Showing posts from October, 2010


Today is Mojo’s birthday. Well, to be honest, I don't know her exact birthday - she was about three months old when she came home with me on February 1, 1997 and given the name I chose for her, Halloween seemed like the perfect birth date. I've been thinking of her lately, more so than is usual - Lucy takes up an awful lot of room and couldn't be more different from Mojo (the only thing they have in common is that they're both felines), so despite often having a sense of her, sometimes it's hard to remember details around all the Lucyness. The other day, I was going through some of my pictures and popped into a folder from about a year ago and there she was. My Mojo. And my first thought was holy crap, she has a lot of hair After six months of a shorthaired cat, I’d forgotten what the long-haired one looked like. And then I went through some more photos and smiled and cried a little. Played the what if game, beat myself up for not somehow knowing sooner, gettin

Thank You

Chuffed. Tickled pink. Over the moon. Validated. I feel like Sally Field. I won Best Chronic Illness Blog in the Canadian Blog Awards thanks to you and I want to let you know that it matters, just as it did two years ago . It matters that the CBA had a category for Chronic Illness, it matters that people cared enough to vote for the nominees in the category and on a personal note, it matters to me that I was nominated. I want to thank The Boy for nominating me, the other nominees in the category Graceful Agony and Chronic Connection for being such fantastic bloggers, the Canadian Blog Awards for doing this every year and for making me aware of so many great blogs, Dave Hingsburger who asked his readers to vote for me, too (Dave won two categories.). And you, the readers who voted for me. This means a lot. And I'm looking forward to figuring out how to put the button on my sidebar. But here's the thing... Much as I'm really jazzed about this - look at me go, I found

Nightmare Tenants

I don't want to know who lives there...  

Like Snow

Legend has it that the Inuit, who live with snow of a variety and duration unknown to those of us whose winters lasts only a few months of the year, have a hundred words to describe the flakes and clumps and drifts of white and cold. Likewise, most people have an only occasional experience with pain and as the language of a culture is shaped by the majority experience, our world lacks descriptors of pain beyond the basic - burning, stabbing and not much else. It occurred to me to rectify this. And so, a list developed. The Ginsu . Named after the famous knife, it describes the pain experienced after surgery, a broken bone or similar injury. It is clear, clean and sharp and although it can be intense, its temporary nature, knowing that every day, it will be a tiny bit less, makes it easier to endure. The Gym . This feels much like the pain experienced after a serious workout – the tired, achy feeling invading your muscles after doing too much. Crank it up to the max p

Come Rant With Me

I saw this article in The Guardian a while back and have been nursing a low-level seethe ever since. And now is the time to let it off the leash. Shall we start with the headline? Failure to Act on Early Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis Could Prove Fatal! And already, my heart is in my throat. I'll say this for it - it gets your attention and gets you to read the article and that, I suppose, is the goal of most headlines. The sub headline (or whatever you call it) pronounces equally breathlessly that "specialist says rheumatoid arthritis can be halted or even reversed if treated early, but symptoms often ignored." And this is the point where that twitch by my right eye starts ticking away like the tail of an irritated squirrel. The third paragraph tells us that a study found people to be untreated for an average of six months, the delay being primarily due to people not bothering their GP with minor aches and pain. Sure, there's something to that. We all try to su

Knitting Back Together: Your Relationship and RA

Picking up on the relationship theme on MyRACentral: " 'Your illness is your family's illness.' - Mea McNeil When we make a commitment to someone we love, whether by formal vows or private promises, we hear that thing about it being for better or worse, but no one really expects the worse part. And then it happens anyway, one of you is diagnosed with a chronic illness like rheumatoid arthritis and you find that the words are not just theoretical, but real." You can read the rest here .

In Which I Ask for Your Vote

I've been known to say that being Danish-Canadian gives me a double whammy of reticence and self effacement, so imagine I'm twisting myself into a pretzel as I'm writing thisl. However! I am apparently not self-effacing enough. I'm nominated for the 2010 Canadian Blog Awards in the Best Chronic Illness Blog category. Should you feel that I deserve your endorsement, please consider casting your vote. You can access the categories here and supposedly, I should be able to embed the category here so you can vote without having to click around.  You can vote once every 24 hours until October 26. It worked!  As they used to say in the Bartles and Jaymes commercials , thank you for your support.

Two Leaves in a Fountain


Book Review: The Wave

Three years ago, I read a book called The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's Great White Sharks  by Susan Casey and I've just spent a good twenty minutes trying to find the post I wrote about it. Because it was an amazing book and I'm sure I would've posted a review of it, but apparently not. Huh. Anyway, read it. It's very, very good. Casey has just published another book, this one also taking place in the aquatic realm. The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean  is about just that. Giant waves. It is also about quite a bit more. Anchored (!) by sections about surfing, more specifically Laird Hamilton, his friends and tow surfing , it is an exploration of really big waves. What creates them, what they can do and what you can do on them. The Wave starts on board the RRS Discovery off the coast of Scotland in February 2000. Discovery is a research vessel and it was expected to be a normal

Dental Fashion Faux Pas

I was relaxing at the dentist yesterday (and yes, you’ve already mentioned that I’m weird). Anyway, I was relaxing with a mouth full of equipment, having my teeth cleaned in and enjoying a conversation about cats with Theresa - who’s a brilliant hygienist - and we got talking about the state of my mouth. My dental health is a bit of an uphill struggle , what with RA-related difficulties in cleaning my teeth. Add to that a relatively recent battle to keep my gums from bleeding, something that appears to be impossible given that I'm on an immunosuppressant. Used to be that all I had to do was remember to floss for about three days and things went back to perfectly healthy, but my immune system is now suppressed so much that it's having trouble beating down the bacteria in my mouth, hence bleeding gums. Not something I ever expected as a consequence of taking Humira, but what are you gonna do… However! This is not necessarily about terribly gross things and I

Autumn Shower



Today marks my 12th day of work in a row with no break. Sure, my work day is probably about half of yours, divided into about three hours during the day and another 1-2 after dinner, but whenever I get frustrated about not being able to work more, I try to remember that duration matters less than drain on energy. Still, there's part of me that think the damn Book would be done by now if there wasn't all this other life that has to be dealt with. And resting. The resting really drives me nuts, although I'm getting better at trying to enjoy it. Which isn't the point of this post at all, but I am fried to the states of being crispy and although I have several posts percolating, they all require brainpower, of which there is blessed little by now. Because did I mention the 12 days in a row? Working for yourself is great, except when your boss’ approach is informed by their opinion that a sweatshop owner bends over backwards for their workers. Today is about getting ready

Adaptation: Learning to Live with RA

The change in seasons has prompted musings on life changes at MyRACentral: "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. -           John Lennon No one ever plans for a chronic illness, writing down "develop rheumatoid arthritis" complete with hearts enthusiastically dotting the I’s on their list of things to accomplish in life. We plan for going to college, finding love, having kids, learning to speak a second language or play the guitar and mastering the art of perfect cinnamon toast. But medication, pain and fatigue? Definitely not on the short list." You can read the rest of the post here .

Oh, Grow Up!

A couple of weeks ago, when I was being nice to my shoulder and not working, I was idly flipping channels, marveling at the dreck that is daytime TV and came upon The Doctors , a collection of alarmingly good-looking alleged medical professionals giving advice to the masses. One of the doctors is a plastic surgeon, probably in his early 60s, with a healthy, youthful look and I'm sure that he'd intended himself to look like a really good for the services, except were I in the market for a facelift, I'd have asked for the name of his surgeon. Truly, it was amazing. By the way…What is it with the doctor shows these days? There’s The Doctors, there's Dr. Oz and I'm sure there are others. Have medical shows supplanted judge shows and soap operas? Anyway, in this particular episode they were zooming through quick mentions of small things that could help your health or not and one of the items under consideration was sex, which was pronounced something that would hel