Sunday, 15 March 2015

The E word


I always say my kids are my cardio.  And for the most part, that's true.

I was lucky to be gifted with skinny genes and a high metabolism.  But as my age increases and my abilities and energy become affected by MS, staying fit becomes much harder.

I decided to up my (non-kid) cardio.

But no swimming.  I hate swimming.

(and no Zumba, or anything different, as I'd break an ankle again).

I sucked up any apprehension I had, dug out my old workout clothes, took a deep breath, and just did it.

(Luckily I am still somewhat workout-fashionable.  Cause that's important too).

I knew I had to take it easy.  Not just because I'm not in fantastic shape, but because my head can go from ok to drop-to-the-floor-dizzy in seconds. 

I did the bikes and the treadmill (inclined, fast walking only).

I noticed my balance was incredibly off on the treadmill.  I had to hold the supports the entire time, and if I let go even for a moment, I couldn't move forward in a straight line.  I took lots of time to ensure I stayed cool and drank lots of water, so it wasn't from common MS triggers like overheating or dehydration.  It was simply my brain's reaction to being jostled around.

How things have changed.

Now I know I need to stick to machines I can sit on or hold onto. 

Or get buckled into.  Ha.

To bad couch-potatoing doesn't burn calories.

Despite that, I enjoyed it.  I felt "normal" and healthy.  Well - by the end of it, mostly just dizzy.

Here's to next time!

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Reeling in the expectations

I have a very guilt-filled relationship with my MS.

Mostly to do with my kids.

Life was always go-go-go for me.  Career, kids, balancing the two.  Add in the incredible MS fatigue, and it's so hard to stay above water.

We've talked about fatigue before, but I'll mention it again now.  It is one of the most common symptoms associated with all forms and stages of MS.  And can be severely debilitating.

It's hard to accept that.

Being so stubborn, I attempt to continue on with life - determined to make everything just like before

As if my life is now defined into two stages - before MS and after.

I struggle to keep up with my former self.  Activities, trips with the kids, producing the energy parenthood requires.

And after the start of a very busy spring break with my energy-filled kids, it catches up.  And I feel horrible.  Sick and tingly.  Foggy.

I know the process well.  It's been happening for at least a year now.  But I just don't catch on.  Perhaps I'm clinging to the hope that maybe, just maybe, today it'll be different? 

I probably haven't fully mourned the old me yet.  The woman who was healthy and had only positive life plans. 

And letting go of that order and control.

I can't change what I have been dealt.  And I do my best to be accepting and gentle with myself.

But man, adaptation is hard.  Even years in process.

Today's going to be a restful, quiet day.  And I am grateful.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Going for broke...

With the persistent walk-talk...

I've been taking a break from blogging for a while now.  For a few personal reasons, none of which need to be mentioned here.

But I want to keep the MS Walk fundraising momentum going.  This is my third year participating, and my third year of living with MS.  This cause means more to me than ever.  I can see potential treatments and discoveries this close to becoming reality.  On the cusp of changing my future, maybe?

My MS hasn't gone away, and it's not going to.  That's why this year should be just as successful as our previous efforts. 

If you haven't joined or donated yet - click here!

A huge thank you to those who have donated, joined the team, or supported me so far!


Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The necessity of comfort

I have a permanently numb foot, toes that sometimes hurt, and a new foot cramp that stops me in my tracks.

I have poor balance, and regularly stumble around.

I have weakness and decreased sensation in my legs.

I have MS, yes, we all know that.  But I am also a typical mid-30-something Mom of two boys who just won't stop moving.  Ever.

The above combination was proving too much for my poor feet and legs.  So I searched high and low for comfortable shoes in my size (what's up with size 7?  There are never any left...)

I sucked it up and paid for shipping, and they arrived today. 

And let me just say - Skechers, your Memory Foam has saved my life.  Even if just for now.

I am floating away in these shoes!

(and no, I don't plan to "run" in them or anything...)

Wednesday, 21 January 2015


Christmas is done.  We rang in the New Year.  Time to focus on fundraising for the MS Walk. 

Here are 5 excellent reasons to donate or join my team:

1.  Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world.

2.  Over 100,000 Canadians live with this disease.

3.  The MS Society of Canada does A LOT to help people with MS.  In 2013, they funded $8 million in Canadian MS research, $9 million in programs and services for people affected by MS, $6 million in public education and awareness, $2 million in government and community relations and $4 million in volunteer and chapter development.

4.  There is no cure for MS.

5.  Your support will have a direct impact on my life, and I'll be forever thankful.

Click here to see my fundraising page.

Team Making Lemonade starting the 2014 walk.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Saying goodbye

This week we said goodbye to our beloved Nanny after her long battle with Alzheimer's disease.

This was a day we knew was coming.  She was 90, and had been in the late stage of the disease for years.

Despite that, I am so sad. 

But I also want to capture a few memories of her, right now, in the middle of all this...


She loved to cook.  And hosted a mean dinner party. 

Her pickled onions were legendary.

She always wore the fanciest high heels. 

And had the best lipstick (and would literally stop traffic to re-apply it - which makes me smile).

She loved the musical Cats and the Nutcracker ballet.

When I was sick as a kid, she'd drive all over the city to bring me fresh Matzo ball soup.

She let us jump on the beds and her fancy furniture (don't tell Jack!).

She spoiled us rotten.

She could play anything on the piano.

She loved ice-cream.

Even when she was fighting early Alzheimer's, she still stood up and gave a speech at my wedding.

When she lost her ability to speak, and could no longer recognize us, she'd still smile and wink.

Meeting Jack for the first time, 2007.

As our very involved Grandmother, she also became a friend, confidant, and mentor.

She loved her family like nothing else.  Her incredible dedication to us all was amazing.   I am truly grateful to have had her in my life.

We love and miss you, Nanny.

Monday, 29 December 2014

A schmaltzy Christmas

The presents have been opened, lots of wine has been consumed.  The half-dead tree dragged to the curb.

The frenzy of Christmas seems to be petering out.

Despite the various forms of flu currently festering, I am finding myself counting my blessings.  All of my swallowing test results are in - and they are all normal.  There are no anatomical or functional problems with my larynx or esophagus.  I can still choose to have an endoscopy done in March to look for further issues.  But for the most part - my swallowing is back to normal.  I don't have to watch what I eat, or when I eat.  It's so nice.  We just assume it was a month long relapse of sorts.  All of my blood work just in case also came back excellent, which was a huge relief. 

We have had an abundance of family time this Christmas, with family visiting from the UK.  It's so nice to watch the boys have some extra people here to love, play with, fight over - and of course - to help babysit!

My mushy side can come out during the holidays.  I think I love these guys just a teensy bit more right now.  Maybe it's their Christmas awe, maybe it's because we can sleep in and there's no homework to get done.  Or maybe it's just because I love watching them love each other.  With no fighting. Or kicking.  (Santa's still watching...)

And look - YES, they are sleeping together.  And YES - they are holding hands!

I hope you and yours had a magical Christmas too!