Thursday, December 30, 2010

Treacherous Roads Part 2: The Arizona Edition

So here we are in sunny Arizona, enjoying the 50-60 degree weather while the old people freeze, thinking it the equivalent to an arctic storm. Yesterday it was raining. Not torrential rains, but you would never know that by the way everyone was driving, with their wipers on the highest setting and racing around, switching lanes without using their turn signals because they all opted out of the newfangled gadget option. Or maybe they just need to refill their signal fluid. It could happen. Yesterday Sugarbowl and I were driving around, listening to the radio, and laughing about how they kept warning people about the roads, just because it was raining, until we saw all the wrecks and people in ditches. Then watching the news, we were even more shocked by all the wrecks and people in ditches that we didn't see. It's amazing to us, who are used to much worse weather than this, that people would have a hard time driving in such un-treacherous weather. My dad told us that they get about 10 inches of rain a year here, so for them it is hazardous driving. Hope we will be able to brave this weather and get out of Phoenix safely. We have more to worry about from the other drivers than rain, who are more hazardous than an arctic storm.

Other than that, our vacation is going good. We have seen the sights, destroyed my dad's house, and lost several valuable possessions. Sugarbowl lost a stuffed cat that she has had for 7 years and sleeps with every night, because she can't sleep without a stuffed animal. She has called the hotel, where we last saw him, several times and has even offered an award if they find him. She is heartbroken and I feel bad for her. My loss is a little less sentimental and much more expensive. My laptop got stuck under the rocking recliner and got mashed, breaking the screen and rendering it useless if you want to see anything, which I generally like to do. Now I'm wondering how nice I'm going to have to be to my ex to get a new one. Much nicer than I care to be, you can bet on that. Maybe I can be half as nice as I want to be and he will go halves with me. . . hmmm, that may be a better option because I don't think he or I would know what to do if I was too nice to him.

I will be glad to be home and sleep on a bed instead of an air mattress -- my back is killing me! I will be thrilled to see my doggies again, because I don't sleep well without a living animal pressing me down into a real mattress. Sure, I have my littlest billy goat gruff with me, but 13 lbs is nothing compared to 40 and 80 lbs. It will also be nice to have my own room and not have to sleep in the kitchen. I always thought sleeping in the kitchen would be nice. I could eat my cereal in bed and go right back to sleep. I was wrong. It sucks. Princess and I are sharing the air mattress and she is blocking the cereal cupboard, so I can't eat my cereal in bed. Another loss on this trip. Hopefully that will be the last loss we have. I'm not sure how much more we can take.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Treacherous Roads

Yesterday, talking to my mom about the snow we are supposed to get, she told me to be careful running errands because the roads are supposed to be treacherous. I asked her where they were going to be that bad, because I hadn't heard, and she said in Iowa. In Iowa! And she was concerned about driving to work and she lives 2.5 hours from Iowa. I live .5 hours from Iowa and I'm not worried about the roads. But that is my mom. The woman drinks a glass of wine and won't drive for a year. If it is snowing in Antarctica she won't drive, unless maybe if she has a 4 wheel drive with chains on she might venture out, but only in case of an emergency. I know she is so worried because we are leaving for Arizona tomorrow to spend some time with my dad. I won't go near Arizona anytime except in the winter and Sugarbowl won't go on any trip unless there is the possibility of bad weather and a difficult time getting there. She is so stubborn and impetuous (and nihilistic), there is no talking her out of doing anything! I wasn't going to go at first because it is going to wipe out my meager funds to kennel my dogs, but I would never be able to live with myself if I let her go on her own because I didn't want to spend the money and something happened to her, and Princess, and Jabber. Money is not worth my family, so my meager funds will be drained.

We are leaving early tomorrow and I am 100% not ready to go. Instead of starting all the things I need to do to go on vacation, I chose to hit the peace pipe, watch Mystery Science Theater 3000, and ingest all the chocolate donuts yesterday. Today I'm going to pack and clean my house, because I absolutely, unequivocally, will not come home to a dirty house. That is unacceptable. And I also absolutely, unequivocally, will not leave the littlest dog behind. He must come or I won't go. It would stress me out to think of him being kenneled. The other dogs are old and tired, but he is young and energetic. Sugarbowl isn't thrilled about him coming with, but she knows that is the only way I will go, so she accepts it. I got him a new sweater for the occasion, and he is packing his dog toys and chewies as I type. He has been wanting to see the country, so he's ready to hit the road. He probably won't be able to get a minute's sleep tonight, along with Sugarbowl. I can sleep because long drives don't exactly thrill me, and I can always sleep, if only for a few hours, but that is a full night's sleep for me. My only worry is the treacherous roads in Iowa, because we are going nowhere near there, so we need to be very careful not driving through Iowa. Thank goodness my mom is watching the road conditions for us. We may not know what the roads will be like where we ARE going, but we will know the road conditions for where we are NOT going. My mommy is the best!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Why Am I So Slumpy?

I just can't shake the slumps right now. Is it holiday non-cheer? I do tend to get that a lot, especially when thinking of all the things to do to make it a good holiday for others. Is it the nagging feeling that I keep churning out rugs and forcing them onto people and then suspect that they may not really want them are are just being nice? That's silly! When have I ever cared what others think? They will take my rugs and keep being nice because I have no intentions of stopping until we can all play the Princess and the Pea on piles of rugs instead of mattresses. Maybe it's MS related slumps. Just when you think you are coming to terms with this disease, it pulls out something nasty to remind you why it is so hard to accept it. And am I the only one who gets worse in the winter? It seems most of my attacks have been in the winter, and my symptoms get worse in the winter months, too. My TN first kicked up in January a few Januarys back, and now I dread January 'cause I don't want my TN to get any worse. My hug first started in March, and now March is a worrisome month for me. I don't want my hug to get any worse -- even though some days that is hard to imagine, but MS has a very creative mind and can be very devious. It is best not to underestimate its diabolical-ness. Maybe it's because I can't get any sleep yet am still dead tired all the time. Oh, MS, why must you be such a devoted minion to Satan? I've been up for longer than I care to admit. I was falling asleep on the couch last night, so I figured I would get a good night's sleep. I had taken a muscle relaxer because my hug wanted to snuggle, so sleep and I should have skipped hand in hand for 8 hours at least. Har dee har HAR! I turned off my light at 9:30 and woke up at 2:30 am. In those few hours, my bed turned into a slab of concrete that made me ponder getting a pile of rugs to sleep on. Even with a pea hidden in them, they would have been more comfortable. I forced myself to lay there until 3:30 -- my new 4 am, which used to be the earliest I would get out of bed -- then bitterly raised the white flag.

The day is yawning open in front of me with the promise of nothing to do to make time move along, little doggies. Sure, there is plenty I could/should do, but who wants to do any of that? Not me, that's for sure. I'm far too slumpy to find any interest in anything. That's not 100% true. I do have a deep interest in Mystery Science Theater 3000 right now. If anything can help the slumps, it is that show. It is the only thing I have found that gives me any relief, and with so few side effects, too. Sore cheeks and chest muscles from laughing are a small price to pay for the slumps to recede for a bit.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Last night Sugarbowl told me that we were supposed to get some snow today, FINALLY! (My finally, not hers. I enjoy snow.) She didn't mention there would be blizzard force winds that swirl around your face and drive the snow into every slight crack in your clothing, so I was unprepared for what awaited me just outside the back door. The dogs and I tumbled out the door and got the stank blowed off us, a phrase my ex always used and I always found funny. What is it about days like this that make me want to get in the car and drive anywhere, because there is absolutely nothing I need and I don't need to go get it, but I must get out of the house NOW! I'm trying to justify my need to leave the house, wracking my brains to think of anything we need around here, coming up with nothing, and fighting the urge to race to my room to bundle up to go try to find something I may have forgotten the last time I went shopping. I'm sure we need more waxed paper, or maybe some freezer bags, because we rarely use them but we may find we need more on hand. Maybe I should get some donuts or more soups, because cold days do make you want to eat warm stuff. I think the dogs may need some more chewies, because I need to step on them and see how long I can hop around on one leg before falling over. We could always use more pit juice around here. That is one thing you will always need, unless you are like my father-in-law who doesn't ever use such newfangled products, enjoying his stank over freshness. He made beer in his bathtub one year. I think that sums up how much he thinks of personal hygiene better than any words I could use. When he and my ex go fishing, my ex is always careful to make sure that he is upwind of his father. And while they are driving to their fishing hole, my ex keeps a window cracked -- or more than cracked until he's used to the stench -- no matter how cold it is outside. One time we went to go get some watermelons from my in laws, and when my father-in-law lifted the watermelons into the car, we all slipped into unconsciousness until the odor started to dissipate. Hmmm, thinking about all this makes me think that we really do need more pit juice. Even though I use my bathtub for things other than making beer, I don't want to knock people out when I lift my arms. Now I must race off to my room to get dressed so I can get more pit juice. It is very important that I go RIGHT NOW! I couldn't possibly wait another day; it is imperative that I stock up today.

Friday, December 10, 2010


I don't have too many grudges, not being a person who can hang onto anger for very long. That and I have a thing about excess baggage. Carrying a grudge can get heavy, and I'm too lazy to want to carry anything heavy for very long. But for all my high minded words, I have 2 grudges that I am not quite ready to let go of.


That's right, I have a grudge against Rebif because it happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or was it diabolical enough to put itself there? I'll let you be the judge. Right after I was diagnosed, I didn't want to read anything more about MS because everything I had read about it up to that point was not anything I wanted to hear. I wasn't ready to research any deeper than the most basic information, and even that was too much. After a period of avoidance, I decided to try reading a magazine I had gotten in the mail, figuring it wouldn't be too overwhelming. I took the magazine into the bathtub with me and got trapped in the tub with a magazine that turned out to be one long advertisement for Rebif. I wanted to read about MS and the different treatment options out there for me as I was still trying to decide which medicine to go with, but I obviously got a magazine that was funded exclusively by Rebif. I stalked out of the bathroom, and as soon as my foster daughter and husband saw the look on my face, they grabbed some popcorn, propped their feet up, and sat back to watch the show. I threw the magazine against the wall, was unsatisfied with that so I threw it into the fireplace, and ranted and raved and frothed at the mouth about how it told me nothing about MS, only propaganda about Rebif. That started my deep antipathy for Rebif, and I swore then and there that nothing would ever induce me to take it. And I still hold with that position. I don't care if God Himself comes down and tells me to use it, I will have to decline as politely as possible and pack my bags for hell.

The icing on the cake came in the form of a representative for Rebif. I liked her personally, I just hated what she was representing, and representing she did with gusto. One day, at a MS walk, I was talking to someone who was hoping to go on Rebif. I said how much I hated the interferons -- I had been on Avonex and didn't enjoy the experience -- and wasn't hip on doing them again (I didn't tell him about my grudge against Rebif). We were talking about the side effects, and I said how higher doses of interferons means a higher risk of neutralizing antibodies. He, all pompous and holier-that-thou, pooh poohed my statement with a, "Oh, I don't know about that." The rep came over and we asked her, she admitted that it was true, and I was big enough to not yell, "CHECK and MATE!" in his face. He lost all interest in continuing the conversation, and I lost all interest in having any more conversation with his pompous self.

The only Rebif I will touch is my Rebif pen, because I like the way it writes and the general public doesn't know what it is. They would probably think it was some medicine that stops bladder leakage at the cost of the rest of your organs. The day someone knows what it is and comments on it, is the day I throw it away and use a pen that doesn't write as well, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make.

That "Brave" Woman

I had met this woman when I first started Tysabri, and she had just started too. I saw her years later, after I had gone off of Tysabri due to the higher risk of getting PML the longer you are on it. She asked me if I was still doing Tysabri, and I told her what I just wrote. She, still doing Tysabri, said, in a voice one would use to talk to a slow child, "I'm not scared of dying," like I was one of the cowering masses who live in fear of death, which I am not, death seems like blessed release to me. She was walking away, head held high like the superior person she is could not possibly be seen talking to a coward like me, when I told her that I am not afraid of dying, I'm afraid of living through PML and what it could do to me. She actually slowed her walking away, and got a frown on her face as she processed that answer. She lost all interest in ever talking to me again and still doesn't have too much to say to me whenever I see her. Maybe because I didn't have the proper awe for her and her blithe disregard for death? Maybe because I had a point and have blithe disregard for death, too? Who knows? And I have no intentions of having further conversations with her, not enjoying being talked down to. It actually gets my hackles up and doesn't cow me the way I feel like they are intending it to.

Even though I don't like holding grudges, these are 2 that I have no intentions of letting go, they having offended me to the marrow of my bones. It is rare for me to be that deeply offended, so I'm going to enjoy these grudges to the end of my days. Some baggage is worth carting around.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I've Got Kennel Cough

That's right. I've been lying with dogs, 3 in my bed each night and the middle sized one holding down my feet, cutting off the circulation as I type. I would rather have fleas right now. I could give myself a flea bath and feel better, instead of pondering calling the vet and having myself euthanized. I feel so rotten that Sugarbowl and Princess are irritated with me because I'm being too nice, not my usual crabby self. You would think they wouldn't look the sick gift horse in the mouth, but they have pried its mouth open and are nit picking every tooth. All I want is a little kindness, someone to listen to me bitch and moan about how awful I feel, but all they can do is bitch and moan about how I'm being too considerate and nice to them, and they don't like it. It isn't me and they think there may have been an alien invasion and want me to see if I have had an anal probe. Beings as I am only feeling rotten from the lungs up, I'm confident in saying I have not had an anal probe and there are no crop circles in the massive clothes pile in my room. I wouldn't care if the aliens did come take me away right now. Nothing they could do would make me feel any worse.

I stepped in dog poop this morning. The littlest dog pooped by the back door. I didn't see it and squashed it flat and dragged it all over the place. Good thing I can't smell anything. I'm sure it reeks, but I can't be positive. I'm just guessing from experience. I've never known poop to smell good, and I'm sure everyone else will be able to smell it when they drag their lazy butts downstairs. Do I care? Not one whit. Let them inhale the sweet sweet aroma of dog feces while I sit back and smell nothing. I can't taste anything either, which really sucks. I'm not one of those lucky people who lose weight when sick. If my stomach is not upset -- and I have a cast iron stomach that rarely gets upset -- I cannot stop eating. You would have to board up the kitchen to keep me out, and even then I would chew my way through the barrier just to get at food I can't even taste. I've been eating the spiciest foods I can find, trying to bust open my sinuses. I like spicy food anyway, but have been adding blackening spice to everything. Even the dogs won't touch my leftovers right now.

Today I'm going to lounge in pajama pants on the couch, boo hoo about how awful I feel, and eat everything I can with as much spice as I can pile on it. No one else will be home, so those scurvy dogs that gave me kennel cough will have to listen to me. I hope this makes some sense. I'm feeling feverish and out of it, and the day is still young. It's going to be a very long day.