Month: March 2013

Bucket List Item Accomplished!!!

After the snake handler gave his presentation and the crowd started to disperse, I approached him to ask if there was any way I would be able to hold one of their tarantulas.  I mentioned my bucket list after being diagnosed and he was unbelievably eager to allow me to do this.  I think that’s when I started shaking.  Strangely enough, I wasn’t nervous at all.  Rather, totally excited as this is something I’ve wanted to do for so long.  I can’t believe the handler (Kevin Dugey) would be so accommodating.  Within minutes of putting the snake away, he came out with the spider:

Wow, this was it.  I can’t believe number 1 on my bucket list was about to be accomplished.  He handed him over to me and I was instantly hooked on the little dude.  He was so cute!  It made me think of all the little pets I had in the past – mice, hamsters, gerbils, rats, hairless guinea pig.  I wanted one!  What made this whole experience perfect was Kevin’s attitude.  He was so encouraging and showed so much interest in what I was telling him.  I was truly touched.  He even allowed us to pose for this great pic before taking little spidie dude back.  I really hope he’s ok with me putting it on my blog!!!

Actually, this was the second pic.  During the first one, I noticed him pointing but didn’t get to see his great expression until after:

He is totally in the right career!  His passion for his job was amazing!

After this great experience, Mike and I went into the actual butterfly conservatory.  As most people do, Mike was totally trying to convince the butterflies to land on him.  I told him it was never going to happen.  About half way through our walk, he turned and started looking at something to our right.  That’s when I spotted a cute little butterfly and asked him if I could hold him.  He said yes.  He crawled onto my finger and I said “Hey Mike, check it out!”  He was all jealous so I passed him over:

He held it for a bit then passed him back to me.  I then moved the little butterfly dude a little further north:

Tee hee!  He then wanted me to stop talking to he moved down:

I wandered around like this for about five minutes.  I actually had three people take my pic!  Little dude then wandered up to my eyebrow as another one landed on my shoulder:

Eventually, they both fluttered off.  Mike kinda wanted to go around the conservatory again, but it’s very hot and humid in there.  Due to the infamous MS heat intolerance, I was already at my limit and started to feel a little woozy.  I told him I needed to get going.  We had such an awesome time though!

The rest of our day was going over to the States to visit Wal-Mart and TOPS, then to Applebee’s for noms.  Back at my place, we played Call of Duty on the wii for hours, then both passed out in exhaustion.  What a perfect day!

I had another great day today.  I went to visit my little mother.  We headed out for a Timmies and then over to Wal-Mart.  Back at home, I got ready for my little outting.  A bunch of us girls from work plus some of their friends met up at The Feathery for a St. Patty’s Day gathering.  We had to wait quite some time to get a table, but it was totally worth it.  We sat right up near the live band.  Soon after our food came out, we had the absolute pleasure of watching some wonderful Irish dancers:

They were awesome to watch.  I always wanted to do Irish dancing!

The food was quite yummy.  I had a buffalo chicken wrap:

Very yummy!  It was a great night.  I was a little anxious to get home and watch the Amazing Race and write this blog though.  Had so many great things to share.  Actually, here’s a few more.  I just received some pics from the Women in Aviation event I was a part of in Waterloo the other weekend.

Notice how Vyctor is the only plane with his wheel on the line:

This is when a helicopter almost landed on my head.  It was a perfectly calm day.  My hair and scarf are blowing from the helicopter’s downwash:

Tee hee!  I’m a dork.

Today’s symptoms: I have amazingly started having more good days than bad.  Honestly, I can’t remember the last time that happened.  My energy level has been better than normal – that’s all I really care about.  I’ve been having bad headaches and a lot of crushing aches and pains, mostly in my forearms, but the pain is something that doesn’t impact my life as the fatigue does.  Please let this continue!!!


Great Flight

I had the pleasure of taking up the spouse of one of my coworkers for her birthday today.  She didn’t know about the flight until they arrived at the airport.  What a neat surprise!  We weren’t sure if we were going to be able to fly today because it was quite cloudy.  It cleared up a fair bit by 1:00 and the flight was on.  It was fairly windy though.  We headed over Niagara Falls – she grabbed some great pics:


We then went over to Fort Erie.  I just wish it was a smoother flight.  Lots of cute little fluffy clouds overhead so it made it quite choppy.

Here’s the Fort Erie Race Track:

Quite a bit smoother back in St. Catharines.

Heading back in to land:

It was a great flight.  I’m thrilled to know she wants to go back up with me again.  Perhaps even try some aerobatics!

Jan came over yesterday and we had our girls night, which we’ve had to reschedule for the last few months now.  My fault – I’ve been sick a lot lately.  So glad we finally got to have it though.  We ordered Chinese food, watched our 1200 Britain photos I put on a DVD as a slide show, a Jeff Dunham video, then some episodes of Hardcore Pawn.  It was a really fun night.

I’m looking forward to my long weekend.  I decided to take Monday off, as I seem to still be hoarding my vacation leave at work.  Really hoping for decent weather so I can go up for another flight.  An aerobatic session would be quite nice.

After doing this blog entry, my cats are going to hate me.  They all need a bath as they’re getting a tad greasy.  I think they already know what’s coming because two of the goobers are hiding.  I still haven’t figured out who hates baths the most.

Pinky growls:

Abby lets out tiny little squeaks:

Boo squirms constantly then growls and hisses while I’m drying her:

Mya screams like crazy:

Yup, this is going to be fun.  Not!

Today’s symptoms:  Feeling quite good!  My energy level is decent and the sharp pains in my arms and hands aren’t nearly as bad today.  Hope this continues for the rest of the weekend.  The rest of my life would be nice too!

Flights In Waterloo

I’m thrilled to say I had three amazing days in a row, symptom-wise!  Thursday, Friday and Saturday were the best days I’ve had in a very long time.  It was a good thing too as I was rather busy those days.  Jan and I drove to my neurologist’s in Hamilton on Thursday morning.  I was happy to hear that I can go back on my monthly IV infusion of Tysabri.  After driving back to St. Catharines, I tended to the kitties then headed over to work to pick up a co-worker.  We had a course to attend the next day in Toronto, so were able to go up the night before.  Otherwise, we would have probably had to leave at 5:00am to get there on time.  The trip there was great – smooth sailing traffic and no problems finding our hotel.  After we checked in, we met up and drove over to the Square One Mall which was just a few minutes away.  We wandered around for a bit, then decided to grab dinner at Earl’s restaurant.  We both got a cajun chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries.  Yummola:

After noms, we headed back to the Hilton for the night:

We met up with a few people from the course we were on in Ottawa last April, plus another co-worker from our office.  It was good to see everyone.  If you go back to my Ottawa training blog from last April, you’ll notice I brought Donkey with me.  Needless to say, he had to join me on this trip too.  The reaction from the folks from Ottawa that remembered him was quite amusing:

There were about 50 people or so in the course.  The guest speakers were really interesting to listen to.  There really wasn’t a part of the day where I was getting tired or bored.  They even provided us lunch, which was nice so we didn’t have to wander anywhere:

And an afternoon snacky:

What made the day perfect though was the fact that jets were flying over us every couple of minutes.

I tried very hard not to turn and look every time I heard one.

It was an awesome day of training and I hope we get another course like that in another year or so.

After my somewhat long day on Friday, I was impressed with how well I felt on Saturday.  Good thing too as the Waterloo Airport was hosting the Women In Aviation: Fly It Forward With Flare event.  They had volunteer pilots fly in and take up girls and women for free fifteen minute flights, all throughout the day.  The contest is to make Waterloo the most female-friendly airport.  It’s an international contest run every year.  We had 603 females registered to go up for a flight.  Most of which have never flown in a small plane or helicopter before.

I landed in Waterloo around 10:30.  Just a tad early since the pilot briefing wasn’t until 12:00.  Oh well.  I lined up little Vyctor with the rest of the planes ready to go.

I wandered around for a bit and met up with some of the other pilots and volunteers.  I was really looking forward to the briefing so I could get back up in the air.

My first passenger was a woman who moved to Canada from Russia.  She was so nice and very curious about everything that had to do with the flight.  We followed a bunch of other planes around the extra large circuit over the airport.  I was thrilled that she loved the flight.  Here she is heading back to the gate:

All passengers were escorted by a volunteer at all times when on the ramp.

Little Vyctor and I patiently waited for our next passenger, while they guided in planes behind us:

My second passenger was a sweety, probably about ten years old.  Once again, I had someone else totally enjoy the flight.

Things started getting a little hairy up in the circuit though.  I heard a few people being told that they were in the wrong place.  The controllers in the tower sure had their work cut out for them with about twenty planes flying, two helicopters plus all of their normal commercial flights.  Still, I was looking forward to going up at least a few more times.

My third passenger climbed aboard and up she went.  Once again, I lucked out with a really nice, inquisitive person.  It was such a pleasure to speak with her during the flight.  I still thought everything was going great, until I was told upon landing to park and shut down for at least an hour.  I didn’t hear any one else being told that, so I took it somewhat personally at the time.  I decided to fuel up, visit the little pilot’s room, chat with a few folks then head on home.  I knew I didn’t have the energy to sit around for over an hour, then start taking people up again.  It was about 45 minutes after my last passenger, I fueled up and visited the terminal building before heading back to my plane.  I was actually kind of relieved to see many of the same planes sitting there when I landed, still there in the same spots.  It looks like things did get a little crazy and not everyone was still able to fly.

As I taxied over to the runway, I was the first one in line.  A few more planes filed in behind me.  Then I heard the tower talking about a different runway.  I guess the winds shifted so they started using 8 in addition to 14.  The runways cross each other so they weren’t able to have planes land and take off at the same time.  Needless to say, we had to wait quite some time to take off.  Here is my flight timer about five minutes before I was cleared to take off:

At least I had planes to watch land while I was waiting.  Killed the time a little:

Planes kept lining up behind me:

When I was finally cleared to take off, there were eight planes behind me.

I had an uneventful but very pleasant flight home.  It was an absolute blast and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.

My Cessna 150 Aerobat was tucked back into the hangar for the night:

Today’s symptoms:  I had a rather rough day on Sunday, but Monday and Tuesday have been quite good!  I’m having quite a few really sharp pains in my hands and forearms again, plus an average headache.  Other than that, I’m feeling pretty good!  I hope I feel this good after my Tysabri infusion tomorrow, but I usually end up feeling quite flu-ish a few hours after the medication is administered.

Busy Week!

Wednesday, February 27th was Stop Bullying Day.  We had shirts made up at work and were hoping to sell at least 50 for folks to wear that day.  We ended up selling over 100!  The office was a sea of pink – it was so cool:

Someone even had this huge cake made up for us:

What’s better than being able to support a great cause, dress somewhat casual at work and eat cake?!

Actually, this week was filled with great noms.  My boyfriend and I went to The Keg that night.  I haven’t been there in years.  I had an 8oz steak with double-baked potato.  Wow, everything was amazing.

We split and big honkin slab of chocolate cake for dessert:

When we got back to my place, we noticed an unusual site.  The pants I wore that day which I had set on the cat tree were missing a leg:

We decided to investigate by opening up the visible pant leg:

The source of the missing pant leg began to emerge:

Fort Pinky was rebuilt in all its glory!

Dang, that is one weird cat….

The next night I had to go back to the doctor’s office to pick up the equipment for my sleep study test.  I’m having issues again with TMJ – had surgery on it a few years ago, but the pain and issues seem to be back.  It’s nice that I was able to do the test at home, but the equipment strapped to my face and body didn’t make things too conducive for sleep:

Had some tubes up my shnoz and a blood oxygen metre on my finger as well.  Not too comfy so it took me a couple hours to fall asleep.  I just hope everything recorded properly so I don’t have to do it again.  Blah.  Here’s a joyous video on using the device:  VIDEO

The day after that, my boyfriend came over, even though I really wasn’t having a good day both physically and emotionally.  We ordered in some Chinese food and watched some telly.  To show my appreciation for his visit and support, I created this beautiful masterpiece from his noms:

The good times and great noms continued the next day.  I went over to Mike’s older sister’s house to eat and play Guitar Hero.  It was nice to see them and their two adorable kids again.  Also, I got to meet their kittahs.  The one year old they just adopted has a completely crooked head – I’ve never seen anything like it.  It’s so weird to see a cat running along with a head cranked completely to the side.  I took a pic of him sitting, but it doesn’t do any justice with regards to how tilted his cute little head really is:

He sleeps a tad odd too:

Before dinner, it was requested that I read a book.  The pressure was on!

Fortunately, I only goofed on a few words but was quickly corrected!  It was so cute!

For dinner, we ordered hamburgers and fries from Five Guys.  My tiny mother mentioned eating here when on her trips to Florida.  She said it was great.  I haven’t had a hamburger in years, so I was really looking forward to it:

Janski was right – the noms were amazing!  After eating, we played a few rounds of Guitar Hero.  It was the first time I played or even watched it.  I just sat out for the first few rounds, observed and played with the kids a bit.

They finally talked me into trying Guitar Hero.  Mike started me on Easy level.  Gee, can you tell I was in the Army for eleven years?  I held the guitar like a C7 Service Rifle:

It was so much fun and I was even able to up my levelage to Medium.  Actually, the whole evening was a total blast!

Had a decent day today.  Jan met me at the apartment in the morning, and we headed over to St. Catharines General Hospital for my 12th MRI!  My neurologist ordered it last week to see if this new flare up has provided me with any more lovely lesions on my brain.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to pick up my images on CD, and will have to go back tomorrow.  I usually check them out for new lesions before getting the full report from my neurologist, whom I’ll be seeing on Thursday.  I had to get an IV during the MRI.  I think the technician gave me the IV and a snake bite:


Gee, when I started this blog, I looked up to see little Boo admiring the sunset:

The sun is long gone now!  Signing off.

Today’s symptoms:  I actually didn’t feel too bad today.  My new symptoms of tightness and tingling in my right arm, leg and face seem to be fading just a tad.  Yea!  Had a fairly bad headache today, but other than that, things are pretty good!