On Yesterday

I had quite a day yesterday.

As previously mentioned, I had three appointments, and also had to put in some time at work. It ended up not being much work time, but at least I got things done.

Saw my neuro for my regular 6-month check-in. The appointment itself went quite quickly, as usual, but it started late, so I didn’t have much time in between that and my dental appointment. Still, it was enough to scarf down something to eat and give Brody a quick pee break before I headed back out for the rest of the day.

Got fitted for my crown, and despite some pain and discomfort and a foul taste in my mouth after, I actually had a fairly decent time at the dentist. I like her and everyone in her office, so the atmosphere is always friendly and pleasant, even when the actual procedure isn’t the most fun ever.

Plus, I showed them my Hudson pictures, and we talked about Brody and cats and such. That kind of thing is always nice.

I went straight to work after that, and arrived just in time for Tim’s last day pizza party, so I had a slice and then ate the lunch I bought. The temporary crown on my tooth feels weird – it’s changed my bite, for now – so eating is a bit more of a chore than usual, but with any luck, it’ll all be better next week. Just in time for the holidays.

After work I had about an hour to kill before my therapy session was set to begin, so I ended up hanging out with someone I might like, and though we didn’t do anything specific, I once again had a really nice time. Two for two with that one, so far!

My final appointment of the day was with my lovely therapist, and even though I warned her that I might be frazzled from a busy day, she said I could unwind with her. I like having that safe space to go to sometimes, and it actually does feel like a bit of a weight is lifted even just when I walk in the door. Last night was no different in that regard. I love the dynamic we created right out of the gate, and we’ve really only built on it over the years. I covered a few things that I wanted to deal with right away, and then we moved to the topic(s) that require the most attention and work right now. I wouldn’t have said that it was a difficult session – it didn’t feel difficult – but it took a definite toll, and once I realized that, I understood how much effort I’d actually put into it. I fought with myself and won, and it was both draining and invigorating all at once.

So, so good.

As we were leaving (I was the last appointment in her day, too, so we walked to the subway together after), I told her about an idea I had for after this blog is done, and she seemed to be quite excited about it, as well. We’d finished the session by talking about a little thing I’d done a few days ago, and how it had made me feel, and she gave me a few ideas with which to build upon it. The new idea I had is also kind of related to that same thing, so at the moment, at least, it feels like an exciting new path for me.

We’ll see how things go over the next few weeks, I guess!

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Three

Today is a bit crazy for me, guys.  I have not one, not two, but three appointments to get to!

First up this morning is my regular check in with my neurologist.  I think all I have to remember is to get a new req for the blood lab.  Unless I think of anything else on the way up there.

Then I’m heading to see my dentist so that I can get fitted for my crown.  Haha

The cutoff is noon today, but my lovely dentist convinced the lab to let me in about an hour late, so I’ll be able to get the crown placed right before the office is closed for the holidays.  I’ve been worried about breaking the tooth again after all that I’ve done to save it, so I’m glad it’ll finally soon be protected.  Not glad of the expense, but so be it, I guess.

After that, I’ll rush to work several hours late, and put in about 5 hours to get as much done as possible by the end of the day.

My last stop will be with my therapist, for what will likely be our final session before the new year.  I’m hoping to have enough time between now and then to compile a list of the things I most need to talk about, because the odds of me forgetting something important are pretty high right now.

And I hate when I forget important things.

So yeah.  Big day for me, yet not a polar bear in sight.  Weird how that works out sometimes!

Dealing With A Diagnosis

I read this thing on FB yesterday, and while the first line was something I could sort of relate to, the majority of the rest of it was not.

The opening line had something to do with there being certain moments in your life you would never forget – when you realized your husband was about to propose, the birth of your child, and being told you had MS.

Now…I don’t know about those first two moments, per se, but I imagine they are fairly unforgettable. And I agree that I probably won’t forget receiving a diagnosis any time soon.

But the whole rest of the post was so different from my experience that it’s almost funny.

Optic neuritis was the writer’s flare up which led to her diagnosis, same as mine.

She received a phone call; I was sitting in my neurologist’s office.

She’d waited a whole four days to find out why she couldn’t quite see out of one eye. I waited the better part of a year, which was still obscenely quick for an MS diagnosis. I lucked out in that all of the specialists had an idea of where my path was leading, and knew what to look for.

She collapsed to the floor sobbing and picturing wheelchairs; I went to work for the rest of the day.

Her husband held her like he’d never held her before; I dealt with it on my own, alone.

Mind you, I’d also done a ton of research. As soon as the possibility of MS came up, I went online and started reading about all of the horrifying things the disease can do to your body, but I also started looking into the 3 first line medications my neurologist told me he’d be considering if MS turned out to be what we were dealing with. I went into various forums and learned first hand what other people experienced with each one, and how they dealt with the side effects.

I even watched a video of someone giving herself an injection, but I was pretty sure I would be going the pre-mixed Pen route instead.

Anyway, there was one appointment when I thought the neurologist was going to call it, and I took the day off work, just so I’d have time to process. He didn’t, though, so I had a decent enough day off from there. The day he DID call it, I actually wasn’t expecting it, so still felt a glimmer of shock roll through me at hearing the actual words.

Then all my research brain stuff kicked in, and I told him which medication I’d decided to try first. He was super impressed that I already knew so much, and we filled out the application form right then, which he faxed in from his office. I was learning to do my first injection within a couple of weeks, I believe.

I asked a friend to come over for the injection training session, in part to help keep the kittens out of the way, and in part to help me remember the steps for when I would do the next one on my own. Probably also just so I wouldn’t be alone. Nurse Billy wasn’t the most comforting presence ever, to be honest. I dealt with the side effects alone, however. And they sucked. But I got better at it once I knew exactly what I was dealing with.

I remember Tim went ahead and set up a brunch/interview/chat with some filmmaker friends for the next morning. I was so mad – I had no idea how my body was going to react to the injection, let alone how I’d feel in the morning. I made it out, but hadn’t slept much and was still feeling many of the flu-like effects the whole time. I got better at managing the immediate and next day side effects, but man. A little consideration after that first injection would have been nice!

Anyway. Mostly I am glad that I can do these things alone, and don’t feel the need to have other people around me all the time. If I ask someone to go to an appointment with me, for example, or any of the tests I have to get done, I tend to focus on them more than on myself. I feel like I have to talk to them, entertain them, do something to make sure they’re not too sorry they came with me. But sometimes I don’t really want to talk. Sometimes I just want to wait until it’s my turn to get it over with and move on with my day.

Sometimes – most times – I’d rather just stay inside my own head for awhile, and not feel like I have to interact and be “on” all the time.

Do I think that makes me better than the lady who wrote the post about being a mess and having a large support system? Yes, yes I do.

Haha

Not really; it’s just different. Part of me is mortified at the thought of not having the time and space to process things on my own. But part of me is jealous of that level of support and help from other people.

Above all, however, is the understanding that I chose my own path, each and every time, for better or for worse.

The fact that I am mostly successful in making it work for me is what makes me awesome. Well…one of the things, at least!

Monday

Had a lovely bout of 3am anxiety again this morning, but eventually went back to sleep after about an hour and a half or so, I think. I can’t really remember what I dreamed about, only that I did dream. Of course, I’m also pretty tired, and that makes it hard to think.

Man, I just don’t know. There’s so much I feel like I can’t talk about. Not just to you guys, but to anyone. Sometimes it all builds up and spills over a little. It’s frustrating.

There’s a lot coming up this week for me, I think. Got some news at work this morning which will directly affect my role, although I’m not sure how much or how little. Will have to wait and see, I guess. The Mind Reels is potentially doing our first radio play later in the week, but I’m still struggling to find people who can fit it into their schedule this week, so may have to push it to next week. I’d rather not, just because it’s already been changed a couple of times to try and accommodate various shooting schedules, but if we can start off this new segment of the show with a strong cast, I think it’ll really have some legs. So as much as I’d hate to reschedule yet again, I know it’d be worth it to get the caliber of performers I’m hoping to. I also have my volunteer orientation at the place I’ve been thinking about volunteering. I’ve also been thinking about backing out, but I’m determined to at least see how the orientation goes before I make any actual decisions on that front.

I’m also aware that it’s one thing to commit to something like that in the summer months, and an entirely different affair to remain committed once February hits. We’ll see. I stress out about this kind of thing ahead of time, trying to contemplate all possible scenarios – which, of course, is impossible. But I try, anyway. I figure there is at least an attempt to meet life halfway if I manage to not make any decisions until I’ve actually checked it out, rather than deciding based on my initial freak out period.  Plus, all signs are pointing to the notion that I should do it.  Fingers crossed for a shift in my life that changes things for the better.

I can’t remember if I mentioned before that my most recent neuro appointment went well. It was probably one of the best yet, actually. I’m not having any flare-ups or relapses, my bloodwork was fine (because I didn’t drink the night before this time), and my MRI, while just of my brain, showed no new lesions forming, and no growth in the ones already in there. My neurologist actually exclaimed, “Yes!” when he looked at the scans. I thought for a moment he was about to hi-five me. He was pleased, so I was, too.

Just messaged a couple of more possible guest cast members for the radio play, just in case they are available on such short notice. The hope is to do this first one, and then do a second one soon after, when even more people are potentially available to join us. It wouldn’t get posted on iTunes until late July, but if we could get the first two episodes recorded and in the can quickly, that would set the tone and I believe it would all just grow from there. If need be, we’ll push the first one into July, but if we can do it this week instead, I’ll be thrilled.

Technically, there is a fuck ton of just Mind Reels stuff to do, and the sooner the better. The next voting round for the Reelies has to get started, there are a handful of guests for regular interviews that we need to schedule, we’re trying to do the Mind Reels Minute once a week, and get this radio play thing going. I’m pretty excited about all of it, too, so it’s hard for me to focus on any one thing, rather than flit about and try to do it all.

As I do, apparently. Geez. No wonder I can’t sleep.

Oh! I also heard back from GWR about a question I’d asked regarding one of the attempts I’ve been approved to make. This one I am doing with a partner, so I can at least now talk to him about it more and start actually planning and working towards breaking that one. More details after he and I confirm that we’re actually going to try for it, but I’m more hopeful than I was before I got the clarification email from GWR. Much more, actually.

I’ve also been waffling on the other attempt I’ve been approved for, but at the moment, I think I’m not only going for it, but I’m also thinking of putting it out into the world and enlisting assistance from basically everyone I know. If not everyone they know, as well. Haha

We’ll see. I just formulated a vague plan yesterday while I was day drinking, so I’ll wait until it’s more clear before I talk about it in detail.

That’s it for my lunch break. I have a lot of work today because I was just off for 4 days, and while much happened in my absence, just as much did NOT happen, so I best get to it.

Expect Less

Still grumpy today, so feel free to not read on.

Definitely nothing interesting or important to report. Just general misplaced anger, as usual.

Anxiety is making sure I don’t sleep much, too, of course, so I imagine that adds to my overall grumpy nature. Annoying.

I spent a good deal of the weekend thinking about cancelling…pretty much everything. Or some things. I still haven’t really decided. It’s frustrating to think about and frustrating not to at the same time. Definitely have some decisions to make, but none of them look to have positive outcomes, no matter what I decide. So that’s frustrating, as well.

The fairies are telling me to travel so I can learn and grow and meet someone significant or perhaps even move. I’m to ask them for financial help and planning assistance. I don’t know how to do that, but it’d be cool if I did. I also have zero idea where I would go. I mean, there are tons of places I want to check out, of course, but learning and growing and meeting and moving is a lot of pressure to put on a simple little trip. I don’t know that anything at the top of my list would have the potential to be particularly life altering, even if I was granted a way to make it happen. Of course, I’ve taken other trips that turned out to be much more than what I’d expected, so I guess there’s potential in pretty much anything.

In my experience, though, it usually happens when you least expect it, so trying to plan an epic trip without expecting it to be epic is the key.

My horoscope for the day is telling me to think about ways I can trim the mental and physical excess baggage from my life, so that I can better embrace the “less is more” philosophy. Not sure what I think about that. Maybe thinking is part of the excess baggage.

So many roadblocks lately. Every step I try to take is met with resistance; even what should have been small, simple ones. I don’t understand. I’m even trying to be more brief in my communications, yet get shut down just as quickly, if not more so. I don’t know. I really, really don’t.

The term “spotting” seems far more pleasant than anything that’s actually happening.

My neurologist this morning noticed my hair is longer than it was when we last saw one another. Cute! Now, of course, I won’t see him until December (barring any unforeseen issues in the meantime), which means it’s almost winter already.

I’ve also been told there’s a note on my health card file to contact the ministry. I suspect I’ll be separated from my red and white card very soon now.

I suddenly feel a bit feverish, or something. I am well overdue for my next cold, though, so can’t say as I’d be surprised to be sick again by the end of the day! Haha

I feel like I don’t get to hang out with my friends much anymore. But I also feel like I’m not always sure who they are – or what friendship is, I guess is more the issue. I know it’s always been fluid and, if not temporary, then at least not always constant. It always changes, like everything. I guess I just wanted something more…I don’t know what the word is. Something more something. I just didn’t realize it. Or maybe it’s just an effect of the grumpiness skewing things in that realm, too. Making me feel like I still don’t know how to friendship. Haha

It was once suggested, in high school, that I was having a nervous breakdown. I don’t buy it, though. I think it would be more of a thing.

A guy on the subway this morning had two plastic bags full of lettuce, and on one a tiny caterpillar was trying to work its way somewhere, but was having trouble navigating the outside of the bag. I watched it for the whole ride, thinking about how it was going to die soon, all alone and far from home. Also saw what looked like a raccoon hand on the sidewalk. Tough to be sure, given that it was so flat and all, but it was definitely someone’s hand. Or foot.

The things we leave behind.

I feel like everything is coming together even as it all falls apart, while remaining enough the same that it’s driving me nuts. Can’t sleep. But can definitely eat, and drink, so there’s that.

This blog is one of the things I’m thinking about cancelling, since I can’t even remember the point of writing it, anymore, and I’m pretty sure it’s not working the way I’d hoped, anyway. It’s more likely, though, that I’ll finish out the year (due to stubbornness), and then delete it all. Maybe I’ll even get super open and honest right near the end, and then destroy all evidence so that it can’t be held against me in the future.

Not sure what to do. About anything, it seems. Each step hits a wall, no matter which direction I go.

For now, all I can think to do is just sit in the silence and hope something shifts my way, but that feels really lazy. My horoscope does say to apply mental restraint on my actions, so at least that matches somewhat.

Still seems lazy and needy, though. And those are things I hate about myself. Do or not do. Just equals more walls, as far as I’m concerned.

So be it. Another day’s post done.

Ketchup – Another Irrelevant Post

This is just going to be short and directionless, because I am busy today, but I don’t trust myself to write later. I’d rather write quickly now than not at all later.

So let’s see…what is on my mind today?

Got a call from my neurologist’s office earlier. I have to go get the round of bloodwork I had done last weekend RE-done in about 2 weeks. I guess he didn’t like something he saw and wants a second look. It’s funny, because my doctor mentioned it yesterday, that something about the last tests were elevated, but in my sleepy brain I thought she was talking about the ones from a couple of months ago, as I didn’t think she’d have the results of the most recent ones yet. I said my neuro had mentioned it but that he’d said it hadn’t been high enough for concern. Turns out he just hadn’t mentioned it YET! Haha

I’m still not concerned, though. I suspect all the rampant drinking I did at the beginning of March, while primarily just trying to get through the difficult memories that are now forever associated with that time of year, perhaps took a bit of a temporary toll on my liver enzyme levels. I’ve cut back down to almost nothing again, though, so I’m sure by the time the tests are re-done, everything will be back to within normal ranges. It’s happened before, and I guarantee it will happen again. The good thing is having a medical system that allows my team of doctors to monitor everything as often or rarely as they need to, and double-check when they aren’t sure.

I remember even going in for…something…I think one of the heart-rate tests I had to do when I was going on a new medication? Anyway, they took my blood pressure when I got there, but it was so absurdly high that the woman decided to do it again after the main test was done, at which time it was back to normal. Sometimes these things are all about timing.

I imagine the results from all the other tests my doc did yesterday will be back soon, too. I’m not concerned about any of those, though. They’re just the standard things people get checked out occasionally. It’ll be good for her to have a baseline medical history that’s not related specifically to MS testing, though. The last time I had any of that other stuff done was 2008, which was long before I had to find a new family doctor!

She didn’t check my weight, though, which is too bad, because I’ve totally lost some, and if I continue to lose, it would have looked even better next time! Ah well.

What else? I felted and attached a head to my blue snowman last night. I didn’t have much time but that’s still a good step to get completed. Now I can either work on details (like a face) or try making different shapes all together. Will see what kind of mood I’m in later.

I am much more about welfare instead of rights, especially where non-human animals are concerned. It just makes sense.

I’m bummed at the prospect of yet another winter storm, and will just hope we don’t end up with much more snow. I hate having to get Brody and I all bundled up just so we can go outside for a few minutes, and then have to get boots off and puppy feet dry as soon as we get back in the door again. It’s annoying and time consuming.

I also hate when I feel like I have to pee, but can’t seem to make it happen.

And I hate that I had raw veggies and hummus earlier but am still craving potato chips right now. Jason Isaacs mentioned that he loved that Canada has ketchup-flavoured chips. Which – I don’t really get how it’s that novel an idea. How many people have ketchup with their french fries? Potatoes and ketchup are good together, non-Canadian people! It’s at least not a wacky idea!

That being said, though, I hope he snagged a bag of Ketchup Doritos while he was here, because holy hell – SO GOOD!!!

Now I really want chips.

Damn.

Busy Day, But Boring Post

Gotta say, guys, I am hurting today.  Physically, for the most part.  I don’t have much time, because I have to head down to the first Canadian Screen Awards gala tonight, and a certain puppy dog licks my arm if I stop petting him while I try to type.  I got very little sleep last night, and I am sick. It’s all very distracting, so this will be short and boring.  I promise to try and do better next time!

So, last night ended up being really nice, despite the occasion.  I went out for dinner with the families and a few other of us close friend types.  The service was not the greatest, but the company definitely was.  As was the food, so really, no complaints.  Despite the fact that I had to get home to Brody and take him out for a walk, I ended up going with Kristi to meet up with other close friend types for post dinner beers, while the Boyers headed back home.  There were a few near tears moments, but mostly there was a lot of laughter, and it all actually made for a really nice evening all together.

I of course got home super late, but Brody is pretty much the best dog in the world, so all was well.  I got him walked and everyone fed and then I headed to bed.

I’d hoped I’d have a sexy voice when I got up this morning, but I did not.  At least I don’t sound as sick as I feel yet, though.

I was up at 6am because I had an early appointment with my neurologist this morning.  Just a regular check up kind of deal.  Once that was done, I headed to the zoo.  I had three animals I wanted to visit, but of course I ended up adding on several more and stayed a good hour and a half longer than planned.  A small part of that was Steve’s fault for being so fun to be around, but mostly I blame the animals.  They were in moods today and I was having fun.  Damn you, good times!  Always getting in the way of my going home to be alone!

I finally got a look at the panda cubs….oh my goodness.  They really are too cute to be real.  Seriously.  I was also happy to see their mama, Er Shun, because it’s been quite a while since I saw her last, and I missed her!  She seems to be settling into the role of mama bear quite nicely, and she looked great.  She looked content with her bamboo and her babies.  Made my heart swell with happy.

Headed to the polar bear area to see young miss Juno and the adult bears.  Aurora and Nikita put on a SHOW, especially for anyone who was watching from the underwater viewing area.  The sisters were both in the pool, and they started wrestling and playing, and just being giant silly fools.  I see where the cubs get it from.

Juno was adorable, but while she was asleep or out of view for much of the time I was there, I did get to hear her talking at one point, and that made my heart swell with the happy, too!  Man I love bears!

Finally, my gorillas of love.  I spent time with them last, just before I left to head home.  We walked into the room and the first thing we saw was baby Nneka sitting on a stump with a wad of cotton stuffing on her head!  I muttered something like, “Oh my dear sweet Lord” and reached for my camera but was too late to catch it.  The troop was being wacky overall.  Saddling kept pulling a big tree branch down, then letting it fly back up as he ran away.  For some reason Nassir and Nneka were a bit weirded out by a low-hanging branch on the other side, until Ngozi pulled the whole thing out by the roots and let her kids then run around with it for awhile.

It was interesting that Charles never felt he need to get involved and settle everyone down, but mama Ngozi had it all well in hand.  We saw Charles later walking along with little Nneka at his side.  So freaking cute.  He’s so big and she is so little, but she likes to sit like daddy does, and then she was rolling around in front of him to get his attention.

I love that family.  ❤️

Okay, I really need to start getting ready for tonight’s big event!  I just wish I could figure out when I’ll ever be able to get a bit more sleep!

More tomorrow!