Friday, June 26, 2009

Some improvements

With regards to CFS, I've been noticing some improvements, generally speaking. I am by no means back to normal but feel overall I am improving. Not fast enough for my liking...but progress is progress I suppose. When I think back to a year ago....there is definitely an improvement.

I am still swelling which has me a bit concerned. The mini tramp does help with this...but I have to remember to use it.

I still have fatigue, but it is not as long lasting as it has been in the past. When I crash, recovery time is a little shorter.

I am very pleased with the homeopath and the treatments I'm receiving here. I feel we are on the right path and plan to continue on with this.

To my fellow blogging, on-line friends...thanks for sharing your stories...your info, what works for you, what doesn't, what you'd like to try and for all your helpful hints and tips. I have learned so much from all of you!

I am hoping for further success....trying to take one day at a time.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

An award

Kayla over here has given me this award. Thanks very much, Kayla!

Here are the rules for accepting this award:

I am to choose 8 bloggers that do the following and pass the award along:

These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends.

They are not interested in self-aggrandizement.

Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut,

even more friendships are propogated.

Please give more attention to these writers

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Oh my....I always have trouble narrowing it down, because all the blogs I follow fall into these categories...soo..if I follow your blog...consider yourself all fall into these categories.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

to my Dad, my husband, my brother....and all the great Dad's out there!

Enjoy your day...and thanks for being such great dads!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Larry and I got up early this morning before the kids were awake and snuck to the back to enjoy our morning coffee. I couldn't look through the was just too I had to take my best guess aim and hope I got the sun in the middle of the picture....

Nope....too far to the left..

Trying again....still to far to the left

One more too far to the right...

O.K....this is about as close to centre as I can get....

Ahhhh.....morning coffee, in the bright sunshine, overlooking the Atlantic, in the stillness and quietness of the early morning.....what could be better...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Morning walk... (click pics to enlarge)

It was a gorgeous morning here on The Rock today. I think summer has *finally* arrived. I went to the back to see what was new there. Not much...but the sun was shining on the ocean, the sky was blue, the waves were gently crashing against the rocks and it was as nice as ever. This is what it looked like:

We're quite high up, although it's difficult to know how high. Even looking down, it's difficult to see just how high up we are...but here is a shot looking down over the edge. That's the top of a tree....

So I got the bright idea to go here and take a picture from a different vantage point..trying to show the height. Here is where I went (red arrow)

And this is what it looks like from there. I'm at the top of that crevice (as marked by the red arrow in the previous pic.) Can you see our bench?

Look closely..

Here's a's off to the right (*grin*)

Give up?

O.K....scroll down

Here it is marked with the red arrow. Click on the pic and it will come up a bit bigger.

And again....

A bit closer up

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunday drive

Tyler and Jake at the lookout (click pics to enlarge) Just for the wasn't really cold enough to wear a toque....that's Tyler's normal attire

Notice the lone little iceberg off in the distance

We took a drive along the coast line Sunday morning. Church had been cancelled due to the annual retreat. Brittney attended to help with the babysitting...for which she was extremely happy. She loves children and would love to babysit to earn a little extra money.

That left me with the three boys. It was a nice morning, a little cool but still beautiful. We took the above pictures at a lookout along that route. We saw one lone iceberg....probably the last of this season.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Year end

Thursday was the year end event hosted by our local homeschooling group T.E.A.C.H. It's a great way to finish off the school year.

The first part consisted of a variety/talent show and I've always felt this part offers benefits on many levels. Most obvious, it allows each child opportunity to be up in front of a group. It also allows each one to perform or demonstrate something of particular interest to him or her. In addition to that, it showcases many different available activities to take part in...many of which may never have been thought of. It's great too too to sit back, watch the children perform/demonstrate and to see their beaming smile when they are done.

Tyler, Brittney and Jake performed their piano recital pieces, so there wasn't any extra preparation we needed to do (other than practice).

Jake always has trouble understanding why he can't be on stage for much longer.

"What do you mean, I can only perform one song?"

while Tyler is the opposite..."Do I *have* to play?"

We attempted to address this issue in a different way this year --- Jake was able to perform twice (once in a duet with Brittney and once on his own), Brittney in two duets and Tyler in one duet....all the while still only taking up three spots. (Last year, Jake took matters into his own hands....he was limited to one song...but once up on stage, he just played his song over and over. That all too familiar feeling of panic I get in the pit of my stomach whenever he gets up in front of people was starting to surface. I had just leaned over to Larry and mentioned *somebody* was going to have to go up and get him off, when thankfully, he stopped on his own accord. I don't think most people even it was a short piece of music. Even though he'd gone through it 3 or 4 times, it didn't seem that long. Most people said they didn't know......but *we* knew.)

After the talent part of the evening, Certificates of Graduation were handed out. Initially, Tyler wasn't sure if he wanted to take part in this as he would be the oldest (not that he is oldest in the group...just the oldest one who was taking part). After seeing Jake and Brittney getting so excited about the evening though, he had a change of heart....which we were glad of. Somebody has to be the oldest...right?

Next participation ribbons and prizes were handed out for the various contests held over the year. Food followed while a slide show was presented. Each family had sent in a few pictures and one family put them together (set it to music and added captions. It was really well done and the captions they came up with were great!)

The end of the evening was for socializing and checking out the work table. Anyone who wanted to display items/work they'd done over the year (ie projects, art work, stories etc.) could do so. Many talents covered by the kids in our group.

All in all, it was a great evening. (I do find evening events quite taxing -- not so much then but find I pay for it the next day or so. I've (begrudgingly) had to stop taking part in most of the evening events I'd like to do for me, but do my best to attend events for the kids. It's all a matter of pacing myself.)

Monday, June 8, 2009

No more pencils....

no more books ....

no more teachers (well...ya actually they still have to see their teachers all year long...lucky...aren't they? lol)

School is done for the summer!!! Yahoo!!

We finished on Friday, filed the year's work away, got the books for next year out and set up...all ready to go. Today, we worked on our goals for next far we want to be and by when etc.

We're still in the 'transition' stage .... somewhere between bookwork and some newfound freedom --- which they seem to translate into....we can stay-up-as-late-as-we-please ..... line of thinking. Once they learn (again...we start every summer off like this) this line of thinking does not work here for us....our days will run smoother and we'll be in full summer mode again.

We have a few things planned for the summer. We're heading back to Ontario for a visit. This will be our first trip back since moving here...and we're all eagerly anticipating it. We have friends to visit along the way before heading to our hometowns where we will visit with Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and many friends.

Brittney will be staying on for three weeks, visiting with her long-time friend. She'll then be flying back home to NL, which she is so excited about. She's never been on a big plane and flying on one has been something she's wanted to do for a long, long time (but mean ole Mom and Dad wouldn't let her fly into Toronto on her own). Sooo...I guess it will be just me and the guys coming home.

As far as jobs...Tyler and Brittney both have casual type jobs. Our neighbour travels a fair bit for her job and she has Brittney look after her cats. Tyler cuts her grass and does odd jobs for her as needed. Last year she hired Jake to pull dandelions from her yard.

Our annual church retreat is this weekend and they've hired Brittney to help with the daycare/babysitting. She'll be going with a family from the church and spending three days there. She is ecstatic...she loves children...this is a dream job for her.

Jake is a little put out that he does not have a job...but he usually comes up with a way to earn a few extra dollars. I'm sure this year will be no different. ;0)

Interspersed around all that...there will be lots of bike riding, roller blading, basketball playing, hiking, exploring, whale watching (hopefully), pogo stick jumping, swimming as well as lots of sunshine and enjoying the great outdoors (hopefully as long as the weather co-operates!). Of course there are the usual chores....lawn cutting, house cleaning, wood stacking etc. etc.

Yes....we've been anxiously awaiting the summer. It's here...and we couldn't be happier!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thank you and update

The last couple of years have been a real struggle for me health wise. I've blogged about it before, so I won't rehash it all but am still hopeful to return to a somewhat normal life.

I'm learning I must re invent myself....which isn't easy. I have a million things I want to be doing....but many days have not enough energy to do even one. It's a learning process for sure.

I had so many unrelated symptoms followed by numerous tests --- some of which required me to be pumped full of 'garbage' (dyes and such) that caused me to have severe adverse reactions. It made me worse...instead of better....and all of that to be dx with Gas. Well.....I've really all but given up on modern medicine. Quite frankly, I am terrified to entrust such an important thing as my health into that scenario again. Even if I wanted to, I simply don't have the energy to do so. (For example when I first went to the Dr., I could not lift my arm. With barely any checking she told me it was frozen shoulder and I needed physio. I countered with I didn't think it was my shoulder as I could move my shoulder was my hurt in my armpit and the muscle area of my arm and I felt so swollen in the whole area. Nope...against my better judgement (but what do I know) was frozen shoulder. Fine....a month later off to physio I went...and guess what? The physio people said...hmmmm .... it's not frozen are really swollen and need to go back to your Dr. ASAP....they were afraid of breast cancer. What if it had of been breast cancer? I wasted a whole month (and medical resources that could have been used by somebody who really needed those services) all because she had no interest in listening to what *I* had to say.

Thankfully, there are other avenues open to me. I have found it most educational reading the blogs of those who also have CFS. I am thankful they take the time (even though they are sick themselves) to write about their struggles (makes me realize my symptoms *are* real and not just in my head), what works for them and what doesn't.

Through these blogs I have found a book, written by a Dr. in the UK. She has treated CFS patients since the early 80s...and what I read in her book was just amazing. She *gets* it. I've implemented some of her suggestions and had some success.

This illness is multi-faceted. There are many things to deal's not a one size fits all cure.

I've been visiting a homeopath and again am pleased with the results I've had here. (For one thing...there are many....the recurring hives I encountered ever since having the CT scan have all but stopped.)

Besides the debilitating, ongoing fatigue, the post exertional malaise, the burning muscles....I've had this incredible amount of swelling which nobody has been able to help me with. I had a fleeting ray of encouragement when I visited one specialist. He said he could see my soft tissues were swelling (he noted swelling in areas I hadn't noticed yet...hence my ray of encouragement). That soon went out the window though when he said he was certain I've been like that for a long time...probably born like that (which it hadn't and I certainly wasn't born like that...I would have noticed all that swelling. I've always been thin and for a time in my life..I used to get asked if I was anorexic). No this was something new to me and it had only been going on since this illness started....but again...what do *I* know...he's the expert...insert another eye roll here).

I've been searching and searching to find out just what this swelling could be caused from. I'm certain it's not gas (insert eye roll here) it's all fingers, my arms and legs, my face, my stomach..... My waist was 10 inches larger than it was before I became ill and it seemed to be getting worse. At one point, one arm was 1.5 inches larger than the other one. I came across a fellow CFS blogger and was intrigued when reading his posts, he stated his face was so swollen his mother did not recognize him when he got off the plane.


Finally someone else who had swelling. I left him a message on his blog and he responded it was backed up lymphatic system. He left some suggestions for me to being a mini trampoline/rebounder. I googled that....and WOW! So...I used some of my birthday money and bought myself one.

It's way to early for me to say this is the answer...but my waist size now fluctuates 5 inches. I do feel better (sometimes)...and think it is helping somewhat with the overall swelling. I do have to pace myself though...the first time I used it I was on it for 5 minutes and then slept for (an unrefreshing) two hours. I paid further for it too...the post exertional malaise lasted for a day and a half after that. I am slowly increasing my time, trying not to over do it, but it is a hard balance to reach (and it all seems so ridiculous to me...I used to have vigorous workouts...lasting minimum 30 minutes...and now I have trouble with 5 minutes of low level activity?....yep...a learning process for sure).

I am interested in what do you all think? Here are some pictures taken of me over the past year or so. Can you notice any difference in the swelling?

You can click on most of the pics to enlarge them.

The way I looked before I got sick:

Last summer (I'm in middle of the picture wearing white..the one with the fat face). I am amazed when I look at this pic at how puffy my face is. This is the last pic I have of myself. It got worse.

My birthday....after a few days with the rebounder:

A week or so later than the last picture.

Does it look like my swelling is going down? Or is it just wishful thinking on my part?

I'm still only using the rebounder for about 10 minutes a day (2...five minute sessions). I really have to balance using it but not too much....the post exertional malaise is something else.