May 20, 2018

Days like today are miserable.  I woke up with horrendous fatigue and an overall feeling of doom and gloom.  What causes pain to be so much worse on some days when medication does not help at all?  I slept till 3:00 PM this afternoon and felt very guilty for wasting a day.  Sometimes the guilt is almost as bad as the pain.  I feel guilty that I left the kitchen a mess overnight.  I feel guilty that the house is untidy.  Most of all I feel guilty that my husband has to put up with these pathetic times when all I do is sleep.  When I think about the future I feel both sad and angry that this is what my life will be like until the end.  No peace and no joy.

Yesterday afternoon I watched the Royal Wedding.  Britbox carried the event all day so I did not have to get up at 4:30 AM to watch.  By the way, Britbox is a great service featuring British TV programs and movies at a very reasonable monthly price.  Another service featuring British TV programs, movies as well as Swedish, Australian, Danish programs. is called Acorn.  Check them out online.  Today I found that CBS is streaming its’s programs.   At this rate, there is no need for cable TV.

Since I have nothing interesting to post I will continue my writing on another day.  I hope you all are having a better Sunday than I am.

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May 6, 2018

A Daily Struggle –
Poem About Living With Incurable Chronic Pain

A Daily Struggle - Poem About Living With Incurable Chronic Pain

A Daily Struggle – Poem About Living With Incurable Chronic Pain
Twenty-four seven, three sixty-five, the pain grows and feels as though it’s alive.
Always present and never-ending, prayers for relief seem always pending.
Awake all night with very little or no rest.
My mind won’t shut down.
Is this one of God’s trials or tests?
All at once so many thoughts and emotions flood my mind,
impossible to relax, impossible to unwind.
How I wish it all would end but the pain, the pain inside of me just doesn’t bend.

Pain has it’s own way of bringing me down,
with each new day having fewer smiles and a lot more frowns.
Like a thief, it steals from me, my quality of life,
leaving behind only questions and an enormous amount of strife.
Reflecting back on the things I was able to do and who I use to be,
I look at my reflection in the mirror and say no, this cannot be me.

With no ambition or motivation, I stay in my home.
A lot of friends have deserted me and left me alone.
It’s just another thing that pain has taken away,
I’m grateful for the few friends that care and have been there and stayed.
I hate that I cannot commit to plans; each days pain is different so I never know where I stand.
My pain levels are a constant seven to eight, hoping that one-day it will dissipate.
I know that it won’t but I try to have hope because if I don’t it makes things harder for me to cope.

We’ve all had that thought that goes through our head.
The only way the pain will end is if I were dead.
I’ve had that thought so many times, but I think of my faith and family and others I’d be leaving behind.
So, that’s not for me nor should it be for you.
We must not let the pain win because that’s what it wants to do.
I write to take my focus off of my pain, find something you like to do and do the same.
I’ve been called the voice of those who suffer from pain, I put into words what others can’t explain.
We’re a family of brothers and sisters all sharing the same, this is what life is when
you live with chronic pain.

– From The Chronicles of The Insomniac Writer

About the Author – 

I May Not Look Ill Poem

 

My name is Brian McGrath and I am a Chronic Pain Warrior. I suffer from chronic pain due to a failed back surgery with instrumentation. Neuropathy, Disc Degenerative Disease, Depression, as well as pain from other surgical procedures that were necessary due to my fall at work. I am currently 45 and disabled, unable to work again from a work related accident that occurred when I was 39. Throughout all of this, I feel my daughter has suffered the most. She was only 7 when this happened to me and I was unable to do a lot of the things that a father should do with his child. She and I both missed out on memories to be made due to this.  

Source: I May Not Look Ill – Poem About Living With Chronic Pain

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May 5, 2018

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Seems I have trouble getting motivated to keep my blog current.  I have good intentions and actually plan on blogging at least once a week but for some reason, my good intentions keep going down the drain.  Again I promise to try to do better.

Patches and Gaby are adjusting really well.  Patches has been friendly and affectionate right from the get-go but Gaby has taken her time to show affection.  Last week she finally wagged her little tail.  They love their walks.  They have only been with us for a few weeks but I can not imagine a life without them.

Cousins Morley and Ann drove up from Minneapolis on April 22nd and we were able to meet them for supper and spend a lovely evening together.  We always look forward to their visits.

Healthwise this April was another “pain in the butt”.  The barometric pressure certainly did a number on my poor “ole” bones.  Just a few weeks ago we were still experiencing temperatures at night as low as -17C.  Another problem that decided to plague me yet again was Restless Leg Syndrome.  My legs jerked and spasmed for 24 hours. Mind you all that moving around contributed to me losing 10 lbs.  Restless Leg Syndrome affects my body from my hips down to my toes.  My dear friend Jan from New Jersey tells me that when she has problems with Restless Leg Syndrome it can take over her whole body.  I cannot imagine what a nightmare that must be.  A few days after the nightmare of my spasming legs my blood pressure decided to crash.  I felt really weak, dizzy and extremely tired for two days before I finally checked my blood pressure.  Imagine my surprise when it was 80/53.  Checked it again a few hours later and it was 80/60.  The following day it got up to 113/60.   A few days after the blood pressure incidents I woke up with a raging bladder infection.  By 700 AM I had consumed three-quarters of a gallon jug of Cranberry Cocktail.   Mind you it did help the burning sensation but that was about all.  Finally at 1:30 PM I took my sorry butt to the nearest walk-in clinic where I was told I had a rampant infection.  Thank goodness for antibiotics.  Enough about my trials and tribulations.  May will hopefully be a more enjoyable month.

Monday Evening Chat  7:00 PM

Wednesday Afternoon Chat  1:00 PM

Chat Room

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April 13, 2018

ourtwopuppiesFriday the 13th has turned out to be a lucky day.  We have been talking about getting another dog for quite some time.  What has held us back is our age.  My husband is worried about what would happen if we were no longer able to care for the dog.  He does have a point.  This morning I noticed that Animal Rescue in our city needed a foster home for the two dogs pictured above.  Thankfully we qualify for the role of foster parents and should be getting these two ragamuffins in a few days.  I can hardly wait.  This house has been missing a dog for quite some time.

This week has been a bit better pain wise.  If only the weather would stabilize and give me and others who suffer constant chronic pain a break.  The barometric pressure can cause havoc with my body.  However, over the years I have developed strategies for coping with the pain.  When the pain gets really bad I try to sleep as much as possible.  When not sleeping I will crash on the couch and try to keep my mind off the discomfort by reading.  Reading has saved what little sanity I have left.  I have learned not to make plans to far in advance.  The degree of chronic pain and discomfort varies from day to day.  Some days I take my meds as soon as I wake up and I am able to function almost like a normal person.  Other days I take my meds as soon as I wake up but relief eludes me.    Whoever decides how much pain to hand out decided a year ago that I needed more torment by allowing my body to grow bone spurs on my right knee.  The pain can be excruciating.   Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with bone spurs on my left knee.  When I feel myself getting very angry and annoyed at my health situation I remind myself that there are many others who suffer much more than I do.

My daughter finished the Fascinator she was making for a bride to wear at her upcoming wedding.  She also made a miniature Fascinator for the bride’s daughter.  My daughter is such a talented and creative person and I am so proud of her.  She tries and most often is successful in the keeping the monster called Bipolar Disorder at bay.

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Bride’s Fascinator

KaiB

Daughter’s Fascinator

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April 8, 2018

The end of March was a difficult time for me.   My 70th birthday on March 28th really threw me for a loop.  Quite frankly, I have no idea why turning 70 affected me in such a negative way.  Our only grandchild, Benjamin turned 24 on April 5th.

This year Easter happened between my birthday and Benjamin’s birthday.  Our daughter once again invited us to her house on Easter Sunday not only to celebrate Easter but to celebrate my birthday and Benjamin’s birthday.   Natasha made a fabulous lunch which included her famous scalloped potatoes, my favourite gingerbread cake, and Benjamin’s favourite banana bread cake.  Thank you, Natasha, for once again making our family get together a very special time.

Highstriker

Natasha and her dad spent alternate weekends in February and March working on a High striker for The Society of Ethical Treatment of Kraken Tea in June.  Here is Natasha’s comment copied from her Facebook page,  “Our High striker, or Strength- tester, is almost ready.  Just a few more tweaks and it will be ready for the Tea.  My dad and I made it together.  We had a wonderful and hilarious time engineering this beasty. Thanks so much, dad!!!   I have missed these projects with my dad.  He is 71 and I am spending as much quality time with him as I can. These are the true quality moments in life. The ones that make you think, make you cherish, and are the memories you will have to keep”.

As you know my husband and I have been searching for a new family doctor.  After much nonsense from the Doctor Find Association, we were finally given the name of a doctor in Winnipeg whose clinic is a 45-minute drive from our house.  My husband saw him first and was very impressed with the appointment.  Thanks to this new doctor Peter now has a cardiologist.  I had my appointment last week and I too was very impressed.  All my fears and worries came to nothing; he prescribed and renewed my medications without a hesitation.  Talk about a load being lifted from my shoulders.

 

 

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March 21, 2018

singingberthaSeveral sites are now offering DNA profiles for a price.  Ancestry.ca is such a site.  I have always been curious about my background; where I came from and what kind of people made up my genetic family.  I was adopted in 1948 at the age of 6 months.  In those days the powers that be must have considered a detailed medical history unnecessary.  All my adoption papers said was that there was no mental illness or venereal disease in the family.  Weird but then it was 1948 and just after the war.

To make a long story short, my dad while at an auction sale in a small town about 40 miles from where I grew up helped an elderly woman pull a wagon full of plants across the street.  They introduced themselves and when my dad heard the lady’s last name he asked if she knew of a baby given up for adoption about 35 years ago with the same last name.  She said no at first but later, just before she left for her house and my dad returned to the auction sale she asked him to bring me along to her estate sale which was happening in three weeks.  She told my dad she wanted to see me again.

After much persuasion, I consented to go to this lady’s estate sale which was a bizarre experience, to say the least.  My dad went ahead in his truck and my mom and I followed a short time later.  When I walked into the lady’s yard everyone went silent even the auctioneer.   My mom and I were taken into this summer kitchen and I was introduced to “relatives”.  Several of the older women started to cry.  They knew my birth mom and told me that I looked exactly like her.

This meeting at the auction site led to me meeting my birth mom, half-sister and one of my birth mom’s cousins.  After some time my birth mom and I went to the offices of Child and Family Services and it was confirmed that she had given birth to me.

My birth mom could not for reasons I do not know tell me the real name and the truth about my birth father.  While living in British Columbia I did a lot of research and found who I believed to be my half siblings.  My birth father had passed away a number of years before I found his family.  However, I had never had official confirmation that this man was indeed my birth father.

aaSisters 500x500My mom and dad adopted my sister four years after they adopted me.  I remember going to the nursey at the Women’s Pavilion in Winnipeg to see my new, 10-day old sister.  A kind nurse had invited my dad and me to come in to see the new baby.  I also remember that my dad and I were “chased” out of the nursery by the head nurse who was very upset that a “child” had been allowed into the newborn nursery.  My dad and I went to the park across the street while we waited for my mom to get my sister ready to take home with us.  My sister and I were adopted by a wonderful couple who truly loved us.

Back to my Ancestry.ca story.  My son and daughter in law gave my husband and me DNA kits from Ancestry.ca for Christmas.  My husband got his results two weeks ago but I was told that they were unable to get a profile from the sample I sent so I would have to redo it.  Even though my husband can trace his family back to the 1600’s there were a number of people with similar DNA profiles; people that were unknown to him.  Last week my son and daughter in law got their DNA profiles.  My son called us the day he received his and wanted to know how he could be related to a woman I will call Jane Doe; not only be related too but closely related as a sister or aunt.  I knew immediately who he was talking about.  Jane Doe was the only daughter of my birth father and my half-sister.  What made this so important to me was that I now have official confirmation that I was right about the identity of my birth father.  It truly is a small world.

You have to wonder how many secrets will be uncovered with these DNA profiles.  I did not realize when sending in my DNA sample that I would be given the names of people who had similar DNA profiles.

At the beginning of February, we noticed a feral cat that seemed to live under our deck.  Being the animal lovers that we are we immediately bought cat food and put out some blankets and a bowl of food for this poor creature.  My husband named the cat “Lollipop”.  It did not take long and Lollipop was joined by other stray cats.  It became a daily ritual to make sure the food bowls were filled.

To keep track of Lollipop and her “gang” my husband set up an infrared camera outside and a TV screen inside so we could watch the cats enjoying their buffet.  The neat thing about this camera was that it was capable of filming in the dark giving us a lovely clear video.  The first night the camera was up you can imagine our surprise at what popped up on the camera once the cats had finished their nightly feast.  Check the video below:

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March 14, 2018

3116583_400x400_bg-whiteOh, where to begin.  As you will have noticed on my February 5th post that there is not much love lost between me and the useless family doctors that were foisted on us since 2017.  I was ready to go escape into the wilderness.

My husband made a second visit to the Provincial Minister of Health.  As the meeting came to an end the Provincial Minister of Health told my husband he could put his name to any correspondence with Doctor Find or the College of Physicians and Surgeons.  As soon as this happened my husband wrote a letter of complaint to the big boss at Doctor Find.  It did not take long and she was on the phone with us.  After promising to fix what happened to us she put Numskull on the phone.  My husband held the phone receiver for 15 minutes while Numskull went on and on until she had talked herself out.  When finally able to get a word in edgewise my husband told her that we expected her to find us a proper, educated doctor.  Not even 30 minutes later she called us to let us know that she had the name of a Winnipeg doctor and clinic that were willing to take new patients.  Very impressive after the ridiculous information we were given during her first phone call to our house.

This clinic almost seems to good to be true.  It is located close to Bishop Grandin in Winnipeg.  Peter was first to have an appointment with the nurse practitioner.  She was very concerned that there had been no followup by his then family doctor or by a cardiologist following his heart attack in October.  Peter told her about his concerns especially his high blood pressure.   The nurse practitioner immediately made an appointment with our new family doctor.  Peter saw him five days later and the new doctor changed his blood pressure medication.  His blood pressure was under control within 24 hours.  The new family doctor sent Peter for blood work and an EKG.  Amazing this new doctor called my husband on a Sunday afternoon to voice his concerns over the recent bloodwork.  A doctor that shows this much concern is a keeper.  He faxed a second requisition for more blood work the next day.

My appointment with the nurse practitioner happened a week later.  I was very impressed with her approach and her concerns about my medical issues.  Unless she is a brilliant actor, I believe I can trust her to advocate for me.  I have an appointment to meet my new family doctor early in April.

On to a lighter topic.  Several months ago while browsing in the local thrift store one afternoon I noticed a whole wall of frames, some with pictures, some with matts and some just empty frames.  As anyone who knows me knows that I love to cover my walls with pictures, watercolours, oils, prints and other forms of artwork.  Family photos are hung on the main floor hall as well as on the shelves and walls in the downstairs family room.  That afternoon I bought up as many frames as I thought would work for me and thus a new hobby was made.  Since then I have spent many enjoyable hours searching for frames at the local thrift store and mixing matts and frames with suitable pictures.  My only problem is that I am fast running out of wall space.

So much for today.  Will try to blog more frequently.

 

 

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February 5, 2018

3116583_400x400_bg-whiteThis blog has been neglected for a while and the reason is that I was so devastated when I realized I had been had by my new so-called family doctor, Dr. Miraculum.  He was absolutely not a miracle but a horrible hindrance in my search for medical care.  He “was” my husband’s family doctor and when my husband asked if he would consider taking me on as a patient he immediately said “yes”.   I naively thought that the December 8th appointment had gone well and that he understood my issues and medications.  Dr. Miraculum will from now on be referred to as Dr. Looser.

My second appointment with Dr.Looser was on occurred on January 19th.  My purpose for making this appointment was to get a refill on my Elival prescription.  My suspicious nature immediately clicked into overdrive when he insisted on changing the dosage of this medication.  He changed it by cutting the dosage in half without properly explaining why.  I then broached the topic of changing my pain medication prescription over to him, he showed his true colours.  He made exaggerated claims about the dangers of the pain medication I was taking.   Dr. Looser finally agreed to give me a week’s worth of pain meds which he insisted must last me for three weeks.   He told me to wait in the front reception area and he would write out the prescription.  It seemed to take forever so my husband checked to see what was taking so long.  At this point, Dr. Looser’s nurse asked me to join her in a back consultation room.  She had in her hand several papers and the prescription.  She said that I would have to sign the papers she handed over if I wanted to get the prescription.  The papers I was given were a joke and the only purpose they served was that if I was a stupid enough to sign them I could eventually be called a criminal.  Needless to say, I had the wherewithal to say no to signing the forms and no to the prescription.

During the first appointment, I noticed that Dr. Looser had trouble looking at me; not my husband just me.  During the second appointment, it became even more obvious that this man had a problem looking at women; at least I hope it is women and not just me.  He took my blood pressure but refused to let me roll up the sleeve of my sweater or take my arm out of the sleeve so he could get a proper reading.

It seems a shame that I, a senior citizen, pushing 70 is made to feel like a criminal and painted with the same brush as a person who buys street drugs.  Around about 1998 I was put on pain medication by my family doctor at the time.  He has since moved on to bigger and better things; being a family doctor did not suit his long-term plans.  He sent me to the pain clinic where my prescribed medication was reviewed and deemed very suitable for my medical conditions.  Now suddenly the notion that pain medications make life tolerable for people with chronic pain has been replaced by the notion that pain medications have no place in society.  Trust me when I say that all the pain medications I have taken have never taken care of all the pain.  The medications make the pain tolerable and make it possible for me to get out of bed in the morning.’

My husband had an appointment with our provincial minister of health.  He told my husband that it had never been his or the government’s intention to deprive 70-year-old upstanding citizens of their medication for chronic pain.  However, our zealous doctors cannot comprehend the difference between a 70-year-old with chronic pain or an addicted street urchin who will sell their soul for Fentanyl.

On a more pleasant note, my daughter is in the processing of organizing the tea described below.

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3rd Annual Society For the Ethical Treatment Of Kraken Tea And Bazaar

  • Saturday, June 9 at 12 PM – 5 PM
  • Crescent Fort Rouge United Church
  • 525 Wardlaw Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3L 0L9
  • Public – Hosted by Natasha Klassen and 6 others
Details
3rd Annual Ladies Tea and Bazaar organized by the Society for the Ethical Treatment of Kraken.  New this year is the Grinder’s Underground Market (a new and larger area for vendors with a secret speakeasy kind of theme) a High Tea, Radio Play and new additions to the outdoor event area as well!
 
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January 10, 2018

These cartoons depict some of the doctors I have encountered since 1998.  Thank you to my dear friend Bette who created the cartoons.

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This endocrinologist nearly cost me my sanity. She did nothing to help me deal with the bad side effects of the Radio Active Iodine she ordered me to drink.  She was unable to control her temper when things did not go her way.

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His solution to my problems was diet. All my pains and problems would disappear if I took the diet pill he prescribed for me. He accused me of being lazy and uninformed.

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December 24, 2017

christmasglitter1Wishing all my readers a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Our Christmas Eve has been very low key so far.  We had planned to spend the evening with our grandson but he had a crazy accident last night.  Slipped on the ice and hit the pavement with his forehead.  When he arrived here at noon today his Papa took him to the emergency at 1:30 PM.  The bump on his forehead was massive and his eye was almost swollen shut.  It is now 8:30 PM and he is still waiting to see a doctor.

Tomorrow we will be going to our daughter’s house for Christmas supper.  She is an amazing cook and I really appreciate that she does the big Christmas day meal.  I will contribute a 7 layer salad and an assortment of drinks.

img129Christmas shopping this year was a breeze.  I only spent two hours in the mall; the rest of my shopping was done online.

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