Monthly Archives: January 2018

Sometimes I Suddenly Realise Something …

Yes, suddenly something true hits me and I realise I am both clever, for realising it, and incredibly stupid for taking so long to realise  it! Do you ever have times like that, when a thing suddenly becomes obvious to you, and you can hardly understand why it took so long for the truth to hit you? Today was one of those times for me.

Today, in South Australia, particularly in the mid north region the weather is hot, very hot. At the moment the temperature in the shade is apparently 43.2 Celsius. That is hot. We (my husband and I) decided we had to do our washing today, so Graham put the washing in the machine set it off to do its thing.

My part was to hang the washing out and then bring the washing in when the time was right. The machine eventually stopped and I went to the laundry to put the now clean clothes into the laundry basket. When I went into the backyard with the washing, I looked over at the clothesline, and it hit me! The clothesline, or at least half of the line, was in the shade, just a small amount of shade, but plenty enough for me to stand in, between the tree giving the shade, and the clothesline. I could be in the shade and hang out the washing at the same time!

Ananka

In the photo is our first female Pharaoh Hound, Ananka, the photo taken probably about ten years ago. She is standing next to the tree I was standing in the shade of today, but I was further around to the right of where she’s standing in the picture …

Of course, of course, of course! I have lived at this house for nearly thirty years, with the same clothesline, and the same tree. The tree may have just been a small bush when we first arrived, but it’s definitely been tall enough to bring shade to the area of lawn next to the clothesline for a good few of the years we’ve been here. The peg basket is usually on the side of the line across from the shade, and closest to the laundry door, so that’s where I always go to hang up the clothes, near the door, and in the sunshine, whether hot or cold or pleasant, that’s where I go.

But today’s the day I realised I didn’t have to overheat, and feel like my ability to stand up was slipping away from me from the heat. Today I stood in the shade, moved the peg basket around to the shaded place where I’d put the washing basket, and I hung out the washing in the shade, the lovely, lovely shade! I have no idea why it took me this long to figure this out. I also don’t know whether my husband realised this was possible, or even if he would ever be bothered as much by the sun and heat as I am. Well I do know that, of course. He doesn’t have MS, and he isn’t in danger of fading and falling from excessive heat …

I’ve brought the washing in again now, out into the shade from the tree, and then into the sunshine briefly, and back inside with the now dry washing, yay me, and yay to my mind for the slow but great realisation! Do you ever have any of these Ah ha! moments? Please leave a comment and tell me about them, I love reading about these things!

 

 

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Oh This Hot Weather is Hellish!

I love in country South Australia, and at the moment, we’re in the middle of a heat wave. The temperature yesterday hovered around 40 and above (celsius), today at the moment, the temperature on my back veranda is 45.3, that is, as I said in the title, Hellishly hot! Everyone is feeling the heat of it, but for those of us with MS, there are the further problems from our MS rearing up and biting us if we get overheated.

Then, even if we do have good cooling available, as I have, there’s a further issue from getting too cold. Both of these things can affect us, when we have MS. I have the air conditioner on, so it cool inside. which is lovely. But I don’t have my socks on at the moment, so my feet are way too cold. They feel slightly numb with it, and look a bit purple. I think I’s time to get my socks back on.

Yes, that’s better! My knees are also cold, and my lower legs feel like they somehow aren’t really there. It’s a weird feeling, like from my knees down to my ankles, there’s nothing. I can feel my ankles and feet now again, because I’ve put my socks back on, but I know I’d better go and put trousers on soon. I’ve been getting about the house all day in a sort of dress (long t-shirt), and my legs are certainly not used to it. The times I’ve had to take the dog outside though, that’s been much better with sunshine on my legs!

Outside though, the heat rising from the ground in the sun is horrendous, and I know my car will need the air con on before I get into it, which I’m going to have to do in a hour or so. This is awful weather, I’m glad the car has air conditioning, and so does the place I’ll be going to. I’ll manage today, but tomorrow we’re having another dose of heat. It’s summer, it’s South Australia, and I suspect Climate Change is playing some part in it.

Anyway, I’ve put water outside for birds, I’ve been drinking lots of water all day today, and the dog has water available in the kitchen. But Missy just walked over to me again with that look that says “I wanna go out” and then she walked off to the back door, I think, so I’d better go!

Multiple Sclerosis and Happiness?

When I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), my main emotion was relief. Not distress, or sadness, or worry, but relief. You see, I’d been worried a lot by what on earth had caused my body to suddenly go weak and limp. Was it Cancer, or something worse, and was I going to die from whatever it was? If it was cancer, I was not happy, at all, we all n=know cancer is a terrible and possibly lethal thing to have.

So yes, when my neurologist told me I had Multiple Sclerosis, I was relieved. As far as I knew, MS wasn’t fatal. I actually already knew someone  who’d had MS for a long time and she was still alive … So I had a new chronic illness, did I? And what was this illness going to do to my life? I did some research, and was glad to talk with the MS Society of SA & NT. These wonderful people had a nurse I could talk to, they had resources and a monthly newsletter with all of the up to date information I wanted.

I still wanted more though, and looked for a book that would tell me what I wanted to know about how MS was going to affect me. I couldn’t find that book, so I decided I would write the book I wanted to read … I got to work, once I was able to, and with help from the MS Society SA & NT, I did the necessary research, and applied for funding to get a mentor to assist with writing this information book/memoir all about how MS was for me, and all I knew about MS from how it, affects, medications, treatments, everything I could think of.

I applied for and received a grant from the Richard Llewellyn Arts & Disability grant program to pay a mentor to help me write this book in verse, an idea I had that felt like a touch that added a different touch to this book. A verse memoir about a chronic illness, not every person was able to do that! Being able to write this book, and to then get it published again with assistance from the MSSSA&NT, this was an empowering thing to be able to do, when my body had let me down in such a disabling way. I was able to get copies printed of this book with the Society’s printer at a very good rate, and sold that first print run. I’ve since printed more copies of this book, and still sell copies every now and then. Being able to do something like this, that many able bodied people would love to do, but haven’t done is empowering too.

So yes, MS has given me things to be proud of – a book that has helped me and other people with MS, greater knowledge about self publishing, greater knowledge about doing bigger things than I thought I could do. I know that if I decide to do a big thing, I will be able to do it, because I know so much more about these things than many. Knowledge is a powerful thing, and being able to use that knowledge in a big way, is super powerful!

My medication has changed since I was first diagnosed, and the med I am now on is much easier than the weekly injection I began with. I began with Avonex, and am now on Gilenya, a tablet I have every morning, simple! I feel more in charge of my body, and I’m glad to feel that way. I started MS with a walking stick and a cane, and now they’re in the back of my car, unneeded. I hope things stay this way, but knowing that things could change. I hope if they do take a turn for the worse, I will again be able to find the help I need.

I am living a great life, with more books being self-published, and with the writing group I’m President of doing good community things, Yes, I’m very happy indeed!