Showing posts from March, 2012

The Plumber in Albuquerque

    Warning: there will be spoilers here. If you haven't yet seen this week's episode of Body of Proof , walk away and I'll see you next week. And yes, I did previously have a rant about the show . However, this week was the first in a two-part arc about an outbreak and ever since Ebola, I've had an unholy fascination with rare and gross diseases that involve Level 4 biohazard labs, funky oxygenated suits and the CDC. So naturally, I had to watch it. Can you see the rant coming on? The show starts nicely with an apparently now disposable regular cast member waiting at a bar for her boyfriend (another regular cast member). She's being chatted up by some guy at the bar who buys a drink, but just before boyfriend arrives, she totters out of the bar looking feverish and dizzy. She dies having a seizure with sufficiently gross blood and other stuff coming out of her mouth. What with a bunch of other people dying the same way, it quickly becomes apparen

Walking in Sunshine

    The weather's been gorgeous here in Toronto, heralding a very early Spring. Not too long ago I meandered out in the sunshine with my camera to see how far we'd come. The crocus (croci?) are out As did these white beauties that I have no idea what are Wildlife was abundant, too  I love purple And this hedge on the street right outside my window is the first sign of true Spring. It popped on Sunday, a full month ahead of normal. I'm loving this weather, but it's a bit unnerving    


    I am a creature of habit. It doesn't take long at all before I settle into a routine and become utterly predictable. Around holidays and other family events I call it tradition and zealously defend these beloved moments against any attempts to mess with them (I should perhaps mention that my definition of such tradition tends to be something we've done twice and liked). I see no reason whatsoever to alter the way I do things all higgledy-piggledy for no reason other than to change things around and not even if there is a good reason for changing. Enter my commenting system. Back in the early days of this blog I switched from the Blogger commenting system to Haloscan. I forget why I didn't like the Blogger system - I think it had something to do with not having easy access to someone’s e-mail address - but whatever it was, Haloscan solved it beautifully. It was reliable, hardly ever having technical issues, easy-to-use from the point of view of both me and

Preventative Healthcare and RA

    in the past couple of months, I have been writing a series on preventative healthcare and RA for HealthCentral. Many screening tests used in preventative healthcare are difficult or impossible to do for people who live with pain or who have mobility limitations. This week, I posted the last in the series (so far), so it's time for a summary of links to the individual posts: For women (pap and Mammograms) Getting Scoped (colonoscopy and endoscopy) Heart Health (stress tests) Osteoporosis (bone scans)   

Lunch with the Tinks

      Last week was March break here in Ontario and my sister brought the kids for a lovely lunch and a visit. Liam has joined the race to adult teeth and then some, losing both bottom front teeth and one at the top Time for a serious chat sister to bother  Mormor and Liam playing squares   Morgan caught in the Spring sun   The restaurant was getting new furniture for the patio and naturally, it needed to be tested and kid-approved   Then we went to say hi to Lucy and these two fell in love with each other Throughout the visit, I kept remembering my sister at that age and up. I remembered meals and games and just hanging out, the two of us building a bond that cannot be broken.  There is a trust between siblings that you never quite fine with anyone else, the shared history of growing up together blending you into one. You may look like different people leading different lives, but not too far under the surface, you are one uni

In the Kitchen

    I have attendants . Or rather, I receive attendant care services from an agency. Several times a day, staff come into my apartment to assist with various tasks of daily living (showering, dressing, washroom assists, cooking, etc.). Fairly recently, the field became professionalized in a way most people who live independently in the community do not agree with (but that's a rant for another day). Now, attendants must have a PSW degree (Personal Support Worker). I mention this because them having a degree in the healthcare field is relevant to today's post. So. There I was in the kitchen, directing the attendant in making me dinner. I was cooking fish and as part of the preparation, I let it sit in a container for a few minutes covered with cold water in which we squeeze the juice of two limes to get rid of the "fishy" taste. It's a trick I learned from some of the attendants who come from the Caribbean. Once the fish has percolated quietly for a su



Real RA: Side Effects of the Miracle

    Yesterday, as I moved down the street with the first vague sense of woozy pressure building in my sinuses, it came to me that the next post in my Real RA series should be a look at the cost of the miracle. And by the miracle, I mean Humira and everything good and beneficial it does for me and my life, something about which I'd been known to wax rhapsodic. Repeatedly. I rarely, if ever, wax rhapsodic about the price I pay for this miracle and no, I'm not referring to the exorbitant financial cost (for which the Trillium Drug Program has my everlasting gratitude). I am referring to the side effects. Before I move on into this fascinating world, one caveat: I have always been ridiculously sensitive to medication and prone to developing as many side effects as possible. Perhaps my body sees this as a competitive sport. Also, getting fibromyalgia made this worse. Most people aren't quite as overachieving in their response, instead having a more reasonable minor

On the Wind


How To Have Satisfying Sex Depsite Chronic Pain

    In Febriary, a bunch of HealtHCentral writers participated in the Valentine's Day project. We wrote about sex, romance and other relationships and how they can be impacted by various illnesses. I posted my last contribution today - yes, I am aware it's March, things got a bit delayed: "Sex is important. It puts a smile on your face, gives you a bit of a cardio workout, creates a connection between you and your partner, improves your self-esteem and can even make your skin healthy ! Chronic pain can be a significant barrier to expressing yourself sexually, causing a drought akin to the Sahara. How do you maintain a healthy sex life with chronic pain?" You can read the rest here .   

The Girls with the Dragon Tattoos

    Last summer, I immersed myself in Stieg Larsson’s Millenium universe and loved every minute of it. I wish I could read these books again with that fresh sense of discovery, but alas, this is not possible. Instead, I've been watching the movies and although I know the storyline, there is still a feeling of surprise when you see how they approach the story. The American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has been in theaters for a while now and I admit I often don't see the point of remakes. What's wrong with the first version? Anyway!. Today is not about a rant, it's about good movies. I've seen both versions now, the the Swedish original  and the US remake and as a break from posts about fatigue, disability politics and more fatigue, I thought I'd contrast and compare. And for those of you who haven't read the book(s) or watched the movies, I'll do my best to keep spoilers to a minimum, but it's inevitable that there will be so

Green Peaks


Relationships and Chronic Illness: An Interview with Sherrie and Gregg Piburn

    I had the opportunity to speak to two amazing people for an article for HealthCentral:   "Marriages in which one partner has a chronic illness have a divorce rate of 75 percent. That's a daunting statistic reflecting just how much stress a chronic illness brings to the mix. How do you get through with your relationship not just intact, but stronger? I spoke with Gregg Piburn, author of Beyond Chaos: One Man's Journey Alongside His Chronically Ill Wife  and Sherrie Piburn, his wife of over 30 years about relationships, chronic illness and the value of honesty." You can read the rest here .