Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hikes and a Rant

Last Sunday, the Wookie and I went for a 3 hour hike. It was an absolutely gorgeous day for it. We set out about 1k from where I live and followed the power lines in the Jack's Lake area. Lots of deer tracks on the road:

We also came across the dessicated remains of a frog. When I flipped it over, there were a pile of maggots underneath, but I didn't take any pics as I really didn't think my 3 readers wanted to see that. I did snap one of an osprey's nest:

Just before the nest we could see a body of water in the distance. It's kind of a small lake that is part of the Sackville River system, so we managed to make our way towards it, along a fairly well worn path. My reward for all that hiking? See for yourself:

Monday and Tuesday evenings found us walking after supper but in Hemlock Ravine Park. This park is another jewel in our city. It starts at the heart shaped pond and continues winding and twisting up and down little ravines. We saw a doe and her baby just off the path, quite happily munching on leaves and while watching us carefully, they stayed put. Of course I didn't have the camera with me. We were about 10 feet from the pair.
I went back to the park yesterday after work for another walk, bringing my camera, and while there were no deer to be seen I did find a cool looking fungus:

I realized the tree was on its side and that's why the fungus looks like an ear or other listening device. If the tree were upright I wouldn't have noticed. And finally, for DR's hubby, a gall, this time with a tiny exit hole visible. I call this one "Nobody's Home":

On the weight loss front, the Wookie and I continue to shrink. Sadly we haven't been biking for almost two weeks as work and weather (especially the wind) have interfered. It also gets darker so much earlier there is a small window of opportunity to bike safely so that's why we've been walking and hiking.

Last week I found myself napping every day after work, which is unusual for me. My routine is to relax a little bit after work before getting my chores done and supper started, but I was simply exhausted every day. I had reduced my coffee intake to one in the morning and one with supper, but have had to add one around 1PM to help me get through the rest of the day. That has helped me this week. I'm fortunate at this point in my MS that aside from the Avonex I haven't had to add any meds for fatigue. The little spasticity I do have is usually relieved by massage and a heating pad. And the few cognitive changes I've noticed can usually be dealt with by writing things down. I have said this before, but it bears repeating. I am one of the luckiest people I know. More than 10 years in and I'm in the best shape I've been since a teenager. I'm smarter than I was in university and I am able to surround myself with people I like and love. My brain cells are benefiting from continued learning and the few symptoms I can feel and see are fairly easily dealt with.

However, I continue to be amazed at some MSer's lack of interest in their disease or lack of self involvement in their care. Some of those people I want to grab by the scruff of the neck and shake and say "Wake up! Do something! Call somebody! Look something up!" That's what I find most frustrating about this illness: the MSers who blindly go through life not knowing about what is affecting them the most. I have been thinking about writing a post to specifically address the issue of willful ignorance in the MS community. But there would be no point really, as I'd be preaching to the choir. After all, if you're reading this blog, chances are good that you read other MS blogs, do your own research on MS, and are probably more of an expert on MS than most MDs. You ask questions or search for the answers on your own. You, like me, have a curious mind. Rant over.




Fatigue seems to be the "hot" game in town this month...I know it certainly has increased in my MS world and sorry to hear it is paying you more visitation time.

I have found (in my short 44 years) it is not always the *uneducated* who remain ignorant, but rather those who have means/education and CHOOSE to stand in the dark...just a thought. :-)

Linda D. in Seattle


Thank you Shauna for this particular rant. It reminds me that I need to step away from the computer, stop researching sometimes, and perhaps stop looking things up for folks who are too lazy or don't know how to do that for themselves. And tell that fatigue dude to take a hike!!

Shauna said...

Sadly, the people who should know better are the ones who don't know anything. I suspect "denial" may have something to do with it.

Glad I reminded you. I will gladly answer anyone's questions about MS if I am able and recommend further reading to them with references etc. and phone numbers to get more information. Of course, I always ask what resources they have available to them (internet access, a library, an MS Society close by with a lending library) and point them in that direction first.
If they continue to come to me with questions without first having tried the resources I've given them, then I put my foot down and say no.

I have told that "fatigue guy" to take a hike and leave me alone. I have plans for the long weekend (it's thanksgiving weekend in Canada)that do not entail sleeping when I can be enjoying the great outdoors. There may be some salmon fishing going on, some hiking the Cape Breton highlands, and a possible visit to a horse rescue ranch. I will take loads of pictures and have lots to write about next week. As long as I'm not sleeping....


Diane J Standiford said...

Thanks for the rant. I get so sick of MSer woe is me. Thanks also for saving the maggot pics, hey desserve their props, buy, well, just thx--POWER ON!

Lanette said...

It's a good rant. I was one of "those" MSers for the past 2 years - Ignorance is Bliss, I just wanted to forget I had it.

And now that I had this flare and reminder I've learned my lesson and the more research I do the more I realize I may not have total control over this disease, but, I do have some. Now to get in tip top shape! :)

Jen said...

I like this post, Shauna. I am living pretty well with MS right now, probably due in part to being marginally employed. When I go out into the workforce, I get flattened pretty quickly. So I'm currently on disability (not too proud to say this.) I'm trying to adjust my career to work with the MS, instead of vice-versa. I'm working on getting more freelance writing stuff. I still want to have a fulfilling career. One little brick at a time. My dream is to have several freelance gigs and get off disability in the next year or so. It's always there if I need to go back. But I want to control my own career, instead of it controlling me.

As for my site, I enjoy researching MS stuff and presenting it. It's definitely a website and not a complete blog. That's my thing.

I don't have a ton of complaints, but my course of the disease is moderate and I'm very fortunate. I know this. I take Betaseron and an antidepressant at this time. I hope for the best!

Denver Refashionista said...

Thanks for this post. You give me hope that I too will be doing great 10 years after diagnoses. I am trying lots of things and I keep eating well and doing lots of power yoga so hopefully that will help.