Showing posts from July, 2010

Random July

This one got a bit delayed as the week got completely away from me. The fact that these things just keep getting bigger and bigger added to the delay, but here it is. From Roger Ebert's tweets, an absolutely beautiful short movie about a mirror and a small town in the Italian Alps, an illustration of how a sewing machine works , which was fascinating - I've used the things, I've seen them work all my life, but I had no idea about the how of it - and another short movie of an atheist explaining his spirituality . In a comment on Monday's post , Marie mentioned sniglets, calling my fuzzy moment destinesia and I'd completely forgotten about this most beautiful invention. I love sniglets (warning, you will lose hours)! The language of marriage , a post pondering whether English is in danger and vaguely related (because of the English thing), it appears that Arthur's round table has been found and is not exactly what we thought it was. Staying within the lang

RA and Osteoporosis: Preventing and Managing Thinning Bones

The much-delayed osteoporosis post on MyRACentral is finally done: "Rheumatoid arthritis. Steroids. Sedentary lifestyle. Being low on vitamin D. All are risk factors for developing osteoporosis. Although being a postmenopausal woman tends to be one of the more familiar risk factors, men, children and young adults are vulnerable, too. If you feel as if a heavy sack of doom just snuck onto your shoulders, you're not alone." The rest of the post is here .

Face Off

The new exhibit at the Sculpture Garden is called Beside Myself .

Life with Codeine

I'm finishing breakfast, about to take my morning round of drugs when I notice that I need to add some more of one of my painkillers to the Box o’ Meds I keep on my dining room table (because it's a handy reminder to take my meds with meals). I also notice that my tea equivalent (hot water with a small slice of lemon- really good for the stomach) is no longer hot. The plan is to put the cup with some cold water in the microwave, then go to the bathroom and get the painkillers, take my meds, then go back to get the hot water. This is not how it works out, because when you have high pain levels and take enough of the really good meds for long enough time, things can get a little fuzzy. I take the cup and wander off, mentally back at the computer where I'm in the middle of writing something, stop and drink the mostly cold water left in the cup while still mentally writing something, then look up and connect to where I'm at. Which is by the bathroom sink, facing a Lene in



Fun with Attendants

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about living independently in the community and how that can be facilitated by attendants. These are people whose job is to be your hands and feet, doing things that you cannot do yourself or that would take an unreasonable amount of time or effort to do. In Ontario , some people receive such assistance through agencies, others get direct funding from the Ministry of Health to hire and manage their own staff. Life with staff can be interesting. Once you learn how to direct you care - in other words, you don't ask somebody to cook you a pork chop, you direct them through each step of the process - it's pretty easy and as long as you and they remember to be polite and interact as decent people, things are relatively painless. Relatively. Because there are snags that come from dealing with people and their individual foibles, snags that come from being pulled into agency/staff politics, snags of a different sort that you may get to experience if y

Book Review: Linger

--> Following up on perfection is a difficult thing. And Shiver was perfection - I reviewed it last summer, in complete raptures over the beauty of the story, the beauty of the writing and the beauty of the narration and when I found out that the story would be continued in Linger this summer, I was as excited as a child on Christmas Eve. To refresh my memory on the story, I reread Shiver a couple of weeks ago and much to my delight, found it to be just as perfect as the first time I read it. If you haven't read it yet, go get it. And stop reading this review, because I'm about to post spoilers. If you’re currently reading Linger, you might want to come back after you’ve finished – there won’t be spoilers, but I will opine. Shiver ends with the story of the desperate cure Sam, Grace and Isabelle had tried for Sam and Isabelle’s brother Jack, injecting them with blood from someone suffering from bacterial meningitis. Grace's friend Olivia had decided to become

5 Lessons Learned While Sitting Still

The first thing I learned came on the very first day of my 2 weeks leave. And it was the sheer exuberant relief of knowing I had 2 weeks, 14 long days with no responsibilities, no to-do lists, nothing on my plate but to sit still and heal. In a comment on last Friday's post , Nairn called it giving over and that describes it in a nutshell. More than giving in, different than giving up, it was an almost literal handing over of the situation to someone else, something else. Who or what, I don't know, but the weight that was lifted off me made me feel so light I was almost floating. The second thing I learned came on the third day of my two week leave. And it was the realization that now when I no longer force myself to focus, to concentrate through and around the pain, but instead let my mind and my body do what they need to do, I only have enough mental focus for a half hour conversation. Because I have no energy left, am probably in a decided overdraft in that department and

Urban Waterfall


Never Say Never

"Please shoot me," I said, like an arrogant snot, "if I ever get a Twitter account." I have a friend - who shall remain nameless to protect their dignity - who regularly sneers at television. Simply doesn't believe that there can be anything of value, artistic merit or non-trashy on the small screen. We all know that this snobbery is a cover for the fact that if you put said person in a room with a television that's on, they will never, ever leave, completely mesmerized by the flickering in the corner. I suspect my arrogance was rooted in something similar. Given my tendency towards immersing myself rather fully (which sounds so much better than the word obsessive ), Twitter has the potential for taking over my life. And then there's the fact that I doubted I could express myself in 140 characters (me? Verbose? Well, now that you mention it...). And then I got injured. Well, not the one I'm "enjoying" at the moment, but the one a couple o


In a moment of stunning personal growth, I gave up. Stopped fighting. Let go. You know how when you stub your toe, it becomes a magnet for furniture, baseboards and random bric-a-brac lying about? So magnetic, in fact, that the aforementioned items tend to leap out to hit that particular toe over and over again, despite you having gone the past three years without random attacks by inanimate objects. My shoulder's like that. There was an injury, I was off work for a week, I healed somewhat, and limped back to work and things were going OK. Well, not terrific - in fact, I'm on record as having stated that I needed a month off to do absolutely nothing in order to get ahead of things, but who's got time for that? Especially when you're self-employed. Then something ridiculous happened last week to make everything flare up, I sat very still and took lots of drugs and bounced back, only to the very next day, have something even more ridiculous happen that wrecked me. And w

Independent Living with RA

The theme for July at MyRACentral is independence: "The key in the door wakes me and I listen as my attendant putters around in the kitchen, pouring juice and getting a plate, letting me wake up slowly. She pushes my wheelchair into my bedroom, laughing as Lucy the cat refuses to get off the seat to allow room for me, meowing her protest as she is removed at last. I shower, my attendant washes my hair and later helps me dress. Toast and tea put on the table, she leaves and three hours later, another attendant comes to help me go to the bathroom." You can read the rest here .

Book Review: The Poisoner's Handbook

--> When I first saw The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum , I hadn't read more than the few sentences in the summary before I made up my mind that I had to get it. Forensics? History? In one book ?? It doesn't get any better than that! And the cover's pretty fabulous, too. Blum organizes the book’s chapters by years and by poisons, i.e., chapter one takes place in 1915 and focuses on chloroform. As the book progresses, moving through the first 30 years of the 1900s, chapters cover cyanide, arsenic, radium, thallium and as these years also cover the era of Prohibition, a number of chapters focus on the various forms of alcohol, such as methyl alcohol, wood alcohol and ethyl alcohol. The book also follows the development of the Medical Examiner's office in New York, from an office granted by the mayor to his cronies as reward for political support, which resulted in an astonishing amo

A Visit by the Queen

The Queen is visiting Canada these days and yesterday, she went to church in my neighbourhood. Naturally, we had to go up and take a gander. The Pride Parade was also happening in the city and we'd hope to get close enough to suggest then she grab a float and a super soaker. It would most assuredly have broken protocol , but might be more fun than what she usually gets to do... We weren't the only ones by the church. There were bears and naturally, corgis. This was my view But one of the benefits of having a tall (and dark and handsome, too) boyfriend is that you can hand him your camera. Which I naturally did. The crowd could best be described as a melee. Photo by David I'd expected that at best, I'd catch a glimpse of her hat and by doing a royalty version of triangulation, in which I checked where all the cameras were pointed and zeroed in on the Mountie next to her, as well as the pink hat belonging to someone in charge of wrangling her flower