Friday, May 18, 2012

Brittney's Graduation

Another homeschooling family we know in central NL has a daughter 11 days older than Brittney. They wanted to do something to mark her graduation from "high school" and asked if we'd like to join in with them....which we did.

There are many things I like about homeschooling, but one allows each child to develop into who they are and doesn't push them in to being like everyone else. This was evidenced in many ways but really shone through with their choice of dress. Each had a very different style from the other and neither felt pressured to dress like the other one.

Here are some pictures. I took these with my phone and can't get the captions to line up with the pictures, but you'll see them as you scroll through them. The cake was really beautiful -- even had a cool pink grad cap on it!

Jake made a speech to his sister. I told him I had to read it first. He said he wasn't going to write it, just wing it as he went along and he wanted it to be funny. I responded with funny is ok, but not silly and reminded him that he didn't want to embarrass himself. He didn't miss a beat and came back with, "No, but I want to embarrass you." Sigh..... He didn't embarrass anyone though, it was a lovely speech to his sister. He did mention that he and Tyler were Brittney's brothers, but that Brittney liked him best (which drew a lot of laughs ha ha)

Lots of balloons. The other mother made the cap and gowns. All in all a nice night. Thanks guys for inviting us!

Click on the pictures to enlarge them

Brittney and Sara at home before...


Thursday, May 10, 2012

ME/CFS patients sicker than AIDS patients

This week leads up to May 12th, which is International ME/CFS & FM Awareness Day.

There was a rally on May 8th at Queen's Park, (Ontario's parliament) in which several Ontario gov't representatives spoke. So nice to see them stepping up to the plate!

The mayor of Toronto has declared May 12th to be Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities Awareness Day (Found Here) Again, nice to see!

Dr. Nancy Klimas, has said (she treats AIDs patients as well as ME/CFS patients) saying "I split my clinical time between the two illnesses, and I can tell you if I had to choose between the two illnesses (in 2009) I would rather have H.I.V" (interview here)

Dr. Alison Bested said the same thing (video below) about her patients.

I am proud of my country for the steps it has taken in ME/CFS/MCS acknowledgement, but more needs to be done. I'm not sure why it seems to lose something in the translation, but it just does.

For example, if someone were to say "My mother has Alzheimer's" reasonable people would not respond with, "Oh ya, I sometimes forget where I put my glasses so I know exactly what it's like. Your mother should just exercise more, or perhaps do things like crossword puzzles, to improve her memory. Forgetting things is just part of life and I have to deal with it, so she should too."

I have heard the extreme fatigue experienced by many ME/CFS sufferers being compared to the fatigue experienced by people with cancer. Reasonable people would not dare to suggest to the cancer patient, "You just need to get more exercise" or "I get tired too, it's just part of life" yet .... those are common statements to people with ME/CFS.

It is worse though, because the extreme exhaustion is only one small part of it. ME affects so many other systems in the body and produces a whole list of other problems... like this explanation: (taken from here at the website)

"Although its name trivializes the illness as little more than mere tiredness, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), brings with it a constellation of debilitating symptoms.

CFS is characterized by incapacitating fatigue (experienced as profound exhaustion and extremely poor stamina) and problems with concentration and short-term memory. It is also accompanied by flu-like symptoms such as pain in the joints and muscles, unrefreshing sleep, tender lymph nodes, sore throat and headache. A distinctive characteristic of the illness is post-exertional malaise, a worsening of symptoms following physical or mental exertion occurring within 12-48 hours of the exertion and requiring an extended recovery period" and even more symptoms Additional symptoms are reported by people with CFS (PWCs) such as word-finding difficulties, inability to comprehend/retain what is read, inability to calculate numbers and impairment of speech and/or reasoning. PWCs may also have visual disturbances (blurring, sensitivity to light, eye pain, need for frequent prescription changes); psychological problems (depression, irritability, anxiety, panic attacks, personality changes, mood swings); chills and night sweats; shortness of breath; dizziness and balance problems; sensitivity to heat and/or cold; alcohol intolerance; irregular heartbeat; irritable bowel (abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, intestinal gas); low-grade fever or low body temperature; numbness, tingling and/or burning sensations in the face or extremities; dryness of the mouth and eyes (sicca syndrome); gynecological problems including PMS and endometriosis; chest pains; rashes; ringing in the ears (tinnitus); allergies and sensitivities to noise/sound, odors, chemicals and medications; weight changes without changes in diet; light-headedness; mental fogginess; fainting; muscle twitching; and seizures"

Video of Dr. Alison Bested speaking at Queen's Park Toronto Ontario Canada - May 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

M.E./CFS Awareness Video

Here is a video about M.E. (C.F.S.) which I recently took part in. It's produced out of the U.K. by Giles Meehan (Get Well From ME)

Giles has produced several videos about M.E. (some of which I've posted elsewhere on this blog). They are all very informative.

I have two lines in it...can you spot me?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunrises and Icebergs

I posted these on my facebook page, but for those of you not on my fb, I'm posting them here too.

A recent sunrise Click on pictures to enlarge...

A couple of icebergs that have stopped by for a visit. There are a lot off shore, but at present too far out for a picture. Hopefully, there will be a lot more in the days and weeks to come.

This one is a bit blurry and the iceberg appears small, but comparing it to the boat behind it, puts the size into perspective.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Interesting Insight

from Brittney today. She posted the following on her Facebook page:

"For those who are in piano lessons....even if it is sooo boring and hard... don't give it up! I absolutely love sitting down and playing now! So relaxing! Thanks mom(Linda) for making me stay with it :) "

So much for the thinking that says we shouldn't make our kids do anything they don't want to do! There have been some very intense moments over the years...let me tell you ;) However....she stuck with it (wasn't always her choice ;) ) and is obviously glad today that she did. Me too --- I just love to hear her play!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Jake and His Magazine Interview


Jake was recently interviewed by the Homeschooling Magazine Homeschool Horizons about his cookie business

The story starts with...

"Young Entrepreneurs – Pouch Cove Cookie Company

Here at Homeschool Horizons, we recognize that the Entrepreneurial Spirit is alive and well in the homeschool community. With parents who encourage children to develop their passions, and budding business people who are not trapped all day in a classroom, we believe that the future of creative business is in these vibrant youngsters.

We’d like to introduce you to Jake, the future Cookie King of Newfoundland:"

For the rest of the here


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Next Steps for Brittney

Seems like yesterday she was like this .....

and now.....

It's hard for me to believe, but we now have two children in post secondary education.

Brittney has been busy for some time mapping out a route for her future. She took into consideration many things...such as...

~ Her deep interest in Science (Biology). Many times she's gotten way off track from her other studies because she couldn't put the Biology book down.

~ Her life-long interest in food *grin*

~ My health issues and improvement through alternative treatments (homeopath, naturopath, holistic nutrition)

~ Her own health improvement and overall well being through the same naturopath and holistic nutrition

A Holistic Nutritional Consultant.

From there she researched schools and courses until she found one that met her needs. It was a long route tweaking here and there but now that she's decided, it is a perfect fit for her. Once done this course, she wants to also pursue massage therapy but will concentrate on one area at a time.

She's registered, the books have arrived and she's now on her way. She's also started her own blog found here in case you want to follow along her journey.

Way to go, Brittney!

Friday, February 10, 2012

When you really matter

Saw this on facebook and it really caught my eye....

When you really matter to someone....they *will always* make time and you won't be last on their list.....

Saturday, January 28, 2012



I'm noticing some improvements on the M.E./Fibromyalgia front. I don't want to speak to soon as relapses with these illnesses are quite common...but....any kind of improvement is good news!

I've been battling M.E. and Fibromyalgia for going on five years now and it's been a long and often lonely road to travel. Improvements at times are so minimal (and often a 'two-step-forward-one-back' type of scenario), that it's easy to get discouraged and think nothing is working and it never will. I find it's most productive to focus only on improvements and to refrain from comparing my present abilities to how much I used to be able to do before I got ill. It's also not helpful to concern
myself with what others think I should be able to do.

Comparing points in time, from year t
o year, shows the largest amount of improvements. For example, this past November, we took part in an a Food and Craft Fair. We took part in the same show the previous November too.......but what a difference a year has made!!

November 2010, I was only able to stay until noon....and even that was pushing it. I shouldn't have went in the first place -- I was too weak. I had a major headache, could hardly stand up/felt like I was going to faint, weak, dizzy, swollen and very short of breath, pounding heart, felt "fluish" and all that goes along with that (only much worse than a regular case of the flu). I felt bad about leaving Larry and Jake there...but what could I do? Home to bed I had to go...and in bed I stayed for the rest of that day. The post-exertional malaise the days following were rough too.

Fast forward a few months to March when the next fair was held. Although I was able to stay for the whole thing, I did need to leave half way though for a rest. I retreated to the van, had a bite to eat, put my head back and napped for awhile. Eventually, I went back in where I stayed for the rest of the show. Even though I was majorly crashed the next few days ....I had managed to stay out for the duration of the day! Improvement!!

November, 2011, the show happened again and this time, I was able to stay for the whole show!! No nap needed, no rest in the van needed! Definite improvement since last year at this time.

I've learned to accept and carry out the pacing rules. Resting and "saving up" energy is important before an event as well as after. In keeping with this, Saturday before the show I did nothing but rest as well as Monday.

The Monday after the show, I felt somewhat achy and tired, but not majorly crashed as I have been in the past after shows. The Tuesday and Wednesday were good too --- no Post Exertional Malaise -- Improvement!!!

I've learned a lot from having these illnesses too.

Things like...Don't sweat the small stuff! I know that sounds trite, but when you don't have enough energy to even tackle the really important stuff, you soon learn to let the small stuff go.

I've learned who my true friends are. The ones who have stood by me throughout this ordeal without passing judgements.

Lots of surprises along the way too. Like, the first Sunday I returned to our previous church after a very long month of being pretty much bedridden, a woman lambasted me at the back of the church (with teeth clenched and very loudly for all to hear I might add). It seems she thought my parenting skills needed some of her 'expert' advice. Hmmm... I was so sick --- everything...and I mean everything --- fell back on to Larry and the kids --- they had done well just to get there each week. No interaction while I was so sick for that month but more than ready to pounce on me upon my return. Talk about kicking one when they're already down... What's that old saying? If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem....

And.....I 'get' the stares and the whispers of people who think I just can't be bothered. If they only knew the reality of it all....

Oh well -- if I want to continue to improve (and I do), I need to focus on the positive and put the negatives out of my mind. Don't sweat the small stuff ;)

Hopefully, more improvement to follow.