Wednesday, February 28, 2007

short and sweet

my weekend with Jason, Phoebe and Verna Mavis went something like this:

AUNT JEN...CAN I HAVE A COOKIE (oreos of course, phoebe is a girl after my own heart)


All of these questions were asked at very high decibels and most every question was answered with a yes, because that's just the kind of Aunt Jen I am.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

pause for refreshment

so here's the deal......

my sister Jody and her kids are venturing down from their Vermont mountain for a four day visit.

While they are here, I will relinquish the computer to my sister so that she may play endless games of Zuma in a futile attempt to beat my high score.

During this time, I shall exist solely to grant the whims and wishes of Jason, Phoebe and Verna Mavis.

Never fear, I WILL return on Tuesday with stories and pictures and at which time I will catch up with the following blog friends:

Ami - who bought a new house and is slowly making it her home.
Beth - who I JUST found out has uterine cancer and I'm more than a little concerned!
NJaney - who is getting married and is contemplating adding a new bird to her menagerie
Mandolyn - who is pregnant with her first baby (a girl) and I need an update!
Mannyed - time for a tale about a cat and the people he owns
EdgyKay - who has been sick and is full of germs so I stayed away from her blog so as not to infect myself so close to having guests
All Knowing Jen - we need to seriously discuss about forming a "Just Jens" club
Patresa - she doesn't even know I exist (I found her from EdgyKay) and I've been sort of stalking her ever since, she is THAT good!
Katie - just had a baby boy and I really need to go over there and congratulate her!
Another Jen - who has the most beautiful baby girl with the more hair than one little should have at her age!

If you come by to check in and see if I've updated BEFORE Tuesday, try any one of these lovely people instead, to tide you over until I return.

Don't miss me too much!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


You all deserve a quick update, my beautiful blogging friends:

The prednisone is doing its job, which includes chipmunk cheeks, bouts of irrational anger and an increase in mobility. As a matter of fact, today was the first time that I was able to move my right foot from the gas to the brake. When a flare-up happens, I sometimes brake with the left foot, which leads to some very jerky braking and might possibly be illegal, I don’t know. A girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to DO!.

But let me share this (which is of greater importance):

When I got home from work on Friday night, I spied a big box on my front porch.



For ME!!!

Inside the big box, tenderly cushioned by those plastic air pillows, was a smaller box.


Inside the smaller box were 12 even smaller blue boxes.

And inside each of the smaller blue boxes, were lovely little crispy, crunchy, chocolately discs of cookie goodness held together with cream filling, otherwise known as OREOS!!

With a note bidding me to “Stash them around the house. We should never run out and have to rely on graham cracker substitutes”.

This was a thoughtful gift from my friend Jess Jones, who not only knows the importance of Oreos but also knows the joy in receiving an unexpected box from

Now that I think about it, perhaps it’s not just the Prednisone alone that is making my cheeks fatter?!?

So thank you, Jess Jones for thinking of me.

And thanks to the rest of you lovely people who took a moment to check in and see if I’m still alive and kicking!

Next up…..a visit from my sister and her kids.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

just a little wallow in self-pity

A flare-up. The hauling out of the cane and the shower chair, the excuses to the employers of why you are late. The brave face you put on to your friends and family. The 80mg of Prednisone for two or three weeks.

The MS has reared its ugly head with a particularly vicious flare-up. This one came on quickly.

Let us recap:

2/5 - Monday - I’m tripping lightly up the stairs (emphasis on tripping!)
2/6 - Tuesday - I’m noticing a limp
2/7 - Wednesday - the limp has become pronounced (as in “Hello, I now pronounce you a Limp) and is getting worse.
2/8 - Thursday - I call Dr. Englestein, my neurologist. Lovely Nurse Tina, phones in a prescription for Prednisone, inflammation’s nemesis.
2/9 - Friday morning I’ve pulled out the shower chair. For those of you who don’t know, hot showers/baths are anathema for MS patients. It is like the hot water is sapping all your strength. As a matter of fact, in the good old days, that is how a person was diagnosed with MS. They were put in a hot bath. So when I’m in the midst of a flare-up I use a chair. (which also comes in handy when it’s time to shave the legs?) And now I’m popping 80mg of Prednisone every day.
2/10 - Saturday I’m lolling on the couch feeling sorry for myself with a list of things that I won’t be able to do: 1) Laundry 2) grocery shopping 3) got to the bank
2/11 - Sunday – turns out I can’t drive because my right foot really doesn’t want to move easily from the gas to the brake. I HAVE to go to work. I haul out the cane. Husband drives me to work. Husband does grocery shopping while I am work. I send him to ShopRite with NO grocery list. It’s a test. He’s spent $131.00 and managed to get, amongst other things, the butter and bacon and bananas that we needed.

2/12 - Monday – Husband takes me to work. I fall down the front steps of the house (this happens when your balance is shot to shit). Husband unceremoniously hauls me up out of the mud and we continue on with our day.
2/12 - Monday night – Milking my crippled state for all it’s worth, I guilt my husband into doing 4 loads of laundry.

2/13 – Tuesday – While trying to maneuver down those treacherous front steps again, I feel myself starting to sway. To avoid yet another fall, I plump myself down on the top step and decide to go down the steps on my bum. From across the road, our neighbor Patio Bob (he builds patios and sidewalks) sees my descent and rushes over to help me. He doesn’t seem to understand that I WANTED to go down the stairs in this fashion. In his zeal to help me, he almost pulls my arm out of the socket. I make it to the car and
against the advice of my husband, I drive myself to work. If I crack up the car he’s going to be full of “I told you so’s”.

Must try to not wreck car!

With the realization that another flare-up was really, truly upon me, I had a myself a little pity-party. The last flare-up I had was in March of 2006. Since then, nothing but good things. This is what the MS does, you see, it leads you down the garden path whispering in your ear:

"THIS is living with MS? The pins and needles in the legs? The sudden fatigue? The sensitivity to heat? The weak bladder? The uneven gait? Oh, this isn't so bad. I can handle this"

And then

BLAM!! (and not the good Emeril BLAM).

But blam that rocks you back on your heels and reminds you once again that you DO have a debilitating disease and if you DON't take proper care of yourself you could end up in a wheel chair like your Aunt Karen. Unable to care for yourself. Feeling like your husband got himself a pig in a poke.

So I wept and ate graham crackers with chocolate icing (we were out of oreos!) tried to find the humor in it all.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Things you can’t believe you’ve just wasted your time reading:

1) Last year, to initiate my New Years resolution of “economy, economy, economy”, I purchased a big box of store brand Q-tips. *side note: If they are store brand then they aren’t “Q-Tips”. What are they called? Anyhoo, these Q-tips sucked. They didn’t have as much cotton on the tip and they bent easily. There is nothing worse than having the Q-tip bend at a crucial point in the ear wax removal process.

I would like to report that these fake Q-tips have been used up; however that is not the case. There is still a quarter of the box left. I CANNOT believe that two reasonably hygienic people can’t use up 500 Q-tips in a year. This would also account for some of the reason why my husband can’t hear me when I talk to him.

2) The toilet seat is cracked and nooooooo it wasn’t because I sat on it! Turns out Himself ate too much salsa cheese dip and had to make a very hurried trip to the bathroom and I don’t know if it was the force with which he sat down or the explosive nature of his mission but the toilet seat was cracked in the process. And now every time I sit down, the seat pinches my heiney.

3) While we are in the bathroom and talking about my heiney…. Am I the only person who has to fish hair from out of my butt crack when I’ve finished washing my hair? Please tell me that it is because I need a haircut and not that I am exhibiting early signs of hair loss. Please don’t tell me it’s because my ass is so big that it truly is eating up everything in its path and finally, please oh please tell me there are other women out there that are afflicted with this problem.

4) Comedy Central is airing reruns of Scrubs. I try to catch an episode whenever I can and I can honestly say there is not an episode where I haven't laughed out loud at least once. It is a sly, wittily written show that is fresh and hits my funny bone just right.

5) Regarding the trainwreck of a blog that I flamed….I can’t give you the address. I’m too ashamed of my unchristian-like behavior, plus I think you all are better off not reading it. But if you want to read the post on which I commented I’ll email it to you. I wish I could remember what exactly I said in my hateful comment, but then too you are probably better off not reading that either. I don’t want you to judge me!!

6) I’ve been listening to Alison Krauss and Union Station all week. I loves me some good mandolin and dobro playing

7) EdgyKay is back!! Woo Hoo! I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed a person I’ve never met.