Saturday, March 26, 2011

Soles That Stick

It started innocently enough, I'd be walking along and all of a sudden the tip of my shoe would get caught on something, as we all do I'd look back to see if something was wrong with the flooring never once imagining it could be something wrong with me.
As the frequency of this increased I began to question my foot wear? I went out and bought pair of Rockport’s which are known to be quite comfortable. Wouldn't you know it the problem persisted so I went back and bought a second pair? I know how idiotic this sounds yet you must also realize that there was nothing else wrong. My legs did not hurt my feet did not hurt nothing suggesting nothing more than simply being a klutz.
The majority if not all shoes today are sold with rubber soles or other non-slip materials to prevent falls, makes perfect sense when you can walk properly yet when you're dragging your foot they are a pain in the butt, they increase the chance of tripping and falling in addition to wearing your shoes out prematurely.
For the longest time I can remember turning my shoes upside down and placing a wide band of masking tape around the perimeter of the sole, then using 24-hour epoxy I would mix a certain amount and pour it to fill the cavity which was worn. Caution was a must first to keep the shoe upside down and level which I accomplished using masking tape and whatever props I could find to hold the shoe in position until the glue dried. Then I would simply remove the masking tape, believe it or not this simple fix would last for several months until I would have to repeat the process.
It was not a permanent fix since a new application was required every few months yet it was much better and safer than walking and tripping all the time. The epoxy was amazingly resistant and the tip of my shoe would slide instead of sticking. However a more permanent fix was needed, this came when I met a lady who told me of a material less than 1/8 of an inch thick that should be expected to last longer than the glue I had been using.
Spoke with a gentleman at the store and convinced him to sell me a small piece of this material. Using contact cement I glued this product covering the complete sole of my right shoe "Big Mistake". We had a stairway with 13 steps I remember taking the first step the rest is blank as I found myself at the bottom of the staircase laughing my head off at what an idiot I had been. The final version is shown below it was a simple solution which worked wonders for me and my budget until the AFO was necessary I tell you however this stuff never wore out!



Thursday, March 24, 2011

World MS Day!

Apparently it's May 25 according to or it could be May 26 According to the National MS Society.

It doesn't appear our neurons are firing in sync at least not long enough for us to decide on a specific day, why not make it a week I always thought it was "MS Awareness Week" but maybe I'm wrong? Who knows really not like it's going to change much for me.

And when it comes to Awareness while I am not necessarily convinced of Dr. Zamboni's hypothesis regarding stenosis of the veins it would be hard not to admit that he has put MS at the forefront providing a level of public awareness we would never have achieved without him so kudos for being so open and looking for answers out of the box.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stairway's to the Summit!

Our home in Georgetown Ontario had stairs as most houses do, how else is it possible to get a 1700 ft.² home on a 30 foot lot? There were stairs to get into the home, stairs to go down to the basement and finally stairs to go up to the second storey. When we purchased the home in 1993 I never even gave them a second thought matter of fact we ripped out the concrete stairs at the front replacing them with something more aesthetic, did the same in the backyard by adding a large deck with a few stairs of course, after all who cared?

Well it certainly didn't seem to bother this fella.
And this one well hey who needs stairs anyways?

Following my diagnosis in October 1994 things progressed fairly rapidly and those stairs became harder and harder to conquer. That wooden railing took quite a beating yet it never failed, I would hang onto it as I heaved pulling my body up in order to reach that next step. Of course this didn't happen overnight in the beginning it was just difficult I had to concentrate, as time passed I had to grab each leg with my hand just under my knee and lift it onto the next step. During the last few years my spouse would stand behind me and lift each foot one by one onto the next step. We would take a break a breather as we reached the middle section the landing "our base camp if you will" then onwards and upwards continuing our struggle to the summit.

When my legs gave out completely I remember spending some time going up and down the stairs on my butt using my arms to lift myself from one step to the next however that did not last long and I finally had to accept a cot near the fireplace on the first floor as my best option at least for the time being. Going up the stairs wasn't that much of a problem it took a long time and I got tired very easily yet the interesting part was coming down the stairs. Guys take a look at my shorts and that should speak volumes LOL I remember laughing so hard that it actually eased the pain in my arms and the rest I'll leave up to your imagination.

And then finally the transfer!

Our only real option would have been an elevator which at the time seemed far too expensive, besides once I stopped working my spouse wished we could move closer to her mom for a least a few years.
Knowing what I know today the elevator would have been installed and we could still enjoy our home and its surroundings. That's not to say that I do not enjoy where we are today yet the feeling is not the same, when you leave an area for several years in our case 12 years before our return things change, people change you've been away for so long you feel as if you don't fit the mold as you did previously. Most have learned to live without you thus re-entering into their lives is difficult if not impossible.
Add your children and grandchildren to the equation who had decided to stay rather than to move with you and you can see why our stay here will be a temporary one. We look forward to return and be closer to our family.

Friday, March 18, 2011

All of These Pills, Are They Really Necessary?

A few years ago on one of my regular visits to the neurologist I happened to mention that occasionally I would take a couple of Tylenol's or something similar for pain I experienced in my legs, my feet etc.
As everyone knows when you have primary progressive MS about the only thing they can do correction the only thing they can do is to prescribe medication in the hopes of helping us deal with the asymptomatic symptoms brought on by this form of the disease.

Without mentioning medications I left his office with a prescription for what is currently prescribed for people who suffer from fibromyalgia, I'm certain you've seen the ad. In any case I've been taking this medication faithfully now for probably about two years if not a bit more, it did help a bit with the pain yet the pain I experienced was really not that bad and was certainly manageable with over-the-counter medication yet since I had medical coverage why not use this instead. One of the possible side effects of this medication is swollen hands and or swollen ankles coupled with the possibility of experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Not all medication is meant for everyone we may react differently and sometimes it is just not worth it case in point. My ankles were approaching the size of stovepipes I mean they were huge swollen to the point where they actually hurt more than before, being a type II diabetic I thought for certain diabetes played a part yet my blood sugar results always came back normal and very well controlled so what gives?

Deciding to think for myself I stopped taking this medication and within two weeks my feet are almost back to normal. They are not as swollen, have regained their normal color and most importantly they are definitely not as painful.

Just goes to show you that not everything you are prescribed is necessarily meant for you I had a host of medications that I would take daily which I have been cutting back gradually to the point where I take three a day one for high blood pressure and two one in the morning and one at dinner for diabetes. That's it, of course my neurologists is aware and supportive lets face it the less medications you take the better off you are in the long run.

Just wanted to share this with you before the weekend.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I'm too young to be a Grand Papa aren't I?

Last weekend my spouse and I went to Elmvale a small town outside of Barrie Ontario in order to celebrate our grandsons first birthday. Hard to believe that someone who came into this world weighing 900 some grams could today that the scales at 20 pounds. A bundle of joy surrounded by love that is for certain.

My spouse did all the driving we left during a blizzard snow and ice pellets making it there after seven hours of torrential downpour and fog. Our return trip was under sunny skies so that was nice.
What I can't figure out is during those few days I did absolutely nothing and it has taken me until today to feel somewhat normal in so far as energy level and strength. I guess it's an MS thing but I was wiped out on our return for the entire week. Thought it was a cold thought I might have a fever but nope nothing just a feeling of overwhelming weakness not wanting to do anything but sit and vegetate.

This evening were going out to the restaurant for dinner and for some reason I feel much better. It is so hard to explain to someone who does not have MS what fatigue is, how it hits you and how he can stay with you for God knows how long until something turns it off almost as quickly as it was turned on. I can be an optimist and hope it's gone forever!

Have yourselves a terrific weekend
here's a picture of my grandson Timothy

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A great weekend ahead.

Great News! I finally got my wheelchair repaired this morning and you know what It works wow I'm delighted, without it it's like I didn't have any use of my legs "being sarcastic"

Finally I am back the way I should be and that's sitting in front of the fireplace with my chair tilted back as far as it can go with a scotch on the rocks. No kidding the weekend is almost here so why wait?
This weekend we leave to spend some time with my grandson for his first birthday, time flies I remember when he was born at just over 900 g not quite 2 pounds it was touch and go for mom and Timothy for quite some time yet they pulled through it. Timothy now weighs in at close to 20 pounds is in perfect condition and so is my daughter and I can't thank God enough for that. So this weekend will be a great weekend while I'm still planning on buying a lift it can wait till we return.

Take care and have a super weekend.
Finally a few pictures of some things I was capable of making before MS decided to change everything. The birds are the last thing I ever made.

Finally this is the kind of stuff my oldest daughter makes. I like to think some of that talent rubbed off LOL.

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