Month: December 2011

Feng Shui

I can’t believe Christmas is over!  Boo hoo!  It was great though.  As usual, we had a ton of pressies to open, since it was just the three of us.  Before Chuck and I went over to little Jan’s, we opened some presents at the apartment.  Of course, the kitties also got their gifts.  I had to throw out Pinky’s favourite toy – a rainbow, because it was so SOILED and yucky.  Fortunately, I found a new one:


She was thrilled, as you can see.  Grandma Jan also bought a new toy, which Mya seems to enjoy.  Excuse the blurry photo:

I was happy to open the great new video camera Chuck bought me for my plane.  I’ll be able to attach it to the outside of Vyctor and take some awesome video of aerobatics:

I can’t wait to try it out!

We headed over to Jan’s at 11:00 ish and started working at the huge pile of gifts:

It was a very entertaining few hours!

As usual, Jan made a great meal.  He trifle dessert was to die for.  We also snacked on some yum-o lemon squares, which unfortunately, she didn’t make herself (hers are better):

Yet another year of great Christmas memories.  Also, more hoodies to add to my ever growing collection!

I was hoping to go for a flight with a friend today, but the weather didn’t co-operate.  We still met up for a coffee and a chat, at least.  After, I went home and spent around four hours steam cleaning the carpets.  Ugh!  The kitties quickly adapted to the temporarily rearranged furniture.  Normally, they’re not allowed on the table, but it was kinda hard to say no when I had one of their hide-outs sitting up there.

She was running around like she had a load in her pants, as soon as she realized the floor was a little damp.  It was quite amusing!

Little Boo quickly discovered where the food dish was sitting:

A line-up soon followed:

I think the Christmas tree looked quite charming up on the couch:

When I started cleaning the carpet in the bedroom, I noticed little Mya and Abby, crashed on the bed.  Mya can be quite the bully – she’ll bite Abby in the bum to force her to get up and leave her nice, warm sleeping spot.  Looks like Abby got a little revenge.  Here she is, sitting on Mya.  I love how Mya’s back leg is sticking out and up – must be from all the pressure of Abby’s big butt:

I’m sorta looking forward to going back to work tomorrow.  Most people are taking the rest of the week off, so the office will be very quiet.

Today’s symptoms:  Feeling quite good!  Lots o’energy and am surprised how well I feel at 8:00pm, despite doing a fair bit of physical activity today. 

Christmas Eve!

Sorry about the delay in bloggage.  I’ve been doing quite a bit of overtime at work. I’ve been looking forward to today for the whole week.  I had the Flying Club tie my plane down outside today so I could go for a night flight.  I wanted to fly over some of the parking lots at major malls to see everyone driving around, frantically looking for a spot.  I guess the malls were just closing as I was flying over because the parking lots weren’t too busy:

That is the PEN Centre in St. Catharines.  The sun was just starting to set.  Once it was dark, I toured around Niagara and checked out the Christmas lights.  I tried to take pictures, but they didn’t turn out well.  Here’s a shot of….somewhere….

My last destination was Grimsby, where I did five touch and go’s at their airport.  Once done there, I headed back to St. Catharines.  I didn’t hear another plane over the radio the entire hour and twenty minute flight.  My mother said only pea-brains like myself would fly on Christmas Eve.  Thanks, little, stubby Jan.

Here is a pic of Vyctor all tied down for the night:

Merry Christmas, little Vyctor!

Before my flight, I spent many hours today, scanning photographs for the digital photo album for the Recreational Aircraft Association.  I thought they would bring me maybe a few dozen pictures to scan, but I ended up with a trunk full – literally!  I went out and bought a new scanner for the job.  My other one was too old and slow.

Chuck and I will wake up tomorrow (hopefully!) and open some pressies at the apartment.  We’ll then kiss the kitties goodbye and head over to Jan’s to open the rest of the gifts and have a joyous dinner.  Really looking forward to the day!

Today’s symptoms:  Felt pretty darn good.  Fatigue level wasn’t too bad – just dealing with tiredness from dehydration.  I seem to be having the issue of not retaining fluids again.  Ugh!  Hopefully it won’t last, because it really conflicts with the benefits from the CCSVI surgery!  At least my big surgery hickey is almost gone too!

Where Did the Weekend Go?

I can’t believe it’s Sunday night already!  Geesh!  Oh well, I had a good weekend, so I shant complain.  I took little Abby back to the vet after work on Friday.  She just had to be given a shot of steroid, and a prescription for me to give her orally.  She is always so well behaved at the vet’s office:

Cute and sweet as a button.  Her sister Pinky, on the other hand, was a little more naughty this weekend.  She loves climbing into bags and I inadvertently left one with some items to bring to Jan, up on the stove:

Love the left eye, Pinky!

After bringing Abby back home from the vet, I spent most of the night working on the training I’m giving at work tomorrow.  At least I had all four goobers keeping me company:

Little Abby was off to the side:

I continued to work on the training yesterday, but spent most of the day wrapping pressies.  I told Jan I didn’t buy her the usual fifty gifts I get her each Christmas.  However, when I pulled all of the presents out of the closet, there were over forty!  Tee hee!  She gets annoyed because I don’t use regular wrapping paper, since it’s not recyclable.  Instead, I use brown paper and the blank sheet of newspaper that is sometimes around the flyers.  Needless to say, my gifts look very drab!  I’ll certainly take some pictures of them under the tree on the weekend.

Today, I went to visit Lil Jan and drop off my carload of pressies, as we always open them at her house.  We dropped something off at my Aunt’s house, and drove by this joyous little number a few doors down:

My favourite is the totally deflated snowman on the garage.  He looks very depressed!

We headed over to Timmy’s for a coffee, then over to the Welland Humane Society to drop off a few donations.  They’re always so friendly and appreciative there.   Then it was over to the mall for some final gift purchases.  I’m officially done now  I’ve never left it so late before.  Just a lot going on lately plus my recent CCSVI surgery.

Ok, back to some final prep for tomorrow’s training!

Today’s symptoms:  Feeling great!  Had more energy today than I’ve had in a long time.  I am so hopeful that it lasts!!!

Feeling Pretty Good!

It’s almost been a week since my second CCSVI surgery.  Each day I feel a bit better!  People keep telling me (in a caring and compassionate manner) that I need to take it easy and “just” rest.  It’s hard to convince people that if your energy level has been going downhill since the age of eight, and the fatigue has taken away many things in your life (four years of university to become a cop – for nothing, a year of school in Funeral Services – nope, medically released from the Army, very minimal social life – too tired, blah, blah, blah) then there’s no way you’re going to rest when you actually have energy!  What if this only lasts for months or weeks?  I’m not going to waste a minute of it!  Words of Lizdom: life’s too short to do or not do things you’ll regret in the future.  I know if I don’t take advantage of the energy I have today, I’ll regret it tomorrow. 


I had the day off today but went in for six hours for overtime.  My neck is still very bruised, so I put the cat paw stalking back on my ear:

Very discrete – I know!

Chuckles met me at the car rental place around 2:15, so he could take me to pick up Lola Corolla after dropping off the rental.  I was driving a Ford Fusion.  A nice ride, but the dinging that goes on and on and on when you start the car was very annoying!  I was so happy to get Lola back!  After picking her up, I drove over to our mailbox in the States to pick up a couple packages.  I used the Lower Bridge with Nexus so I was less than fifteen minutes there and back.  On the way home, I decided to drop by the airport to visit Vyctor.  I feel so bad for him.  He’s in the middle of his annual inspection, so he’s feeling quite vulnerable:

I know he’s in good hands though.

I went up to visit the folks in the control tower as well.  It was a really yucky day weather-wise, so no one was up flying.

One of the things I picked up from over the river was a heading indicator rug I bought (on sale, of course!)  The cats really love it:

Mya had Boo in a head lock and was going in for the kill (in a gentle and loving manner) in this shot:

I really haven’t been in the Christmas spirit this year.  I LOVE Christmas, so this is rather odd for me.  I think because so many things have been going on personally and health-wise, that I’m just not feeling it – yet.  I decided after dinner that I would try and force myself into the mood by putting up the Christmas tree.  Not sure how long it will last with my crazy freak-children running around:

It’s seriously leaning….hmmmmm….
The kitties all have their own stocking:

And of course the aviation Santas came out:

Still not feeling the Christmas spirit, but maybe (hopefully) things will change.

I have to give training to a group of managers tomorrow morning.  I’ll continue working in the afternoon on the Microsoft OneNote training I’m giving next week.  It’s a normal work day on Friday.  I have to leave a little early though – don’t tell her, but I have to take Abby to the vet.

Today’s symptoms:  Feeling quite good energy-wise.  My neck is still quite sore, but no big deal.  Very minimal headache today too.  Yea!


I went back to work today.  Actually, I did sorta work yesterday from home.  I have to give training on the Office 2010 program OneNote next week, so I prepared the material.  It was so nice to see everyone at work, but spent the day telling everyone “No, it’s not a hickey.”

Yuck!  I’m glad I don’t have to look at it.  I didn’t realize how bad it was until my friend took this picture.  I decided to hang a stocking off of my ear so no one else would have to look at it either.  It was quite beneficial as I walked by my friend and she put a chocolate in the stocking.  I should have kept it on to see how many other treats I would have collected!

So, I’m feeling decent after my surgery, energy-wise.  Despite being my first day back, I made it through the whole day AND did three hours of overtime!  I’m supposed to be off tomorrow (compressed) but since we are allowed to do nine hours of overtime a week, I’m going in for another six hours.  I have to drop off the rental car, pick up Lola Corolla and drive over to the States to get a package at the post office.  Then I’ll head to work.

Today’s symptoms:  Felt decent with regards to energy.  Very minimal headache too!  Still very sore in my neck and chest, but it’s good pain!

Back Home!

On Friday morning, we headed back to the clinic to have my follow-up Doppler ultrasound.  It was the same technician as the last time – very nice guy!  He confirmed that the blood flow through my internal jugular is minimal.  Blah.  I’m going to look for a new vein on eBay and hopefully Dr. Jerry will install it for me.  After the test, I said farewell to the wonderful staff and warned them that I would be back to see them within a year. 

 After leaving the clinic, we had time to go to the International Plaza before hitting the airport. Wow, quite the mall!  People were looking at us like we were a little out of place in some of the stores.  I guess we just don’t have that high-end look about us.  One store I’ve always wanted to go into is Neiman Marcus. Well, guess what:

I was wondering if it was really as expensive as people say.  Well, check out this little number:

I’ll take three!  It was rather amusing.  Many of the clothes were really nice but some were quite hideous.  At least now I can say that I’ve been there.

I was totally thrilled to see they had an Ed Hardy store.  I like some of the more toned-down items – some are just too much for me.  However, I did see a hoodie and two really nice shirts.  The shirts were on clearance, plus everything in the store was another 35% off.  We walked out of there like Canadian bandits!

Carrying on with my weird sense of taste, I was also shocked to see a Betsey Johnson store:

I’ve only ever seen her jewelery and wallets in Macy’s, so it was nice to see her whole line.  Nothing really turned my crank, so we walked out of there empty-handed.  Still, it was a nice experience.

My mother always talks about the Nordstrom store that she walks through and never buys anything (we’re cheap).  Found one of those too.  Nice stuff – a little too rich for my thrifty blood though. I’m very excited about what Santa bought for me while at the mall.  I hinted at getting a video camera that mounts on the outside of my airplane, for aerobatics.  I usually just stick my regular digital camera to my dash with stick-tack.  Well, we walked into a store and there was “my” camera!  It’s by GoPro and you can check out a neat video of it attached to a plane HERE.  I can’t wait to try it!  Thanks Mr. Santa!After a couple hours at the mall, we drove a few blocks away to Tampa airport.  We actually didn’t arrive home until today.  The plan was to be here yesterday, but there were some issues at the airport.  Our flight was delayed (a few times, actually) due to mechanical problems.  A couple hours after it was scheduled to leave, it was cancelled.  We got on a stand-by list for another flight, but didn’t make it on.  After wandering and pleading from gate to gate, we finally were booked on a flight to Atlanta.  Our original flight would have taken us to Detroit then to Buffalo, but there was a flight to KBUF out of Atlanta – right on!  We had a fairly short lay-over before our final leg to Buffalo.  All said and done, we arrived home a little after mid-night.  I’m not complaining – it’s better than having to stay another night.  Mind you, coming home to snow from nice, sunny Florida made me rethink the extra night.

I tried to take it easy today.  I had to pick up my rental car this morning.  I don’t think I mentioned it in a previous blog, but I was side-swiped by a pick-up truck a little over a week ago.  He didn’t stop despite me honking my horn and flashing my high-beams after he hit me.  I took a picture of his plate and truck with my iPhone, went down to the OPP station in Niagara Falls, and they caught the guy later that night.  He was charged with careless driving.  Anyway, before leaving for Florida, I dropped off my car at the body shop.  She (Lola Corolla) should be ready by Wednesday.  I took my rental over to the chocolate shop near my apartment and picked up my cat and fish sitter this little treat:

I thought she was charging a little much for it, until she told me that the fairly thick base it’s sitting on is also chocolate.  I dropped it off to my friend and she was very appreciative.

So, things are back to normal (as normal as I can be!) and I plan on taking it easy for the next couple of days.  If I don’t, my family and friends will yell at me.  They have to do that a lot – I’m very stubborn.

Today’s symptoms:  My energy was actually decent today, despite the very long day we had yesterday.  I’m quite sore from the surgery, but that will fade soon, I’m sure.  My headache is much better today too.

Second CCSVI Surgery Complete

It was surgery day today.  Walking into the clinic, we were both shocked to see the gorgeous bouquet of flowers sitting next to my bed!  Here is the card:


As I mentioned many time before, the guys at the Recreational Aircraft Association are amazing!  Check out the arrangement:

Wow, I certainly wasn’t expecting that – I’m insanely touched!!!  Thanks guys!

One last shot:

I was really hoping the IV from yesterday was going to behave itself for today, so I wouldn’t need another one.  Unfortunately, it was kinked and had a clot, so they had to redo it.  Michelle was the IV installation technician for this one, and did a mighty fine job!  To return the favour, I was able to teach her a new word: gotchies!   After stripping down (even my gotchies) and donning a lovely blue gown, I wandered over to the surgery room.

I was a little relieved when the meds they injected to relax me kicked in.  It was a tad nippy in there, and the meds helped me to stop shaking.  Probably a good thing while the doctor was doing his thing.  He stretched all of the veins that were done during the last CCSVI procedure, except for one.  My left internal jugular seems to be having severe issues.  He was unable to get through it, even after going in through my groin and neck.  Despite everything else going well, this news really threw me for a loop.  Like a big dork, I was a tad upset while they wheeled me back out to the recovery room.  It’s weird to know that there is no (or very little) blood flowing through that vein.  After being bummed for a few minutes, I managed to calm myself down, with the help of the amazing staff.

Chuck was called over to the recovery room, to comfort his blubbering blonde.  I was shocked when he said I was in there for almost two hours!  It didn’t seem that long.  The doctor came over to talk about the surgery.  He made me feel quite a bit better too.  I have to remain hopeful that expanding the other veins will make a difference.  Fingers crossed!

We stayed in the recovery room for around three hours.  Did I mention how great the staff there is?  I’m horrible at names, but there was Michelle, Lesley, Cindy, Kelly Lynn, Vicki and of course, Dr. Jerry.  I’m sure I’m missing someone(s).  Sorry.  Nothing personal!

I’m not sure if I’m supposed to rip off the bandage on my neck yet:

Really looking forward to ripping off the one down below tomorrow too!  Ugh.

Once back to the hotel, my stomach decided that the nice english muffin with peanut butter that Michelle made for me would not stay down.  Sorry about your lawn, Baymont hotel!  Once inside, I crawled into bed and slept on and off for a couple hours.  Chuckles went over to the Tilted Kilt bar and had his third hamburger this week!  I haven’t had too much of an appetite today.  Hopefully it will pick up tomorrow.

We have to head back to the AI3 clinic tomorrow morning for 9:00, so I can have a follow-up doppler ultrasound.  Then we’re off to the Tampa Airport for our 2:00 flight.  I’m really looking forward to getting home and seeing my kitties.  I’m sure I’ll just veg this weekend.  Also, I took Monday off as my compressed day.  Oh, I’ll have to call my aviation mechanic and find out how the annual inspection of my plane went.  Ugh, hopefully nothing major!

Today’s symptoms:  Felt fairly decent when I woke up this morning.  Not sure we can count today’s symptoms as those from a typical MS day!  Just sore from the surgery and I have a fairly bad headache.

Made It To Clearwater

Well, we made it to sunny and warm Clearwater, Florida.  I still feel like yelling at people “Hey, what are you doing outside in shorts and no coat?!  Don’t you know it’s the middle of December?!”  I even saw a few people golfing today!  Crazy!  Needless to say, I’m in no rush to get back to chilly Ontario.
We flew down yesterday, starting with a short trip to Detroit (where I don’t think we landed, rather were shot down) then a very short layover before the leg to Tampa.  The flight attendant on the way to Detroit said to take the tram over to our gate.  We didn’t see where to catch it, so ended up running half way across the airport.  Arriving in time for last call (unfortunately, I’m not talking about the bar!) we clambered onto the half empty plane.  The flight down to Tampa was nice, except for Mr. Horks-And-Sniffs behind us.  After stopping for a quick meal, we made it to the Baymont Hotel around 9:30pm.  It didn’t take us long to crawl into bed and hunker down for the night.  Our wake up call was at 6:30am, so we could make it over to the AI3 Clinic for 7:30.  It turns out there was a slight error in the scheduled arrival time, and we actually didn’t have to be there until 8:30.  One may think that this would be a bit of annoyance, but not so!  The staff there are extremely friendly, so our wait time flew by through entertaining banter.

The MRI/MVR technician, Lynn, called us in for the MRV.  Chuck was allowed to sit next to the scanner while I was being scanned.  Why he chose to do this, I’ll never know.  He did mention (in a rather loud voice, due to his temporary deafness) that the machine was much louder than he expected.  I had to be injected with a dye for the scan.  Fortunately, Lynn is a pro at inserting IV’s, so it was no problemo at all.  I was able to keep it in for the surgery tomorrow.

After running out for some noms, we came back to the clinic to meet with the doctor.  Not sure if he remembered me or not – he may, however, if the drugs they administer cause me to be a little silly in the surgery room.  Of course, everyone who knows me knows that I am an extremely quiet, passive and serious person, and the silliness is solely drug induced!  ***sheepish grin***  I promise, I will try to behave myself this time (yeah, right!)  The nice doctor informed me that I appear to be having technical difficulties on my left side, which he plans on correcting, if at all possible.  Well if you do, there’s a free flight around Niagara Falls in it for you!  How’s that for incentive!  ***wink, wink, nudge, nudge***

We left the clinic just before noon and headed over to Citris Mall in Tampa.  Quite a few folks at the clinic recommended it.  A very nice mall, I must say!  Unfortunately, my energy conked out rather quickly and we only lasted a couple hours (which included lunch).  We walked out of there with one T-shirt and a Christmas pressie for my friend.  Still, very nice experience and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back there.

Needless to say, I’m missing my kids already.  I’ve mentioned Abby’s googliness a few times today.  I just went through some pictures on my computer and came by this purrfect example.  Guess which one is Abby?

Her eyes are so big, they are actually pulling her off balance, causing her to lean. I’m very thankful that cats do not have the ability of self-recognition.  Could you imagine if she looked in the mirror and realized that the bug-eyes staring back at her were indeed her own?  Talk about being traumatized!  I know I am every morning when I wake up and look over at her – I love it though!

So, I will certainly do another blog post tomorrow, post-procedure.  I’m not as nervous as I thought I would be.  I think the fact that the staff there are just so nice and comforting, they really put you at ease and make the experience much more tolerable.  I would like to apologize to them all in advance for any silliness I throw at them tomorrow.  Remember, it’s the drugs.  (Stop laughing, everyone!)

Today’s symptoms:  A little fatigued after our travels yesterday, plus the anxiety for the upcoming surgery.  Speaking of which, why do “normal” people have the typical response to anxiety, which is fight or flight, and MY only reaction is to be a goofy whacko?  Hmmmm…..Oh well, at least it’s entertaining.

Lights Out For Vyctor

I took my supervisor’s husband up for a flight yesterday.  He has always wanted to go up in a plane and do aerobatics. 

 Here’s a pic of Vyctor having his oil heated prior to our flight:

We took off just after 10:00 and headed straight overhead the field at about 4000 feet.  I was just about to start aerobatics when my intercom went out – we couldn’t hear each other through our headsets.  A little embarrassed, but I told him we would just have to yell.  I checked a couple of my radio fuses, but everything looked fine.  We did aerobatics for about 15 minutes – he LOVED it!  I asked him if he wanted to take a break and we could fly over Niagara Falls.  I called the tower to say we would be heading south to the Falls.  They replied that my communications were almost unreadable.  I tried again, but it was the same.  I decided to stay in the St. Catharines airspace and just do more aerobatics.  After another 10 minutes, I called the tower to say I was coming in to land.  They couldn’t hear me at all.  They asked if I wanted to land, and if so, to click my microphone twice.  I did.  I then called them on my cell phone just to make sure they knew how I was coming into the circuit.  There were quite a few planes coming and going, but the the tower made sure to update everyone with my position.  As I was descending, I noticed my transponder was also out.  Once on the downwind, I tried to put my flaps down, but nothing (since they’re electric).  I switched off the alternator but still nothing.  I came in and did a fairly decent flapless landing.  My passenger loved the adventure.  I asked him if my supervisor/his wife was going to have me fired for our experience, but he assured me she wouldn’t.  We all had a good laugh when we got down and out of the plane.  I told him that this flight wouldn’t count and we would go up again.  Fortunately, my mechanic was going to do my annual inspection that day – what perfect timing!

Actually, I meet with mechanic the night before.  We had our Recreational Aircraft Association Christmas dinner Friday night.  Although our numbers were down a little this year, it was still a great evening.  We had a traditional English dinner:

My friend Rick was quite excited about the fact that his yorkshire pudding looked like a little toilet:

Speaking of yorkshire puddings, I decided to lob one at my mechanic’s head.  Fortunately for him, I missed.  I blame it on the poor aerodynamics of the yorkie.  I think it was his wife who got me in the side of the head a little later on.  I also got hit when I was up front, handing out presents.  I “accidentally” hit Rick too.  Tee hee!  I’ve always wanted to have a food fight!

After dinner we had a great quartet perform for us:

One of our members always dresses up as Santa and I decided to join him this year, as Mrs. Claus:

It was a great evening – such a great group!

On Tuesday we’re leaving for Clearwater, Florida to have my CCSVI surgery repeated.  I really wish I didn’t have to have it redone so soon, but apparently many people are in the same boat.  We’re flying into Tampa, which is about 20 minutes away from Clearwater.  On a bright note, I scoped out the nearby malls, so I should be able to complete most of  my Christmas shopping.

I just want to thank all of the folks who have given me their support and words of encouragement for my upcoming procedure.  I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me.

Today’s symptoms:  Felt a little drained today, probably due to all of my excitement yesterday!  My sinus headache is getting a bit better each day.

I Feel Funny…

Gee, it feels weird to write a blog and not mention our recent Britain trip.  Now what the heck am I going to talk about?!  Hmmmm…..let’s see….Oh, check out this exciting new gum I just bought:


The chemicals they falvoured it with are actually quite yummy!  Very apple pie-ish!

I was laying on my bed the other night with little Boo on my chest.  I snapped this pic with my iPhone:

I love Boo and her big nose.  She has become insanely affectionate.  She sleeps snuggled up to me every night.  I usually wake up with her head under my chin and my arm around her.  Pinky sleeps about a foot away.  She’s affectionate too, but on her own terms!  She’s so cute!  Here’s what the bed typically looks like after I crawl out of it in the morning:

I will give a stick of apple pie gum to anyone who emails me the names of the kitties in order.

It’s been a busy week at work – I’ve been giving training to my coworkers on Windows 7 and Office 2010.  We are upgrading all of the computers within the next couple of months.  I love giving training and always jump at the opportunity when it’s offered.

We have our

Recreational Aircraft Association dinner tomorrow night.  One of our directors dresses up as Santa every year.  I finally got up the courage to buy a Mrs. Claus outfit, so I’ll be displaying that “little” number tomorrow (tee hee).  Pictures coming soon! 

Today’s symptoms:  I felt better today than I’ve felt in weeks.  I think this sinus infection is finally starting to clear, although I still have quite a bad sinus headache.

Posted by Lizzy McFly at 12/1/2011 9:23 PM