleaning the shed, gardening, shovelling snow and playing with Grace! Did I mention I was in flip flops and a t-shirt! Yeah for spring!!!

Tomorrow we have a 1 y/o birthday party. They are dressing up and it should be lots of fun.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Liberation treatment

This is just a quick one to share what I just came across.

The link below will lead you to the blog of Mark Kalina.
He received the Liberation treatment 8 days ago and he is already seeing improvements.
This gives me hope that sarting with the imaging will help me reach the ultimate goal of getting this operation!

Take a peek!

http://markkalina.blogspot.com/

Sleep...

Here is a little story about how to not get any sleep.

Last night I crawled in bed at 9.30 pm. One would think this is reasonable and in turn get you a great nights sleep...NOT!

At 10.30 I woke up to hear noise. When I was finally awake I realised that Gracie's ride on truck was going off by itself. Sirens, music, horn and all....I was convinced Grace would wake up so I ran into the living room...the thing doesn't have an off button...grabbed it ran downstairs to lock it in a room. I think the batteries are dying!

When I got back in bed I started fading and Mark wakes me up mumbling something about the monitor going off...It wasn't but by then I was wide awake and sat there waiting to see if the monitor was going to go off. No Go.

At 11.30 Grace decided she was awake and not going back to sleep. (She always sleeps all night) So I ignored her for almost an hour and then I got up.

I finally got back in bed at 1.30AM only to wake at 5.30AM when Mark got up to get ready for work. Grace woke up around there too.

Today I am tired, a little dizzy and irritable ;)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Events in the works...

Well, I promised to keep you posted and here goes what I am working on...

We are planning a BBQ, silent auction and games...We are still working on the details but it's in the works!
If you or someone who know would like to donate items for the Silent Auction, please let me know via email. mark_nat@shaw.ca

Some of you may receive an invite to a different kind of event...
This one I am keeping secret and promise to share once the invites have been sent out!

As for me...I am doing good.
My legs are on the fritz but I am not and do not complain about it...it could be worse!
They have been going numb when I walk too far or too much. Once I sit for a bit I feel better. It's sooo strange because it almost feels like my shoes are on to tight or even that my socks are vibrating!

I've also been loving the digestive problems that come along with MS. It's been almost 2 weeks and I look forward to feeling better!

Wear a gardenia


Did you ever wonder what flower represents MS?
I did and today I found out!
A Gardenia seems to be it!
Wear a gardenia on March 6th - 8th in support of MS.
I found a translated article (from italian) in a facebook group. Please visit and read. It's a little long to put here!


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Spring is in the air!

Today was a weird day!

Mark went to watch our Canadian Boys win the gold and I stayed at home with Grace.
After her nap, all she wanted was "Daddy?" so we went outside to play a bit.

After 40 minutes of playing with shovels and desperately breaking down the little bit of snow and ice we have head "Food?" and realised it was time to give up!

We came in and had lunch and WHAM! I got so tired I could barely walk and Grace was still full of energy. What a delima. So we went to her room, closed the blinds and made it dark. I then made myself comfy on the floor. I heard "night night" and I then fell a sleep but don't panic, the door was closed and she can't get into anything! She did however take it upon herself to read to me! Every time she would pick a new book, she would sit on my face to read it...

Like I said...I was a weird day!

I am still tired but I think maybe I pushed a little bit too hard outside.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Small world

Today I'm still tired. I didn't get much sleep again and I am starting to not like this at all!

I got a bit weak today and my legs felt odd. I felt like I was walking on a trampoline. You know how you walk and it feels like your legs kinda bounce back towards you but you aren't doing anything to cause it...Very strange!

I can't help but want to keep moving at moments like that in case my legs go numb again.

This afternoon I went to the bank again and opened up the bank account for the fundraising.

For those of you who didn't know...I am French Acadian. Not very many English speaking people notice my accent and I try very hard not to have one. Why? I'm not sure.
I write this because at the bank, Matt my banker asks...
"Where are you from?"
I say "New Brunswick"
"Where 'bouts?"
"Eh!..Bathurst" (no one ever knows were any place in the maritimes and they always say Oh yeah...)
"Yeah! That's what I thought"
"..." "..." "What do you mean?"
"I could tell by your accent"

WHAT!!!!

Anyway that was very odd but there you have it...Small world!

I now have the account set up and there may be a way to get the Branch to help fund raise!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bank..'ed

Well I had a visit with the banker today...
WOW... do I make this easy, hard or a bit of both..

Here's the deal.
I can keep this small for the time being just to get the imaging done and open a personal savings account. This would cut expenses down and have less in monthly fees.

I could go big right away and then be set if I have to fundraise for the surgery too.
This one involves going to a registries office, registering a "business" which would either be a Charity, a Fundraising or hmm.. the word escapes me at the moment...
After this, I need to meet with the Business link to see what needs to be done to issue tax receipts, see what paper work needs to be drawn up to not have to pay taxes and then give all of this info to the bank. From there I send the info on to those who want to help...

So much to do!
I have not slept in 4 nights now. I think partially because there is just so much to do in a small amount of time.

I have decided to help me not stress out that I will open a savings account. I meet Matt at the bank tomorrow to do this. For now it will be under my name. I will send you the info as soon as I get it.

Once things settle a bit in my little busy world I will be finding out all of the information and get the business account. In the mean time I will keep track of every donation and hopefully I can have tax receipts issued...wouldn't that be great!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hot date with a banker!

Well I called the bank today and here goes it...

I have a meeting on Thursday with Nick.
Nick is the Small Business Manager and I've been told he is the one that I need to talk with.

All I have been told to date is that I need to bring 2 pieces of ID and there will be a $7 / month fee to run the account.

Can't wait to see what else he has to say!