what we did on our summer vacation

It’s been quiet here lately, I know. I’ve been spending time resting and waiting for the latest MS exacerbation to ease up. So far I am still waiting, but hopefully not for long.

In the meantime, a lot has been happening. We’ve had visits with friends and family and hosted another pig roast to get everyone together at once. The girls were busy with their respective sports; the squeaky kid has been in several riding competitions and the tall kid spent her summer taking various hockey conditioning sessions. The hockey training paid off – the tall kid is now on the local girls rep hockey team and headed off to an exhibition tournament this weekend. The squeaky kid has gained a lot of confidence in her riding and is also off to another competition this weekend.

We gave up on the garden this summer. I’d like to try again next summer with something a little closer to the house so that I can get to it myself. Our normal garden is too far away and the ground is uneven, making it difficult for me to get back and forth. And with the girls and the dad busy all summer, the few plants that we started out with were quickly forgotten. At one point, the teenage boy that we had doing some yard clean-up for us said that he found some zucchini growing wild out in the weeds along the edge of the field. We were almost too embarrassed to say that they weren’t wild. We did manage to harvest a few zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes, but even those were few and far between due to the summer that almost wasn’t. We had a lot of wet weather and not as much sun and heat as we needed to grow much of anything.

Now that the girls are both back in school and summer seems to have come to an abrupt halt with the start of an early cold spell, things are getting back into their old routine. I might even show up here every now and then. I’m posting a video that someone kindly made for us of the squeaky kid at last weekend’s hunter-jumper show at the fair, since this is a good spot to showcase family achievements for friends and family to see.

 

Monday at the horse show…

horse show

On Monday, the small squeaky kid competed in a day-long horse show. She competed in a walk trot event and cross-country, coming in second in both and placing second overall in her class. It was a great day for a hard working little girl and her pony Clifford (show name: Devil in Disguise).

The small kid wrote this about her competition day:

Clifford refused a jump and I fell off.
It was hot and I got sunburned.
I have been practicing since late February.
Grooming him took a long time.
A friend came over to help prepare for the show.

horse show 2

walk trot
horse show 1
Aww Cliffy

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seeing MS

spacticity

I’ve recently found Seeing MS, a site that tries to help explain some of the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis through photography and a short video of each symptom. I think they’ve done as good a job as possible at showing others what the symptoms feel like to those of us that are experiencing them.

For the past few months, I have been off work while I recover from an MS exacerbation. For the past few weeks, I have been dealing with another increase and worsening of the symptoms. The cane that I have been using for the past few months has been replaced by a walker. It’s not very sexy, but it is much safer and has helped me to be able to get out of the house occasionally without using a wheelchair. I have received some steroid treatment and hope that it will help turn things around soon, along with the exercises that visiting occupational therapist and physiotherapist have been teaching me. In the meantime, I spend a lot of time in doctor’s offices trying to explain what is going on in my body. I have often wished that it was possible to project the way it feels for a few moments, to avoid trying to explain it, but I also wouldn’t necessarily wish the feelings on anyone else.

Right now, my main symptom is spasticity. The photo above is one photographer’s interpretation of that symptom. It does a great job of showing the feeling I’ve had this winter of trying to get outside with the slippery ground while using a cane. The other photos on the website are also good representations of the other main symptoms of MS. I’d recommend having a look if you know anyone affected by the disease.

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