Thursday, January 31, 2008

How Do I Know?


So how do I know if I was to have a relapse? I mean if it wasn't an obvious one like an optic neuritis. To what degree is a symptom considered a relapse? Would a little more numbness be a relapse or just the same lesion acting up? Or slightly more stiffness in the same area of stiffness? What other type relapses are out there? Oh wise and more experienced MSers........Please share, I'm curious. I know we're all different but I'd still like to know if anyone has had the same type relapse that they have had before or has each one been something different? Sorry, had to put Spot, aka Mr. Cute up because I thought the face went well with the questions and his face is much cuter than mine. :)

Say It Isn't So..........



Is it true what they say about Jaguars being expensive to up keep? I'm afraid so. My little X-type has been naughty. As I was driving home from work the other morning, the dashboard on this thing went completely wonky! I dread to think what it will cost. It suddenly started flashing all sorts of messeges at me. Engine light, cruise control not working, engine temperature gage. All sorts of things that were simply untrue. I think when moisture get in there, it's starts giving me problems. So it sits in the driveway waiting for the day I'll bring it into the dealership for repair, which will be awhile as taxes must come first. I miss my ass warmers as I have to drive the Focus, which is a nice little car, but I must admit I've been spoiled to ass warmers and all wheel drive in winter weather. We bought her used, I love that car. The gas milage is fairly good, nearly 30 in the summer and 25 in the winter, not bad for what it is. I do love my big red truck, but we only use that for farm work and most times it sits until I need hay or to haul something.



Tuesday, January 29, 2008

We'll See

Well, I had labs drawn today and I asked for the CBC as this is the first set of labs since I started the Avonex and I found out that my white count is bordering on the low side four point something, barely within normal range. My Doc is sending the labs through to my Neurologist and we'll see from there. She didn't anything about my BMP, so I'm hoping that the liver enzymes are OK. She will send all my labs to me in the mail, so I can scrutinize them myself. I hate the thought of changing from Avonex to something different or starting Neupagen, I think that would be another friggin' needle. I don't know if they would treat low whites with anything or just change treatments. Don't know? Guess I'll find out..........hopefully soon. I hate the hurry up and wait game.


On another note, I was able to tidy most of the house and remove four large wheel barrows of crap from the barn, leaving it totally clean. My goal was to get half way there, but I managed it all. They'll just crap it up again.........

Monday, January 28, 2008

Aren't They Gorgeous?





I just had to post my girls. I took these pics this afternoon. I just had to share these gorgeous girls!

Can You See It?



Can you see this creature peering out from under our shed? It's an opossum..........I can't stand those things. I was sitting on the couch when my husband who was standing near said, "What is it?" My response, "Oh crap, it's a opossum!" And he retrieved the camera and I took this pic. As a horse owner, I do not like these creatures as they carry a disease that can permanently damage a horse's neuro system. The horses get exposed to it if the opossum gets into their grain. Why I keep my livestock food locked up......Creepy little glorified rat peering at us!

Good Morning!



I thought the sunrise this morning was stunning! The girls were pleased that I was up early to feed and since it will be warm today, I will being doing a bit of mucking...........I've also posted a short video of Spot drinking his cup of joe! Just a usual Monday. video

Sunday, January 27, 2008

How Was I Diagnosed?

As people I work with find out I have MS, I am very often asked how I got diagnosed. I've been told that it really was very typical........My list of circumstances for diagnosis. I had three "episodes", the third is what lead to the MRI's/Neurologist/Diagnosis. In September of 2007, shortly after Labor Day, I woke up with an acute vision change. The only way to describe it was a distortion of my vision of only my right eye. At the time I was suffering with the typical fall hay fever I usually get, so at first I blew it off and by the time I realized it wasn't really going away it was the weekend and I had to work. So the following Tuesday, I called my Doc and described what was going on. She immediately made arrangements for me to see an Optho as I have been Diabetic for 11 years and as a naughty person had not gotten my eyes checked in 7 years. It's expensive and insurance doesn't cover eye exams and husband and daughter come first. So I went and she saw 2 retinal bleeds, decided to give it a week, constantly checking in with me to see if it had resolved. I went back and they had resolved but there was a new bleed and edema on my optic nerve..........Optic Neuritis and she ordered an MRI. And my several little active holes lit up. Next step Neurologist/MS specialty.........The Optho Doc would not commit to any possibilities as I layed them all out, after all I am a nurse and by then had done a fair amount of research. I had pretty much come to a conclusion after viewing my MRI and reading the report. Funny enough, my money was on MS. I would rather have that than a metastatic lesion! Saw the neurologist and he was pretty convinced it was MS after taking my history, but ordered another MRI to check my C-spine. Hind sight is always 20/20. In January of 2007, I had woken up with the classic MS symptom of bending your head forward with the electric shock feeling down both arms and numbness and tingling in my arms, especially my left. I saw my Doc at that time and I had a crunchy neck and we decided that it may be a little arthritis as she knows well my history of injury from horses. She put me on Naproxin, which seemed to work, but little did I know that it takes about a month for episodes to resolve on their own and that's how long I was on the Nap. I also had a weird bout of horizontal vertigo in November of 2006 lasting about a month and saw a Doc, thought it was viral. When I look back on the past, I've had balance issues for about 2-3 years at that time and was no longer able to pull myself up onto the horse without my trusty mounting bucket. I noticed the balance especially while riding horses. Couldn't figure it out, just thought I had lost my skills or I was light headed from working night shift or something. All the little ailments that encompass MS that you blow off as aging or for me Diabetic neuropathies and night shift work for a decade. So there it is..........With the diagnosing episode I also have had and still do have a stiff left side of my neck and a slight foot drop on the left. At the time I thought it was due to a full week at the county fair of walking and hauling a 35 pound saddle around. I've had small to moderate muscle spasms for a few years and thought that I drank too much Diet Coke and needed calcium supplements. So here I sit with what I deem as mild disability with a permanently stiff left neck and left foot. Periodic whole body stiffness, but only when not well rested. Little annoying muscle spasms 80% of the time at my estimation, forgetfulness, word fishing-often, sometimes inability to concentrate. Alot of things I had chalked up to Diabetes & Nocs even though for 10 years it has been very well controlled. My husband was initially very taken back with the Dx, but has adjusted well as I think I have. My first labs since the start of Avonex will be this week. So here's hopin' my liver is good. I think we'll pass as I haven't turned yellow and I haven't bruised any easier than I ever have. Thought I'd just share and compare.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Depression?

When the Avonex people called to take their pole about their product, one of the questions was, "Have you experienced any depression?" I don't think so. I read alot of posts about depression and things that go along with MS treatment. I've been on my Avonex since November. I've had 5 weeks of full doses. I'm not sure I would know depression if it bit me on the nose. I can't think of a time in my life that I would say I was depressed. Oh, I've been sad at appropriate times for appropriate reasons and worried appropriately, but I don't think I've been depressed. I couldn't ask for a better family.....smart kids........wonderful husband.......hopefully happy kids.......our animals........able to pay the bills........I can separate myself from my job..........Even when I divorced my daughter's father, I managed through it and thought of it as more of a relief and a new beginning for myself and Zoe, especially when I met Steve. I feel appropriately guilty over things I think I should feel guilty over, but I don't think I've been depressed ever. I think I may worry about others rather than myself. I'm quite happy with my life. I'm looking forward to a normal next week. Steve and I are planning to go to Millie's Pancake House....A special place for lunch. I look forward to more time with him as I have no overtime scheduled next week. Yippy! I don't even hate winter. Don't care much for the subzero weather, but I can cope....I don't know?

Stephen's Wild Birds


Steve loves to feed his wild birds...........There they are battling for seed. There's usually a variety as well, but mostly sparrows today.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Beautiful Full Moon


Steve and I were on our way to our local cafe for some dinner tonight and I've learned to take my camera with as you never know when there will a nice horse picture to take or deer or big beautiful moons to snap and I snapped this rising moon over a neighbor's farm. I thought it was so pretty. I survived my overtime shift. I'm glad mandatory is only 8 hours a month through March because one thing I've learned with MS is that my body can't take the extra hours, so in the future I will break it up into two 4 hour shifts on the evening shift rather than an 8 hour night shift. It just kills me and wrecks my whole week. Also received the Avonex check up call today. Weird.......taking a poll as to what I think about the product so far............weird.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Our Annual Pipe Burst!

On top of my Avonex hangover, Steve and I woke at 3 am to a burst water pipe in spite of our efforts to prevent it. And flooding of the first floor which is like a basement. Not quite as bad as last year, but what the hell. I did not remind the plumbing company that today was a Holiday. They seemed to be open this morning. So maybe this year, we won't get the weekend call out fee as normally it's a Sunday night when this happens. Of course every towel in the house is currently in use soaking up the flood. I'm supposed to do my mandatory overtime tonight and now that's it's warmed ever so slightly...........there will be six inches of fresh hell to drive in. When it rains it pours!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

My Avonex Hangover


Zeke........Always sleeps with me when I get home in the morning from work after having had my Avonex. He woke me up early today by attempting to steal my diamond necklace and bracelets off of me while I sleep. Now I'm well awake suffering with my Avonex headache rather than sleeping it off. This is his impression of an alien. Little Bugger. So now I can't go to sleep as I must watch the game. Go Pack!!!!!!!!! No offence to the Giant's fans out there, but I do live in Wisconsin, where it is frigid cold!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Why I'm Constantly Vacuuming







And these are only some of the critters in this house and as you can see, they like to occupy the furniture. Thank God, most of the floor is covered in wood laminate. So glad we got rid of the carpet! The usual stiff neck and dropped foot, but otherwise doing OK. It's about to get below "0" here. Can't wait for that! I hate frigid cold! Looking so forward to spring!

Monday, January 14, 2008

My Exercise Until Spring


Yesterday sucked bad for me. I finished my usual second in a row 12 hour night shift, got my shot and drove home. I went to sleep, which is what I usually do and woke up only after 3 1/2 hours of sleep as there has been alot going on in the family. Phone ringing off the hook and such. Geez, talk about the pain. I really need my 5 hours of sleep. No amount of ibuprofen was helping. My legs were killing me. Since we've managed to keep the house relatively clean, this week I will take it easy. My pool table will be my mode of exercise until spring. And I must remember to rest, especially after my two twelves. I think my burst last week was because I didn't have the two in a row because of the New Year holiday I worked earlier in the week. Today, after sleeping eight hours, the normal stiffness, but thankfully not the pain.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Little Stiffer

As I've had a busy week and finally managed to completely clean the house, including clearing my Husband's office which was a tip! There were piles of books on the floor and it has been driving me crazy for some time now, so it took me hours, but it looks so much nicer now and cleaner. Book are now all in the shelf where they belong. Can actually see the pictures of the kids now, whereas before all you could see was dust! Now if we can just keep it clean while I'm at work the next two days. It's always a big job, house cleaning after we've had the kids here as I tend to let things go. We believe it is more important to do fun things instead of house clean when they are all here. So today a day of rest after I go to the feed store for grain for the horses and goats.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

My Loving Lilyput


Notice my hands protected by the sleeves of my sweatshirt. Thought I might share my little fat Lilyput. Blind with a total of 24 claws when there should only be 18. This is when she's being a lovable little kitty. Just thought I'd put her up here. She makes my day, even when she's hissy! Just cracks me up!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Something Humorous

To the right Stephen and I have started a new blog, which I think you all might find humorous. He got the idea and I've been out doing the research and we've both been pissing ourselves laughing ever since. Take a look. Title: Look What I Found For Sale.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Third Full Avonex Dose



I think this morning was my third full dose of Avonex. I think I've been tolerating things quite well. As usual, I worked my 12 hour night shift and at about 6 am, I ask a co-worker to stab me with it. I leave work at about 7:45 am and get home at about 8:30 am. Mill about the house for at least an hour, take four Ibuprofen 800mg and off to sleep. I sleep until about 2pm, wake up a bit shaky and pretty damp as I'm sure I have fever and chills during my sleep, but not enough to wake me. Today I gave myself about an hour to wake up and I had chores that needed doing. The horses needed a clean trough and fresh water as did the goats. I have to do this at least once a week, easy enough during warm months. A little bit more complicated in the winter months. So I put on my barn clothes and off I went. It was in the mid 30's today. I first fed horses out in middle of turn out on the snow as the barn needed cleaning. I amaze myself sometimes. I cleaned and filled troughs, which includes rewinding hose and disconnection from outdoor spigot as if I do not do this, it will freeze. I shoveled the entire barn shelter (about the size of two large box stalls) 16 foot x 8 foot in size. I keep up with the crap pretty regularly, but it doesn't take much with two 1100 pound creatures crapping daily. Filled an extra large two wheeled wheelbarrow full of crap, heavy crap and hauled on flat tires across through the wet melting snow to the neighbor's field to dump and took the time to play with the goats who are so fat it's not funny. Alot of work I needed to accomplish today and managed to do it inspite of Avonex and MS. I must be lucky. Sure I'm tired and spasmy now but I still got things done. Tomorrow finally a clean house. I grew up with a very tough Mother. I loved and respected my Mother, but she was one tough Lady. A very involved and well respected lady who beat the odds of alot of things, but she never let us children feel sorry for ourselves. Her words were, " Pull your head out of your *ss, stand up and march on!" We don't cry much on my side of the family, my brother and I who are left, even my daughter and his sons. Even things that make me profoundly sad, there may be a few tears and guilt, whatever may go along with it for the situation. And then they are quickly clamped off and a new sense of forwardness has taken over. No time to dwell on things that cannot be changed. I appreciate that from her and sometimes I curse her for it as I think it often makes me appear cold and unfeeling which is not true at all. Just tough I guess. That's a good thing, I think.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

At The Risk Of Offending


Does anyone out there see the irony of this picture? Obviously I'm quite bored today, as it is in the single digits and I can't go out and play. Too cold. I took this picture last summer, quite by accident, yet on purpose. I followed around this butterfly because I thought it was quite beautiful and thought I'd like a picture of it and of course it landed, uh, where it landed and I snapped the photo, thinking, how ironic is that! So, today, just for "*hits and giggles", I thought I'd post it and ask for clever captions. You can play if you want. You can call me crazy, but I'll just blame it on my holey brain or you can simply ignore me, but since I had already posted this crazy pic on my horse blog with some rather interesting comments, I'd thought I'd try it here. Break up the mundane boredom of Winter for me when it's so cold. So go for it, if you want!

Winter Art Projects


So yesterday, I believe I mentioned that the remaining child-brat had forced us into painting birdhouses, which included choosing our said houses at Michael's and paint to the tune of $70. So one is mine, one is Stephen's and one is Bratling's. Reminding you all that we are all adults, although we do not always behave as such. But what fun would that be anyway. I already have three single birdhouses outdoors and a Purple Martin house which we failed at however the Sparrows would disagree. I also have a Bluebird house on a fence post which we are generally successful with and various tweed-like nesting roosts tied to trellis around the property and these three will be added this Spring. So I challenge you to figure out who's is who's.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Re-Order

Well, reordering my Avonex has proven to be easy thus far. I guess we'll see in a week whether it shows up or not. I go in a week or so to get my labs drawn. We'll how my liver is handling it all. I haven't turned yellow yet, so I'm thinking it's a good thing. Plus I have to get labs for my Diabetes checked as well, but I've had that for 12 years and really since the first year, I feel I've had good control.

It's gotten colder here and my animals are all pissy. Cats are fighting amongst themselves more often. My horses now have very naughty and bad attitudes. Biting at each other and Kola rearing at breakfast. There will be some serious attitude adjustment being done this spring. Maybe a little done this weekend if it warms up. I do not like bad attitudes from large animals in my care.

This house needs some serious cleaning done, since some of the kids have gone home. One bratling is still here until the 16th and she gets "bored". So we have to find ways to entertain her or she'll nag us into submission. Today's plan is to bring the large relatively new flat screen TV back to Best Buy to have it fixed and then take bratling to see The Golden Compass at the theatre and of course that involves lunch at Noodles & Co., which I'm ok with but my husband hates because they do not serve coffee and he is weird over noodles.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Here's to a good 2008 for one and all and may the new year find you happy and content!