Month: June 2018

Kinda Bummed…

About two years ago, I started noticing some cognitive symptoms that gradually became worse.  I never thought of or was fearful of possibly getting cognitive issues down the road.  I only ever thought of the physical problems from MS, but wasn’t really aware of the cognitive side of things.  Over the last four months, the progression has been quite noticeable – to both myself and others.  My main issues are my short term memory and not being able speak the words I’m trying to say.  Even now I’m struggling to type this blog.  I know the words but they’re not coming out. I’ll flat out write or say the completely wrong word.  Like in the restaurant yesterday, I meant to call Mike a Ding Dong but it came out Dildo!  ***lowers head in shame***  Here’s what we had:

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Yum!  The restaurant was Pho Dau Bo.  Anyway, I know you’re probably thinking “I forget things and slip up words sometimes too!”  I understand that but this has progressed to a point where it is affecting my daily life.  I try not to stress about things like this but this one is really doing a number on me.  I phoned my neurologist late this morning and they fit me in at 1:00.  I had to rush to Hamilton for my appointment.  I was quite stressed during the drive, with so much on my mind.  Speaking of which, my mother found this article which describes my symptoms perfectly.  Cognitive Issues From MS.  I had no idea this could happen from Multiple Sclerosis.

I made it to my appointment with about 20 minutes to spare.  I was quite stressed once I got there.  I guess I’m not ready to hear that this is just part of the disease and there’s not much we can do.  😦  He was able to assess me quite quickly and referred me to a doctor who specializes in cognitive stuff at a Cognitive MS Clinic in London.  I guess when you hear things like that, it really starts to sink in that this is how things are going to be and I’m going to have to adapt and overcome!  I’m trying so hard to be positive about this but it’s a real struggle and causing me to be quite down.

Anyway, I had a rather cruddy day but am trying to keep pulling myself up.  Hearing the song Break My Stride was kinda neat and uplifting.  The link will take you to the lyrics.  I thought the first verse and chorus really caught me.

I had the day off yesterday and Jan and I decided to go to the Niagara Outlet Mall.  Something quite bizarre happened.  I hate buying shoes SO much.  Yet some unseen force took over me and I bought two pair earlier in the year (at Browns) and now I have a third to add to my outdated, measly collection:

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They look better and less clunky in person.  You can see one of the cats was checking them out.  They sparkle quite nicely in the sun:

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It’s like I’m becoming a girl or something!  Yikes!

Here are a couple of my girls.  Pinky briefly bathing in the sun (only for about seven minutes or she gets sunburned):

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Her cushy butt couldn’t fit out the door earlier:

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Meanwhile, Mya was chilling with Zimmy:

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So there be it!  Not a whole lot to report as I haven’t done much lately and am kinda down about this new lousy symptom.

Today’s symptoms:  I knew it wasn’t going to be the best day when I woke up this morning, despite a good sleep.  On top of that, everything happened so fast with having to rush to Hamilton.  My body is completely drained right now yet my mind is racing.  Vroom vroom!

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And The Word Of The Day Is!

My work has a little area on a work station set up to utilize the Not Myself Today website ideas.  They have buttons with moods written on them, and you can pick one to wear showing how you feel that day.  I was trying to decide which to pick when I saw the perfect mood.  Half the time I send my tiny mother a pic of one of my cats, she says they look pensive.  Well, voila!

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Even though I wasn’t feeling anywhere near pensive!  Fortunately, no one asked.  Staying on theme with the word of the day, I think one of the boards for my new bed was looking a little pensive himself!

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Here is a picture of my sexy leg:

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Mya was posing in the sun the other day:

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Mike goes in for a smooch….. (sorry, Abby!):

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And last but not least, here is a pic Mike’s dad put together for me.  Tee hee!

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Today’s symptoms:  My energy was decent but I had a bad headache for most of the day.  It decided to start dying down a couple hours ago.  I had two of the worst shooting nerve pains I’ve ever had.  Fortunately, they each only lasted a second.  Other than that, things are status quo.  Peace out.

New Family Members!!!

I can’t believe my rescue snail since November, Ralphie is still alive and slithering!  I feel bad that he’s all alone, so I decided to get him some friends today.  Mike and I were walking downtown in the rain, and I found a few friends to bring home to him.  Introducing Ralphette:

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Also Luther and Jimmy:

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Looking good:

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I told Abby about her new sister and brothers, and she seemed pretty excited:

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Mike and I went to see Hereditary in Niagara Falls yesterday.  There were tons of people buying tickets, so we were a little worried the theater would be packed.  Fortunately, there were only three other people that joined us.  Mike bought a hotdog and fries and kindly purchased me some popcorn:

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Good movie!

Another thing recently, I bought a new bed.  My little mother, Mike and I went to IKEA and I fairly quickly found one:

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I needed a platform bed because Abby used to do her naughty business (she has severe gastrointestinal issues and can’t help it) under the bed.  A real pain to move a king sized bed to clean in up.  So I made a skirt around the base with the leftover flooring from a few years back.  It was starting to break down.  Plus my mattress was starting to cause me pain.  I felt really guilty about getting rid of the mattress because I might have gotten ten more years out of it.  Plus hate spending money on myself for new items like that.  Mike and I mother strongly suggested that I get a new one, so I finally gave in.  It took Mike and I few hours to assemble, but it looks great.  We had to adjust the frame this morning, because I didn’t like the bed at the highest setting.  All good now and I probably won’t hear any kitties bouncing off the bed because it’s too high…..although it was rather amusing.  Tee hee.  Anyone need a king size bed frame?

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I must say, I loved the view this morning when I woke up in my new bed:

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Yuppers, life is good!

Today’s symptoms: Feeling really good today energy-wise (with a couple wake-up pills) and just a mild headache.  Bad nerve pain in much of my bod on and off all day.  How rude!

Vyctor Is Cute

I had a nice experience the other day.  I mentioned that Mike and I flew to the customer appreciation event through Aircraft Spruce at the Brantford Airport.  Someone who flew down from the North Bay area, had his two young sons with him.  I had my Disney’s Planes sunscreen up in Vyctor while we were at the event.  Apparently the kids saw Dusty Crop-hopper and were so excited!

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Things like this add to my joy of being a pilot and plane owner, more than I can express.  It’s like when I take someone up for aerobatics, and look over and see their smiling face when we’re upside down.  It’s just the greatest feeling.

We flew again yesterday – an exhausting nine minute flight to Welland for our monthly aviation meeting.  After landing back in St. Catharines, I met up with a student at the Flying Club.  Really nice guy and I know he’s going to love being a pilot.  He was kind enough to take this pic of Mike and I:

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I just thought I would share a typical conversation between Mike and I.  He was at the airport and texted me when he was leaving:

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Just so you know, the little orange list is from the app we use.  It’s called AnyList and you can link a shared list between people.  So when I update the grocery list, Mike sees the update right away.  We keep a tab on it for what we owe each other, usually for groceries.

Today’s symptoms: I was a little more tired today than usual, I think mainly from the flight (as short as it was) last night.  I seem to have a worse than normal headache too.  Other than that, nothing much else to report for now!

It’s Really Him!!!

I must share my wonderful news with you!  I decided that I may release Ralphie the snail (I rescued in November) back into the wild.  I was so nervous though, as he’s basically been domesticated over the last seven months.  Would he remember how to fend for himself?  Would he be too comfortable around humans and try to befriend them?  I just couldn’t do it.  I brought his home to Jan’s today, so I could remove the old, dead grass and get some fresh.  We went out back and dug up some grass and moss.  I brought it into the kitchen and set it on the table.  We did some stuff on Jan’s computer and chatted.  I was shocked when I looked into Ralphie’s container and saw this:

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It’s the first time I’ve ever seen his little head and cute face!!!  I feel our mother-son bond has greatly increased and improved.  Right now, I’m looking for a friend….maybe a Ralphette?!?!

Mike and I flew to Brantford Saturday morning to  check out Aircraft Spruce‘s customer appreciation event.  Mike was happy to hear they had free sausage on a bun.  He had that and I chomped on some popcorn.  We met up with my airplane mechanics, a member from our RAA group and some folks I know from other aviation groups.  It was a nice time and after a bit less than two hours, we headed back to Vyctor to head home:

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Back at the St. Catharines Flying Club, I showed the Club cat my little Donkay.  It went ok at first:

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Then things went a tad haywire….

Fortunately, I was able to get Donkay back, mostly unharmed although a tad wet, and my hand mostly intact.  Perhaps next time I’m around Mr. Grumpy Puss, I’ll wear this:

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As you can see, my little mother is completely terrified!!!  I don’t think my whack jobs would be too impressed with it either.  Right, Abby?

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I swear she’s just saying yes there.  Sometimes she’s a wee bit too animated.  Unlike these slugs:

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Mike said they look like Pepperette Mya, Boo Beef Jerky and Pinky Ham Steak.  Geesh!

I must admit, Pinky is beyond adorable when she is content out on the warm balcony:

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And lounging Mya:

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It was such a great weekend.  It felt like it went on forever, which to me is great!  I never really quite get the saying “It was such a long day!!!”  To me, that’s great!  Life is short so it’s awesome when it feels like it’s being stretched out!

Today’s symptoms: I have felt quite good over the last three days.  I’ve been sleeping so much better.  Nothing major in the MS department to report!  (It’s certainly a department I wish would get shut down!)

 

Amazing Trip – Finale

Carrying on with our final days in Nova Scotia…..  After we got back from Baddeck, we rested a bit before heading out for dinner.  We decided to have our final dinner just a few blocks from our hotel, here at The Old Triangle:

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What a great meal.  I had fish cakes and Jan had fish and chips.  I must admit, this was the only seafood we had while out East.  Sorry.  😦

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Amazing meal.  Plus we were sitting very close to the live music.  It was a perfect meal, followed by a walk along the boardwalk:

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Come on, stubby legs!!!  Then back to our room to enjoy the view:

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We had some great meals while there.  Some were as simple as a slice of pizza.  Someone from one of the offices suggested we go to Napoli’s Pizza, and we heeded his advice.  Dang, that is one massive slice and probably one of the most filling pieces we’ve ever had.  It was delicious too:

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The next day, our plane out of Sydney wasn’t until just after noon.  We parked Jeremiah the Jeep and thanked him for his service.

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Out of the whole week there, this was the first day of rain:

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We were flying back to Halifax on a Dash-8. Jan striking the same pose as in the last pic:

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I would have enjoyed driving the almost five hours back to Halifax, but I was just far to exhausted from the trip.  I had totally forgot where I picked our seats on the plane.  Oh right!

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It was really neat watching it fire up so close to my noggin.  Nice flight to Halifax, then we had about a four hour layover before heading back to Hamilton.  We were actually both shocked at how fast the time went by, and before we knew it, we were boarding our final plane home.  The clouds at the beginning of the flight were very wave-tacular:

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Oh, notice where we’re sitting again?  Hehe!

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Mike was kind enough to drive back to Hamilton to pick us up (for our 21:45 landing).  It was great to be home but we would have liked to stay a bit longer.

I’ve been reflecting on the trip since I’ve been back.  It was certainly one of the best trips I’ve ever been on.  Some of the many memorable moments:

  • Feeling completely at home while giving my presentation at two different offices
  • Mentioning to one of the groups that my plane is Vyctor and he’s a male with female tendencies – there was a guy named Victor in the room and we all had a good chuckle.
  • Getting a standing ovation after one of the talks.  I thought they were just getting up to leave and forgot to stop clapping….tee hee!
  • Seeing the Silver Dart replica again
  • Buying a homeless man a sandwich and seeing his touching reaction
  • Admiring the breathtaking views
  • Firing the Snider-Enfield rifle at the Halifax Citadel and learning so much about the history there
  • Fist-bumping the pilot of our first flight for his nice landing
  • Etc, etc, etc…  🙂

I hope you enjoyed reading about our fabulous time out East!  It was certainly an experience we’ll never forget.

Today’s symptoms: I’m actually feeling quite good today.  I had two decent nights in a row, which always makes quite a difference in how I feel.  I have been experiencing more nerve pain shooting down my arms and into my hands lately.  Now that I think of it, I’ve been saying that in quite a few blogs now (over multiple months).  Perhaps this extra pain is my new “normal.”  Sucks, but I guess it’s the nature of the beast!

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As you’ve probably seen from my other blogs, my trip out East was pretty awesome.  I got to provide my motivational presentation to another group of folks.  Another super kind and friendly group.  I wish I could have presented a couple more times there!

Jan and I had a pretty exciting day planned for our last full day there.  I’m the president of our local aviation group (Recreational Aircraft Association) and some of the members did something pretty epic!  Along with many other aviation enthusiasts and builders, they created a flyable Silver Dart replica.

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Jan and I stood in front of the completed Silver Dart replica in Welland before it was shipped off to Baddeck, Nova Scotia in 2009:

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I consider myself very lucky to know such a great group of guys:

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Since Baddeck was less than an hour away from where we were staying, we certainly had to make the trip to the Alexander Graham Bell museum, where the Silver Dart replica now sits.

In 2009, they brought the Dart to Baddeck for its official flight!  Here is a short article on the flight. I know the pilot who flew it that day.  Bjarni Tryggvason, a former astronaut, came to speak to our RAA group about his time in space.  He is also an aerobatic pilot and we have met up several times at various airports and chatted about flying.  He even came over to speak with my mother and I when we were in the restaurant at the Tillsonburg Airport.  He tried to convince my mother to try just one aerobatic maneuver with me, but to this day, she still declines.  Anyway, it was so amazing listening to my RAA guys talk about building the Dart over the years, then the adventures taking it to and flying it in Baddeck, then the ordeal of getting in into the museum (they had to take out a large wall!)  It was so amazing seeing the Silver Dart replica, hanging there after its epic journey:

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The entire museum was amazing.  Jan and I still can’t believe how many things Bell invented and created, plus what a personable dude!

After the museum, we headed back to our hotel for our last night in Nova Scotia.  😦

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I’ll do a final blog on the last portion of our perfect trip.

Today’s symptoms: I had a lot of nerve pain today, but my energy level was decent (Yea!!!).  My headache is a bit worse than usual, but other than that, life is good!

Awesome Trip – PART four

I almost forgot to show something great I found at the Halifax Citadel museum.  Check this out:

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I started my basic training with the Lincoln and Welland Regiment back in 1996!

Also, this:

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I was a Supply Technician, which is part of Logistics.  Our nick name was Bin Rats.  Hehe!

The next day I drove out to the office and gave two of my motivational presentations.  Everyone was so welcoming and friendly.  Both groups were very engaged and receptive.  I truly felt like I was at my home office.  My presentation is quite emotionally driven and full of humour, so needless to say, it’s quite draining.   Totally worth it though.  Both went very well and I was so excited about presenting again the next day.

A great sleep was totally necessary on my last night in Halifax as I had another presentation in the morning then a four and a half hour drive to Sydney.  One of the things I would miss about the hotel is singing Ice Ice Baby! every time we got in the elevator.  Jan, on the other hand, is quite glad she wouldn’t be hearing it anymore:

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I thought that I wasn’t presenting until after 11:00 but they set it up for 9:30.  Sweet!  That means we can leave earlier for the long drive.  I didn’t put Janski on as a second driver because it was $10 per day, and it was only during the long drive to Sydney.  It would have been good to have Jan drive part of it, but paying $70 for it is ridiculous.  So, we trudged onward, along some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen.  With only two quick stops, the time just flew by and we safely arrived in Sydney.  We were thrilled when our hotel room yet again had an amazing view on the harbour:

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One of the things I wanted to see in Sydney was the Giant Violin.  It was just outside our hotel window.  Man, this trip has been pretty much perfect so far.

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I will get into the rest of the trip in my next couple blogs.  I just wanted to share my joyous weekend with everyone.

Mike and I went to the Pet Expo in Niagara Falls.  There were tons of great vendors, as well as dog demonstrations.   This little guy jumped the highest out of all the doggies:

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There was a kangaroo:

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An Armadillo:

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A cute snake:

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And I came home to a little goober of my own:

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We flew out to Brampton Airport for breakfast this morning.  It was great weather once we got around the lake toward Burlington because it became quite gusty.  When I’m flying by myself or with Mike, I love flying in rougher air.  We had great food, as usual:

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Then headed back out to Vyctor for a nice flight home.  I requested flight following through Toronto and was told that he would pass me over to Burlington Airport (to speak with other nearby pilots for safety), so I figured “challenge accepted!”  I would try to scooch through the corridor between Pearson Airport airspace and that of Burlington, without getting close enough to either for the tower to have to pass me off to another frequency.  We had quite the crosswind to contend with but my scoochage was successful and I was not handed off to anyone else.  Tee hee.  It doesn’t sound like much, and it’s certainly not a big thing, bit little challenges like that are very fun for me.   We got home with the new T-shirt I bought at the restaurant gift shop:

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It was a great weekend and I’m so glad that I’m feel far better than I was at the beginning of the week.  I saw my doctor last week and she gave me a requisition for blood work when I have those severe weakness and bad fatigue again.  It may just be the MS acting like a complete jerk, or something else!

Today’s symptoms: Feeling back to my “normal” self (which as you know, is still feeling yucky all the time), but much better than a week ago.  I’m so hopeful that this will continue and I don’t need to go get the blood work anytime soon.

Awesome Trip – Part 3

Continuing on with our trip out East….  My little mother was awesome enough to take video of me firing the Snider-Enfield rifle at the Halifax Citadel.  It was cold and windy and she held that camera up there little a little trooper!  **un-mute in bottom right corner**

It was a great experience and certainly made me reminisce about all of the different weapons I fired while in the Army.

After firing the rifle, we visited the trench display:

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We then ran into Kevin, who explained the whole trench display in great detail.

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He was an amazing wealth of knowledge.  He told us the story about Bruce the goat mascot.  Here is the story (quoted from here):

As with many other regiments, the members of the 25th sought diversions to distract them from the perils of their circumstances. While serving in Belgium, the battalion purchased a two-week-old goat from a Belgian farmer for the grand sum of two francs. Suitably named “Robert the Bruce” and trimmed in MacKenzie tartan, the animal served as battalion mascot for the duration of the war. The goat was trained to prance in front of the battalion’s pipe band, eat cigarettes, drink beer, and demand its blanket at “lights out”. Apparently, the animal was repeatedly sold to Belgian farmers, only to be “retrieved” by the men under cover of darkness. At war’s end, Robert the Bruce retired to a much deserved rest on the Baddeck, Nova Scotia farm of one of the battalion’s most decorated officers, Major Guy McLean Matheson, MC, MM, DSO.

I think it’s hilarious they would sell then retrieve him.  Hehe!

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Here is Bruce’s collar:

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Thanks again to Kevin for your time!  We didn’t want you to stop talking!

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We had such a great time touring the Citadel.  Everyone was so friendly and informative.

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We also got to watch them fire the canon at noon:

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And here’s a picture of Jan.  She’s probably thinking something like “Oh geez…I’m so tiny, I could probably crawl into the canon and be shot clear across the city!”

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I certainly recommend visiting the Citadel if ever in Halifax.  I’m so glad this is how we spent the day!

I had to crawl into bed early that night as I had to give my first two presentations the next day.

Today’s symptoms: I feel about the same as yesterday, which is far better than how I felt the previous three days.  I was kinda hoping there would be more improvement today, but I think tomorrow is going to be the game changer!  Tee hee!  I experienced a little more than normal amounts of nerve pain today.  That can escort itself out the door tout de suite!

Awesome Trip – Part Deux

Continuing on with my perfect trip to Nova Scotia last week…  Our accommodations were amazing.  We were at The Cambridge Suites right downtown Halifax.  Have a looksie at our great view:

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When we first drove into the downtown area, we thought there was a huge event going on due to all cars parked on every street.  Turns out that is their usual parking situation.  The city is so built up that there just isn’t enough space.  This was nicely demonstrated at the back of our hotel.  That is a church on the left, and it looks like a parking garage on the right:

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On the first full day there, we wandered around downtown, visiting shops and walking along the boardwalk.  It was such a nice day.  On the way back to the hotel, we passed this sign at the Citadel:

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Ohhhh!  Well that looks interesting!  Since we had one more day to do whatever we wanted before my first presentation, I decided to phone up and inquire.  I was told the public can fire the Snider-Enfield rifle starting at 10:00.  Jan and I decided to head over (across the street from our hotel) right for 10:00am.  I was first in line, while there were quite a few people touring around us.   I need to trim and reformat the video Jan took of me shooting.  I shall do that tomorrow.  In the meantime, here is a pic of me and my coach, Charles:IMG_9871

I’ll hopefully feel up to posting another blog tomorrow.  I’m very relieved to say that I feel quite a bit better today than the last three.  I still can’t get over how weak I was.  I couldn’t even hold myself up on my couch.  I must say, it’s great to be vertical again!  I don’t think that much weakness and fatigue was all from the trip.  It just felt much more than that.  I’ll be seeing my GP about it either this Friday or hopefully by next week.  Hopefully I’ll feel even better tomorrow.

Today’s symptoms: Still quite weak but nothing like the last three days in which I was mostly bed-ridden.  I had a really bad headache for most of the day, but I’ll take that over that wretched weakness and fatigue!

Amazing Trip – Part One

Well things didn’t quite work out as hoped today. Still very weak and fatigued and spent most of the day in bed again. At least my four goobers kept me company. My laptop is in the other room, which has most of my pics from my awesome trip. I am using the WordPress app on my phone to do this quick blog.

I was asked to head out to Nova Scotia to give a few of my motivational/mental health talks at an office in Halifax (three presentations in two days) and one in a Sydney office. Needless to say, I jumped at this amazing opportunity. I have given this talk all over Southern Ontario over the last seven years. This is certainly the furthest I’ve been asked to travel. My little mother joined me and we flew out of Hamilton over a week ago.

We spent much of the two hour direct flight doing word searches and the time flew by (lame pun – groan!)

I fist bumped the pilot after a great landing. I had actually landed my own plane that same morning, after flying over the Rankin Cancer Run in St. Catharines. I’m so glad Westjet didn’t go on strike, or I would have had to skip the Run fly-over.

After getting our luggage, we went to pick up the rental car I had a reservation for. I won’t mention the company, but my experience was like the Seinfeld Rental Car episode. You can see the clip here. I said I had a reservation and he said that they have no cars left. Errrrrr….. isn’t that kinda the point of the reservation? A guy came in after me with the same issue. There were two higher class vehicles left, so we each got one. I had first dibs since I arrived before him. Please meet Jeremiah the Jeep:

It was rather fun to toot around in. The main reason I needed a car was to drive four and a half hours to Sydney for my fourth presentation. The Halifax office was also about fifteen minutes outside of the city.

I’m going to cut this blog short. This sounds ridiculous, but I wasn’t exaggerating about the weakness I’m experiencing. I’m having a hard time just holding my phone up to type this. Hopefully things will be much better tomorrow so I can get back to work and also continue on with my great saga in the evening.

Today’s symptoms: I’m sure it’s just from the awesome trip, but still feeling blah. As mentioned in one of my previous two blogs though, it was totally worth it! I have so much to share so please check back very soon!

My Apologies…

I was hoping to do a blog today about my last week. Unfortunately, all of the awesomeness caught up with me and have had to spend most of the day in bed. I plan on waking up bright eyed and bushy haired tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Rankin Cancer Run

As with the previous three years, I was fortunate enough to be the Rankin Cancer Run pre-event entertainment and aerial photographer. The Run takes place within the St. Catharines Airport airspace, with lots of room (and extra eyes from the airport tower) for some aerobatics before the race began. I texted my ground contact and she let me know that they announced for everyone to look up and enjoy the show. Once done, I descended to just below 2000′ and took shots like this:

IMG_9822The number of people always completely blows my mind.  Very emotional experience.  There were over 14,000 people this year and they raised a staggering $1,050,000!!!!!

Here’s a couple shots of them heading out:

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And this:

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This has to be one of the top fund-raising events in Niagara.  I can’t wait to do it again next year.  And just so you know (a little hint about my big adventure, which I’m technically still experiencing!), if there was a Westjet strike, I may not have been able to do the Rankin Run fly-over.

Stay tuned!  The start of some excellent bloggage coming very soon!

Today’s symptoms:  Absolutely exhausted, drained and highly fatigued – for very good reason.  No regrets.  Feeling like this is worth every second of the last week!