Friday, December 31, 2010

Itchy and Other Side Effects

I have noticed over the last few days... well maybe the last 3 that my injection sites have been playing up.  They seem to coincide with me injecting myself. 

I did my outside right thigh and it came up immediately in a big welt - like an egg.  That went, but now there is a lump under the skin.  The next day I did my left hand side stomach and that site seemed ok until yesterday, when it began to itch.  It has also retained some redness as has the following days site on the other side of my stomach. 

Yesterday I did my left hand side hip and it did it's usual sting, so I put some ice on it.  It didn't really bother me during the day, but I noted that by evening shower time it had developed into a bruise!

So this morning, since Ryan is back from camping, he gave my right hand side hip a dose of Mr C.  So far so good.  I put a bit of ice on it and I haven't looked at it.  So fingers crossed that it's not turning into a bruise or itchy lump.

Hip injection sites are quite a good site for injecting, because it is quite unlikely that I'm going to bare my hips for anyone to see.  However, if you know me at all or happen to be around Ryan when he is pulling the piss out of me, you would know that perhaps hip injections are not the best place.  Ryan likes to call me a "scratching chicken".  Mostly because I stand with my hands on my hips a lot and maybe once or twice he has seen me standing with my hands on my hips, rubbing my feet on the carpet.... because they are ITCHY but unfortunately a bit like a scratching chicken, according to Ryan!  Hence I'm the scratching chicken.  I have found though, that having my hands on my hips often means I press on injection sites, which can be a bit tender.  I haven't noticed it much before now, but I guess I am becoming a bit like a pin cushion.

This morning I woke up and noticed that my L'Hermitte's sign was switched on.
L'Hermittes sign is the name given to an electric shock-like sensation which often presents itself with multiple sclerosis; although Lhermitte's sign is not exclusive to ms.  Typically, the electric shock-like sensation radiates from the neck downwards and lasts for a very short duration; usually less than a second. The sensations can repeat indefinitely so that it might feel almost continuous.  The areas affected by Lhermitte's sign are usually the arms and / or the legs, although the sensations can radiate to the trunk.  This was one of my first symptoms.  It's a hard one to explain though... especially if you know nothing about it.  It seems easy now, first thing in the morning when I stretch I get a buzzing all through my limbs and butt.

My right calf and foot also seem to feel a bit funny too.  Hard to know if this is something new or just a repeat of an old symptom.  C'mon Mr C, do your job.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Would You Like a Spider With That?

This morning at my parents house my mum made me a coffee.  I had already eaten the toast I made myself and sat down to watch Sunrise.  I was just about at the end of my coffee when I noticed what I thought was a bit of undissolved coffee in the last mouthful.  I swirled it around and it didn't disappear.  I briefly considered gulping it down, but took a closer look.  To my dismay, it was a small spider that was broken in half.  Surprisingly I didn't gag or freak out.  I pondered what had occurred and I really hope it was a crunchy old dead spider that fell from above into my cup and not a fresh, living spider that drowned in boiling hot water and then got chopped up by the stirring spoon.  If that were the case then I probably drank fresh spider gizzards!

Luckily for me spiders are not my "natural enemy" to quote the last Japanese girl, Taeko who stayed with us.  We had been talking about spiders when she said this and we chatted about how to kill them with fly spray.  I thought it was a translation issue... little did I know.

Later that day when she was in the shower, I urged my daughter, Chynna to grab her Halloween black widow plastic spider.  We snuck into Taeko's room and put the spider on her pillow.  I thought she'd walk into the room, give a little scream and we'd run in and have a good laugh.  But that didn't happen and after a while of waiting... I just forgot about it.

Taeko is a lovely girl... but being observant wasn't one of her strong points.  She also liked to stay up until 3am.  So the night of the spider on the pillow incident was no different.  At perhaps 3.10am there was a little tap on our bedroom door.  Ryan got up and found Taeko, sobbing as she pulled him to her room and pointed at the spider on her pillow, mentioning that she had sprayed it but nothing had happened (literally nothing because it was plastic!).  Ryan, of course, just picked up the spider and said Chynna must having been playing a joke.

I felt terrible when Ryan relayed the story to me... how was I to know that "natural enemy" meant mortal fear?

The following morning Taeko mentioned the spider briefly and how it took her an extra hour to calm down and get to sleep.  Ryan made a point of telling Chynna to stay out of Taeko's room and then, as if to retaliate, my little darling, Chynna dropped me right in it... Mummy was playing a joke.  That'll teach me to think I could get away playing a practical joke and then blame it on my four year old when it backfired.  I apologised profusely.

Mr C had a date with my right hand side stomach at my own hand today.  No probs, just the usual sting and redness.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Boxing Day Disaster

Now the disaster could be that I woke up at 5.30am on Boxing Day... I think it was because I rolled over and the dog had his paws up on the bed staring at me!!  Talk about telepathy.

So I dragged myself out of bed and took the dog for a walk.  It was cyclone windy, so as to avoid a repeat of the great chook escape of a week earlier I thought I'd better check their gate... it was fine because I'd put a plank of wood in place to hold it up.

Humphrey and I headed under our patio to the gate and I noted that the wind was wild - the tree branches were all looking like they were about to blow off their trunks.  I took three steps out into the park and was shocked to see that our wood post fence and concrete pillars had been blown over in a big way.  I didn't notice any chooks on the park, but it was only a matter of time.

I rushed inside to tell my husband (who from now on I am going to name), Ryan, who was now being snuggled by our daughter, Chynna.  He told me off for being too noisy coming inside.  I said, "what would be the worst thing that could happen today?"  (Given that we had the big annual family bash at my parents house this year it was a pretty major event).  He thought for a moment, probably pondering the wind, and said the back green colourbond fence has fallen down, as it used to prior to being properly fixed at the beginning of the year. I managed to get out, that's not the worst thing and I started to laugh manically until I was crying, as I did throughout the day when I thought about the fence, all 20 metres of it lying flattened on the ground with all the bricks smashed out of their columns.  I suggested that he'd better get up and come and check out the park part of our boundary fence.

Chynna and I rushed to the fence with Humphrey still on the lead to stop explorer, Bossy chook from leading her flock out onto the park. 

About 10 minutes later Ryan arrived and was dumbfounded.  He shook his head and said aloud what I had been thinking - shoddy, crappy, bullshit house, lets just move... back to Maylands.

First things first, Ryan had to remove the fence off the park because we wouldn't want any kids to hurt themselves.  Then we had to round up all the chooks to the side of the house, until we decided what to do with them.  This would have been hilarious to observe... 12 chooks, one little gate opening and two lumbering adults, one of who has a phobia of anything big and feathered.

Some of the chooks obediently played along and went up the stairs through the gateway to the side of the house, perhaps 3 needed chasing with flying leaps to grab them (Sorry Darling, my favourite chook, for pulling out your feathers) and the other 3, we ended up herding into their house and cornering.  After that we had breakfast and came up with a plan. 

We only know 2 other people with chooks, one lives an hour away, has foxes and thank god wasn't answering her phone.  The 2nd option was 15 minutes away and they were home.  Next we had to decide how to transport them.  Ryan said in boxes on the trailer.... I said, chooks are people too RY-AN - they have feelings and it's not humane to have them tossed around on the trailer.  I said, call my dad, he'll tell you.  So Ryan did and I ended up with the majority vote.  Ryan went and collected the ute, which would provide a bit of protection behind the cab.

I think we were surprised when the chooks were just as hard to catch from a small space as they were from their paddock!  Five little beggars ended up dodging Ryan and back where they began, so we had to chase them all over again! 

Soon enough they were all boxed up and on their way to the temporary home we organised for them.  So the events of the morning didn't interfere too much with the big lunchtime family catch up - other than a few scraped knuckles, a shat on shirt (oh no wait, I changed that) and hysterical laughter!  Ryan chose to drown his sorrows... at least he is no longer scared of chooks, I am doubtful about swans though.

Mr C had a meeting with the left side of my stomach today.  I injected myself and gave it no more energy or thought than was required - yay me!  No big welt, just a little mosquito bite accompanied by the usual sting.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mr C

It has been 2 days since my last post.... haha well it is the season to be religious!!

So Mr C, who started out as Big C, but who isn't so big anymore, has thrown me a mixed bag these last few days.  Christmas day in my left hip was barely a sting... I waited for it, but it was a non event.  Boxing day there was the normal sting, followed by redness, followed by a knot under the skin on my left thigh - new.  And today I gave myself the injection to the outside of my right thigh and I came up in a big welt - the biggest one I've had.... discouraging, especially because it is still there.  It might be from the trauma of pulling the needle out.  My husband is right that part is hard.  I might have to call the nurse for some tips - or continue to be injected by somebody else... trial and error - trial and error.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Hot Hot Hot BBQ

It's bloody hot.  There was consensus at this evenings, small, get-into-the-festive-season Christmas Eve bbq... that none of us like the heat and that we are all moving to a cooler city!  Hobart for instance, was bandied around.  The weather said that it was only 32 degrees, but it felt much hotter.  I guess the humidity will do that - hot and uncomfortably sticky - yuck!

Our little bbq consisted of my husbands mother and grandmother and our good friends, who happen to be our son's godparents and their two kids.  Their youngest is the same age as our son... only 2 weeks difference.  We couldn't have planned it better if we'd tried.  We mentioned having our next babies at the same time after the birth of our eldest kids, but then we never mentioned it again.  Until I phoned to say, hey I'm pregnant and the voice on the other end of the line said, so am I!!! We were only a few days apart, but my goddaughter came early and my son came late.  But it still worked out well... they are still hitting the same milestones at the same time. 

It's equally sweet that my daughter who is one and a half years older than their son get along like a house on fire.

There was plenty of good tucker at the bbq, thanks to hubby and if I to continue eating at the rate I did tonight then I can expect some fat cell retaliation!

Mr C in my left hip was a bit stingy again today.  It didn't help that hubby didn't bring the needle out straight - ouch!  I came up in a big-ish red mark that disappeared by lunch.  It truly does help if you just get on with your normal stuff because you aren't clock watching and waiting for the sting to finish.

Merry Christmas to all... and to all a good night.  Santa only comes when you're sleeping... because in this weather he'll only be wearing red budgie smugglers!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Jingle Bells

It just occurred to me last night, that it was about this time last year that I started to sing Jingle Bells to Miss Four at bedtime.  It's her lullaby now and I sing it every night.  Sometimes she joins in and sometimes she just listens or sometimes I'll do one verse and she'll do the other.  Occasionally she'll just do the "hey's" and the "hahaha's".  It's pretty funny singing Jingle Bells mid year.  I have tried to introduce other songs, but she just won't be in it.  I was really hoping that they would do Jingle Bells at the Kindy concert, because Miss Four could easily do a solo!

I am so tired right now... I went for a 45 minute walk this morning and then I did all my house work.  We are talking sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, cleaning the toilets, cleaning the bathrooms, re-arranging the toys in the playroom and re-organising the toys in Miss Fours bedroom. I will tidy up the study clutter which has accumulated recently... tomorrow.

This morning I was outside watering my baby vinca's and baby sunflowers when my groom came out and asked if I was doing my injection or if he was.  Obviously it was him, so he went in and prepared Mr C.  Then came out to the garden again.  I lifted up my top so he could jab me in the the right hand side belly and then he went inside and left for work.  I am pretty happy that it is currently just that easy to have Mr C.  It stung as per normal, but it was bearable.  A friend mentioned trying anesthetic cream to numb the sting, but I don't think it would work, because the sting in under the skin.  But like I said it's bearable anyway - maybe just a grimace here and there.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

I spent most of today putting together our Christmas tree... a little late I hear you say.  Well we kind of, sort of, had an unspoken agreement that we wouldn't be putting up our very tall and white Christmas tree this year due to our Chief Inspector16 month old and also our 7 month old pup, Humphrey.  I tried to work out a way it could go up, like putting it up on the dining table, but the tree is too tall, would hit the ceiling and thus look ridiculous.  I also decided that if there was any other way that would work, hubby would have thought of it.

I don't mind really that the tree isn't going up.  I like putting up the tree - but dislike dislike dislike taking it down and packing away all those little ornaments in their little boxes.

But I had a brain wave this morning.  We could make a tree out of cardboard and decorate it and stick it to the wall.  My husband apparently also had the same brain wave last night.  Perhaps he whispered it to me in my sleep!  And get this - its super easy to pack away, jut take it off the wall and put it in the bin (or in another place like the garage).

So off we went to Officeworks to get some green cardboard.  When we came home, I drew a pretty specky curly tree and cut it out.  Then I downloaded some Chrissie templates, like angels and reindeers and Miss Four coloured them in with the help of our Japanese visitor, Taeko.  We then cut them out and glued them to the tree.  I added some glitter to make tinsel and baubles, when Miss Four wasn't looking, but I still made a mess and glitter will be appearing everywhere for the next 6 months.  Then I found some brown card and made the tree a pot.  So I am now waiting for the glue and glitter to dry.
Perhaps if I am super clever I will work out how to post a photo of the tree when I stick it to the wall.  It's a masterpiece!!            

Mr C revisited my left hand side belly today.  Stung a bit, but nothing more than some redness appeared and then disappeared!  Lucky me.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pink and Green Circles

It was my right thigh's turn today to met Mr C.  It was less stingy than yesterday, but it came a close second.  I just got on with it... made breakfasts, fed the cat and dog and by that time the sting subsided somewhat.  Funniest thing though.  After the injection which hubby gave me, I pressed down on the site with a tissue.  I asked Miss Four to grab me a light coloured texta to circle the injection site.  She bought me the green texta and I circled the teeny injection stab mark... But when I looked down next, about 2cm outside the green circle there was a growing dot of blood. 

Oh dear it seems I circled what looked like a teeny stab mark but was just some weird skin decoy spot... I asked Miss Four to get me the texta again, however she came back with an Ikea texta in pink, because she was going to give me a stamp for being so good (Ikea's textas have a stamp in one end and a texta in the other).  So I circled the actual injection site in pink and was given a pink stamp which turned into a blob... I'm not really sure what it was a stamp of. 

I didn't really have any reactions, no welts or mosquito bites, just a bit of redness that soon disappeared!

I spoke to my mum on the phone today a total of 4 times!!  I think that may be a record for me.  I also saw her in the flesh today as well.  I speak to her more on the phone now that she lives 5 minutes away than I ever did when she lived an hour away.  I also see her more often than I did when she lived an hour away - stands to reason and still have something to talk to her about on the phone 4 times in one day.  Impressive!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Crying While Shopping

And I'm not talking about any old shopping - frock shopping.  I thought, oh my kids are cheery today, perhaps I will go and try a bit of clothes therapy. 

It started off all fine and dandy.  The chatty assistant, got out the obligatory toy box full of crappy lego.  I took one look at it and crossed my fingers.  I browsed the racks and considered my options.  I noticed that my children had decided to explore the shop a little.  My daughter, in particular, loves sparkly shoes.  As my son headed toward the door I scooped him up and the helpful assistant said, oh you can just push the door closed, which I did.  I should have known then that I was doomed, but I pushed on. 

I selected perhaps 8 dresses to try on... it was a lot, but when you've got your gear off, you might as well try on more than 2 dresses right?  My son headed to the door again and a lovely woman (insert sarcasm) added, look out for his fingers, he had them right in the crack... hmmm I did not know that about doors and fingers so... thanks!  But if you were concerned you could have felt free to have rushed to him while it was happening, not tsk tsk his mother after he had wandered off!

Not long after that when I had begun trying on dresses, I heard the assistant say... we need a tissue.  Now I have a dress over my head and I'm standing in my knickers... wouldn't you just think, that perhaps, somewhere on the desk that you haven't moved from since you got the toy box out, that there might be a box of tissues?  Then I heard, he's got dribble on his face and he's going near the clothes.  So I yanked the dress over my head and secured the zip. 

I decided ok, lets put dribble boy into the pram and insist Miss Four sit in front of the pram, outside the change room with their sandwiches, that ought to work... for about 30 seconds.  Miss Four got distracted and wandered off.  I called her back and the same thing happened again.  Dribble boy seemed to be enjoying his sandwiches.  So I hurriedly threw on the dresses, gave them a good 10 seconds consideration in the mirror and pulled them off. 

Now it's not often my son cries, but once he starts he means business.  And with 4 dresses or so to go he starts.  No amount of cajoling, offering the "good" food, or asking Miss Four for help will work.  There is no choice but to pack it all up or to push on. 

As I have all my clothes off I decide on the latter.  So right then the shop fills with woman.  But still the crying continues.  He takes it up a notch for good measure.  My daughter sticks her head in and I push her out, sad puppy wimpering can be heard.  But still I push on. 

Just as the crying reaches its crescendo I manage to put on my shoes and give the pram a few quick pushes to offer some distraction.  What I really wanted was to give it a good swift kick. 

Trying to keep my composure I told the assistant that there was one frock that I liked, but it wasn't really what I was looking for, so I would keep looking.  So as I pushed the pram through the doorway into the street the crying miraculously stopped - like instantly. 

I mentioned it to my husband this evening, and of course he had the perfect answer, what did you expect, he's a man! 

Anyhow my left thigh had a dose of Mr C today.  As I expected it did sting a little more and this combined with the auto-injector being right in front of my hearing apparatus made the injection marginally worse that the other four tried sites.  I got a single mosquito bite lump, but it disappeared quite quickly.  I didn't use any ice or heat today just to feel how it would go in my thigh... it just seems less fatty than my love handle hips and post baby blubber belly.  My thigh was a bit achy during the day, but it was totally bearable.

I really hope that Mr C has got his decoy job down pat.  It's nice to know that he should have commenced his new employment, 48 hours after entering my body, which is unlike the other MS injectable medications - they take weeks.  My MS nurse told me that after she called to see how I was doing...Fine thanks. 

I'll do the injections myself next week!      

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Roast Chook for Christmas Dinner

Today we attended a naming ceremony, for the son of some dear friends, who unfortunately we do not get to see enough of.  It was the first time I have seen their son, and he is five months old now.  When we lived in China, Asian babies inspired me to want to have babies of my own.  They never cried (in public at least) and were just so cute.  Apart from his gorgeous Asian colouring, his oh so chubby cheeks were to die for.  I could just eat him up.

The ceremony was held in a park in Joondalup - it was lovely.  The kids loved exploring and running around.  The toilets were close too (and clean), which is always a plus.

On the way home we made a stop at The Margaret River Chocolate Factory in the Swan Valley.  Now I can tell you, if you haven't been then you don't know what you are missing.  Free chocolate people and not your run of the mill garden variety chocolate either - award winning chocolate.  Go, go, go.

When we got home I came inside and it was really dark, because it was overcast outside.  So I put up the blind and to my horror I saw two of my chooks digging and scratching in my garden.  I nearly died.  So after a few choice words through the glass at them, I found my keys and Miss Four chased them back to their yard.  We established that the wind blew the gate over, but this was after accusing my mother, who sometimes chucks her scraps to the chooks and never seems to put the gate back correctly!  Sorry mum.

Just this morning I was admiring how fantastic my garden was looking.  I have been growing sunflowers from seed for a comp to see who can grow the biggest sunflowers.  However my whole garden has been benefiting from me getting up early to water my sunflower babies.  My vincas especially were all lovely, green and lush.  In fact they had all had babies of their own, which were all growing madly.  I thought to myself this morning I should dig up some of those vinca babies and re-plant them in the front.  But I didn't...  So imagine my terror peering at the chooks dragging my baby vincas out of the ground.  Luckily my baby sunflowers came out of the assault unscathed!

I noted that the main culprit was "Bossy" the chook.  She has some kind of wander lust.  Just the other day she escaped down our driveway.  I reakon it is she, that led the other (unnamed) chook astray.  She is the chook we have had the longest... perhaps the death of her best friend a few years ago tipped her over the edge.  She is hereby on notice - another claw out of line and she will be the roast chicken we have for Christmas dinner!

So after I got over my cardiac arrest, I remembered that I had a toddler to feed and dinner to cook before I could really assess the damage.  Luckily that did not take long at all and I delegated to hubby.

So I got down on my hands and knees to push all the dirt back into the garden and to remove the dying vinca babies.  But do you know what I discovered, that although they were wilted, most of the babies were basically unharmed, in that they had their roots and their leaves were intact.  So I sifted through the dirt and salvaged maybe thirty babies.  Then I filled in the excavation sites and replanted the babies in different parts of the garden. I gave them a good watering and am eager to see what tomorrow brings.

So perhaps Bossy and her friend did me a favour.  They did the hard work of digging up the babies, which truth be told, I was apprehensive to do in case I chopped off their roots...  Maybe Bossy won't be attending Chrissie dinner after all...

Today was my right hip fats turn to meet Mr C.  It was ok.  I put a heat pack on before the injection, which my groom did for me, and again afterwards.  Heat didn't work anywhere near as well as the cold pack, because I could feel the sting, but I didn't get the mosquito bite look followed by the welt.  Handy to know, if I ever want to show off my hips - not.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lumpy and Bumpy

Mr C went into my left hip fat today.  My groom was happy to give me the injection again.  I still feel a bit squirmy, both, having the needle, because needles are supposed to hurt (and most do) and because the medicine is supposed to sting badly.  Neither in this case is true... so I have to undo the previous conditioning I guess!

Today's injection did sting a little more, but I put an ice pack on the site and then I couldn't tell the difference between the cold burn and sting burn!  Funny thing though, after I took the ice pack off, the site looked like I had been bitten ten times by a mosquito in an area about the size of a 20 cent piece.  It's possible this could have happened... because there are so many hungry mosquitoes around at the moment, perhaps it was just testing if it's proboscis was sharp enough or maybe it was calculating how many bites it would have to give me before I swatted it away.  Anyhow, this odd bitey pattern then proceeded to turn into a large, hard welt.

I'm wondering if this is because when you put ice on your skin the area vasoconstricts, which may mean the medicine just sits in the fat longer because the blood flow is restricted.  Perhaps a couple of hours later, the welt was gone.

If I press around the area it's a little bit tender, more so than my belly injection sites.  Tomorrow I will try a hot pack and see if the welt doesn't occur.  It's a funny feeling to know that I don't have to hurry to work out what works best with this self-injection routine.  I'm going to be doing it for a long time and really so far just injecting without hot/cold packs or pressing the site after injection has been fine.  I am nervous about doing my thighs though.  I know they are fat thighs, but the fat isn't as wobbly as on my stomach and hips.  Oh well time will tell!!

We had a nice little outing today to the park for my husband's family's Christmas Picnic.  It is so nice to hang out with his family, because they are all so generous with their time, support and love.  And I mean all of them.  We don't do it so much anymore, so its great when we do all get together.  Three of us girls have children who are all about the same age.  It's so cool to see them turning into little people with there own personalities - independent and outgoing, placid and laid back, and clever and quietly sophisticated.  Miss Four is in her element with the toddlers. She really enjoyed playing with my sons trucks that he unwrapped with her help.

I was supposed to go out tonight, but I am really tired.  So I am having an early night instead.  Night night sleepyhead.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day Two

My groom gave me my injection today in the stomach, opposite side to yesterday.  He did a pretty good job, except he didn't bring the needle out straight, not that I felt it, but we both heard it.  The reactions were the same as yesterday, stinging after 30 seconds, which lasted for about half an hour and then another hour on and off.  The same redness appeared, but I have no welt, just a little left over redness, but it's barely noticeable.  The stinging is not like a bee sting, a friend who was stung recently said they "really bloody hurt", and having post traumatic stress about Miss Four's bee sting performance earlier this year, I think it confirms Mr C does not sting like a bee.  It's really a non-event.  I will be keeping an eye out for weight gain of course.

Earlier this week I caught up with my best friend and her two kiddies.  Her daughter (and my god-daughter - yay, I'm a fairy godmother) is the same age as my son, only she is two weeks older - couldn't have planned it better if we had tried!  Her son is 3 years old.  We were going to go out to Fun Station, but I remembered that I needed to hang out my washing before we left.  I have forgotten several times and hubby gets home from work and asks me about it... mostly I don't have a good excuse - oh I was on Facebook, really doesn't cut it.

So we adults and 16 month olds went outside to attend to the washing, while Miss Four and Mr Three stayed inside.  After about five minutes, Miss Four raced outside and dobbed that Mr Three had a black texta and was drawing on himself.  To clarify the truth of this dob I asked where the texta was from, to which the reply was, in the study, he got up on the chair and got it down. 

Out came Mr Three and yes he did have scribble on his arm in big black texta.  My friend said, oh that looks like your daughters name written on his arm.  I opened my mouth to defend her, saying she can bearly write her name on paper and I was going to finish with, let alone on an arm, when I looked more closely at his arm.  Sure enough, it said my daughters name!

I asked her if she did it, and she looked me in the eye and gave me a straight faced no!

Oh my god... am I raising the world's youngest graffiti artist? 

I know that Miss Four really likes Mr Three, so perhaps she was staking her claim to him!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

First One Done...

Well I had my meeting with Mr C today.  It wasn't as bad as I expected.  My motto is, expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised when its not as bad as you thought.  Of course that gets on my husbands nerves... too negative and pessimistic for him.  It serves me well though.

I can say that the needle is tiny... so tiny it's like a strand of hair.  I barely felt it.  Once you press the auto inject device, you then count to ten SLOWLY, then you remove the needle.  I reckon its about 30 seconds to a minute later that you feel the sting... it builds up to a burning sting, but it is bearable, totally bearable. 

The nurse mentioned that she has had to chase people around to inject them.  I did feel like I wanted to escape, so that I didn't have to start down this part of daily "serious" medication, but I waited and listened and didn't tell the nurse to stop yakking and hurry the f up.

I got a really supportive message this morning from a pregnant friend.  It was so nice of her to remember, because I know that she isn't having an easy time of it either.  Among other things, she wrote, don't give it more attention than it needs.  That is so going to be my mantra with injecting this stuff.

So the redness at the injection site did appear slowly, but it isn't a welt, thank God and it disappeared fairly quickly.  In fact you can't even tell I've had an injection.  So maybe this is because I was injected in the belly where I have loads of fat, it might or might not be different in other places.  It's kind of a bit noticeable when I move, but not painful.

All I can say, is that if you are reading this and you have MS and you plan on writing on your experiences with self injection and MS medication, please think about what you write.  People are by nature open to suggestion, and if you write the worst they will believe it, regardless if it was a one off, or you are exaggerating or if you have a low pain threshold etc etc.  It is a horrible disease that we all wish we didn't have and we  really don't want to have to give ourselves hardcore medication by injection... but we also don't want to scare people who are newly diagnosed out of their witts and off medication.  I know I have only had one shot, and I still have much more to experience, but after reading all the forums on the net I was afraid of Mr C. 

He's not my friend yet, because I have to press that button all on my own tomorrow.  But if he can modulate my disease, by being a decoy then I'm willing to give it a shot (shot - get it!!)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

One sleep...

I am exhausted...  but I am not complaining.  I have been nice and busy.  No time to dwell, no time to panic. 

Today my daughter had her Christmas kindy concert.  They did Six White Boomers and she had a talking role as the joey.  We practiced a little at home and she knew her three lines quite well.  However I never told her to say her lines loudly, so, today I couldn't hear her little voice over the music playing and the outside noise of kids playing.  Other than that she didn't get stage fright and seemed to enjoy herself.  I am so proud of her.

Earlier in the morning I went to a kindy mum's house and had a chat and cup of chai.  She lives on the same block, diagonally across from our house - just around the corner really.  She is a happy, capable and generous woman, of a similar mind set to me so far, so I look forward to growing that friendship.  Her son too, is capable, courteous and clever.

Then funnily enough, we ended up back at her house after kindy, with two other kindy parents (they are married), who are also lovely, genuine people.  Their boys are polite and just gorgeous.  We had some laughs, a champagne or two and some hot crossed buns - yes, odd just before Christmas, but just as delicious as if it were Easter! 

I will be please if my daughter hangs out with aforementioned parents kids and some of the other kids from kindy.  They all seem well grounded, courteous and come from parents who care, genuinely, about their offspring's education, social and emotional development.

Still no complaining on my part, but here it is people... where has this year of kindy gone? It seems just yesterday that I was walking my daughter to her first day.  Will she be all grown and leaving home before I know it... or does this whirlwind all slow down at about 13 years old, just when you wished it would hurry up?

At 4pm we headed out of a bit of Christmas shopping.  Yum yum, Maya Masala for dinner.  Indian, mmm my favourite.  I was shocked but not surprised that although the shops are now allowed to stay open, most were closed.  People were scarce.  My guess is that Perth's population is too small to sustain all week late night shopping.  Having experienced late night shopping, every night in Vancouver and then in the penultimate late night shopping cities of Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur, where there are people everywhere all the time, I doubt Perth  will ever have the population or tourist industry to generate the necessity for all shops to be open every night.  Although I am glad to have it.  We didn't get home until 8pm and my son was well and truly done.

Tomorrow is AI day.  The MS nurse comes at midday.  I don't have my auto injector yet...  I wasn't home when DHL came by to deliver it and it's kit.  I did suggest to my husband that I could delay the appointment, but he shook his head, without giving it another thought.  My date with Mr C is on then, in just one more sleep.  I guess it's the beginning of a new chapter in a book composed of many, with many more to come.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Little Light Relief...

So a couple of weeks ago, my mother went in for keyhole surgery to remove her gall bladder and three teeny tiny gall stones.  It's the small ones that cause all the problems, so I'm told. 

My daughter, who is four caught wind of this and we had to explain to her that her Gran was ok, but had three small holes in her stomach.

A few days after the surgery we went to Gran's house for afternoon tea and coffee.  Miss Four said, "Oh Gran will have to be careful because all the coffee will run out of the holes." 

I tried my hardest not to laugh, it wasn't easy, and, I nodded to acknowledge her remarks.

When we got there, Miss Four requested to see the said holes and Gran obliged by lifting her top to reveal big padded bandaids covering the holes.  Miss Four nodded in approval, stating that the bandaids would keep the coffee in so Gran could have a cup of coffee.

I wonder what Miss Four would come up with if she knew about the holes in my brain.  I'm pretty sure they would ooze chocolate on a fairly regular basis.  Hmmm... crazy chocolate mental insane!  Sounds like a fairly reasonable way to lose your brain.

Only two more sleep... before my date with Mr C.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Three More Sleeps

Mr C sits in the fridge waiting.  He doesn't take up much room for 28 doses.  Small and inconspicuous.  Isn't that the one your mum told you to look out for?  Oh, no it was the quiet ones that give you the most trouble.

Three more sleeps until AI day... auto inject day.

I had my first pang of fear today - fleeting, but fear just the same.  I guess it's the not knowing what's going to happen, how Mr C may effect me, how my life might change.  Uncertainty.  Maybe in a few months time, when this change has become routine and I know that my life hasn't changed much, I can get back to where I was less than a week ago.

As per all long term changes, eventually they become routine and normal.  It's taken me a long time and much apprehension to figure this one out!

Today, I discovered two more friends who know other people who have MS.  An old boss, who was mostly well, although suffered from some fatigue and a relative in her seventies living on a farm doing the organic thing.  She uses a walking stick.  I also have another friend, who including me, knows three people with MS.  One is an elderly aunty, who has a few falls and the other is an old work colleague, who again suffers from fatigue, my friend says from "doing too much".

Today I received a much awaited email from a friend of a friend who was diagnosed with MS ten years ago.  She has taken the path that I chose not to seven years ago.  Well almost anyway.  My GP, who originally sent me for tests before referring me on to the neurologist, suggested that if I were his wife and she was in a similar situation that perhaps, he would advise her to not to go through with further testing.  Imagine being blissfully unaware, until some big symptom may have or may not have shown up.  I could have spent the last seven years and right now not knowing I had MS, not even knowing much about what MS was, because I have had minimal sensory symptoms to date.  There was wisdom in what my GP suggested even though I didn't see it at the time.  I was horrified and appalled by his suggestion then.  There have been many documented cases of people dying of old age and an autopsy being performed to reveal a brain riddled with lesions from MS, which they didn't know they had.

Hindsight is always twenty-twenty.

Recently I said to my groom, you know how after exercise you kind of get a tingling from over exertion.  He said no, that doesn't happen to me.  So, you know, perhaps I would have never known any different.  Perhaps I would have just thought those weird sensations were normal and they just became routine and forgotten about.  I would probably never have mentioned them to anyone else, who could have corrected me.  My itchy spot on my back, would have been just that... an itchy spot.

My friend of a friend, was diagnosed, but has decided not to see her neurologist regularly, as I did for about the first five years.  Although she does not take medication, I think she will be a good ally to have in my corner.  I am grateful for that.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Great Weekend

So this weekend has flown by... as they often do when you are having fun.  Shame it's not the other way around!!  Bad weekend - fast, good weekend - drag. No such luck!

Yesterday we went off to our friend Jacquie and Damian's place for their annual xmas get together.  Little did I know when I met Jacquie at playgroup, when Chynna was a little bub that I would make a friend whose opinion and friendship I value very much.  I have actually made a lot of new and good friends through having children.  Far more than I ever made as a childless adult!

Jacquie and Damian's backyard is decked out for kids.  Trampoline, cubby, swing set, loads of toys, sand pit, soft grass and access to inside with no hassle from said home owners.  So it's nice for the parents too, because most people who are there have kids, it's like having eyes in the back of your head.  Someone is always watching what is going on.... although that doesn't stop little accidents from happening - like Sabin wearing Chynna's racket on his cheek (I'll own up, that was my watch) and Sabin falling into the sandpit and banging his eyebrow (Ryan's watch, but as he pointed out, who would leave a toddler in the hands of someone who has been drinking beers and bourbon all afternoon, hmmmm).

The adults get a nice casual arvo, with good homemade tucker, alcohol and conversation.  So no complaints here.  It started to get a little amusingly untidy in the evening.  Next year we have vowed to take CMM's and SAM's pj's and sleeping sofa's so we can continue on the festivities and participate in Singstar!

Today we went to one of Chynna's kindy friend's birthday party.  It too was a great party that will be remembered.  Who can beat a party with a pool, slip and slide and sprinkler.  I always wanted a slip and slide.  I would probably hurt myself now.  It was very hot - 36 degrees was the forecast, so the water looked very inviting.  I said out loud that I wished I'd worn my bathers, but no one else seemed as keen on the idea as me... shy perhaps!!

So again with many eyes on the kids it was nice to have some conversation with the other mums.  I also had a little hold of little Courtney, Maz's new daughter, who is beautiful.  A third for me is currently off the table, with no majority reached... oh and then there is the medication.

Due to the business of the weekend I have had little time to dwell on the Big C.  He sits in the fridge, waiting. 

I've told a few people of the events of the last few days.  Those who knew of my MS previously have said that I have been so brave during the last seven years.  I don't think I have been brave... I haven't had a lot of choice about how I have acted.  You just have to get on with it - life that is after falling apart at diagnosis.  As with everything to do with me, I like the illusion that I have some control over my life and the things that happen to me.  So I research, read, learn and make adjustments.

Those people who didn't know, handled it well.  But how would you handle it such new information anyway?  For those people I consider friends I like them to know I have MS, because it is a part of me.... unfortunately, and it sometimes taints my decisions, explains my vegetarianism and explains why we aren't going away camping over the festive season, as we seemed to have collected some eager campers to join us along the way.

I am blessed to have good and understanding friends, a supportive and house trained husband and two happy kids.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Count Down...

So here we are.  It's the last Saturday in my life that I will be unmedicated.

It's been seven years since I was first diagnosed with MS.  I don't live dual lives so I guess I will never know if these last seven years would have been any different if I had not pursued a diagnosis.  I certainly feel pretty good.  A bit a tingling here, a bit of a buzz there... but nothing significant.
Up until now I don't think I have really seen MS, or at least my version of MS as serious.  But with the impending commencement of daily injections bearing down on me now, it's no longer something I can shrug off.  I'm not scared or anxious.... but feeling the weight of responsibility and inevitableness of it all.  It would be irresponsible to not start medication now.  Irresponsible for my future and for my family.

So with that decision made, now it's just the long wait until the nurse can come out and show me how to use the auto-inject.  We have the medication - Copanxone, (henceforth to be known as "Big C") sitting in the fridge, staring out at me, waiting to inflict it's side effects upon my relatively healthy body.

Mr Neurologist, asked me how I felt when I entered his rooms and I said, oh you know, fine.  I'm still breastfeeding, I've started exercising again (as if running after an active four year old and 16 month old isn't enough) and I'm exercising my brain again too, studying at uni, albeit extremely part time.  Unfortunately this wasn't small talk.  He said, in his serious, clinical, slightly eccentric voice, I've looked at your scans and you have three new lesions in your brain.  They are small, the largest one is 3mm, in places were you wouldn't see symptoms, but they are recent and active.  It's time to start medication.... choices... injections... blah... blah.... blah.  Needless to say I didn't hear much after medication.  I saw his lips moving, the words entered my ear canals, but bounced out.  I watched him as he talked and he watched me.  How many times has he had to say "start medication"?  How often has he had to tell someone, who has lived with MS unmedicated for seven years?

I didn't cry straight away.  My groom, who sat to the side and behind me stared firing questions, as mine had been wiped by a swift, single, neat press of the delete button.  I looked around Mr Neurologist's desk for a box of tissues, but there wasn't one.  Obviously I was the first bad news of the day.  He looked at my face, rose from his chair, fetched the box and delivered them to me, right as I asked, is my life as I know it about to change?  The tears just seemed to fall out of my eyes at that point.

I am by nature not a very accepting person.  I don't just accept what someone tells me as true and correct, as I'm sure my groom would attest to.  It's most likely annoying, but it has served me well in the past. I like to check things out for myself, hear both sides of the story, push through the muck and come up with what I would like to consider a carefully considered decision, answer or opinion.  But when Mr Neurologist says it's time to start medication... then it's time.

Big C.  Lots of unpleasant side effects to accompany the daily delight of daily injections!  Mr Neurologist,"the injections sting".  What he failed to mention was the sting is not your average, ouch that hurt but it's over now sting.  It's more like a prolonged bee sting, that results in big red, lumpy welts that itch.  You have to rotate the injection sites otherwise you end up with dimples where the Big C eats fat.  (Shame it's localised.)  It's ok to breastfeed because the molecules that make up the Big C are too large to pass into breastmilk and if they did they would most likely be broken down in the digestive tract.  The jury's still out on whether breastfeeding will continue.  I love breastfeeding, so I would like to continue for my own selfish motives, but is it right for the toddler?

Here's the kicker that everyone and every pamphlet has failed to mention.  The Big C makes you FAT!  Now if I'm going to get fat I at least, at the  very least, want to enjoy it by eating good and delicious food and loads of it.  And just one question... how do you get fat if everything else stays the same?

Lumpy Custard is the name of my blog.  It's not perfect, but it's still delicious.