Saturday, December 27, 2008

Technical Difficulties

While not impossible, it will be very difficult to post for the next two weeks or so.  

Our Compaq notebook suffered a nervous breakdown and will be gone for at least two weeks.

Only posts of momentous import will appear.  

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Forget my other posts. UPDATE

Please go here and read a fellow mser's troubles. They are not uncommon to many people with ms.

Please read her posts and offer her prayers, direction, if you have it, and help, if you can.

She is struggling mightily, but the situation is dire.

We have a response! See below: if anyone else can follow suit, it would be great.


An awful shock.

We had weathered last week's Night of the Long Knives. I was on vacation and sent worried emails on Friday. Turns out the day had been Wednesday.

We were all sort of silently rejoicing by Friday that we were safe (this time around).

We were wrong.

Yesterday a coworker in our department was handed his hat when he arrived to work. The ladies in our department were in tears. That did not include me. I was too furious to even cry over his bewildered expression.

This happened because he wasn't here the day they handed out pink slips last week. The people in Binghamton were too lazy to return (way, way, way out here, a whole 40 minutes away!) the next day to inform him properly.

Too involved in their own stupid selves to properly handle the termination. So a working man had the entire weekend through Wednesday to believe that he would have a decent Christmas, after all...

"Human resources" just doesn't get it. God damn them to Hell forever and a year.

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Go to Little Pond for today's post.

Also, I missed the latest cut at the paper. Things are still being pared back, and our duties are shipping bit by bit, up to Binghamton.

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

In the middle of my vacation week

And yet I still need a nap, every single day. And that is after 10 hours of sleep at night!

I am mystified, because I thought I was doing better.

One bright spot: last night I was running through the channels when I came across the PBS special broadcast of Black and White Night. They were running a telethon.

Husband RJ came in and set the DVR to record. I never knew he like Orbison, too!

Even the telethon was less annoying because it had people who knew him, including his widow. We watched the whole thing together. Sometimes I was crying; Orbison had the most amazing voice and manner, just staring (I think) off into the distance.

It was pure magic.

I slept like a baby that night.

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, November 09, 2008

I'm a dumbass.

I just found a note from my NP. I was working a sudoku while waiting, and again afterwards in her office. Today I took out the booklet, to rework and retry the puzzle. Papers fell out, including a note and new appointment card.

Never looked at either, just stuffed them in the booklet, I guess. Must've been more upset than I remember, and I remember being upset.

The note recommends an additional 1000 iu per day, over and above the stuff I'm already taking. Now I remember her spiel about all the extra benefits of taking more D3. Apparently they are finding more all the time.

So I went to Puritan's Pride and ordered more than a year's worth, because their deals make it worth it.

So maybe I will get to know where it leaves us, after all.

pb
Little Pond

Friday, November 07, 2008

More about osteoporosis.

After the bone scanning, I was so disappointed to learn that I am still losing ground. In fact, the next scan will almost certainly put me squarely in the osteoporotic (geez, what a word) group.

The good news was that she recommended Vitamin D3 to help absorb the calcium. I take a lot of calcium and plenty of dairy products, instead of meat. I'd never heard of Vitamin D3.

The bad news is that I am most certainly already getting Vitamin D3. I shop Puritan's Pride, and learned that Vitamin D3 is in their formulas already.

So where does that leave me?

Where does that leave any of us?

pb
Little Pond

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Spread the word.

Being thin and staying thin is bad for us.

Today I learned that from my NP at the Women's Health Center.

My bone scan shows more loss: despite the exercise, increased calcium and vitamin D.

Thinness is a risk factor in osteoporosis. And those of us who need steroids are going to suffer more, anyway.

See. My fat is my friend.

Let's have another dish of Friendly's Rich and Creamy, Purely Pistachio.

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, November 01, 2008

To my local readers,

Tuesday is Voting Day. I will be getting a bone density scan at 8:30, followed by a mammogram, and then voting. I hope to carve out time to walk Ellie through the neighborhood. Wednesday she goes for a fatty tumor removal, and it will be tough on her.

It's a big medical week for us, but nothing is more important than voting. We want to re-elect Katie Hughes as County Clerk. She has been most helpful in the upkeep of our Handicap Access parking rights.

I am so active now, that it's a shame I still need the hanger, but lately my hearing is much worse. I need that hanger to keep me close to the building, out of the way of cars I can't hear. Things are so bad at work that I am actually considering whether to learn lip-reading.

Seriously.

Wonder if they've improved devices for nerve deafness? Years ago, the audiologist told me not to get sucked into buying a hearing aid; nerve deafness can't be fixed that way. But the messy situation is this: the hearing is fairly normal in one ear, but the confusion of signals I get in the other overcomes the good hearing.

I am just guessing what is being said. I am just guessing the direction of a sound. I am just guessing what a sound represents.

And I am mostly guessing wrong. They are laughing at me in the workplace. Apologies all around later, but it's clear I need to do something, anything.

Anyway, we need Katie Hughes, who goes out of her way to help with renewals, and walks the newbies through a difficult administrative maze.

However you lean, please just vote.

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bleak Landscape

The point of this photo may be a little obscure. If you've followed the RiverDog and the RiverHag, then you know that I love the little arbors, the woodsy havens that I find around the river banks.

So this is not a photo of just anything, it is a photo of something missing. At the top you can see a little inlet; it's one of Ellie's favorite spots.

This is how it looked a few weeks ago.

But the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has ruled: there can be no trees within 15 feet (5 meters) of the levee. People are losing trees from their backyards, due to this ruling. It's for our safety, in case of overflowing riverbanks.

I feel for the homeowners, but also felt that they would have to take the hit for the rest of us. I still believe that.

But right now, I miss my beautiful trees. The herons used to hide in them, and we hikers could find a tiny bit of shade on a sunny summer morning.

All gone.

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Better now. Update: Not.

We (and I mean all of us here) have started to feel better. Boy, we managed to pick up everything that came along last week. Upper respiratory, chest cold, intestinal distress and fever.

As of Saturday, we are on the road to recovery and beginning to return to the world.

Poor RJ had to run up to Rochester to accompany his dad to a procedure to ease an aneurysm. I can't believe they do one-day surgery for that sort of thing, but there you have it. They are both back. The FIL is on the mend, but feeling his age (80), and RJ is somewhat better and looking forward to his birthday Tuesday (58). We both just need rest, somewhat drained by the bug.

RJ doesn't want a cake, he wants salmon. We'll see if the girls want to go to Red Lobster, or if I should just cook up a couple of fillets here. My guess is the girls will over-rule the toned down version.

Update: note to self: not over it yet. Ate fish with wine at Red Lobster and tossed it all later that evening. A waste of a delicious, expensive meal.

pb
Little Pond

ps: I am noticing the "Followers" thing, but haven't been up to learning anything new yet. This week I'll look into it.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Something old, something new.

This summer ushered in a brand new sign of old age: my feet hurt. In fact they hurt so much that I am hobbling, at times, to get around.

For the last decade, I have not had any authentic feeling in my feet. Neuropathy, I think it's called, most of the time. The rest of the time the feelings are distorted: feeling wet and cold in the middle of summer and hot and swollen (feelings only!) at times in winter. None of which were reliable indicators of what was actually their status at the time.

So aching, smarting feet strike me as something new. They tell me that my feet are losing their padding, and that is caused by aging. But why are my feet hurting these days?

Understand me, the pain is not distressing, except--you know--it's pain. Hurting feet curtail my activity; that's bad. Hurting feet means I can feel my feet; that's good, I think.

Is the ongoing loss of padding exposing the nerves in my feet?

Why do they hurt?

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Should I have known?

My sister and I had a (literally) painful conversation today. She called to discuss our Thanksgiving plans and we chewed the fat on a variety of topics.

Our conversation was punctuated by fits of coughing, at both ends of the connection.

We began to compare notes, and--get this!--we are sharing the same symptoms. Hers started weeks ago with the nasty, scratchy, painful, dripping sinuses, that then progressed into her lungs.

She is currently on antibiotics for bronchitis. Her doctor suggested that the very heavy allergy season began the whole sorry mess. Her description of the postnasal drip: felt like strep throat, only at the back of the nose. A perfect limning of mine.

How could this happen? She lives in Eastern Massachusetts and I live in Upstate New York.

I have no answer, except that now I am firmly resolved to get an early flu shot this winter.

This is just a gawd-awful illness that hurts my chest, tires me out, then ruins my sleep and, lastly, makes me a disgusting, coughing and grunting, drippy vector of the first real bug of the season.

pb
Little Pond

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Oh, bloody hell...

IT's gone down into my lungs. They feel singed. This is always a bad sign.

Still, painful lungs can go to work, as long as there are throat lozenges to quell the coughing. Will do, in fact. A quick stop at Dollar General on my way to work.

At least the nasty post-nasal drip is almost done. That was weird, snot and salt and watery, all at once. Geeee-ross! If I looked up high enough, another huge glob would slip down back and into the throat. Gross again, but entertaining, except for the time it started me coughing, as if I breathed water down the wrong tube.

Oh wait. That's how the whole lung mess started, no?

At the same time, the skin is going to hell, with tiny painful boils. And the cold sweat now and again, to mix things up a bit.

But I'm going to work, anyway. No doubt I caught it there. Let them deal.

pb
Little Pond


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Holy Moley Again!

We had a lovely frost that nipped everything a tad and I hoped we were done with the allergy season.

Couldn't have been more wrong. Woke several times last night choking on very painful post nasal drip.

Since when is post nasal drip painful? Now my adenoids hurt and my ears are also paining me. I'm totally stuffed on antihistamines, as far as I'm allowed, and they barely touch it. No fever, no coughing, thank the Lord.

What the heck is this?

pb
Little Pond

Friday, September 19, 2008

AAAARRR and AHOY!

I had forgotten what day this is! Actually this year there be a whole weekend, mateys!

Until I got this email:

Ahoy Mateys!

Miss Emily has posted the latest "Talk Like A Pirate" edition of Change of Shift and aye, it was worth waiting for! You can be checking it out at:

http://crzegrl.net/?p=1357

If you be inclined to link, there be grog for ye all!

Kim
www.emergiblog.com
Much oblige, Kim me girl.

pb
Little Pond

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cloudy, cloudy, cloudy

Our legacy from Ike.

HuggaMutt doesn't mind, and neither do I. The clouds keep the temperature steady. Less energy spent on air conditioning.

Downsides? Bland, flat photos when hiking. Suffocating conditions at work: we have heat but no cooling; day crew insists on leaving the door open to the loading dock, making it muggy.

Makes no difference at home: Husband RJ and I are always opposites; he makes it too cold with the a/c and too hot with the heater.

Other than that, though, we are okay with the current weather.

Broke the pod yet again! Always on the original metal tubing. Back into my workshop for tweaking. It's shorter, but at least it's fixed. The oak never breaks, just the tubing.

I love my camera pod/walking stick.

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Fine Print

Somehow, during my week off from work I managed to get an awfully painful stiff neck. Today I am better, but yesterday I slept as much as I could. The rest of the time I watched TV.

My neck was so stiff I simply propped myself up on the sofa with my neck in a homemade splint comprised of pillows and a corn-filled heating pad. Only my eyes could move.

You know, I never realized how little attention I paid to small print. Disclaimers, mostly.
  • The Gary Coleman, Cash Now commercial: the APR is 99.25%!!!
  • Campbell's Soup, supposedly free of MSG-related additives: yeast extract (just as poisonous as pure) monosodium glutamate to many of us.
  • A local used car dealer styles himself as "The Loan Arranger" complete with starry glint in his eye: anyone can get a loan because they lend at subprime rates, just like the banks that are failing all over the US.
All of which sort of turns my stomach. I was happier not knowing.

My neck is better to day; no small print if I watch tonight.

It's the end of week one without my Copaxone shots. I sent in a written prescription about 10 days ago. Usually Curascript is all over me like hair on a yeti, with phone calls and emails.

pb
Little Pond

Monday, August 18, 2008

who I visit these days

A rundown of my "Mediblogs" bookmarks right now:

http://www.brain-cheese.blogspot.com/--by the same name

http://mdmhvonpa.blogspot.com/--white lightning (as in Pennsyltucky)

http://accessdenied-livingwithms.blogspot.com/--same name

http://azchick.blogspot.com/--one crazy chick

http://wordsalads.blogspot.com/--same name

http://disablednotdead-anne.blogspot.com/--same name

http://wonlife.wordpress.com/--one life

http://multiplesclerosisblog.blogspot.com/--same name

http://ateatrayinthesky.blogspot.com/

And that's just the MS blogs. Furthermore, I have a tendency to follow links I find on these blogs. Lastly, the blogs on the sidebar, some of which are the same, are the ones I follow when I go to work, during my breaks.

Some of you are old friends; a few are new. I would also like to point out that I lost touch with a number of people when we changed computers ( at least twice). Never quite got the hang of transferring to a new machine.

And that doesn't touch on what I consider daily blogs and blog relatives.

It's a wonder I ever clean my house...

pb
Little Pond

Monday, August 11, 2008

All under control

Dog day doggie paddle. This doxie has rather poor eyesight, and must swim out to things in the water to actually tell what they are. The gurgling caught her attention. The water is probably knee deep, but that's enough for total immersion for this little HuggaMutt.

Still, my allergies are fairly under control. Except. And there is always an except in the summer.

Except the asthma can be heard when I talk. Witness this post set for my Elmira, New York readers, later this week. Hate to hear myself talk, let alone talk and pant.

pb
Little Pond

Monday, August 04, 2008

I am not living this summer, merely reacting.

That's why there hasn't been a truly original post in weeks and weeks.

Multiple Sclerosis can be managed, but cannot be cured. That, too, is a game of reacting, not living.

Every time I try to live, the MS gets in the way. When I properly manage the MS, there is little time for living, and none for living free.

It is the middle of summer and I eagerly await the return of cooler, wetter days. The Dog Days are also Ragweed Days, when many of us wake with stuffy, achy heads, dry cough, and runny eyes and noses. Even my teeth hurt.

Funny story: my teeth hurt so bad one summer, I finally made an emergency visit with the doctor. He looked at my teeth and (I think) took an xray.

Diagnosis: swollen sinuses. That will be $50.00, thank you.

Right now I am preparing to take 4mg of chlorpheniramine maleate, the second of six I will need today. That is on top of 10mg of cetirizine hydrochloride. Neither medicine will elevate my blood pressure. There are also two forms of fluticasone proprionate to juggle. I will still need acetaminophen to help me sleep at noon and later at midnight.

And despite all our best efforts, the albuterol inhaler is getting a workout.

Doesn't sound very spontaneous, does it?

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The secret to surviving the summer.

Sleep, sleep, sleep! (Sorry. That's probably not much help for most of you.)

I work until midnight. Most of my coworkers go home to television or partying with friends, especially Fri. and Sat. I head home to 1/2 glass of warm milk and dulce de leche or 1/2 cup of creamy cottage cheese. Then straight to bed. (Wash and brush teeth, of course. Morning dairy-mouth tastes terrible!)

When I arise six or seven hours later, I do laundry, read the paper, and eat breakfast, all concurrently. If it is custody week, I take Ellie to the River for about 1 1/2 hour jaunt. If not, I clean/repair house or run errands. Then it is bed time again from 11:30 to 1:30. Get up, eat lunch, shower and off to work.

Weekend variation: Sat., same only late-morning, run errands; Sun., same, only church first. In the summer, the midday nap is a must; in the winter, not so much. The weekend afternoon is usually mine, and bedtime comes earlier 10 or 11pm.

Notice all the sleeping? Yeah, me, too. I get invites all the time for parties with coworkers. Very rarely attend. When I do, I am the master of the arrive late, leave early schtick.

Written out like this, it sounds like no fun, but actually I find it rewarding enough. After all, there were years when I couldn't do much more than sleep, work, and sleep some more.

pb
Little Pond

Monday, July 21, 2008

Another round of layoffs.

No personal friends claimed this time, though. We lost the entire online department, including a former member of our happy little group.

I mention this because I had wanted to join online. Seemed the wave of the future.

Instead I remained in Composing where we are in charge of the melding of news and advertising. That means I spend the entire week as Quality Control in advertising. A tough job given the number of agents and artists, none of whom is great with spelling and detailing.

Well, that paid off. Sort of.

This week we were tops in the national network of Advertising Quality for Gannett. Yay.

They sent up an icecream cake, with some silly remarks about how they know we are working in muggy, unairconditioned heat. Yay.

Said cake was half chocolate. Yay.

I mean, boo. Cramped me up so bad that I was praying for a cleansing vomiting session. Frankly, if I had been alone, the finger would have gone done the throat. For the only time since I started the new shift, I had company right up to 11:30pm.

Ice cream cake is so much cheaper than fixing the air conditioning or sending out bonuses.

Here's where someone says "You should be glad you have a job." And I am, but I also know that the last time we "won" such an award, I was promoted to full time, and immediately went on partial layoff from September to December.

Yay?

pb
Little Pond

Friday, July 18, 2008

Where have I been?

Right here.

All for now. More yardwork this weekend. More ladders, more heat, more noisy power tools. We have ordered a city dump truck for the offal of it all. We hope to fill it.

Otherwise, our neighbors will no doubt be glad to help. Fill the dump truck that is. With their yard trimmings, too.

pb
Little Pond

Friday, July 11, 2008

Anyone else?

I cannot believe that I am taking a 24-hour Zirtec (generic) and my usual antihistamine, both at the same time. And still my sinuses drip! I have ordered a prescription nasal spray, fluticasone, to dry that up, but for heaven's sake!

All together, along with the Flovent inhaler, and I am still groping for the albuterol. I wanted to get off that completely.

Geez, what a disgusting thing the human body can be...

Anyone? Eastcoasters? Midatlantickers? Is it just me?

pb
Little Pond

Monday, July 07, 2008

Suffocating Heat

We have managed to stay either indoors or in the shade. This weekend I washed the front porch, cleaning the awnings, blind and siding, all in the shade. It was a good job done out of the sun.

The tree work just sort of happened. I was sawing a branch when I heard from below:

"I knew those weren't [huband RJ's] legs! What are you doing up there!" It was my next door neighbor, who was ultimately delighted to learn that I was removing limbs that interfered with our roofs. He took the opportunity to limb a plant bordering our properties, while also lending me his reciprocating saw for the limbing.

While we were at it, a buddy of his joined us, as did RJ, and we pulled down a lot of limbs and made an appointment for next Saturday to do the same. It will cost a case of Heineken's beer.

Don't you love neighborhood living?

pb
Little Pond

Friday, July 04, 2008

These are always at ready,
when they are not in use.


They are my freedom.

God Bless America.

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, June 21, 2008

This is getting ridiculous!

After a lifelong love affair with chocolate, we have come to a definitive parting of ways. This winter I had a nasty bug that made me vomit for hours. It seemed coincidental that the worst occurred right after a snack of chocolate pudding.

I responded by following a detox diet for the last three months. Recently, I have been reintroducing meat and sweets, one by one. Chocolate was the latest, just this week.

I finished lunch yesterday with a lovely little sundae cup, mint chocolate-chip. By the time I prepped for work, everything smelled funny. I wondered if maybe our drains were backing up, but nothing seemed wrong.

Went to work, and didn't feel great, but didn't feel sick. Couldn't regulate my body heat, and even had that odd feeling of warmth, but with clammy cheeks. (The ones on my face...)

I ate at lunch break, but began to wonder if my choice of food was all wrong, because it wasn't at all enjoyable. If It weren't for being at work, I wouldn't have eaten at all. Gotta have fuel, though, to make it to midnight.

Put the first edition to bed. Stood up to stretch. Walked straight into the men's room, because that's the only one on our side of the building. And tossed my cookies until my gut felt empty.

Went back to work a little puzzled. Left my seat to speak briefly with an editor. I felt queasy after I returned to my seat.

Shipped the replates for the second edition. Jumped up and ran again to the men's room. And tossed my cookies until my gut felt empty.

At that point I felt much better, although my eyes were streaming and I was damp with sweat. I worked right up to quitting time, just to keep from rushing to the men's room.

Got home all right, but couldn't sleep well for hours.

The whole episode was rather similar to the other chocolate-hurling in February.

Damn. Just when I had convince myself that I could go back to (just a little) chocolate.

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

We limped back home.

The HuggaMutt inspects some enormous driftwood
in the Gateway area, just south of Downtown Elmira.
We both got a little banged up yesterday on our daily jaunt to the river. The cold weather is always welcome, especially after such an early heat wave. The windiness was a little hard on the muscles, though. There was just enough sunshine that I wanted to take full advantage and dressed to embrace it. The biting wind, however, won out.

Today, we are housebound and glad.

pb
Little Pond

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My own collection of links...

First off, go visit my BlogBro Norm.

There, watch the video. Now run that in the popup for background music, while I regale you with my latest. And no, it's not all about MS. What with the heat wave, bills, and dirty house, I've enough of symptoms to remind me of MS every minute. Let's move on:

Before it got so danged hot, I took the HuggaMutt to the river to visit with the fishermen. You see, the usual haunts were overrun with visitors to RiverFest.

It was lovely the first few times.

Then the heat wave began to lower the levels, so we went down to the shady Newtown Creek area, and got all nasty, stinky, and buggy.

Finally the heat drove us all indoors. Little Snugglebums was returned to MammaDog and I've been inside, cleaning and waiting for contractors to show.

Lately, every spare minute goes to finishing my book. I would love to tell you that I'm winding it up with a bang, but life is never thus. There is a huge battle for you fans of gratuitous violence. For you fans of gratuituous other stuff, wait for the next chapter.

What? What??? Surely you know I mean over-eating and -drinking... Heh-heh. You'll just have to wait for that chapter, then, won't you?

Good thing my fingers still work. Some of our fellow MSers are having tough times. I know what's she's going through. My very first major attack included it. Right now all the difficulty seems concentrated in my legs, so no hiking for a few. Poor River will miss me.

That's what it gets for being so stinky.

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Recovering from the UTI, but

I am in the middle of some sort of food reaction. This time it is Strawberries and/or Blueberries. My mouth is full of sores and my entire alimentary canal is affected, from top to bottom. I have dropped both fruits and will reintroduce blueberries later, but I really need a rest right now. It may be my imagination, but it seems to be affecting the asthma, making my feel completely hemmed in and coughing constantly.

BTW, I wrote to the author of this wonderful site:

www.msgmyth.com

regarding seaweed and soy products. I had wanted to begin making my own maki, a vegetarian sort of seaweed/rice/veggie rollup, cousin to sushi. I started by testing dulse in a few recipes and found it a little hard on my insides. The lady recommends I avoid it, as it is rich in glutamates, a component of MSG, one of my worst bugbears.

Back to regular fresh veggies and canned fruits, I guess.

As to MSG Myth, you will especially want to download her list of related additives, or better yet, buy her book. Read, read, read all food labels. No kidding: there is MSG in some hi-protein breakfast cereals.

This is no joke; people become more allergic to the additives as they age. I started very young. My first major encounter was after Chinese takeout in the Washington, DC area, and it nearly landed me in the emergency room. The reason we didn't go to the hospital was because I was on the floor unable to move, and we didn't have decent insurance--in a very expensive city. We never called the ambulance.

Young people imagine they are immortal. After two very painful hours, the stuff was out of my system, and I never ordered takeout again.

Right now I want a calm morning, freshly prepared light meals, and proximity to our powder room.

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Out of whack.

Too much overtime, too much stress. We have still not gotten the asthma under control, and now we are also treating a massive UTI. To be expected, since I must self-catheterized at least a couple times a day, especially while working.

Don't think I will ever get used to seeing so much blood. When I was younger, cloudy urine and a little burning was pretty much all I experienced. Is it just because I'm over 50?

But, with almost $50--such a magical number!-- worth of medications and supplies, we are attacking the infection forthwith. (And that's just the copays...)

Let's hope the fever doesn't kick in some sort of exacerbation. Already, my hearing and balance on the left side is affected. And my fingertips tingle. That is just temporary, usually.

pb
Little Pond


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hurray for Flovent!

My refill arrived today, and was received with great fanfare and due ceremony. Tonight I hope to enjoy a full 7-8 hours sleep, especially since I must work Sunday evening at the paper.

Without the asthma medicine, I choke whenever anything touches my throat in the night. That would include my pillow, hands or even the sheets. My passages are that swollen. I dream about suffocating, because I sleep on my back most of the time, trying to avoid lying on my arm.

Due to an unfortunate confluence of circumstances, stints at the paper have been awful: we're down a worker during the LPGA Corning Classic. So, at a time when there is probably a quarter again more duties than usual, we are missing a key player and must fill in for her. We are racking up overtime and will work an extra night Sunday on top of it all.

But the torture is nearly over, as the Classic will end, and we managed to survive a
grueling ordeal. Tempers flared, asthma attacks were the rule, overloaded nervous systems spazzed and incontinence reigned supreme, but my world will settle down soon.

We hope.

( And I don't want to forget that I promised further developments on the camera pod front. Happy to report that 5/8" (1.5 cm) oak doweling fits the bill nicely.)

pb
Little Pond

Monday, May 19, 2008

So now I am out of asthma medicine.

All our longterm meds must be ordered through the mail. This would be a new Rx, even though it is an ongoing thing with me. The new script went out Saturday and should be in by Saturday.
A very long time to suffer with asthma unabated. I am very glad that the tree season is over, and I only have to contend with lilacs and grass. So far the Albuterol inhaler is picking up the slack. In fact, the worst attacks come with housekeeping and working at the paper.

And I still go out nearly every day to walk. After all, we have the HuggaMutt this week.

I'll survive, but it's been unpleasant, especially for those around me. I have returned to hacking all day and most of the night. Can't wait for my shipment of Flovent.

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Not in time, but

Relief is on the way. Between the Zirtec, Flonase and Flovent, I should be a little better soon. You can see that we are in the very middle of tree fever:
So I pay for the pretty scenery with asthma and allergies. It's gloriously beautiful, and I go out all the time.This garden was fairly nonexistent for a while, after we had a windstorm a few years ago. Really pretty now. I'd say they made a full recovery.

The Twin Tiers are so pretty this time of year. I thank the Lord I am still ambulatory.

pb
Little Pond

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Finally feeling better.

Still a lot of fatigue, but the heavy tree-fever season is always tough on me. I have an order going in for a steroidal nasal spray that should help.

And no, it won't give me super-smelling powers. I already have those, thanks, and it's been no fun to smell bad stuff no one else can detect. Living and working with smokers leaves me climbing the walls all the time.

I am trying to schedule window cleaners, but you know contractors. It looks like we will have to scratch the first name on the list. Too bad, too. Morrison's Building Maintenance usually does a decent job. Unfortunately, they played telephone tag for over a week before they connected.

Then they made an appointment they didn't keep.

And never called.

Not allowed. We have some other names to explore. Maybe they will want the business. It's a quick job for some easy pay. One floor, ten windows, $100.00 or so, as I recall.

Don't really know any more, because MBM didn't keep their appointment.

pb
Little Pond

Friday, May 02, 2008

I've been walking Elmira all week. Update.

The rainy days found me rambling around the neighborhoods. The sunny, drier days afforded a few photo ops by the river. See River Hag.
So this vacation has been a good opportunity to exercise and eat right.

My daughters visited often and we ate out a couple of times, mostly vegetarian. After faithfully watching BBCAM's You Are What You EAT for the last several weeks, I now have a few decent recipes and a fair stock of the proper veggies, fruits, seed, etc. I doubt I am losing weight, but I am certainly sleeping very well. A very rare treat for me.

A side effect of the flu season, and that awful virus, happened to claim chocolate as a casualty. I ate a chocolate pudding one night and vomited it for three hours straight. No more chocolate for me. My stomach can no longer tolerate it. Well, maybe later when I straighten things out a bit.

So, net result of vacation: Dining room redone with Wallies covering the nasty spots scratched by the cats. A new Sauder corner desk for the computer stuff. Nothing fancy, just affordable. Winter stuff cleaned and stored, clothing, car scrapers, etc. A very few layering pieces to wear to work. And I hope for an easy inspection of the Geo on Friday morning. Some trepidation there, what with the rustiness and all.

Hah! Passed! 5/1/8. Keep in mind that the Miller Lite repairs the pipe connecting the resonator to the muffler, and is all properly sealed to prevent any exhaust escape. The Red Bull is merely the connection from muffler to tail pipe and has passed even without repair. Go here to see the beer can repairs.

That's enough for one week.

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Across the Pond

For some time now, I have been reading a blogger in the UK. It is very instructive to see the differences in health care on the two sides of the pond. The really big pond, that is.

I had always imagined that healthcare in England was much better than in the US because it is nationalized. Wrong. If you go here you get a huge sampling of some of her typical daily troubles, and it isn't pretty.

This lady is lovely and upbeat, and has many, many problems caused by caretakers that we would not tolerate here in the US. I find her blog to be inspiring, morale-wise.

Makes me feel like a "whiny, puling fool." (Romeo and Juliet)

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Last of the lovely days for a while.

Pretty, isn't it? I am still fine-tuning the Zyrtec/Chlor-trimetron balance, and trips to the river are often a disaster, continence-wise. Especially if I hike it. I need to remember that the tree-fever season is just the beginning of a very long allergy stint, ending with the hard frosts of fall. Apparently I still have MS even when I don't much feel like it. Or maybe it's all denial, as my coworkers and kids tell me.

I am watching every single thing that goes down the hatch these days. Calorie counts are kept to 1500 or less on weekdays, a little more liberal on weekends. I am finally beginning to see the small signs of success. One benefit of my new diet is better sleep. Chocolate must have been taking quite a hidden toll on me.

Pat's Pond now has a new blog (like this is something rare?) and it's attached to the paper. They decided they didn't need another columnist, so they suggested I run a blog on their community. So that's probably how I would have eventually been relegated, anyway. We can only hope that people will see some of us regular bloggers and decide they would like to join, also.

You can check it if you like, but be forewarned that it activates a ton of popups. It's called Walking the Dog, and will have very short entries, usually with a photo, and links to these Blogger sites. Actually, it will likely contain stuff from our regular Blogger sites, so don't be surprised if it looks a little familiar.

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Beautiful weather

Trips to the River are just begging for allergy medications. This is the time when the trees start causing a big problem for me. Below is a pretty thicket alongside the Newtown Creek last Tuesday.
Today I am experimenting with Zirtec. For the last two days, I have taken Chlortrimetron 12 hour tabs, and they are messing with my nerves. So far the Zirtec seems to be working well, but let's see what happens when I try to nap.

No nap on Thursday made the toughest night of the week even tougher. Last night was bad, too, although I was a little more accustomed to the twitching and nodding.

When it gets really bad, I take another Baclofen, but the idea of upping any of the meds is somewhat scary. On the other hand, it's not fun when knee jerks and other spasms begin to catch people's attention.

The other factor will be the cost. I take a LOT of medications and supplements, all at doctors' orders. And the cost of food and gas are sucking up every little bit of money I would normally aim at the extra meds.

But tree fever is so miserable. It 's nice to be able to alleviate it.

pb
Little Pond

Friday, April 11, 2008

Not One Ounce (28g)...

Give me a break, God!

Finally got to the GP this week. When the time came, I eagerly stepped on the scale. Only to learn that I weighed pretty much what I did last August.

All the exercise, calorie counting and abstinence availed me nothing.

Alas.

You see, the lakes around here are glacial, both geologically and figuratively. That means Spazz Lady lives up to the moniker when she so much as dips a toe in them. Swimming pools are full of chlorine, which makes a mess of the asthma.

So no worries about bathing suits to spur my efforts. On the other hand, I can probably expect really decent blood test results.

Calcium and lipids, to be exact.

Otherwise, back to the drawing board. And try to figure out how I fooled myself into thinking my clothes were looser.

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

It's not really official, but

we apparently did not get the flu this year.

What we have had for the past month or so is a virus. It is interesting to note that those who took the virus all the way to bronchitis or even pneumonia are all pretty well recovered. The antibiotics did the trick for them. The rest of us are limping along, coughing and picking up every other little bug that comes by.

I am trying to blog, but have no energy, and since my creativity runs on energy, I'm afraid we will have to hand out rain checks on maybe some decent posts later.

Right now I am nursing a pulled muscle in my diaphragm, or thereabouts, seemingly from coughing while in a bad position. Whatever that was. Hope I enjoyed it.

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A bit better

Enough to take the HuggaMutt for a walk. A short one, with camera in hand.

When I got back, my daughters arrived and made and Easter Brunch.

They stayed until around 1:30PM and cleaned up after themselves. It was lovely, and I topped it with a two-hour nap.

And now I want to catch up a little on posting.

I hope to visit all your blogs, soon, too.

pb
Little Pond

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It got me.

That nasty virus, that is. It might be the flu, but I don't think so.

Just as sick as sick can be. No more posts until I feel up to it.

pb
Little Pond

Monday, March 03, 2008

Site reactions and Beta Bruises

My weight went way up this last fall, and my clothes don't fit. So, I am counting calories yet again. The reward has been constant soreness at the waistline.

This is not a non-sequitur. Let's muddy the waters even further.

For my 50th birthday, a few years ago, I was gifted with the first pot-belly, beer-gut, tummy or what ever you want to call it, in my life. The flip side of that development was a loss of fat below the navel. Yeah, whatever.

After the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, my neuro talked me into BetaSeron. It worked, but soon I was covered with little bruises on my arms, legs, bottom and lower tummy. In the summer, I learned to shoot only on the lower belly, and stocked up on tank suits, gave up on shortie shirts, hip hugger jeans, the like. But, hey, the darned stuff put me into remission. And between the navel and groin there was plenty of soft, female fat to go around. Think Venus de Milo.

Unfortunately, BetaSeron zeroed out those important little numbers that indicate how well my immune system was protecting me. Neuro wanted me to go on Copaxone, but I resisted. After a while I lost so much ground that I relented.

Now I have little swollen spots all over my belly, and down into my groin. Frankly, I refuse to inject anywhere else. Flat out refuse.

So here's the thing. This time around, now that I am menopausal (God, that sounds gross...), I seem to only be keeping fat at the waist (in a strange raised circle around the navel), upper arms (kimono sleeves), and butt (a signature of the Paquette side of the family tree). I am losing the fat in my groin. Not "nicely thin," but skin sort of hanging from the area. Pooch, anyone?

The swollen spots really hurt, and they last, hurting all the while, for about a week. I can't shoot the upper arms, because off all the nerve damage, years before the diagnosis, done by shots to cure all my allergies. Those shots most decidedly did not work, were also very painful and lasted weeks and weeks, leaving me with underarms that tingle constantly.

And how the heck would I shoot the fat under my arm, anyway? I will not involve my husband, because I couldn't stand the sight of him during those upper arm shots, some 20 years ago. Not his fault, poor guy...

All right, all you successful, experienced shooters out there! Some help?

pb
Little Pond

Angry Planet: the second honeymoon continues.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

We are in the throes of the flu season.

Upstate New York finally succumbed to the epidemic. Everyone is saying that that flu shot was for the wrong strains. No one can escape their sick coworkers and relatives.

We're on our second or third run through cold viruses this winter, here in Little Pond. Between RJ and I, there is enough snot running to power a small turbine.

It's not flu, because we had shots.

Got sick of staring at my beloved and listening to him humming to the Lite Hits channel. I took the camera downtown, where I usually would not go, because the dog can't always behave herself with the strangers.

Crazy motorists come up behind me and honk. They want me to take their picture, but I don't usually photograph humans in their machines. Crazier ones pull up behind me while I am focusing and scream something nonsensical, like little kids trying to scare their parents. Sort of cute, but really just stupid. I suspect teenagers.

There is so much sunshine coming off the river that I am exhausted after only an hour. My knees are sore, maybe from the pavement. Lovely drive home, and an immediate two-hour nap.

Not many good photos this time. Too sunny. And it's downtown. Been there, done that.

Oh, well. Got lots of sun. That's got to count for something.

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

One hour. That's all I get.

That's right. We are only good for about one hour of hiking. All my river blogs represent approximately one hour visits. The tougher the slogging, the shorter the trip.

Fortunately, that is about all Ellie can take, too.

The slogging tougher for her.

pb
Little Pond

Friday, February 22, 2008

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

This is the place to start your blog-rounds on a Friday...

You have your marching orders: Enjoy it!

After all, we almost lost it.

Play it in a popup whilst you are working the keyboard. Blogging, that is.

Thanks, Norm.

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A thing of beauty. A joy forever?


Well, no. Let's just hope it lasts until I can get the pipe replaced. There isn't a mechanic in the world who would replace just the pipe, because the muffler is also patched. They all smell a much more expensive job.

The wires are from my even-more-temporary earlier patch.

There is actually another length of strapping on the other, unseen end. I snipped some "darts" into it to cinch it tight. This end connects to the resonator in a much wider connection.

All done on my back on the floor of the garage in almost freezing temperatures. The camera is almost too close to take the whole at once, and I was too weary to take more than seven shots. Lying on my side and looking into the electronic viewer/moniter. This is the best.

Let's hope this is the end of the whole messy saga.

pb
Little Pond

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Update to Pride Goeth: Help, anyone?

The patch was indeed moved by all the jostling. It was otherwise intact.

Replaced and augmented, the new patch should hold until the weekend. But now I have other chores and must rest before I work tonight.

I'm thinking of cutting up a 22 oz (.65 l) beer can with tin snips and fastening it around the patch with metal strappings. That should outlast the Geo itself.

Other suggestions? Include autoparts store, where applicable, please.

Thanks.

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pride Goeth...

Yep. The new patch has already been done in by the nasty potholes on I-86 from Elmira to Corning.

At least the forecasters are promising better weather for working on the exhaust system Valentine's Day.

Back to the Drawing Board.

How romantic!

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, February 09, 2008

I knew it was coming, but

I did not expect to hear the Geo's noisy engine blare out loudly that I was coming up over the hill to Big Flats. A hole broke open somewhere on full throttle.

The sound was so bad, I was afraid to be ticketed, and I aborted my trip to the Arnot Mall.

Back home, with ol' Flipper up on the ramps, I knew what I had to do. I grabbed some foil and duck tape, and a little wire, and fashioned a patch over the hole. Then I hopped over to Advance Auto Parts and bought some self-sealing wrapping tape to snug in and cover it all.

The pipe is definitely fixing to rot right out, despite the fact that she's only got 80K on the odometer. Upstate New York winters are very hard on Flipper's underside.

But VeggiGirl needs to replace her old heap first, say, this very week. The Geo is the oldest, but will probably outlast all the others, body putty, wrapping tape, aluminum foil and all.

Keeps me busy, while the kids keep us poor.

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Hello, asthmatics!!!

Inspirational Lighting now has rechargeables!

I can't wait for the Christmas Stuff!



Update: My lone commenter seems a bit impatient: the following links to previous posts, both here and at Pats Pond, should offer some clarification: Both here, and here.

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What the...?

Left work at midnight and drove home via Church Street. Piece of cake. I do it five nights a week.

Got lucky and made it past all the lights, even at Hoffman Street. Then my headlights seemed really dim and my muffler got annoyingly noisy. Feeling guilty, I looked around for a police cruiser.

That's when I noticed that there were no lights at all in Elmira Westside, and all the way down Church Street through the Town of West Elmira!

None. We were in a blackout, from Hoffman Street west towards Corning. Corning also experienced a blackout later on. Rumor has it a transformer blew. The paper never knew.

Up Guinnip to First Street and our little Friendly House, right there in Little Pond. No lights. I got out of the car.

No sound at first, although later I was able to detect water dripping into the sewer. At that point I also could see light on at one house, way up. No doubt some people were firing up their backup generators. Once inside, I worked my way towards our Black and Decker Storm Station.

By the auxillary room light, I made myself a Bailey's and milk, turned on the gas fireplace, got undressed and went to bed.

The power was restored shortly after I hit the sheets. Back downstairs, turn off the fireplace, return the flashlight to the Storm Station, back up stairs once again.

Another night in Little Pond.

pb
Little Pond

Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday morning: worked the budget until it screamed for mercy. It will have its revenge sometime in the next two weeks, I'm sure. But to actually balance in the month after Christmas, well, it's very unusual. I expect I've forgotten something.

Monday morning2: vacuumed the downstairs, after I first lovingly carried Patches to the stair landing. My reward? A strange Purrupp? from her just now, as she reached up to tap my butt. When Ellie is not here, Patches knows she is the top dog, and insists on the lion's share of attention.

Monday morning3: still no shipment of necessary prescriptions. I can buy some fallbacks that aren't prescription strength, but will cost a fortune. More than my copay. Still, going without will be a useful indicator of its effectiveness. None of my MS drugs, however.

The new system for ordering maintenance drugs is failing me. Husband RJ refuses to use it, and has gone to the local pharmacy. However, they are not permitted to fill for more than one month. His copay? $50.00 for one month. Together we will probably total over $500. for medicine copays in January, and maybe again for February.

We cannot afford this. I will probably cut back on all my expensive medications, except Copaxone, to accommodate.

I do not look forward to retirement. It's almost as if we will only get lucky if we don't survive until then... Does anyone else feel this way?

pb
Little Pond

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Can't complain.

The neuro was very polite, and didn't quite let on what we both must have been thinking in unison.

I have lost ground this year. I failed the closed-eyes balance test, and I tripped on myself when asked to walk toe to heel. That was the second time, when he suggested I walk "late-for-church" fast.

There hasn't been a real exacerbation in a few years. The Copaxone is working, but I am still losing ground.

What to do?

Call in the Ground Dog and go hunting down by the Chemung River! I'm lame as hell afterwards, but at least I'm using myself up before I'm completely gone.

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Those words make me mad!

My current neuro is chatty, personable, and competent, the last being the most important. He took away my driver's license years ago when he learned I was using my cane to work the clutch. Or was it the brake?

He wants a hearing test. My first and last was shortly after the diagnosis. Verdict: nerve damage. Prescription: nothing. Nothing can be done for nerve damage.

"Those words make me mad?" Huh? What words?

He told me that he didn't believe nothing could be done. Wouldn't I want amplification? Well, it would help, maybe, except that the deafness fades in and out, depending on my neural health.

More testing would be okay, I guess, if the insurance would cover it. Last time we wound up paying $400 out of pocket for the series. I'm told hearing aids cost lots more, and aren't very well covered.

However, it would be nice to hear cars coming up behind on the left again. So many near misses, so far. One time they almost got the HuggaMutt. I try to keep her out of intersections now.

We left it at that. Just another expense to me.

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Plus que ca change...

You can find my New Year's predictions for 2008 at Pat's Pond.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

At least, I'm kind of hoping they do...

pb
Little Pond

Friday, January 04, 2008

Linda D of Brain Cheese

insistently asks, so I guess it's time. I was going to wait until the weekend to post. Just a few minutes this morning won't hurt. So you can thank Linda D.

I am quite well, considering the Holidays are just past. Actually we are very, very well.

This time of year is something like an abbreviated end of summer. Every summer I experience an exacerbation, due to the extended period of heat, both outdoors and inside at work. The physical plant at the paper is so very old, a real patchwork of chewing gum, spit and baling wire. (Like it? I got it from an old episode of Air Wolf...)

The Winter Holidays, on the other hand, are a very quick course on how to screw ourselves up through stress. No matter how we plan and pare back, Christmas leaves me with numbness in the legs and that weird feeling at the back of my neck and shoulders. (There's a special name for that reaction, but I can't recall.)

But. Last weekend afforded me two days off. I worked New Year's Eve then took Christmas and New Years over the next two days. I am working both yesterday and today and then another weekend off. Frankly, I don't know how people survive working swing shifts!

(The Punchline?) The real reason I haven't posted is because I am busy playing Final Fantasy XII, and have been trying to crack the Great Crystal at Giruvegan.

Okay, there. I've admitted it. There was no real reason, except that swear I am not a game geek.

Tell that to poor Husband RJ, who got conscripted into a huge battle with a major boss (Zodiark, Keeper of Precepts), because there was too much going on for me to watch my Health Points, Magic Points, Status Effects and those of the enemy at the same time. When we won, he got the first spontaneous kiss in a very long time...

Well, you asked.

pb
Little Pond