Say It Isn't So

Sunday, August 28, 2005


My father, upon his retirement, decided to trace the family tree. He told me that if you go back just 20 generations you have a million ancestors. I did the math and to my utter astonishment he was correct. It seemed impossible because there were easily 4 generations at the same dinner table at one time in my life, but you can't just multiply that by 5. Roots don't work that way!

For my Dad it was a labour of love with emphasis on the labour. Book after book after book, most of which are kept by the various churches of this world. They recorded the marriages, the births and the deaths of the past. It was not possible to get everything he wanted because documents were destroyed. The earth, wind and fire take a toll. Rats and mice :( take a toll. But he managed to get quite far back anyway. All the way to 1785, 1787, and 1800 to my great, great, great grand parents. Some from my mother's side of the family and some from his. He was doing it for us so he included my Mom's tree also. That gets me the names of almost all 16 great*** grands. For me that's only 6 generations, for my grandson that is 8! I am very happy that my father started down that path. I hope to keep the data string going because the record keeping has changed hands and the retrieval of this kind of information may become more difficult to obtain.

It is believed that those of us who have MS come from mostly a northern European ancestry. Also that each of us has spent the first 7 years of our lives in a temperate climate. Could it also be that we all have a common ancestor. It may only take one.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


I can't believe how a trip to Big K, and 2 of my favourite grocery stores can virtually wipe me out. I also can't fathom how driving can be so much easier than walking, even at $2.70 per gallon. There seems to be an increase in the dizzy feeling these days and of course I forgot to mention it to my PCP this week when I paid a visit. Usually I write down a list of questions to remember to ask, but then I forget to take it with me. Much like my endeavors at grocery shopping. I explained to my Doctor how at my age you expect things to break down and not work properly anymore, but that I felt sorry for the young people who suffered this disorder. Anyway I left their office with the Doctor's words echoing in my ears (everything echoes in my ears, I have super hearing, or, as John Cleese would say "A cute earring"). I was being told how lucky I was. It is true that I have always felt blessed.


I think driving is part of my problem. Back in the 70's when I was a young "know it all" granola bandit on a bicycle, I used to joke about how one day humanity was going to lose the ability to walk because of the automobile. Three months after I'm into my fourth (first new one) car, I get my first bout of optic neuritus. And seven years later I'm on the road to another new set of wheels, as in wheelchair. However I am going to use every trick in the book, even if I have to write a new book, to take a fork in that road.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Falling Stars

Me and my guy went north to Lone Pine this weekend. We wanted to get away from the city lights so we could get up in the wee hours of the morning and see the astonishing event called the Perseid Meteor Showers It was really great! We usually go into the mojave desert for this event, but that is just becoming such a populated area that there is too much light polution to get a good handle on the magnitude of our universe. So we thought we would cross the desert this year and go to the highest place in the continental United States, Mount Whitney. We didn't go to the top of the mountain because that would take 3 days, minimum (well that's what it took my husband to climb it 35 years ago) and you can't drive to the top. But we did manage to drive quite a ways up the eastern face, parked and got out the lounging lawn chairs and prepared to be amazed. If you can get a good view it is kind of like watching fireworks in slow motion. They were exploding out of an area near Mars and they would come into the upper atmosphere and fan out in every direction. Truly spectacular. I am glad the weather cooperated because there were thunderstorms all around where we live. So we escaped the bad weather and had a spectacular show compliments of mother nature.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


It was one summer while out visiting at my Auntie's. She lived in the Eastern Townships about 150 miles east of Montreal. The countryside that she and my Mom had grown up in, where my Grandpa had a dairy farm and the neighbour was a million miles away. I loved going out to visit there! At seven years old it was no problem to walk a million miles and back.

My cousins, my brother and I were out on a hunt for four leaf clovers. We were bound to find one because the world was huge and the yard was massive and full of clover. We would think we found one but on further inspection it was the usual three. It's funny how they can all look like a four leaf for a split second. We were getting a little depressed about our poor luck. I decided that we should eat the three leafers as punishment. Maybe that would result in scaring the remaining clovers into producing that elusive fourth leaf in order to thrwart off impending doom from we ogre children. I convinced everyone that they were alright to eat because horses ate them all the time and they were okay! So we ate, and we ate, and we ate until we could eat no more. Alas not one four leaf clover ever materialized.

A week or two later it is discovered that I have worms! Me, my cousins, my brother, we all had worms! Now we could have got these parasites from any of a number of dogs that shared our households, or, we could have got them from my desire to punish the clovers by eating them. Either way it was gross! We had to drink this stuff that looked like red cool-aid but tasted like medicine for days and days. And we had to get regular inspections of our waste products until we got the all clear!

I think there were little leprechauns hiding out there by my Aunties house! I think they're still rolling over with laughter.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

(long as you don't have to shovel it)

It's so hot outside right now that I am leaping right into my first winter in the big city in the hopes that it will cool me off! We have moved into a 4 plex; 3 bedrooms, 1 bath. There is a front lawn but the building is surrounded by driveways to get to the garages in the back that sit under the 4 plex. It snows as much in Montreal as it does in Minnesota during winter. That means a lot of shoveling in order to get your cars into the garages. If you didn't do that it would be most difficult to get the vehicle started in the morning. At the time, of course, I wasn't aware of these laws of mechanical functions, I was merely fascinated with the world of snow!

The delights of getting all dressed up in the most cumbersome get ups eluded me at the time. The freedom of exploring my world was all that mattered. Out the door with a swish, swish, swish as the wonders of nylon leggings rub together while walking. I'm in my best 'michelin man' looking duds. The sound they make while moving is something I will always remember. Well, I'm out there exploring my universe when I walk up behind a neighbour who is moving mountains of snow around in his driveway. Bang goes the shovel right into my pumpkin and down I go. He didn't know I was there until it happened and he thought he knocked me out. He is most distressed; and I, being of the hard headed breed, remember seeing stars for a moment but get right back up on my feet. Nevertheless, the neighbour insisted on taking me home to Mommy for an inspection. A lesson was learned that day. Do not sneak up behind anyone wielding a shovel.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


I am definitely technically challenged to go with my physically challenged. One of these days I will figure out all the little aspects of this blogspot thing. Until then, I'll have to just grin and bear it.



There are probably about 50 times in a day when someone asks me "How ya doin'?" About 48 of them don't really want to know. They are just really saying "Hi". The only people that ask me that and really want an answer are my family and closest friends.

So Big Guy, you absolutely delighted me because I felt that you really did mean it! And I'm sorry that I prattled on so telling you way more than you really asked for. Sometimes my brain just runs on and on, or as they say, yada yada yada.

Anyway, I am counting you as one of my friends now, and I'm sending tons of happiness your way!

Monday, August 01, 2005


I turned 5 years old, the house was sold and we moved back into the city. Time to start going to school. I was part intimitaded and at the same time excited. An 8 block walk! Mom took me the first time but told me - after that I was on my own. Very scary! Well it was pretty cool actually. Kids like me. Kids not like me. All wide eyed and in awe of the teacher. So we get out the crayons and colour. We sit while the teacher reads us a book. We learn how to connect the dots. Very interesting stuff. Kindergarten is a shoe in. Then comes Grade 1. Arithmetic, Reading and Writing. Fingernail inspections! Clean hands, clean mind. Then came the polio vaccinations. Terror! We all line up and wait our turn for the needle. There is a lot of crying going on but somehow I get through it. Only to find out a short time later, days, weeks, months, I don't remember, it was time to get another, then the BOOSTER! OUCH! School sucks big time!

The polio thing really interests me now though. In the dictionary it is called Poliomyelitis. It is described as (1) an acute infectious disease caused by a virus, characterized by symptoms ranging from fever, headaches, vomiting, etc. to extensive permanent paralysis of muscles.
(2) Any inflammation of the grey matter of the spinal cord. My little grey cells, what's left of them anyway, are extremely curious. Sounds like it shares some similarities to MS. Something for me to ponder.