Tag Archives: multiple sclerosis

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 The cane that I have been using for the past few months has been replaced by a walker.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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an easy bannock recipe for a simple dinner bread

016I’m currently taking some time off of work to ride out a MS relapse. Normally, my MS just operates in the background of my life and I am able to mostly ignore it and work around it. Every now and again something new will pop up to make life a bit less fun and that is when my attention focuses on it again for a while, like right now.

I’m experiencing muscle weakness, spasticity and numbness and the feeling of most of my body being encased in a large overinflated blood pressure cuff. My fingers want to curl into my hands, making my hand eye-coordination a little challenging. I managed to shove my toothbrush up my nose while trying to brush my teeth the other day (the resulting minty fresh nostril was very disconcerting). I also think I lost a band-aid off of my numb finger while washing my hair and I’m still waiting for it to make an appearance somewhere in the curls – the numb hands keep me from feeling around in there to find it. And typing is interesting (obviously not impossible, just slow). I was also having some difficulty with walking and balance, but a few days worth of steroid treatment have helped greatly.

However, life, lived simply, still manages to go on. My family is a great help – my mom has been helping by driving me to the hospital and doing laundry, the girls keep up their part of household chores and my husband fills in the other spaces. And I keep doing as much as possible to appear normal. Normal feels good, even when my body feels out of whack.

So, this is a very simple pan-fried bread that is great served hot with butter as an accompaniment to some soup, chili or even curry. As you can see, the kids can be made to mix it up and make it themselves (even when they come home tired from a full day of track and field). And they like it, they really like it. It’s also a great treat when made over the campfire and served hot with butter and jam.

This recipe makes just enough for 4 portions, but can easily be doubled for more.
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Easy Bannock

  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 3/4 cup water

Measure dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Stir to mix.  Pour oil (or melted butter) and water and stir to make a ball.

Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface, and knead gently about 10 times.  Cut the dough ball into 4 equal balls and pat into a flat circles ~ 3/4 to 1 inch thick.

Cook in a greased frying pan over medium heat, allowing about 5-10 minutes for each side. Best when served hot.

Linked to Wildcrafting Wednesday, Frugally Sustainable, GNOWFGLINS, A Pinch of Joy

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sunday at the farm

007080 084 085Another weekend has wrapped up around here and I have a few more photos to record for posterity. The girls finally got on their horses and had a riding lesson from their Grandma. With a little encouragement, they were both convinced to walk, trot and canter. It’s a big deal to get back on a big horse after months of not riding and convince it to go fast.

It’s a big deal most days to convince me to walk fast. I haven’t been feeling great lately, but keeping busy with the house and kids keeps me motivated and moving, which is the biggest challenge when the first instinct is to sit still and rest. MS hits me the worst with season changes, and add to that any kind of bug that the kids bring home from school and kindly share with us, and a full blown exacerbation usually follows. Hopefully this one eases up quickly, but in the meantime I will keep things as normal as possible (just maybe at a slower pace).

The small squeaky kid is riding Dillon, a pony who may or may not have started out life as an expensive show pony before he changed owners several times and came to live at the stable where we purchased him. He is a calm and gentle pony who seems to know his dressage moves. The tall hormonal kid is riding Dali, a celebrity in his own right. His previous owner wrote a book about him, called Little Horse of Iron. He’s also pretty quiet and gentle, but then he’s an old horse who moved to the country to retire.

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