Month: October 2009

Training – Yea!

I’m not being sarcastic with my title of this blog.  I am in a three day training course at work, entitled “Delivery of Instruction for Classroom Facilitators.”  It’s only the end of day one and I’m loving it!  I have given training at work for a few courses over the last couple of years, and I’m looking forward to providing more in the future.  Who would have thought that the once shy, timid little me, who always walked with her head down and had anxiety attacks from the thought of answering the phone at work, would ever get so much enjoyment out of standing in front of a class, providing training?!  This is one aspect of my life that I decided to change very soon after I was diagnosed with MS.  I was sick of being so timid and so extremely nervous all the time.  I made the decision that I wouldn’t waste time, energy and emotional resources on being this type of person.  This is one of the best changes I ever decided to make.  I love being outgoing, social and confident!  I can honestly say that I no longer get nervous providing answers in class or getting up in front of a group to speak.  The funny thing is that although I don’t feel nervous, I still get the physical shakes.  I noticed when I got up in front of the people in my course today that my hands were shaking quite a bit.  I’m wondering if this was because I’ve been feeling so weak lately, since I’m going through a bit of an emotional time regarding some family issues and concerns at work.  Unfortunately, to deal with the emotional side of things, I’ve been punishing myself physically.  This weekend alone, I did about three hours on my exercise bike.  I also haven’t had much of an appetite.  Perhaps the shakies I was experiencing today were my body’s way of saying “Hello!  Smarten up and take better care of me!”  Actually, my friend at work expressed her concern for how I’ve been feeling, which is showing in my face.  I look rather tired, stressed and worn down.  The good thing is that I can go as a stressed tax collector for Halloween!  BOO!  I will be doing another presentation at the end of the course on Thursday, so I’ll have to see if the shakes return or not.  Speaking of which, I’m really forward to giving this presentation.  I already know what I am going to do it on AND I’ve already written out about 3/4 of the material I’m going to present.  We’ll be given time to work on it tomorrow, but I just had to get started on it today.  Why, you ask?  Because I’m a bit of an enthusiastic dork.

I’m going to attempt to get a good sleepy tonight and try to get my strength back.  I also want to be in tip-top form to celebrate Abby’s birthday on Saturday – she’s going to be ONE!

Symptoms for Today: I started to feel really weak and “out of it” around 12:00.  Actually, I haven’t felt quite like that in a long time and it made me nervous.  I’m glad I didn’t exercise tonight and had a decent suppies!  I’m sure I’ll feel much better tomorrow.

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Great Flight, Yucky Weather

I didn’t think the weather would be good enough to go flying today, but it was.  I wasn’t sure where I was going to go.  I just knew I needed to fly.  I’ve been quite down lately with a lot on my mind, so to get away from it all was nice.  Before I took off, I told the tower I was heading toward the South, then West along the Lake Erie shoreline.  The traffic at the airport was a little heavy.  I waited behind another plane for the glider to make it’s landing:

Right after he landed, the plane in front of me started back-tracking down the runway.  She turned around and took off, just as the tow plane for the glider called the tower that he was on final for a landing.  I thought I would be sitting there for another few minutes, so I asked if I could take off from the intersection, rather than back-tracking down to the end of the runway.  I was cleared to do so and headed out on my voyage into the unknown.  I flew over my mother’s house and took a few pictures, then the same over my aunt’s house.  I took some pictures of the Fall colours as well:

I flew over Welland and snapped a pic of the bridge:

It was quite a pretty flight.  Unfortunately, the weather started to turn a bit.  I headed toward the West and decided to fly out to Tillsonburg.  The weather was worse when I was South of Hamilton.  Here is what the view looked like:

It became rather windy and started showering.  Ah yes, nothing like getting your plane cleaned for free – works for me!  I didn’t mind the rough flight, but I would never take up a passenger in that kind of weather.  Once I got past Hamilton, it started to clear up a bit.  I made it to Tillsonburg and was debating whether or not to land and get fuel.  I had more than enough to get back home, but it’s usually pretty cheap there.  Once I swung around to join the downwind, I noticed the big “X” on each end of the runway.  Now, thinking back to my flight training, I’m pretty sure I heard that those X’s mean something to the effect of “Thou shalt not landeth here”.  Thus, I didn’t.  I was about nine minutes from Bradford and contemplated stopping off there, mainly to go into the Aircraft Spruce store.  The weather still wasn’t too good so I headed back to St. Catharines instead.

By the time I got back to the airport, I had been flying for over two hours.  I think the weather put an end to the Cadet’s flying their gliders.  The other activity at the airport had also died down quite a bit.  I may go up again tomorrow morning.  The airport is going to be closed for the week for some car testing thing.  They do it every year. 

Symptom’s for Today:  Other than a bummed out mood, I’m feeling OK today.  Now I just have a bad headache.  I’ll go to bed early tonight so I’ll feel well enough to fly tomorrow morning.

My Week Thus Far

This past weekend was fairly relaxing, as I rested quite a bit to recover from the trip to Montreal.  I had to go out Saturday morning, as I made arrangements with a friend from work to attend the big, honkin’ book sale at the Niagara Regional Exhibition grounds in Welland.  We got there around 10:00 and joined the large mass of folks already milling about.  My little mother asked me to pick her up some magazines, as she looks at them while running on the treadmill everyday.  I found 20 that I thought she would enjoy.  They were rather heavy, so I plopped them into a box and set it behind the cashier’s table.  We were there for over an hour and found quite a nice selection of books.  I purchased 12 and Kathie found herself 8 to buy.  When I dropped her off at her house, she invited me in to meet her kitties.  I had the pleasure of seeing five of her seven cats.  I also got to admire her extensive book collection.

I have been very busy at work so far this week.  I have Thursday off as my compressed day, so I hope to get a good chunk of work done again tomorrow.  Jan and I will be going to Costco on Thursday to get the snow tires put on Clem (her, formally my Toyota Tercel.)  I was hoping for some decent weather that day so we could fly around Niagara to admire the Fall colours.  It doesn’t look too promising though.  I think the weather is going to be el yuck-o for the rest of the week.

Symptoms for Today: I actually feel fairly good today.  I was shocked that I had the energy to do a full hour on my exercise bike after work!

Trip to Montreal

Chuck and I went to Montreal on Thursday and Friday.  Our flight was out of Toronto at 9:30 on Thursday morning.  It was a nice, peaceful flight with no screaming kids or crotchety adults.  It was a quick, 46 minutes in nice smooth and calm weather.   Here I am, proudly showing off the shoe that fell out of my carry-on during our flight.

The Fall colours were a bit further along in Montreal than here in Niagara:

We touched down in Montreal right on schedule.  Our plan was to check in at the hotel, then walk over to the bank where we would be having a lunch with some folks Chuck knows.
We stayed in the Queen Elizabeth the last time we were in Montreal.  I was quite happy to be back as it was a very nice hotel, right downtown.  Here is the view from our room on the 18th floor:

The walk over to the bank was not overly pleasant, as it was quite cold and windy.  Fortunately, it was only about 10 minutes away.  The lunch went very well – the company was excellent!  What a super nice group of people.  They informed us of the best shopping spots and some potential restaurants for dinner.  I wish I could have taken them shopping with me after lunch.  I don’t think they’re boss would have been too impressed with them taking off for the rest of the afternoon, although, he would have been welcome to join us too!  Everyone seemed to really enjoy their meal.  I’m not a big soup person but that’s what I ordered to try and warm up my innards.  I’m still dealing with some pretty bad dehydration, as the MS symptom I’ve been experiencing for the last week has not allowed me to keep in any fluids.  I started to crash pretty bad part way through our lunch outing.  I was really feeling out of it by the end.  After we bid our lovely lunch guest adieu, Chuck and I headed over to the underground mall.  It was too nippy to wander around outside.  At this point, I was feeling so exhausted and had a really bad headache, so shopping wasn’t all that appealing to me.  We still wandered around for a couple hours, but hardly went into any stores.  On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at a Tim Horton’s and I slugged back a large coffee.  Once up in our room, Chuck asked me to think of what I wanted for dinner, as he took a nap.  I laid there for almost an hour, trying to figure out what I was craving.  I was feeling pretty lousy at this point, and the thought of going out to a restaurant wasn’t high on my priority list.  the only thing I was actually craving at this point was crackers.  I was thinking of how thrilled Chuck would be when he woke up and I told him I wanted to go buy a box of crackers for dinner!  We decided to go up one floor to the lounge, to check it out and ponder about where we would go to eat.  Apparently the 18th and 19th floors are “special” and they have access to the lounge, which has snacks and drinks available throughout the day.  When we got up there, it was like the angels descended down upon me.  At the serving table, there it was – a basket full of assorted crackers.  A single tear ran down my cheek as I looked up at Chuck.  Similarly, he had the same feelings when he looked at the plate next to the basket, which contained large blocks of assorted cheeses.  Yes, we were in Heaven.  They also had little mini tuna fish sandwiches, sliced bread, fruit, pickles and shots of yogurt.  Dinner was served – and with a great view:

Yogurt is one of my favourite foods, so that combined with the crackers was just fine with me.  Actually, I had about three of the little yogurt shots, which were in shot glasses.  They were so good – I became quite sad when the staff personage came in and said she was taking the food away and would soon bring in the desserts.  I begged her not to take the remaining shots away, and out of pity, she allowed them to remain.  I’m sure she was quite happy to see that none of them went to waste!:

After our lavish meal, I wandered over to the internet computer to email my little mother.  After that, Chuck went online and I picked a book out of the lounge library to read.  It was called The Bachelor’s Cat and I read it in about half an hour.  After Chuck finished whatever he was doing online, we headed back to the room to call it a night.  We were shocked at the height of the bed.  We simultaneously made a comment about my mother.  We agreed that there was no way she would ever be able to get up on the bed.  Chuck took a picture of me demonstrating how my mother would look trying to climb up on the bed:

I think we both slept well.  For breakfast, we headed back up to the lounge for another session of free gnashing.  I ate a bunch of yummy strawberries and some yogurt, while Chuck had some pastries, cheese, eggs and French toast.  After breakfast, he headed out for a meeting.  I stayed in the room, listening to my music and reading my book.  It was so relaxing!  He came back a few hours later and we headed back out to the underground shopping.  We went in quite a few stores, but didn’t end up making any purchases.  Here I am in Lucky Brand Jeans:
 

Here’s Chuck waving at his “fans”:


We eventually went outside and down Saint Catherine Street, where most of the shops are.  Again, we went in plenty of stores, but all I bought were some sport bras and Chuck bought a Reuben sandwich from Reuben’s Deli.  He got it to go as it was time to head back to the airport for our 5:45 flight.  The cab ride to the airport was dreadful.  It was gridlock – start and stop, cutting in and out – I felt extremely car sick by the end of the drive.  At the airport, Chuck sat and ate the sandwich while I wandered into a few stores, trying to distract myself from the nausea.  There was quite a long line up for security.  When we got up to the front of the line, the officer made the announcement about having to separate your mascara, gels, etc.  I loudly told Chuck that he forgot to put his mascara in a separate bag!  His hair gel too!  It caused a few smiles, for a second anyway. 

Our plane was about 20 minutes late, but another good flight.  We made it back home safely just before 9:00 pm.  It was great to see the kitties and they seemed equally happy to see us (well, me anyway!)
So that was our wonderful trip to Montreal!  I think if I was feeling better, the trip would have been perfect!

Today’s symptoms:  I’m very drained from the trip – it was well worth it though!  I’m glad I’ll be seeing my doctor on Monday to see if she can help me with this MS related bladder issue. 

Gobble Gobble!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  We had our Thanksgiving dinner yesterday.  Chuck and I went to the States in the morning then to my little mother’s for dinner.  As always, it was amazing!  She’s such a good little cook – and I do mean little!

Chuck and I headed to the Outlet Mall in Niagara Falls, New York around 10:00.  I did the Queen wave at all the “suckers” in the normal Customs lines at the boarder, while we drove over to the Nexus line.  I guess I shouldn’t have been such a saucy little tart, as the first thing out of the Custom Officer’s mouth was “You’ve been hit as a random check.”  Then, to make things worse, my Nexus card was having issues, again!  I told him the card is defective due to the horrible picture on it.  He made us pull over to the inspection building, where we sat and waited for almost 40 minutes.  We gave the Officer all of our information, then he went to inspect our car.  Mind you, he inspected the car next to us first, thinking it was ours.  Chuck went out and told him that he was checking the wrong Buick.  After we were cleared, we drove to Tim Horton’s for our well deserved drink and treat.  Then off to the Fashion Outlet Mall on Military Road.  We had to return a shirt I purchased for him, that turned out to be too small.  After that, we headed to the kiosk of my favourite store Phase’id.  Here, I purchased the sweater that I have seen the last two or three times I’ve been there, but was too cheap to buy.  They had 20% sales for the holiday weekend.  I was planning on going to their main store at Eastern Hills Mall, but didn’t think I would have the energy.  However, the thought of missing out on some new gothic garb was too much for me to bare, so we made the 25 minute trip.  I purchased a new skirt and top, again at 20% off.  On the way back from Eastern Hills Mall, we stopped at TOPS for a few groceries. 


Before heading to my mother’s house, we stopped off at the apartment to drop off our loot and pick up the cranberry sauce I arduously prepared the night before.  We arrived at her place just before 4:30.  Dinner was great, with plenty of left-overs to take home, including the cuppy-cake she purchased:

We polished off the left-overs for dinner tonight (minus the cuppy-cakes).  I think I ate too much.  I’m changing my name to Elizabloat.
We had another good day today.  We did some shopping, which was interrupted by a phone call from my mother.  For the second time in a few months, she locked herself out of the house again.  We drove to the apartment, picked up my keys and drove to Fonthill to save the Damsel in Distress.  Once we unlocked the door and ensured that she had her keys in her hand, we went back to our grocery shopping.

Tomorrow will be another good day as we’re going to the Outlet Mall in Niagara Falls, Ontario.  I then have to return home to prepare for my RAA meeting that night.

One more thing – I received a very amusing email from one of the Tower Folks at the Niagara District Airport.  As I have mentioned before, I bring them some of my home-made fudge now and then.  I think I brought them some in this past month, plus a bag of kettle-corn popcorn last week.  On these fudge-bequeathing days, I call myself Elizafudge.  The last time I was up flying, they labeled my aircraft FUDGE on their radar!  Here’s a picture:


This just made my day!!!

Today’s Symptoms:  Still quite drained from the dehydration.  I had a nap in the afternoon.  I’m feeling a little better tonight, at least.

Posted by Lizzy McFly at 10/11/2009 7:45 PM

Trip to Brampton

What a great day!  I attended the annual RAA (Recreational Aircraft Association) meeting at the Brampton Airport today.  I just found out about it on Thursday night, so I was a little rushed with regards to planning.  I was hoping to fly there, but the weather was having some issues.  My mother joined me and we headed out just after 8:00 am.  I checked Map Quest last night and remembered to select “exclude toll roads”.  Unfortunately, I forgot to select this same feature on my GPS this morning.  I almost had a heart attack when the GPS woman said “Take ramp left for 407”.  Ugh!  I stayed right to avoid the toll highway, which forced me onto the 403 back into Hamilton.  Great – I was now going back to where I just came from!  I got off the highway and told my GPS to get me back on route.  I had a few choice words for her when she told me to get onto the 407.  Hello!  I’m too cheap for such a luxury!  I didn’t want to be late for the meeting so ended up driving back to the dreaded toll highway.  It was kinda nice to be driving along side such privileged people!  I smiled and did the Queen wave at some of them – they “waved” back with just one finger….

Anyway, Jan and I made it to the Airport with plenty of time to spare.  We were thrilled to see the complimentary coffee and cookies waiting for us.  We waited about 10 minutes before helping ourselves, as we didn’t want to look too greedy or anxious.  We weren’t planning on staying for the lunch, but we decided to contribute the requested $5.00, considering we ate about half of their cookies.  Good thing I didn’t fly because I would have had to work out a new weight and balance for our added cookie-induced weight!

It was a great turn out and excellent meeting.  The president even invited me to say a few words about my charitable cause for the MS Society!  He also passed out my MS brochures to everyone.  They really were a great bunch of folks and I felt so comfortable at the meeting (despite the fact that there were only three females, two of which were my little mother and I!)

We made it home at a decent hour, after stopping to pick up a few groceries.  Thank you, my wonderful mother, for joining me today.  I am forever grateful!  I am so lucky to have such a perfect, cute little mother.  (Tee Hee!  I had to stop typing for a few minutes – when this thought came to my mind I started laughing so hard, I had tears running down my face!)

Today’s symptoms:  Actually feeling pretty good today.  Yesterday was the complete opposite, as I had to leave work early due to pretty bad fatigue, muscle and joint aches and a yucky headache.

Posted by Lizzy McFly at 10/3/2009 5:12 PM

Oligodendricytes

On my way home from work today, the word “oligodendricytes” popped into my head.  What’s up with that?  Who thinks of things like that?  I found it equally disturbing that I knew what it was too!  I think the last time I heard this word was in one of my Science classes in university.
I think Chuck and I are going over to the States for a few hours tomorrow to do some shopping.  I’m not sure if we should wait until Sunday, as we have Thanksgiving dinner at my mother’s tomorrow night.  I’ve been having serious fatigue issues this week, mainly due to MS related bladder issues which are causing dehydration, thus the fatigue.  I’m having a hard time functioning for a whole day.  I guess I’ll have to wait and see how I’m feeling tomorrow.  I went back on the medication my neurologist gave me for this issue.  I haven’t had to take it for over six months, but it seems the problem hath come backeth!  I picked up my vaporizer from my mother’s house and I’ll put it on tonight – that might help a bit too.
I took a friend from work up flying yesterday morning.  It was great weather which made for good visibility and a smooth flight.  My passenger started to get a little nervous when we were entering the circuit to make our landing.  Since we descended to 1300 feet and slowed down a bit, the ride became a little rough.  I assured her that everything was normal and the plane was not going to drop out of the sky.  She really enjoying the flight and said she would go up again.  Actually, I took her up along with another co-worker about 2 years ago.  They both won the draw for the flight over the MS Walk sites in Niagara that year.  I didn’t have my own plane at the time, so I rented a Piper from the Flying Club.  The weather wasn’t too good that day and we could only fly over the Port Dalhousie Walk route, plus the clouds were too low to fly over the Falls.  During yesterday’s flight, Heather snapped a great picture of a helicopter in the Niagara Falls scenic circuit, flying about 500 feet below us:

Here’s a pic of the American Falls:

And us after landing back at Niagara District Airport:

I’m hoping for some decent weather (and health symptoms!) on Sunday so I can go for another flight.

Today’s symptoms:  Not a good day – pretty severe fatigue, really bad headache and my jaw is worse than it’s been in a while.  I think it will be better tomorrow after I chow down on some Thanksgiving dinner – Gobble, Gobble!

Rainy Circuits

I was planning on taking off from work early today to go flying.  The weather was el yuck-o all morning and into the afternoon.  Around 2:30, it cleared just enough for a flightage.  I bid my Team Leader farewell and headed out to the airport.  Of course, I got caught by the bridge on the way there.  It was only about a seven minute wait.  It was still rather cloudy so I decided to just do circuits.  I was happy to hear they were using runway 29, which is one of the smaller runways.  I was also glad there was a bit of gusty wind going on, to make the landings a little more challenging.  I think it was after my first circuit that the rain came back.  It was just a light shower, so nothing to worry about.  Actually, it was nice to get a free plane wash!  I feel sorry for the folks in the tower today, as I was a little goofier than normal.  On one of my turns onto final, instead of stating my registration number WGF (pronounced Whiskey, Golf, Foxtrot), I just said “It’s me!”  After about the third circuit, I asked if they were sick of me yet.  I was then informed that my last landing was a 9.5, 9 and 10!  A few circuits later, I asked if he had a Sham-Wow that I could borrow to dry off my plane.  I think I should make them another batch of fudge soon, to make up for my silliness today.

On the way home, I had to wait for another boat.  I don’t mind the wait – I always have my iPod Touch with me to keep myself occupied.

Nothing much planned for the next couple of days.  I am off Thursday (compressed).  I’m going to visit my micro-mommy in Fonthill.  We’re going to get a few things prepared for our Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday.  If the weather is decent that day, I’m going to take a friend from work for a flight in the morning. 

Symptoms for Today:  Feeling pretty good today.   I have been down lately and today was the first day in a couple weeks where I felt a little better.  Physically, it was a good day with just a few muscle and joint aches.

Posted by Lizzy McFly at 10/5/2009 8:15 PM

Trip to Brampton

What a great day!  I attended the annual RAA (Recreational Aircraft Association) meeting at the Brampton Airport today.  I just found out about it on Thursday night, so I was a little rushed with regards to planning.  I was hoping to fly there, but the weather was having some issues.  My mother joined me and we headed out just after 8:00 am.  I checked Map Quest last night and remembered to select “exclude toll roads”.  Unfortunately, I forgot to select this same feature on my GPS this morning.  I almost had a heart attack when the GPS woman said “Take ramp left for 407″.  Ugh!  I stayed right to avoid the toll highway, which forced me onto the 403 back into Hamilton.  Great – I was now going back to where I just came from!  I got off the highway and told my GPS to get me back on route.  I had a few choice words for her when she told me to get onto the 407.  Hello!  I’m too cheap for such a luxury!  I didn’t want to be late for the meeting so ended up driving back to the dreaded toll highway.  It was kinda nice to be driving along side such privileged people!  I smiled and did the Queen wave at some of them – they “waved” back with just one finger….

Anyway, Jan and I made it to the Airport with plenty of time to spare.  We were thrilled to see the complimentary coffee and cookies waiting for us.  We waited about 10 minutes before helping ourselves, as we didn’t want to look too greedy or anxious.  We weren’t planning on staying for the lunch, but we decided to contribute the requested $5.00, considering we ate about half of their cookies.  Good thing I didn’t fly because I would have had to work out a new weight and balance for our added cookie-induced weight!
It was a great turn out and excellent meeting.  The president even invited me to say a few words about my charitable cause for the MS Society!  He also passed out my MS brochures to everyone.  They really were a great bunch of folks and I felt so comfortable at the meeting (despite the fact that there were only three females, two of which were my little mother and I!)
We made it home at a decent hour, after stopping to pick up a few groceries.  Thank you, my wonderful mother, for joining me today.  I am forever grateful!  I am so lucky to have such a perfect, cute little mother.  (Tee Hee!  I had to stop typing for a few minutes – when this thought came to my mind I started laughing so hard, I had tears running down my face!)

Today’s symptoms:  Actually feeling pretty good today.  Yesterday was the complete opposite, as I had to leave work early due to pretty bad fatigue, muscle and joint aches and a yucky headache.