What's new cashew?

Posted by Slowplum on 6/25/2008 01:05:00 PM
An update of sorts for the morbidly curious. The battle has been uphill, but I'm a fighter. I went to the eye doctor in the beginning of June to verify that there is nothing optical going on, she said that my prescription was actually a bit better from 2 years ago but that my optic nerves were inflamed (a sign of neurological issues). She wrote a report for me to take to my neurologist who I finally get to see on July 7 (believe it or not, that's actually *fast*? Typical wait time to see a neurologist is between a year and 18 months!).

June 19, Thursday night at 8 pm was my MRI. It went ok, no claustrophobia but I did feel a pulling/throbbing sensation especially around my ears. I felt like if I could just pull my earplugs out it would be okay. The tech said that sometimes happens to people, it wasn't something to get too upset about bla bla bla. I got to take a CD home, the human brain looks pretty weird and scary I have to tell you. I don't really know what I am looking at when I see it so I can't say for sure what is wrong in there. The CD is to take to my neurologist appointment.

The next night (Fri. June 20) I was back in the hospital again and I felt like my insides were literally on fire just beneath the skin, and my head was going to crack open. Ears stabbing. Could not get comfortable for anything, so I had my sister in law take me to ER and my mother in law watch the kids, as S was out with his dad for a late father's day outing. We got there and I was triaged and would have been treated right away, except an MVC (multi vehicle collision) came in - three victims on stretchers, all unconscious, bleeding, heck I saw there was still glass in the one guy's arm. Drunk teenagers. So I was in for a long wait, which included watching a girl in a prom dress and no shoes come in and bitch to the nurses about how they don't make cocaine like they used to, and ecstasy was over rated, and bla bla bla. Basically had a nervous breakdown in emerg. You can imagine how quickly she got the red bracelet and was sent to the psych ward.

Dr. M saw me in her travels to and from patients, and while it probably isn't a good thing that I'm known on a first name basis, this time it sort of benefited me because she came right to me, asked what was wrong, apologised for the wait and said she'd get to me as soon as she could. She told me to tell the nurses if my condition worsened. Which of course it did, but by that point there were no nurses to be found. About an hour later she walked by saw me and disappeared. 30 seconds later a nurse is pulling me into a room and giving me a shot of Toradol in the hip. She asked me if Dr. M said I could come home after this I said I had not spoken to her and had no idea what was going on. The nurse checked and said no that Dr M saw I was in agony and wanted the nurse to give me something until she could see me.

She finally sees me around 4 in the morning (I got there at 11:30 for time reference) and of course very apologetic but I wasn't going to complain, of *course* accident victims come first, anyone with half a brain knows that. Anyway, she did more testing (touch my finger, touch your nose. Flip your hand this way and that. Walk a line. Do you feel this? Do you feel that?) and said "Listen, girl, I know you don't want to hear this but I think you need to seriously entertain the idea that you might have MS. You show all the signs and there's definitely something neurological going on here." She did tell me to call the hospital that did my MRI and confirm that there was nothing urgent (ie tumor, blood clot) as my family doc is on holiday until next week. She gave me some pain killers & then something to help me sleep at night as I get no relief and night time is the worst.

So now I just play the wait game a little bit longer. If it really is MS, I'm ok with that - just tell me so we can sort it out and get me on some aggressive therapy to combat it. If it's something else, that's also fine, I just want some answers and help. I am going a bit stir crazy because I can't go anywhere without assistance, I can't drive because sometimes my feet don't work and sometimes my eyes don't work. I can't walk because again, sometimes my legs will give out or I won't be able to see. For lack of a better description, I sort of feel trapped in my own body.

S has been really terrific through all of this, although you can tell it's bothering him as well, he tends to change the subject when people ask him about it. I try not to burden him with too much, but at the same time I also hate that I have to in the first place. I need an escort just to do groceries for crying out loud, and even then I have to take a long nap before, and then I pay for it afterward.

Saturday in spite of my not having had any sleep the night before, we held a glow in the dark bowling party for my son K. He turns 8 on July 21, but because most of his friends go on vacation around them, he never gets a party. This year we promised him he would, so we did it a month early. He only had a few friends come but he was so happy. I was in agony but it was worth it. C got to have one of her friends come as well so that she wasn't too bored by the situation, so everyone in general was happy. I ended up going to bed that night around 7 pm and did not wake up until 1 pm Sunday afternoon. My children were happy, so I was happy, but boy did I pay for it. This is something that is becoming commonplace in my life, sad to say.

This past Thursday afternoon, I went to the clinic to have my left leg double-checked. The attending Doctor taking over for my family doc asked a bunch of questions and then checked over some files, asked me if I'd been in the woods our outside much recently, and then ordered some blood testing (he wants to test me for Lyme Disease, which I find HILARIOUS) and an x-ray of my back (he isn't convinced that I don't have some post-lumbar puncture issues, ie infection or whatever). Told me to double up my meds if I was in pain and sent me home. My daughter went to my mom's house, and my son went to my mother-in-law's. Shawn was at work of course.

An hour later I get a call from my son, crying like you wouldn't believe and All I heard was "(mumble) died!" and at first it sounded like "Daddy" and my heart skipped 2 beats. I asked him to repeat himself and he said "Abby died. Please come mommy I want to go home". It turns out my mother-in-law's girl chihuahua got loose from her leash in the backyard and went running after a jogger, was hit by a car. They were inside when this happened but a neighbor saw and came to get her. So my mother in law was hysterical and my son was pretty upset - nobody wants to see a dead anything, much less a family pet.

So I limped over, got my son, limped back home. He cuddled up with me for most of the night, he was terribly upset and when I called my daughter at my mom's house she was quite upset herself. The kids understand what death means but it doesn't make it any easier when it happens. I held my son in my arms and did my best to soothe him and ignore the pain I was in, because I pushed myself too hard, but my boy needed me and nothing else mattered at that point in time. My daughter opted to stay with my mom, and that was fine. They cremated the dog yesterday. My daughter insisted on seeing her first, to "say goodbye". That was incredibly difficult but my girl is pretty strong, and has a touch of dark in her; it will not affect her near so great as my son, who thinks only on sunshine and happy things.

There is so much more to talk about but my fingers are numb again, and I need to rest my eyes.


Google the lyrics.

Posted by Slowplum on 6/25/2008 08:32:00 AM in , , , , , ,
É ingratidao falar mal do vinho
E a provar o que digo

Vamos, meu amigo, a mais um copinho

- Mariza, "Ouça Lá, Ó Senhor Vinho"

Dear whoever this concerns:

I haven't written much lately. I feel like I have poured too much sad and not enough happy, and things are feeling flat. I don't mean for most of my tales to be sad. Truly, I don't. It's just that I'm always told, "Write what you know". It is as simple and as difficult as that. Most of what I write is true, and most of what I write is real, and most of what I write is probably a bad idea.

I still have many stories to share and I don't know where to begin. It is like all these moments are surfacing for me and I want to express them but I already feel so damn exposed here. At the same time I wonder why not? Over time I have peeled myself down, layer by layer. It is all out there if you want it. This is something that has been both painful and cathartic. The knife ever so gracefully poised over my cadaver, waiting to sink into flesh and reveal all the viscera underneath. But I am no longer looking to see who is wielding the scalpel, instead I am itemizing these things, labeling them neatly, presenting my case and stepping back to allow for the words to speak for themselves.

What you don't see is what is happening between the lines. I am really good at playing the bumbling fool. However, the curious (but wholly expected) side effect of playing the fool is that I am never taken very seriously. This is my protective shell - do not allow myself to be seriously considered and then I won't get hurt. When I am cornered into telling it like it is, no fancy analogies or anything, I shuffle my feet abashed and wishing that the focus was on anything but me. People would not believe that I am terribly shy; that I rarely tell the people I love how I really feel about them; that I rarely smile; that I cry and cry until I am dry and then I won't cry for months; that these days I think that I am almost always afraid. I have spent literally decades of my life fooling people into thinking I am unapproachable, like some freaking special unicorn faerie or something. That if you touch me you will find that I disappear into the mists. I am fun but I will hold you at arms length.

I am really tired of pretending that I am ok. I pretend and I pretend and everyone else goes along with it. That is so much better for me than to see their worried glances and sometimes even see their questioning eyes. And I want to be honest here, life has been one long struggle and this past month or so has been more than I can bear at times. So now I am trying to just sort of live day by day, watch the seconds on the clock march in cadence and bring me closer to an answer.

I keep opening and closing my hands. I keep blinking my eyes. I keep feeling my pulse under the surface of my skin and I am grateful for every little beat that pumps through my heart.


Yes We Can

Posted by Slowplum on 6/25/2008 08:11:00 AM in , , , , , ,
I had seen this months ago when it was initially created, but I am sharing it now anyway, because it was in my head tonight. It moved me and I keep thinking in my head "Please be the next U.S. President. Pretty please?" Because really, look at the alternative... and also truly, it's been a very long time since I've felt drawn to a political leader the way this man draws people in. I actually prayed that Hillary Clinton would be ousted. Not to cast any disparaging remarks against her, as nobody can fault her for fighting for something she worked hard to achieve, but I really don't think we need another Clinton in the White House.


Yes. We. Can.

When Obama speaks I feel compelled to listen. People compare him to MLK and you can kind of see why. The speech that inspired the song can be seen here:

There is an excellent a capella version of the song, performed by students. Gorgeous.



Posted by Slowplum on 6/19/2008 02:15:00 PM in , , , , ,

"and Eric Stoltz"

Oh man.

Just amusing myself while waiting for the time to leave for the MRI. Wish me luck.


Summer Breeze

Posted by Slowplum on 6/17/2008 11:39:00 PM in , , , , , , , ,
You want to shake your head some? Download Type O Negative's cover of "Summer Breeze". (YouTube has a user-created vid here, if you are curious. The vid is just a montage of Peter Steele and the rest of tha band ad nauseum, but the music is the part I'm talking about anyway.)

So um. I went to doctor again today, because couldn't sleep at all last night. Or for the past forever. Pain like you wouldn't believe. He checked my legs for blood clots (just to be safe) of course found nothing. "Take some advil & tylenol if you are finding it to be too much at night, go easy on the narcotic stuff". Right, because I'm huge on pills.

As I am wide awake, I figured it would be a good project to hook up the Wii to our wireless network. Well what do you know, I am a genius and managed to do it, even remembered the WEP code to allow it access. Now I am waiting a zillion years for it to update as the Wii has been out for quite some time now and we have never updated it.


Recently watched "You Kill Me" again, which is a rather dark "romantic comedy" (I use the term very loosely here - this is not your typical romcom) featuring Sir Ben Kingsley & Téa Leoni. I love them both and it was interesting to see how they interacted with each other. S mentioned that Kingsley's voice sounded really odd in this film - I pointed out that he is playing an alcoholic - and doing it rather well at that. The slur is intentional. If you have a macabre bone or two in your body, you will find parts pretty damn funny. I bought the film used for 4 bucks at the video store a few months ago. For less money than a rental, I can now watch it at my leisure.

Let's see... there are still things I need to update on but my mind is in a ramble bramble sort of mood so I can't really articulate it all at present.

I'm going to try napping, we'll see if my legs & arms cooperate & let me sleep - even if only for a little while.


Mmm Deadly

Posted by Slowplum on 6/13/2008 04:58:00 PM in , , , , ,
Who wants these awesome glasses?

This girl. That's who.


Happy Birthday, Baby

Posted by Slowplum on 6/13/2008 08:38:00 AM in , , ,

Happy birthday!!!

Happy Birthday to my dear friend Hammer! Wish I could have afforded to purchase those for you, but tonight I will buy you one of these:

Also, this makes me wish I had a mac. Dammit.



Things to discuss

Posted by Slowplum on 6/12/2008 08:37:00 PM in , , , , , ,
Itemized for future reference, I will get to this when I'm not falling over exhausted (today's activities especially took a lot of energy from me - I think I managed to fool people into thinking I was ok though).

- 2 packages coming in the mail
- Ibrahima
- doctor's appointment (aka guess who still can't go to work?)
- appointment with the school re: K
- Hammer's visit
- Sir T's visit
- K's upcoming trip to the kid's museum by way of train (I know! How exciting is that?)


Thank you, Wil Wheaton

Posted by Slowplum on 6/10/2008 10:05:00 AM in , , , , , , , , , , ,
I've been a fan of Wil Wheaton for a while, and not just because of his stellar performance in Stand By Me (which is what most people pair him with, if not Star Trek: The Next Generation). In all honesty, I've been a fan of his journalling, and more recently his books. So I yoinked this from his blog:

Classics in Lego

Actually, all of Balakov's photostream is pretty kickass, worth the viewing.

Haven't slept much in the past few days, due to general uncomfortableness (is that a word?) and the raging storms at night. Two nights in a row with severe thunderstorm/tornado warning type material. Whooboy. Welcome to summer!

I watched Bee Movie the other day with my kidlets. They had already seen it at the theatre with their grandparents but I hadn't, so I was more than happy to rent it for them. Afterward came a frank discussion on the importance of bees. The kids were receptive and K and C were pretty upset about the whole Colony Collapse Disorder thing. It's hard to explain this sort of thing to children, so I kept it as simple as possible, and left the conversation pretty open for follow-up questions (which inevitably come at night time when they are supposed to be sleeping).

S kept me up last night because he was all pumped about watching the season 5 finale of CSI. He said it was the best finale he's ever seen, which prompted a long discussion of how much of that was Tarantino's influence, and how much of it was the regular script writers. Then of course I couldn't sleep and I watched Pride & Prejudice because for whatever reason, to me it's the world's greatest sedative, and then of course S couldn't sleep. So we were grumpy at each other, and the end result was my coming downstairs and camping out on the couch watching re-runs of Holmes on Homes (thank you On Demand channel) until I passed out.

Busy week this week. Meeting with the school principal on Thursday to discuss K's educational plan for next year, something that was postponed due to my illness. I'm still not top drawer here but I can hold a conversation for a few minutes at least. Then after that I go see my family doc for my weekly review. Friday is K's school trip, which I had initially signed up for, and I am kind of wishy-washy about whether I will go or not. Friday is also my friend Hammer's birthday - hurrah!

Time to go and get whatever housework done that I can before I get a case of the fatigueishness (I know that isn't a word).


Update: My work has approved paid leave until July 7, in light of current circumstances. This simutaneously pleases and worries me. I don't like not working. It's an illness unto itself - I'm the type that will go mad when I retire if I don't have several time-consuming hobbies in place by then.

Update update: I also find it a hilarious form of serendipity that Mr. Wheaton's post today is about (drumroll) Stand By Me.


Where indeed?

Posted by Slowplum on 6/08/2008 09:13:00 PM in , , , ,

Feeling pretty numb and lost. I think I've just about had it up to here with everything. Let's run away, hobo style. Little stick and scarf with precious things in it.

If you could pack a scarf, and you could only fit 4 things, what would they be?


Baby Brain

Posted by Slowplum on 6/07/2008 04:45:00 PM in , , , , , ,
My cousin Lola is having TWINS (insert happy squeal here) and so of course I now have babies on the brain. The best thing about someone else having babies is that I can spoil them and send them home. Thus far I'm the only kid in my generation on my Dad's side to spawn children, and on my Mom's side only my cousin M has a couple of little girls, but he lives in Nova Scotia so I never see them. My kids are well past the baby stage and tragically I can not have any more (although when I am most honest with myself, I don't want any more). My hubby's side is equally bereft of little poop machines, so naturally I am pretty damn excited about this.

So I have been scouring Ravelry for some patterns, and wouldn't you know it, I am knee-deep in cuteness. Ravelry links you to the site where the patterns in question can be found, so here are a few I've been eyeing up.

Viking Baby Cap! (Some people have actually added on little yellow braids on each side to make a girlie viking cap - very cute)

Little Devil Baby Hat

Sakicho Kimono Sweater

Hoodie Baby Blanket

Cardigen for Merry(For you Tolkien nuts)

Kiddie Cadet Hat

Felted Baby Yoda Hat

Bernat Baby Hoodie (you have to register free on Bernat site to access pattern)

Crochet Top (you may have to register with Lion Brand [it's free yo] to access this pattern)

Five Fruits Sweater (sorry dudes you need to be on ravelry to see this one - magknits went bu-bye)

Jive Turkey Baby Hat

Leg Warmies

Ruby (I got a chuckle out of this)

Seed sticth jacket

Ok that's enough, I'm starting to see double again. Ugh.



Posted by Slowplum on 6/06/2008 10:06:00 AM in , ,
I totally want to go to Bora Bora after looking at those photos. Who's with me?


And now for something different.

Posted by Slowplum on 6/05/2008 09:39:00 PM in , , , , , ,
My journal has been chock full of medical complaints recently. To try and spiff things up a bit, and keep me cheerful (I'm not going to lie - I have been pretty down in the dumps of late) I'm going to just post random stuff today. Not belittling what is going on but I need to focus on the happy/amusing here or I will go stir crazy.

Things that have amused me today:

Awesome Lunch Bags

Toe Tag Dinner Place cards!

Dr. Who wall panels

NES coffee table/storage bin

Nerdy baby flash cards

Super Mario Wedding cake!!

Indiana Jones amigurumi

Canstruction Vancouver (They make sculptures out of cans!)

R2D2 PC case mod

Spock Apron

Pac Man cupcakes!

Han Solo in Carbonite - the desk!


Together we can rule...

Posted by Slowplum on 6/03/2008 10:09:00 AM in , , , , , ,
Being stuck in the house for the majority of my time has caused me to develop an Etsy problem. I've made a few purchases (which I am very excited about!) and have been surfing. I came across THIS father's day card, and I curse that I don't have the Y chromosome to pull it off. Because ha and HA. I actually giggled reading it.

I couldn't sleep well last night, no matter what I tried to do. Intermittent pain and nausea made life super extra fun. S didn't come home until 4 am because he had to work overtime, he was exhausted and more or less plunked down onto the bed and immediately began to snore. Which didn't help the not being able to sleep thing. Eventually I managed to doze off by itemizing the things in my house, one by one, until the banality of the task finally set my brain synapses on shutdown mode. Hey, you do what you can, right?

If anyone knows of any sightings on ebay or elsewhere where I can get my hands on a boatload of knitting supplies on the cheap, please let me know. I left most of my favorite things at the hotel back in March when I went with my daughter & mother, and the hotel staff has cheerfully not only refused to mail it back to me (even at my own expense) but it appears as though they have just tossed it out altogether. The manager was appropriately apologetic and offered me a discount on my next stay, because I was appropriately pissed off and gave him a polite but angry earful. I am REALLY good at complaint politics, and while I am heartbroken (I was almost finished my octopus!) I can't say no to discounted hotel stay (and it's a significant amount).

Back in April I got S the first 4 seasons of CSI (among a boatload of other things, because it was his 30th this year) for his birthday. We have slowly been plowing through them, skipping the ones we'd seen or sometimes re-watching them. We finished up and then he couldn't stand the idea of having to wait for the next giftable event to receive the next, so he went out and bought Season 5. So I've been watching them when he's sleeping, and vice versa. I've seen a LOT of season 5 on the telly but I don't mind re-watching, plus I have this illness where I actually *like* listening to commentaries on DVD.

So now I'm going to go fall asleep to that, or try to at least.

Can somebody wake me up when the Democrats get their acts together? Until then I'm on strike from the news because enough is enough.

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