seeing MS


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 The cane that I have been using for the past few months has been replaced by a walker.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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ice wolves gold march 2014tournamentice wolves


The tall hormonal kid’s hockey team – Ice Wolves Gold – won gold in the season championship game this past weekend. It’s been a great season for the tall kid; she made a lot of new friends, gained new skills, racked up points and even a goal (as a defenceman, they don’t come easy). Congratulations, tall kid.

I’d like to say that it is the end of the hockey season and back to normal, but there is still a short spring hockey session and then try-outs begin. But soon it will be over, probably right around the same time as the spring flowers are starting to poke through the ground.

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slow living update – December, January & February


This has been a long, cold, snowy never-ending winter. Even the dad, who likes everything about winter, says enough already. It was so cold this week that the rear window on our car spontaneously smashed. I’m really looking forward to seeing some green on the ground again.

I have gotten behind in these summaries the past couple of months, so I will attempt to remember what we’ve been doing for three months this time around. I am again using this monthly summary to help me to remember the small things.



We ate a lot these past few months and are going to have to spend the spring taking off the winter padding. The dad has been reading about the Paleo diet and we have been talking about it a bit. I’m not sure I am quite ready to give up all grains. We’ll see. Maybe. It is supposed to be helpful to people who have autoimmune or neurological diseases, so that might be a motivating factor. That, and a bit of diet might help the dad’s snoring situation. A friend of mine commented that if I can still hear him snoring with the pillow over his head, I am not pressing on it hard enough. I reminded him of that comment and he now sleeps with one eye open.

I wrote about chili dip and brownie cookies, and have thoroughly enjoyed eating both while I am still allowed.


There are no preparations going on around here at this time of year, unless you count stockpiling salt for the walkway after the ice storm. We are still working our way through last season’s frozen vegetables, sauces and jams.


Just about everything that can break in our house has broken recently. Once again, we are keeping the dad and the local repair people busy. The dad has replaced the sump pump, fixed the wood stove, drilled holes in the cement basement floor to help with some early thaw flooding, and we’ve had the oven and the car fixed. Our dishwasher is still awaiting parts, but it has given the kids a month of learning how to wash and dry dishes. I don’t see that as a bad thing. I quite enjoy seeing them work away at it. Until the bickering begins, but then it just sounds like it did when my sister and I did dishes together when I was growing up. It has nostalgia value.

I even had a try at fixing the washing machine when the dad told me that it wasn’t working. It turns out that all it needed was a few harsh words and to be turned off and on again. Problem solved.

{Green – cleaners, body products and basic herbal remedies}:

There is nothing new to report in this category. We still hang most of the clothes and use the heat from the pellet stove to dry them, although on the days that I am not able to make it down the stairs to the basement, the kids are more apt to take a short cut and put them in the dryer. Aside from a severely shrunk pair of my pants (that is the story I am sticking with – there couldn’t be any other reason for them to be that tight), I am not too bothered by the change. Whatever gets the work done.

We also continue to have only one vehicle on the road while I am off work. I’d say it has saved on gas, except that the tall kid’s extra hockey teams and practices have us on the road just as much.


The snow banks have grown exponentially around the house. The tall kid continues to tower over me and the small kid is turning into the medium kid. Other than that, the only green things around here are bought weekly at the grocery store. I have, however, requested a seed catalogue and am looking forward to it arriving. I also have some seed left over from last year that I will soon test to see if they are still viable.



I’ve pulled out my knitting again and I’m working on some unfinished projects. So far I’ve finished a stack of dishcloths – mostly because they are a quick and easy project that gives an instant feeling of accomplishment. I can finish one in a couple of hours while watching television or the birds from my spot in front of the fire. I’ve also finished a toque (just in time for the weather to warm up) and am working on a pair of socks that I started months ago.


I managed to spend time by the fire reading. I also continue to spend time in hockey arenas learning about the game. I’ve never been a hockey fan in the past, but this is the tall kid’s first year playing with a girl’s team and I’ve been enjoying watching them play. Girl’s hockey is a lot of fun to watch; it’s fast and they have a cooperative spirit that I didn’t always see in the mixed team that she played with previously.


{Enhance – community}

The dad joined in a community chili cook-off competition in January and won first place. He was surprised and impressed with himself. He loves that he has bragging rights over several restaurants in town as well as the local fire hall. Friends that came to visit (thank you Sara and Mike) had a commemorative picture made up to hold him until his plaque is presented by the town. It has pride of place in the den and amuses everyone who comes to visit. They borrowed a photo of him (trying to grow a mustache for Movember) from this blog to make the print. I love it.


oops, we forgot to buy birthday candles


We’ve had lots of visitors, plus a large family and neighbour gathering around our Christmas table. We had a few extras to accommodate neighbours that couldn’t travel due to the ice storm over Christmas, and it made for an enjoyable Christmas Day. The tall hormonal kid’s age finally started to catch up to her height – we celebrated her 13th birthday right after Christmas.

There have also been a couple of hockey tournaments that we attended and a few overnight visits from friends of the girls. As a family, we like to entertain and have friends and family around, so there is rarely a dull moment.