Michele's Blog

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Ya know, I really like Calvin and Hobbes.

That Watterson guy really cheers me up.

I feel much better tonight than I felt last night. Woke up dizzy, but I'm slowing down.

Also worth mentioning: Todd admitted me to his pain clinic at the hospital on Friday (before the party, of course). He gave me some steroid injections; my left sacroiliac has been hurting for the past 3+ years. And now-- even though I have the munchies (thanks to the steroids), my SI joint feels great today.

I had fun last night with our pizza-and-a-movie friends...except...I realized once I got home that the big flannel pants I had on had a big tear in the crotch. Arrrgggh! I'm going to call my friend tomorrow and ask if anyone noticed. If anyone did, I guess I have a few phone calls to make. *sigh* Just one more embarrassing moment to add to my list of Lifetime Achievements in the Field of Self-Humiliation. Great, great, just brilliant, ack.

And, oh, just for kicks, my older brother used to think he was Captain Caveman back when we were growing up. Heh. If any of you remember this cartoon character, you're showing your age!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Sicker than a dog today.

Worst vertigo/nausea day ever. Most of day spent on couch.

I feel like I'm going to throw up.

Party last night fun.

Going to friends' house in an hour. I'll spend most of the evening curled up in a ball on their sofa, but they're the understanding types.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Had a great day yesterday.

The morning started off a little rough because I didn't take my Adderall. I had an appointment with my neuro and I wanted him to see me "Adderall-free". Maaaaan... I looked bad. The appointment went very well in general. Todd was there, and my neurologist gave me plenty of time to vent my concerns. He told me that taking Adderall is not something I should feel ashamed of. But I do. I am planning on getting away from it somehow. I am plotting my escape. Bwaaahaa haa haa!

Anyway, here's the point of my post today: there were 10-minute stretches of time yesterday when I DID NOT FEEL DIZZY. Alert Matt Drudge. Call the President. Hallelujah. Wow. I was me again, the "me" I remember from last year. I was on solid ground, speaking quickly, vicious confidence back.

I took Eric on a field trip with his preschool class this morning. We were supposed to go to a museum, but it was too crowded so the teacher decided to take the kids to a park instead. Eric ran in the sun with a herd of other three year-olds for two hours. On the surface it was a chaotic scene, but on a deeper level it was very peaceful: this is the way kids are supposed to be.

I had the spins the whole time (I retched towards the end of the last hour), but I stuck it out and we made it home alive. And even though today I'm back on the vertigo un-merry-go-round, I'm hopeful. I might really be on the mend. Maybe the allergy shots & Benadryl are working? Maybe the Rebif is helping? Maybe something rhymes with orange? I don't know. Stay tuned.

Speaking of Rebif, I'll have some blood drawn Monday. My neuro has to make sure the Rebif isn't damaging my liver or thyroid; it's the standard check-up for every person on this drug. I might also have a low WBC so that'll be checked too. Ahhhh... Isn't it precious, boys and girls? What a heart-warming joy it is to be on a drug that could fry my liver at any instant! : P /sarcasm

I hope all the results look good, because... although I whine and moan... I don't want to not be on Rebif. The shots haven't been easy. True. But I am completely committed to the fight. I am standing my ground. I Am Eowyn:

'Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shrivelled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye.'

A sword rang as it was drawn. 'Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may.'

'Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!'

Then Merry heard of all sounds in that hour the strangest. It seemed that Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel. 'But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund's daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.'

--The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; book five; chapter VI: The Battle of the Pelennor Fields

Todd is working in the pain clinic today. He'll be busy. Tonight we're going to a party for some of the docs who are retiring.

Bayley went to school this morning in a quiet mood. She told me her head and throat hurt, so I think she's coming down with something. I gave her some Motrin and Tylenol. I haven't heard anything from the school yet...

Okay, I have GOT to go. Here's a picture of Eric on a horse. It was taken in October 2005.

Govern a family as you would cook a small fish - very gently.--Confucius

Monday, February 20, 2006

Eric was fine!

He woke up this morning before I did. He had great energy all day long; Todd took him to the toy store and bought a humpback whale toy for him. That kid and his love for sea life! The potty-training thing doesn't seem to be progressing very quickly anymore, though. Patience... patience...

Newsflash (uh, not!): kids depress parents. You can read about it here. From the article:

"Society tries to tell us parenthood is the greatest fulfillment of all times," Jeffers tells WebMD. "That is not true for a majority of people. One can find wonderful things about having children. But people are not talking about the negative effect it has on your life. And it is very hard on relationships..."

"You lose your peace of mind, your extra money, your privacy, and on and on and on," Jeffers says. "The worst part of it all is how much you love them, because you worry a lot and you have to keep learning to let go and let go and let go."

For some reason this article cracks me up... I mean, what, do most people not already know this? And yet we have children anyway. Why? Is it guilt? Do we do it because we're "supposed" to? Because it's the next thing on the agenda? Because our friends are having them? Because the clock is ticking?

I'm feeling relatively good today. I went to the gym.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sick Day for Eric/ Does Aluminum Cause MS?

By lunch I noticed he hadn't had a thing to drink and only a small yogurt to eat. And he wasn't racing around the house at lightspeed in his usual way. I knew something was up, but getting Eric to talk is difficult.

"Eric, do you have an owwie?" He shook his head.

He shook his head, but he wanted me to hold him and read his favorite dinosaur book... So I held him all afternoon and read that book over and over and over and over. Finally by 4:00 pm I could start to feel a fever... not much, just a viral-esque fever. I tried to get him to drink. He cried when he swallowed. Then he said, "Kiss it, Mommy, kiss it! Owwie," and he opened his mouth. Truly a cute and pathetic scene. "Is the owwie in your mouth?" I asked. He nodded. Yes, I tried to kiss the owwie. ; /

So... he must have a sore throat. If he wakes up febrile in the morning I'll take him in.

Interesting news about multiple sclerosis and aluminum from the UK:

People with the relapsing-remitting form of the disease were found to have very high levels of aluminium - up to 40 times those seen in the group who did not have MS.

Do they make still make soda cans with aluminum? I stopped drinking all soda drinks about 2 months ago. I wonder what other sources of aluminum are in my diet that I'm not aware of? Makes ya think. And--thinking more here--does this mean that I should consume more aluminum & iron to make up for what I'm losing, or should I avoid both because I have a metabolic intolerance for them? Eh! Who knows. Wake me up when they've figured it out... ; )

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book. ~Irish Proverb

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Massages are a very, very good thing. : )

For Valentine's Day Todd booked an appointment for me with a fantastic, um, massage guy. (I'm sorry, but calling him a masseur is something I cannot pull off. Maybe if I lived in Manhattan and had a doorman and a thing for tiny dogs with special hair needs I could do it, but until that time, no.)

Okay, aaaaanyway, the massage was great. Ahhhh.

Bayley is at a birthday party... not sure where Todd and Eric are right now. I might go catch a nap.

We saw "Match Point" last night, the new Woody Allen movie, very interesting. I read Dostoevsky's "Crime & Punishment" in June--I had no idea that Allen had used it with this movie--but once I figured it out I was delighted. I won't spoil it for you in case you haven't seen it. But... it would help if you read the Dostoevsky first. Hey, why NOT read a 700-page novel for the sake of a Woody Allen movie? It's just a little film prep. Not a problem! ; ) Scarlet Johannsen was delicious, and you won't anticipate the plot twists, even if you have read the book.

Sunny day. Tomorrow, who knows. I'm dizzy... but I'm Xanax'ed, so I'm not distressed about it. : ) Maybe that's the real reason doctors prescribe benzodiazepines... maybe the whole thing about Xanax and Klonopin "helping my vertigo" is a sham. "Yeah, what you have, that's just awful. No way around it. Can't cure it, can't give you a great prognosis, you're in deep doo-doo. But what I CAN do is give you 500 pills that will make it much easier for you to distance yourself from the reality of your situation. Enjoy."

Better living through chemistry.

And is that so bad? It feels merciful to me now.

Here's my favorite pic of my son from April of 2005. Yes, he looks like me. It is my fondest hope that although he resembles me on the outside, on the inside he is like his father:

Making the decision to have a child-it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. --Elizabeth Stone

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Feeling somewhat more normal today.

I just took it easy. Cleaned the house. My new sofa was delivered this afternoon, I love it.

I saw this quote, and I really think it describes me: "An Atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that deed must be done instead of prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanished, war eliminated." ---Madalyn Murray O'Hair


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Vertigo. I just can't get a break.

I'm so desperate to feel normal, I'll try anything once.

This doc on this website seemed to have quite a bit of advice on dealing with allergies... I, still hoping that my vertigo is due to some allergic reaction and NOT multiple sclerosis (please oh please oh please), thought that I'd give his recommendation a try:

Instant ‘Allergic Ear’ Relief!

Eustachian tube block can often be dramatically relieved with nasal sprays containing a strong decongestant, such as Neo-Synephrine (0.5 percent). Tilt the head back and to one side, turn the spray bottle upside-down and get enough of the spray into the nasal passage so that you can actually taste some of it in the back of your throat. Then turn your head the other way and repeat, using the other nostril. This technique is often dramatically effective at ending allergic ear problems, because it passes the decongestant directly over the entrance to the Eustachian area located in the nasopharynx. During plane flights, this should be done one-half hour before a scheduled descent. For children, it should be done at the first sign of pain or discomfort, repeated in 4 hours and then repeated again if symptoms reappear. This will often abort painful episodes of otitis media. Drinking more fluids on a regular basis will greatly reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics.

Seems like it makes sense, right? Well... I did it and got one of the most intense headaches of all time. Ohhhh. It really hurt. For about three hours I wanted to be unconscious. I cancelled my appointments... called my friend to see if she could pick Bayley up from school...

Todd had a short day, so he was able to pick Bayley up from school and take her to tennis. Right now Todd & Eric are playing the airplane video game together. They like things that fly.

I'm so tired today. What is wrong with me? I feel like I've run a marathon, and I've hardly moved.

I woke up at 3:30am and couldn't get back to sleep. I think I need to change the schedule of my Rebif injections.

If I could, you know I would
If I could, I would
Let it go...
--U2, "Bad"

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A girl! It's a girl!

I found out a few days ago that Todd's younger sister, Amelia, will be expecting a baby girl in June. Woo hoo! Bayley will have a little girl cousin on my husband's side. Lovely, lovely, lovely. I already know that the baby will have long dark hair when she's born, just like Bayley did. My niece and my daughter are going to look very much like sisters instead of cousins. Whaddya wanna bet.

Amelia and her husband live in France (if that's not romantic, what is?); I imagine my new niece will be surrounded by a doting family... and of course a nursery decorated in very, very good taste. : D

We visited France in June of 2004. Here's a picture of Bayley in Brittany. She had just turned nine:
And Todd was 36, and Eric was about 18 months old:
Speaking of babies, I think that Eric might be leaving part of his babyhood behind. Yesterday morning when I dressed him for preschool he absolutely refused to wear a diaper. He screamed, kicked, wouldn't do it. He had to wear underpants. So... I let him wear underpants to preschool. I've let him wear underpants around the house, but I've never, ever let him out in public without a diaper. I was nervous.

I picked him up from preschool three hours later, fully expecting to find him in a diaper and the spare pants I gave to his teacher ("just in case"). But lo! He was completely dry. He'd been perfect for over three hours, at school, without me, and all I can say is-- WOW. I was practically flipping out with glee. Wow.

Last week he told me he loved me. Another first.

Here's Eric. The photo was taken in October. Make a wish:

And hey--it's Valentine's Day. Happy Valentine's, everyone.

How am I doing: Well... after that last post, I was feeling brave. So I ran around town, doing errands that I'd have done when I was perfectly healthy. At about 2:30 I was in Old Navy, shopping like a normal person, and the store just started to spin. It was very, very maddening. So I went out to my car and got myself under control... and then I went to a restaurant to have something to eat. I hadn't eaten anything all day, and I just had to try to eat something, anything, I dunno. I also decided to have a glass of wine. Like a normal, healthy person, right? Bad idea. The Rebif and the wine hit me at the same time, and I actually had to call a friend to drive me home. I was a mess. Vomiting, crying, the whole pathetic scene. I am lucky to have a friend who will a) pick me up and b) hold both me and the bowl while I retch. You really can't buy friends like her. So thanks. I hope I can keep scenes like that to a minimum in the future.

My left hand is numb and tingly. My right leg is worse; tingling up to the hip now. I can't really feel three of my toes. My vertigo. The vertigo. It's just not, it's just not, not not not going away.

It's sunny again today though, and I feel pretty good overall.

Friday, February 03, 2006

$1 million bucks to OHSU for MS research. Nice.

This story from Oregon Health Sciences University is amazing. It bolsters my faith in humanity. Basically, a guy in Portland gave a million dollars to OHSU for MS research. His daughter Laura has MS, and I love her comment:

"I'm convinced that MS can be cured in my lifetime," she said, "but only if scientists have the freedom to pursue their most creative ideas. The way research is funded today, that freedom has to come in the form of community support. If the public knew how close they really are to discovering better treatments - even cures - at OHSU, I know they would be lining up to pitch in."

I hope so.

I went to the gym three times this week. I cannot believe how far I've fallen behind in just 2 1/2 months! Whoa. Resting heart rate used to be 59... now it's 100. Used to do 4.8 miles in 40 minutes... can't even do half that. I'll have to work on it all.

More happy-happy joy-joy news: I got the definitive report back on my neuropsychiatric evaluation. I'm in the 97th percentile for overall intelligence and above the 99th for memory. : D I love it. It felt like I had given my diagnosis the finger. So yeah... I still have MS, BUT... even so, I'm not suffering from the incurable condition of stupidity. Yet.

Of course the bad news on the evaluation was that I'm "depressed". (Ya think? Lol...)

Todd is at the hospital doing hearts today. Bayley went roller skating with her school. Eric is in a new preschool that I adore.

And the sun is out. I should go trim those roses in the front.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.
--Lewis Carroll, "Jabberwocky"