Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Not yet up to speed

...but getting better and better. Self catheterizing is becoming more of a habit. I'm up only once or twice at night and mostly can sleep through a one-hour nap.

Don't know when I can take it back to work, but it definitely is helpful. I can go shopping for more than one hour!

Still don't though. I hate shopping.

Little Pond

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Extraordinary Posts

...on (usually) mundane things. A captain's log on the day-to-day voyage of two extraordinary people. These podcasts are short and to the point. Some make me smile, others bring tears to my eyes. All in a lovely, rich, broadcaster's voice.

I don't know if this is a first, but it's the first blog that is almost exclusively podcast.


Little Pond

Monday, August 21, 2006


Seemed that self-catherizing would be the natural conclusion to what has been a growing problem. Incontinence, both the GottaGo-GottaGo kind and the HurryUp--Can'tGo sort, is simply getting worse. With some fellow-blogger encouragement and a referral from my neuro, "I took the plunge," if you'll forgive the bathroom analogy.

Where does that leave me? "Relieved." It's wonderful to be able to empty my bladder. That simple action has been impossible for well over a decade, maybe longer. So in that sense, I'm "flushed" with victory.

But the process still leaves me fretful and reluctant to take it to work. I start work completely comfortable, but progress to worry as the night goes on. Drinking less water doesn't solve it: a completely private restroom would. There are none to be had at the paper; turns out the remotest ladies room is frequented by others who would have privacy! I wind up "evacuating" in a hurry, in both senses of the word.

In short, "when Nature calls" me, there is no easy answer.

It's my "number one" problem. I'll keep you posted.

Little Pond

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Welcome Old Friends! New planets!

Last week we acquired a new, standardized, definition of what makes a planet a planet. And not an asteroid, meteor, comet or star.

Simply put, the
International Astronomers Union says a planet:

1--is round and
2--revolves around a star.

So old friends Ceres and Charon, and new friend "Xena," are all planets, according to the new rules. Ceres is in the asteroid belt, Charon is a twin to Pluto, and "Xena" is a nickname for 2003 UB313, larger than Pluto, but much farther away from the sun.

Many argue that the agreed upon definition will make for many more planets. I'm thrilled; we need a firm definition, even if it makes for new planets.

The IAU suggests that we separate the planets into our usual, classical planets and "plutons" will be the descriptor for the others. Beginning, of course, with Pluto, always a hotly-contested planet-contender, plutons are all quite tiny in comparison with the classical planets. As far as I'm concerned, that's that.

Don't you just love picking up on the new terminology?


Little Pond

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I need a normal day after last night.

I was alone at the paper, though there were others on my floor. The car was at Goodyear, because the slashed tire was covered for the damage. They had my cell number.

The cell was out of service. Had been for two weeks. Out of service does not make it dead. It makes it a very expensive clock/calculator/phone book. By 7:00 I wondered about the car and called Goodyear. No answer. Didn't check my cell for messages because I never follow up. My OGM is to call my home number. So I walked the four blocks to Goodyear, where the Tracker was neatly locked away inside the building. When I tried to call Husband RJ, I learned the phone was useless. Returned on foot to the paper, where I called home and left a message for him that was never returned.

Last night was hellacious. Working alone with glitching software made for an busy, anxious night. So naturally I lost all sense of potty-training. No car--no quick exit. No RJ--no face-saving white knight. No cash (wedding planners are broke and debt-riddled)--no taxi (who wouldn't want me in his cab, anyway).

Just a bathroom stall and a packet of wipes. Took a half hour to make myself reasonably presentable, albeit faintly stinky. If the people sharing the floor, and those stopping by, noticed, they said nothing.

A coworker drove me home at midnight. I grumped at Husband RJ, who was blissfully asleep the entire four and a half hours, and went to bed.

Cripe. I can survive anything.

Little Pond

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Visiting with the Urologist/RPA

NO, I would NOT "make an appointment for MORE tests," especially at the Associates in Elmira. The RPA said she would schedule right there in Corning. I declined again, telling her that my bad experiences and that of my family made me chary of any further tests.

She fairly sputtered: they couldn't okay anything without tests. Later, she backpedaled a tad, saying that she may have been part of the Associates when we had those problems. Immaterial detail to me; every office has good cases and bad cases. MS almost always makes me a difficult patient.

She repeatedly insisted she wanted only to help. But further tests that would be scheduled way in the future would not help me now. I could find the equipment on my own, if necessary. The GPA gave me a long, patient explanation of the procedure. I told her I already knew; it had been recommended to me 10 years ago. She wanted to know by whom: after the Associates tested me, they told my neurologist that there was nothing to be done for me. Furious, he promised we would try various drugs until one worked. He also suggested a catheter. GPA left the room.

When she returned she gave me a prescription for antibiotics; I have a UTI. No surprise; I always do. The nurse and I made the lesson short and sweet and I returned home.

It's going to be a long haul on this one.

On the one hand, I already last a lot longer between toilet trips. On the other hand, that could simply be the antibiotics. OR the Oxytrol patch for incotinence.

One more log to keep on my condition; no wonder blogging it all comes naturally.


Saturday, August 05, 2006

Multiple Sclerosis and Mental Illness

I battle with clinical depression and am able to overcome the debilitation most of the time. This is because the depression is linked to MS. It's almost predictable in it's reappearance. It relates not only to the MS, but also to the worst stress in my life.

Right now I am again dealing with an exacerbation and resultant depression. Not coincidentally, one of the worst recurring stresses of my life is again making an appearance. At present I am unable to detail the stress, which is not work related, but at least I have tools to help.

Blogging is one of those tools. Not just writing, but also reading blogs. This blog, in particular, is especially helpful. I read it daily, addictively. The writer is that good. Recently she opened a thread of commentary, usually verboten, and now closed.

Many people say they've thought of going into the psychological sciences, either as a practitioner or in research. Not me. The inner strength required for that work is not one of my gifts. What psychologists are especially good at is listening and relating. That is the sort of thing found at Intueri.

If you are dealing with mental illness, bookmark it. When you are strong enough, visit. Sometimes it's disturbing, other times it's inspiring, but it is always a bit of a surprise.

Little Pond