Monthly Archives: September 2014

How Up Close & Personal Should I Go?

Don’t get excited readers, this blog is not about to get smutty. That would embarrass me and my family unnecessarily, and I’m not going there. It’s not that kind of close and personal I’m going to write about here! In fact the subject I want to write about here is as far from sexy as you can get.

The personal stuff is about my bowel and bladder. Go on, log out if you think you’re going to get grossed out. But if you too have up close and personal issues ,from your insides misbehaving, you may find some things you can relate to. I’m not saying I can solve your problems, but as you will see, I’ve had to learn some things about these issues …

I have MS (multiple sclerosis). I have a variety of things that don’t work as well as they used to because of having MS. For instance, all of my fingers and toes tingle, all of the time. I have a level of muscle weakness on my right side. I have some cognition ‘issues’ ie, if you rely on me to remember something, it may or may not happen. Hot weather or stress make my symptoms worse.

These issues aren’t good, but I’m dealing with them OK. I’m on a medication that is easy to take – Gilenya which is a small capsule taken in the morning, every morning. This medication seems to be working very well for me. It doesn’t work well for everyone, and I feel sorry for them, and hope for the best for them in their search for their best medication. There are more and more medications making their way to the Australian system …

I was previously on a different medication. This one was Avonex, which was an injectible – into muscle, once a week. This meant I had to inject stuff into my thigh muscle, either left or right thigh. I was going OK with that, doing it for two years, but the immense feelings of relief I felt when I was going through the wash out period before beginning my snazzy tablets told me the true story. I’d been managing, but not as well as I’d thought …

Anyway, I’m going well, able to walk a reasonable way, and able to keep on doing stuff through the afternoon and into nighttime. That’s great – my non MS stuff takes me out at night sometimes, and I’m glad I can do it all now. But … Isn’t there always a ‘but’ in stories like this? The ‘but’ is that my body hasn’t taken complete control over two parts of my body, the two parts that are most likely to cause me intense embarrassment. Can you guess what those two parts may be yet? Yes, that’s right, my bladder and my bowel.

‘Accidents happen’, is an old saying, and sadly, for me the saying isn’t so old. Accidents happen for me, not every day, but often enough to be a bother sometimes. And some of these accidents can be embarrassing in the extreme. Fortunately for me, I’ve been able to keep the ‘Oh dear’ level relatively low, but I don’t know for how long. My worst ‘Oh dear’ happened on the way to an MS event one evening. I ended up having to investigate the back streets on my way, and was very grateful for poor night lighting in that particular back street. It was a wee accident, not a poo accident, and I managed to get away with no-one else noticing, thanks to my recovery actions …

I know I should always ‘go’ before I go but sometimes I forget, and sometimes the travel just takes too long. Other accidents so far have only happened at home, and I’ve been able to do the clean ups myself. It’s not a thing to be proud of, really, or is it? I’ve managed to clean myself up, without having anyone else put out by having to look after me. So maybe it is something I can be proud of …

Wees and poos happen, as a natural part of life. I’m just going to go on trying to keep them at a relatively clean and tidy part of life. Most of the time when these accidents happen, it’s because I’ve ignored the messages my body has been sending me. So this is my message to anyone reading this blog post – your body knows a lot about you, and when you pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you, things will go along better.

Having said all of that, I have to confess that I have no real excuses to have too many actual accidents – I receive a payment from the government to assist with various pads etc. Sometimes I’m too vain to use them, and yes, that’s when I sometimes pay the price of clean ups …

So, listen to your body, and don’t be too proud to use help when you have it. Incontinence can be a game changer if you don’t take care!

What is Fame?

I ask the question, but of course ‘Fame’ means different things to different people. There are people who are famous because of their sporting prowess, and others because they are great at singing, or dancing, or acting. Some other people are famous because they have powerful postiions in life, politicians and so on.

I’m none of those things. If I was up of a stage singing or dancing, it wouldn’t bring me fame. It may well bring people to take me away and lock me up in a padded cell. Or at the very least, throw me out of the premises. I’m not a politician, although I have run for public office in the past. I ran for a councillor spot in the Local Council elections some years ago. I didn’t get in, but I did get more votes for one of the other people running. I guess that’s a start, of some kind …

I was going to run again in the local council elections happening soon in South Australia, but my husband pointed out I was probably too busy to do that. I thought about it briefly, and had to agree with him. I’m always happy to consider things pointed out to me, and agree if the other person is correct. Doing anything else is stupid. I certainly don’t want to become famous for doing stupid things.

What I want to be famous for is none of those things. I’m not a wonderfully good sportsperson. I’m a moderately OK lawn bowler. That is the extent of my sportsmanship. My maternal grandparents were extremely good lawn bowlers many years ago. They were both club champions at various times. I’m nowhere near as good as that. My son is or has the potential to be, but having a son who is a good lawn bowler isn’t going to bring me fame. It might bring him some level of fame, if he keeps on doing it, who knows.

No, what I’m going to become ‘famous’ for, if it ever happens, is writing. Writing is what I do, what brings me joy and feelings of self-satisfaction. People outside of my family know me mostly because of my words, my written words. I’ve had some spoken word engagements, and hope to have many more, but my written words, fiction, non-fiction and poetry are what will bring me fame. The public speaking will come because of my fame as a writer.

I have various books published, ‘My Dog’, ‘Dig It! Gardening Tips For Dogs’, ‘damaged children, Precious Gems’ and ‘Mick, Jane and Me – Living Well With MS’. These books will be involved in my fame – they will show my abilities to write about various things, in interesting ways, serious at times, funny at other times. Knowing how to get the correct pitch, to be funny when humour is needed, be sensible and serious when needed, these are talents I have. My writing has been described as uplifting, and that is surely what I would love to be famous for – to be uplifting to others, and to bring them hope and positivity.

Following from this is my desire to be known as a funny person. I’d love to be a stand up/sit down comic at some stage. Next month there will be a workshop being put on by Adelaide Plains Chapter and Verse group, which I head. The workshop is on writing comedy, and I expect it will be extremely useful to me. At the moment, the sit down part isn’t so necessary, but there’s no telling what the future may bring. I just glory in my current level of ability, and work through any disabilities. That’s just the way I am!

me making point at book launch

photo by Martin Christmas

After First Week of My Latest Wii Fit Exercise program

Hi friends, I’m thrilled to be able to announce the great news : I managed my first week of the necessary twenty minutes of Wii Fit exercises, as announced in a previous post, and I completed the required minutes of exercise for the 5 days of the past week.

I had to be firm with myself, and I am so pleased that I finally got it right. I ignored other things, and gave my exercise the high priority it deserves, and needs. Today, I managed even longer – completing forty minutes of exercises, as well as doing some work on my biceps and triceps with a hand weight. It feels good, and it’s becoming easier to do the exercises.

I am going to make sure I manage to keep this up, but I’m still looking for others who can work with me to keep up this program… I have lots of things going on in my life, but most of those things do little to help me to work on getting my body moving, they’re more likely to involve me sitting right where I am now, on my chair in front of the computer screeen.

I enjoy my computer time, but I know it is extremely important to work on my body as well as my mind. If I can keep doing this, thirty minutes, five days a week, I will be able to keep on going, getting around wherever I want to, however I want to! I am going to continue to Use It, so I Don’t Lose It!

Are you working on an exercise program? Do you want to be an exercise buddy? Why not leave a comment here, we can encourage each other to keep on with it!

Switch On the Broken Record!

“I know I’ve said this before, and probably will say it again, but – My Wii Fit Exercise Program is back on track! 25 minutes of exercise done today, weigh-in painless, and looking for more tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that, and so on …”

That is my most recent post on my Facebook Page. So, today, I switched it one, hopped on and saw it had been four days since my last adventure in the world of becoming fitter. I weighed in, as written above, and the result was the same weight as the time before. Weight loss isn’t why I want to do this though. My weight is in the ideal range, kept there by paying attention to what I eat, and not mindlessly stuffing myself when I’m not even hungry.

If you don’t know much about Wii Fit exercises, this will fill you in a little on the effectiveness of it: http://www.divine.ca/en/health/articles/c_11_i_4373/the-wii-fit-plus-workout-1.html

Have a look and all will be explained. Well, not all, but a little … Our family have an added extra, so we use Wii Fit Plus. The ‘Plus’ part has more games, and includes my favourite one, which is Driving Range, where you can work on your Golf Swing. I’ve never played golf in my life, but I love this game! It’s a great work out, and if I do ever play golf, who knows, I might actually be ok at it, as my scores with this if my Wii Fit scores indicate anything!

What I want this exercise program to do is to assist with my physical fitness. I know I need to be stronger, and fitter. I realise more muscle mass could make me heavier, so I won’t mind about that at all. My jean size at the moment is good, and if I can fill my jeans with abs and glutes of steel, how cool would that be? Very cool, ice cool in fact!

So, I’ve asked my Facebook Friends to help me to keep on track, and it would be great if friends here could help me too. I’d love to hear from anyone who does Wii Fit exercises with ideas and thoughts on it. You know, favourite games, tips on best ones, all of that – sharing ideas and thoughts on things can help everyone to have a better and more useful experience. And of course sharing is always a good thing to do!

Once again, I’m back on my Wii Fit Exercise Program!

Yesterday I decided, yet again, that I should be ‘doing more’. For me, doing more involves going outside and wandering around the place, not being lazy and actually standing up and doing things, and switching on our family’s Wii Fit Machine. I do exercises as sent via email to me almost every day. That is, they’re sent to me every day, and I almost always do them.

The website I signed up with to do these exercises every day is Daily Challenge. https://challenge.meyouhealth.com

It’s a good site, with a good community of people who want to live a better, healthier life, as I do. Yesterday I wrote on Daily Challenge that I would get back to Wii Fit, and so today, this morning in fact, that’s what I did. I switched on the machine and weighed in. I was surprised at the length of time it had been since my last exercise session – 52 days! I was happy enough with the weigh in result, and committed to doing at least ten minutes of exercises there.

I’m happy to report I actually managed to do 15 minutes of exercises, including jogging. It was a good workout, one that certainly challenged me. I hope to be able to go for longer tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that, and so on. Exercise, exercise – it’s such an easy term, and can mean many things to many different people. I know I’m capable of exercising with Wii Fit, for forty minutes  or more. I know this because I’ve done it before. I also know that as long as I don’t do too much, but keep on doing enough, I will end up feeling and being fitter and less fatigued.

When a person has MS (Multiple Sclerosis) fatigue can be a huge problem. When the slightest thing can knock you down and keep you down for hours, you might wrap yourself up with cotton wool and not do a thing. That’s not the best way to go though. One is much better off meeting small challenges, that gradually get bigger. I’m hoping that by the end of next week, I’ll be back up to at least half an hour of Wii Fit, or other exercises, five days a week or more.

So, that’s my plan – can I do it? Well I can’t see why not, with a little determination and some encouragement from friends, I can definitely do it!