Month: April 2011

Aviation Expo – Hamilton

The Hamilton Aviation Expo is on this weekend.  Since the weather was perfect today, Chuck and I flew in this morning.  The flight was very smooth and the visibility was amazing.  We landed just after 10:00am.  As usual, little Vyctor stuck out like a sore (albeit cute!) thumb:

 

I met up with a few of my Recreational Aircraft Association folks.  They mentioned to me that a few of the Officers from the documentary TV series Jetstream were outside.  I’ve seen every episode a few times – love it!  Captain Tristan McKee and Captain Dave McLeod were kind enough to let me pose with them.  Where am I, you ask?  I’m that ghost-like, pale, almost transparent, twig-like entity standing between them:

They were kind enough to give me the OK to post their pics on my blog – thanks again!

I also met up with the guys from Aviation Jewelry, from whom I’ve bought most of my favourite jewelry. We met them down in Sun N Fun earlier this month.  Of course, I bought a few items down there and bought a few more today!  Their stuff is very well done and quite unique.  We’re really looking forward to meeting up with them again in Oshkosh this summer.Chuck and I frolicked around the vendors and exhibits for a few hours.  It was a little disappointing to see there were less people in attendance than over the last couple of years.  There were less vendors as well.  Bummer.  Regardless, it was a great day and we’ll certainly go back next year.

The crowd was beginning to thin as we walked back out to the apron.  Fortunately, my plane was still there, waiting patiently for us:

There was a line of planes taxiing across the apron.  I waited a few minutes before firing up.  I guess I should have waited even longer.  Once we joined the line, we were all told to shut down.  There were para-jumpers taking off and I guess spinning propellers and folks dangling from large pieces of fabric through the air, is not a good mix.  We were sitting for less than 10 minutes when a marshaller told us to restart and carry on.

The flight home was a little more bumpy, but still great visibility.  Chuckles snapped a pic of St. Catharines as we approached the airport:

It was nice to be going home, as I was getting a bit tired from the long day.

Today’s symptoms: I had yet another great day since the CCSVI surgery!  I didn’t start to get pooped until around 2:00 today.  That’s pretty good considering how tired I usually get after a flight.  We did a lot of walking around today too.  Still, no headaches!  It’s been almost a month and the veins in my neck are still a little sore.  I guess this is to be expected since they were stretched to more than twice their previous size.

 
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Extreme Windage!

I’m really glad that I decided to drive to work today (I usually walk), due to the wind warning.  Just as I was getting ready to leave the apartment, I looked out the balcony window and noticed an amazing rainbow.  I could actually see where both ends touched down:

It almost looks like it’s touching down at my office.  Yup, there is a pot of taxes at the end of the rainbow!

As soon as I pulled out of the driveway, the rain started.  It didn’t last too long, but once it stopped, the insane winds hit.  Much of St. Catharines lost power today.  The winds were blowing at 65km/hr and gusting at 95km!  Many trees were uprooted, siding and roofs blew off and quite a few power lines came down after trees smacked into them.  I was quite happy to be safe inside the office during the mayhem!

Although it was crazy outside, it was quite pleasant inside.  In honour of William and Kate’s wedding tomorrow, we had tiara day at work!  Even some of the guys had them on!  It was quite fun and a nice little morale booster.  We had tea at 3:00 and took a group photo.  I decided to wear a garter along with the tiara, so I made sure to flash it during the photo.  I don’t think this surprised any of my coworkers – they all know I’m nuts.  Just last week I took it upon myself to make my friend’s ceramic rooster look a little more accessorised.  I thought a propeller on it’s beak was very suited for him:

I really don’t think the propeller is any more weird than a blue pok-a-dot rooster – hello!

Today’s symptoms:  I was a little more tired than I thought I would be after sleeping well last night.  However, I started the day off in training.  We were in the computer training room which is small, dark, no windows and quite warm.  Fortunately, things didn’t get much worse fatigue-wise as the day progressed.  Yea!

 

 

Took Their Advice…

I took the advice of my coworkers, mother, boyfriend, cats, neighbours, total strangers and everyone else, and stayed home today!  I mostly stayed in bed and made phone calls, did some admin stuff for my upcoming aviation meeting, and sorted through paperwork. 

I’m happy to report that I feel even better than I did yesterday.  The MS fatigue is less and I only have a very slight headache (I get headaches most days).  My brain fog is less today and my neck is feeling quite a bit better.  I’m still a little tired and weak from the trip, but it is quite a bit better than yesterday.  I’m going to take it easy this weekend and continue my recovery.  However, a short flight might be in order if the weather is as nice as they say it’s going to be!  It’s so exciting and encouraging to think that I may be feeling a bit better every day.

The St. Catharines Standard did a really nice article on my procedure for today’s paper.  You can check it out here:

City Woman Flying High After Controversial MS TreatmentI was surprised that the photographer let me hold little Mya during the photo shoot.  I particulary like this pic:

Don Fraser also did an article on me last year:  Flying High To Help Ground MS

I’m quite impressed with his work!

During my recovery today, I brought Pinky and Boo over (they are in our other apartment across the hall) to try and get them integrated with Mya and Abby.  It has taken so long because after the new kitties had their surgery, they came back with colds.  I must have transferred the colds to Mya and Abby (I kiss my kitties a lot!) so they both got sick.  They were all being treated and it took about a month for everyone to stop sneezing.  Of course, then I was gone to Florida for almost a week, so that delayed it even more.  There is still quite a bit of growling, but no attacks.  Little Boo decided to hide out in the kitchen sink.  After snapping a few pics, I let her know that the counters and sinks are kitty-free zones.  Boo is in mid-meow, thus the weird expression:

She didn’t take the news too well that she needed to get down.  Please view the following photo at your own risk:

Little Pinky just sat around, growling the odd time and looking cute:

I think she’s going to be growling again tomorrow when I give her a bath.

Today’s symptoms:  Still JUST tired!  I’ve had a few sharp pains in my hands today, but nothing out of the ordinary.  My neck is feeling quite a bit better, just a little sore when I turn my head or try to strangle myself.

Posted by Lizzy McFly at 4/8/2011 6:38 PM

Post-CCSVI

Ok, two days after my CCSVI surgery and I was back to work!  Mind you, I went in at 10:00am rather than my usual 7:15am, and I only was able to stay until 12:00.  My coworkers seemed happy to see me – I received many hugs!  However, they all said that I should be home resting.  I heard this from just about everyone I spoke to.  They also threatened to take me out back and kick my butt if I show up tomorrow.  I think I may actually take their advice. 

As for how I feel today, I don’t have the typical (daily) MS fatigue, at least not as bad as I usually experience it.  I’m really tired, but it’s more like a normal-person tired.  I just feel like I’ve done too much and my body is a little pooped!  This is much different (and much more tolerable) than the MS fatigue, which feels like my limbs are encased in cement, making simple movements arduous.  I don’t have the MS brain fog either.  I didn’t go into this surgery thinking I would jump off the table and feel wonderful.  I know how much farther I would fall if I had set my expectations that high.  I know that every day things are going to get a bit better.  It may take weeks, months or years.

When we were at the Orlando Airport getting ready for our flight home, I noticed my left hand felt slightly warm. It was pink and so was the left side of my face.  I’m hoping this is a sign of the increased blood flow.  Speaking of the airport, we were able to change our flight from 6:30pm to 1:10pm.  The wonderful folks at the AI3 Clinic got me in for my follow-up doppler ultrasound for 7:30am rather than our 11:00am scheduled time.  I was quite nervous while he was doing the scan, hoping that he wouldn’t say my veins look like their previous yucky selves.  Quite the opposite – they looked quite good!  What a relief!  The whole left side of my neck and a lower section of the right side are quite sore still.  This is the best pain/soreness I’ve ever experienced!  I’m sure it’s because my sissy little dainty veins were stretched into wonderful, big sassy veins!  I will certainly keep y’all posted on my daily improvements.

On the way from the luggage drop-off to the gate area of the airport, we took a train.  Chuck snapped this joyous pic:

I also forgot to share the lovely portrait of Mr. Skinny Bird Dude:

Tee hee!  Look at his little spindly legs!

Oh, I did another interview with Cogeco before I left.  Click here for the link.

Ok, almost finished.  I was just taking out my camera to check the pictures on the card when little Miss Abby and Mya decided it was time for a photo shoot.  Mya, looking cute and totally anti-fluffy:

Abby decided that she needed an ultra close-up:

Today’s symptoms: Tired….JUST TIRED!  Wow, I love being just tired!!!

Posted by Lizzy McFly at 4/7/2011 6:02 PM

CCSVI Surgery Complete!

Chuck and I were ready to head over to the AI Clinic in Clearwater, Florida for our 9:30 surgery time (we needed to arrive an hour early).  We received a call on his cell around 7:40am, asking if we could come earlier due to a cancelation.  Great!  That just saved me an hour of worry!  We arrived at 7:55am and was brought into the prep area right away.  I had an IV inserted and chewed on a Valium.  I still don’t know if I was more nervous about the surgery or the results of the surgery!  Chuck snapped a pic of me in my sexy gown:

Before we knew it, I was being wheeled off into the surgery room:

The staff was amazing – so nice and really made me feel at ease.  Still, I was quite happy when they administered my first shot of meds that helped me to relax.  If I’m not mistaken, she gave me another shot either right before the surgery or soon after it started.  Good times!

During most of the procedure, I was able to watch it on the screen next to the table.  It was so interesting.  For the first ballooning of one of the veins on my right side, the doctor mentioned that there would be a bit of pressure.  It was a little more pressure/pain than I was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t unbearable.  I really can’t remember how many times he inflated the balloon on the right side.  He asked me each time if the pressure was mild, moderate or severe.  I never had to say severe.  After completing the right side, he made his way up the left.  This is the side that had the most narrowed veins.  The pressure from the balloons was about the same on the left, until he blew through a valve.  It was fairly painful, but the neat thing was the sound it made – POP!  Tee Hee!  After that, he did a few more balloons on the left and then he was done.  I think the surgery was only about an hour.

Back out into the recovery area, Chuck made his way over from the waiting room.  The nurses were amazing and checked on me constantly.  One even brought Chuck and I toasted English muffins!  As the medication slowly started to wear off, the old silly me started making its way to the surface.  Mind you, I didn’t do anything too naughty.  Well, I did set off the alarm when I removed the heart rate monitor from my finger and tried to put it on Chuck’s.  I let the nurses that there was nothing to see here and to carry on as if I was normal.

We thought I would have to stay in the clinic for close to four hours, but the puncture point was healing well.  I was allowed to get up and use the little girls room, and soon after I got back to the bed, I was discharged.  Now I’m sitting comfortably in the hotel room.  My neck is quite sore – no complaints though, as it’s good pain.  It means I’m going to feel better soon!

I will keep you posted on my recovery.  I can’t wait until the drugs wear off and I get some sleep, then see if my fatigue levels start improving!

Today’s symptoms: Well, the day is only half over and I’m still very groggy from the meds.  Hmmmm….not too much to write about symptom-wise today!  Sorry about any typo’s in this blog – we’ll blame it on the drugs!

Posted by Lizzy McFly at 4/5/2011 12:54 PM

CCSVI Surgery Tomorrow

I didn’t have enough time to post all of the pictures from the bed and breakfast (Oak-K Farm) we stayed at on Friday and Saturday night:

There was a slight incident with the carriage.  Chuck and I were trying to get it rolling, but we didn’t coordinate our maneuvers too well:

Fortunately, it was only a flesh wound and I was quickly back on my feet.

There was a wedding on the property while we were there.  The shower was in a building next to the loft we stayed in.  I was going to run by the reception hall in only my towel, but I don’t think anyone there deserved that sort of torment and trauma.

Here is a pic of the ceremony gazebo:

As I mentioned during last night’s blog, we had a wonderful time and wouldn’t hesitate to go back.

As for today, we spent a little more time at the clinic this morning than we had planned – it was all good though.  I met with the doctor and he said that he wanted to repeat my doppler ultrasound, as it showed normal looking veins.  He said my MRV had “substantial” issues, which was nice to hear.  Apparently, most people show issues on their doppler ultrasound and a normal MRV.  Figures, everything I do is backwards and weird.  So, I had another doppler ultrasound which will hopefully show more defects than my last one did!

I’m really excited about the CCSVI surgery tomorrow morning.  Of course, I’m also a little nervous.  I certainly hope to be able to blog about the results tomorrow night!  Wow, I really can’t believe I’ll be back to the clinic in twelve hours!

Today’s symptoms:  A little weak and fatigued today, after a long and exciting few days.  I had a bunch of really sharp pains in my arms throughout the day, as well as a bad headache.

Posted by Lizzy McFly at 4/4/2011 6:39 PM

Made It To Florida!

Sorry I didn’t post until today, but I did not have access to the internet.I’m happy to say, we made it to Florida.  We arrived in Orlando on Friday.  We were going to check out Sun N Fun that afternoon, but it was late and I was really tired.  I mean, REALLY tired!  We ended up going yesterday and today.  I must admit, I was so sad when I saw the planes that were damaged and/or destroyed by the massive storm that ripped through the Lakeland Airport on Thursday.  We were told that around forty planes were damaged.  Some were home-builts.  In other words, people spent years – literally hundreds of hours building these planes, only to have them destroyed by a freak storm:

 

Despite the damage, the show went on!

It was a great time – we visited many vendors and shops, checked out some of the ground displays, and watched the air shows.  Unfortunately, the sun and heat had a  negative effect on me, and I only lasted two to three hours each day.  Oh well, I still had a blast and would love to go back next year.

We stayed at the Oak-K Run bed and breakfast in Lakeland, Florida.  It was AMAZING!  I will post some property pictures on tomorrow night’s blog (as it’s getting late and I’m a little pooped!)  In the meantime, here a few of the critters on the farm:

I will certainly post more pics and details of our trip so far tomorrow.  I think I’m about ready to take a sleeping pill (yes, I have insomnia) and go to bed.

Today’s symptoms: Very fatigued today due to my last three days of travel and excitement.  I’ve had a pretty bad headache today, but I’m trying to refrain from taking anything for it – I usually don’t take any type of pain killer until the pain has affected my ability to function.  I keep reading this blog before publishing, and find errors each time.  Needless to say, my mind isn’t overly sharp today!

Posted by Lizzy McFly at 4/3/2011 9:09 PM