Say It Isn't So

Sunday, January 29, 2006


It was a normal day. Like any other day I get up, make some coffee, get my cereal prepared, plunk myself down in my lazy girl chair and watch a little news on the telley. Once I'm saturated and revved up, it's time to get ready for work. I climb into a nice hot shower to wash and limber up my muscles so I can do my exercises to ease up the pain and improve the movement in my problem left arm. It has been working so well that I can roll the car window up and down without any pain. I can also reach into the drop box at the Post Office to mail a letter, and pluck the cannister out of the pneumatic tube at the drive through banking center to make a deposit without having to open the car door and stand so that I can get this arm into the proper position to perform these tasks. So to increase the already improved mobility of my left arm I continue with the morning stretches.

On this day fate decides to throw a wrench into my little system. I perform my exercises. Upon completion, I realize that my back is sore. It does not want me to be the homo erectis that is my birthrite. I am crooked. I am in pain. I am praying that this problem is not going to last the 9 months that the left arm disfunction has now ascertained. I am praying that this is not MS. Just an overzealous body wanting to attain nervana. I go to work. I climb the stairs the numerous times that are required to get to and from the Purchasing Office and the shop floor. I carry large catalogs up and down. Everything is bearable except the getting up from a seated or crouched position. That seems to be the most difficult and painful movement. I either push up from the desk or, if I have squatted down to get to that parts catalog on the lower shelf, I climb up my own body by pushing up on my legs to get lift. Man I'm feeling old!

I remember a similar event when I was 25. My back went out doing a simple 'lift with the legs' manouver that went askew. I could not stay upright for more than 10 minutes without the need to lay back down again. At the time I thought this must be what it feels like to be old.

I am thankful that this current event is not that bad. It is now day 4 and I am moving better than I was. I am not that old yet. Maybe in my search for nervana, I will find Nirvana!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

This picture is an earlier version of an air mattress. A more portable style.


The husband and I decided to get ourselves a new SLEEP NUMBER BED for Christmas this year. He had been on about them for some time. Every magazine that had the ad, that would be every magazine we receive, and probably every rag in the country, would have him excitedly pointing it out to me. I, of course, would balk at them and mention how it was just a glorified air mattress and that the motor must make a heck of a noise every time you had to pump it up.

We had just got a new bed a couple of years back. A huge California King Pillowtop, that I liked quite well. There was one problem for me though. The pillowtop must be made out of foam rubber. It would get very hot in the summer, and my summers were already filled with enough hot flashes to power up a locomotive! But the roominess was superb.

One day just before Christmas we were at the local giant Ontario Mills Mall to pick up a new pair of eyeglasses from the optometrist. As we weaved our way through the masses of shoppers and passed all the shops trying to lure them in we walked past a Sleep Number bed store. Man, hubby was so excited that I agreed that after we picked up the glasses we would stop in so we could check them out. So after the eyeglass are paid for and adjustments are made to ensure they will not fall off my face, we head on back to the sleep number store.

There were about 6 beds of varying sizes set up. There are the 3000, 4000, 5000, 7000 and 9000 models all available in the usual sizes of twin through California King. So the first one we try out feels quite comfortable and the salesclerk has us each work out controllers to find our numbers. A loud humming vibration ensues. I jump off the bed commenting on how I thought they make a lot of noise. I banter about how he'll be adjusting the thing half a dozen times a night driving me crazy with that loud hum. The salesclerk explains how this is the least expensive model. Okay, here we go. We are led to another mattress, same size as the previous one but a pillowtop. On we go and grab the controllers and the thing is totally quiet! Now my interest is peaked. The settings adjust themselves quite rapidly. Not at all like pumping up the air mattresses that we camp with. Effortless, fast and quiet. It comes with a 30 day try it, like it, or return for a full refund. A money back gaurantee! So we purchase a queen size one for the guest room. It arrives via UPS about 2 weeks later, in 4 giant boxes. Some assembly required! Always fun, never as easy as one expects, but not too difficult either, especially after you actually take the time to read the manual.

So mission accomplished. The seller recommends that you stay with your selected number for 3 days before making any new adjustments. Well, neither one of us paid much attention to that. I set mine for 65 first off as it was nicely flat and firm the way I like it. Hubby at 235 pounds and 6'3" likes his really soft and sets his at 35. I try it for 2 nights, and decide it's too much like sleeping on the side of a mountain with no ledges to level off with, and set my number down to 50. The husband decides that 35 is too difficult to get in and out of because it's like climbing out of a bowl and sets his to 45. I the eternal skeptic cannot believe that it's true, but we are both sleeping incredibly well. I have to admit that it is the best, deepest sleep I have been getting in a long time. And on a queen size! I had to wait until I was sure it was really that good before I posted about it. But when we get moved to Ohio we are going to get one to fill the shoes of the California King bed too.

Monday, January 16, 2006

EEK!!! I'VE BEEN TAGGED (and I have no idea what I am doing)


4 Jobs that I've had

1. Chambermaid
2. 7-11 Salesclerk
3. Switchboard Operator in a Hospital (very exciting at times)
4. Production Manager of an Embroidery and Silkscreen Printing Factory (my personal favourite - pretty logos, pictures,etc. great artform)

4 Movies I watch over and over again (there is no such a film but I'll give you some favs)

1. Independence Day
2. Men in Black
3. The Princess Bride
4. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest

4 TV Shows

1. CSI Navy
2. Globe trekker
3. As Time Goes By
4. News

4 Places I've been on vacation

1. Grand Canyon
2. Niagara Falls
3. Mission Control NASA Houston
4. Dubrovnik

4 websites I visit daily (there is not a daily four, too much to do)

1. Steel Turman
2. Mdmhvonpa
3. Erik
4. Pris (Songs to a Midnight Sky)

4 of my favorite foods

1. Salmon
2. East Indian (curries, especially lamb)
3. Middle eastern (falafels, hummus, and tabouleh)
4. Steak (if it is cooked right)

4 Places I'd like to be right now

1. At the health spa having a massage
2. In bed with hubby having a massage
3. On a deluxe first class steam train ride across Australia
4. Pummelling mdmhvonpa with a wet noodle!

4 Bloggers I would tag if I knew how to (links are not my specialty)

1. Steel
2. Pris
3. Katja
4. Kim


When I was a youngster, I used to get 2 months off from school every summer. My Dad would get the usual 2 week vacation. Every summer we would go stateside. The favourite place was Cape May, New Jersey. Sometimes Rye Beach, New Hampshire and one time Virginia Beach, but usually Cape May. We would stay in a campground and go to the beach daily.

One summer our neighbours at the campground, who had the same last name as ours, became kind of buddy like. They had a daughter my age, about 12, and her father was a policeman from Philadelphia. I would hang about with the daughter and our folks would play cards together.

One day we were having a barbeque together. One of the campers near us was a black family and the head of that family was a Doctor. This policeman said something disparaging about this black man and I got really upset with him. I laced into him about how this man was just as good a citizen as he was; this man was a Doctor who looked out for his fellow man just like you as a Policeman were supposed to do. You weren't supposed to say bad things about people that you didn't even know. That I now had more respect for this Doctor than I did for him. The Policeman was kind of taken aback, and my parents were very quiet. We weren't so buddy buddy after that.

Later, they confided in me that they were very proud of what I had said.

Now I have all kinds of respect for the professional policeman. I have always thought of them as there to help me in times of trouble. I still feel that way. I believe that there motto is "To serve and protect" and I think they mostly do a good job of that. This man just kind of rattled my cage.

We still have a long way to go to realize the dream that Dr. Martin Luther King had. There is inequality all over the place. It is still prevalent in the minds of many people that blacks are inferior, that women are inferior, that latinos are inferior. When will we come to realize that different is not inferior. That different is merely different. There are always two sides to every story and now you have one of mine.

Happy Birthday Dr. King!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Hello everyone. This is Mary's husband (lucky me) and I've been attempting to get this picture of Mary and her "hot rod lincoln" on her blog for about 30 minutes now. The original was way too big (mb's) so after several manipulations and a little luck (mostly luck) I have managed to get her pic to upload. She's out galavanting around town right now but I'm sure she'll have more information about pic on a later blog. Sorry for the pic quality but it's an old pic. Bye for now, Mary's Hero

Saturday, January 07, 2006


I've been wallowing in my latest relapse for about 9 months now. That may not be the correct term for the unending pain in my left arm and perhaps I should just call it an exacerbation. About 6 years ago, before my diagnosis, I had a similar occurrence in my right arm. At the time they called it a Frozen Shoulder, and sent me off to Physical Therapy. They call it therapy. I call it torture! There really wasn't much to this activity. First the problem area is warmed up by a wee bag of pop corn that is warmed up in a microwave to just short of the popping point then it is applied to the aching area. After this warm up you partake of some stretching exercises, which become more intense at each successive visit to the clinic, but really you perform these exercises all by yourself. The staff just cheer you on, or scold you, periodically. After you've gone through your paces you get a massage. Very nice!

Last summer, when I went to my Doctor to complain about the pain in my left arm, I was told there was nothing they could do about it because it was the MS. I guess I am in their bad books because I have refused to endure one of, no make that any of, the CRAB medications. As I told my doctor, I am in my 50's and I have just been diagnosed with MS. If I were 20, 30, or even 40, I would seriously consider taking this line of treatment, but at this stage of my life I am not at all interested in depressing my immune system, or in depressing my life. At 50 something I am not depressed, I am actually a happy person. Crazy, but happy. Being over the hill has it's advantages.

If you follow my blog you might remember my post of Sept. 19, 2005, about electromagnetics and my problem Towncar which is not pictured above. The download process, which connects that particular picture in my computer to this blog, was taking way too long and making me nervous so I cut it off. Of course, because of that car, my current car is devoid of any cushy attributes, i.e., it doesn't have power windows. This has been a further pain in my left arm, as I want to drive with my window down now that the weather has cooled. So I endure the occassional pangs of pain and roll my window down anyway. So, I find myself missing all those bells and whistles, aka, cushy attributes. And my next car may have a few decadent virtues.

By the way, I have been doing my own version of the torture chamber and it is slowly improving the movement in my arm. I do the warm up in my morning shower. Then I get the cane that my husband needed 12 years ago when he had a herniated disk. I use the cane and do repitions to push the arm up, and to pull it back and forth behind me. The only thing I am missing is the massage. Things could be worse. Thank goodness it has never interfered with my ability to type. I know that I am one of the lucky ones. As my Mother used to say "Stubborn as a mule, and strong as a bull. "


The whole reason that I came up with that heading in the first place was to talk about my self cannibalistic tendencies.

When I moved to Southern California the air was dry and my lips kept drying up. There were these big flaky bits hanging off them. I would succomb to the 'nibble this' siren and make them disappear. I never wore lipstick or any other makeup. As a teen I heard that it was made from pigs fat and that was a turn off. It really tasted awful as well. After a few winters of enduring flaky lips peeling off my face, I discovered that I could handle Blistex and that it does a decent job of keeping them pliable.

There has been a hangnail dangling from one of my fingers for about a week now. It beckons to me. Come on, bite me. Make your finger look pretty again. It has been a lifelong habit. An odd method of grooming I must admit. But I am standing firm in declining the call of the 'nibble this' siren. And I wonder if the process that is causing my own immune system to attack the myelin around my nerves could in any way have been created by this past self cannibalism.

Monday, January 02, 2006


My Mother was born in the Eastern Townships of Quebec in the early 1900's. Her parents were born there as well. Her grandparents were born in the Outer Hebrides off the coast of Scotland.
They came over in the mid 1800's to eke out a living, birth and raise their children. At the time the area was full of Scotsmen. They would pull up all the stone out of the earth, till the soil and build walls and things with all those rocks. Her grandparents went back to the old country to end their days, and leave their remains with the soil from which they came.

My Mother did not learn to speak English until she went to school. Her native tongue was Gaelic. She used to sing me Gaelic songs when I was a little girl. I can only remember some words: Sommalaytha (phoenetic spelling, and I don't know what it means, perhaps something about sleep) and Kayla (pronounced Kay-huh-la) which means doll. It is a very gutteral language reminiscent to me of a Germanic tongue.

By the time I had come along she had lost a lot of her memory of this language, but I wish that I had taken the time to learn what I could of it. It is my understanding that it is an endangered language. I know that all language evolves but it is a shame when it just whithers.

The following is in English and is taken from the Burns Country website:

The 'exceedingly expressive' germphrase has been taced back to an anonymous ballad in the Bannatyne Manuscript of 1568, 'Auld Kyndnes foryett'. The last of the eight stanzas goes:

"They wald me hals with hude and hatt,
Quhyle I wes rich and had anewch,
About me friends anew I gatt,
Rycht blythlie on me they lewch;
But now they mak it wondir tewch,
And lattis me stand befoir the yett;
Thairfoir this warld is very frewch,
And auld kyndnes is quyt foryett."

From that anonymous old poet's complaint of man's ingratitude, we move on to a slightly later ballad, probably by the courtly poet Sir Robert Ayton (1570-1638) who accompanied James VI and I to England, though sometimes attributed on little evidence to Francis Sempill of Beltrees (d. 1683?). First published in Watson's Choice Collection of Scots Poems, 1711, the anthology upon which the whole of the 18th Century Scots Revival was based, Ayton's poem begins:

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never thought upon,
The flames of love extinguished,
And freely past and gone?
Is thy kind heart now grown so cold
In that loving breast of thine,
That thou canst never once reflect
On old-long-syne?

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne.

Personally, I like to remember the past. I think that it is good to remember what went before. It is good to learn from the past, especially what we know to be our mistakes. Yes we should remember. Just don't dwell in it!

Happy New Year!