October 31, 2017


Wishing all the Trick-or-treaters a happy and safe Halloween.  May your pillowcases, buckets, bags or carryalls be filled with all kinds of Halloween goodies.  The picture on the left was taken a number of years ago.  My husband, grandson and I would decorate the yard and dress up for Halloween.  The three of us have great memories of those times.  The grandson is now too old for trick or treating and Nana and Papa no longer have the energy to decorate the front yard.

We made a trip to Winnipeg yesterday morning and experienced one of those first days of winter when sections of the highway are covered in ice and other sections covered in a mixture of sleet and rain.  Not fun driving conditions.  Peter had a meeting to attend in Winnipeg and I took the opportunity to spend the morning with my daughter.  Thankfully by the time we left Winnipeg the highway was no longer a problem.

I received a phone call last week Friday informing me that my family doctor wanted to see me November 2nd to discuss the results of my latest round of blood tests.  Of course, this type of phone call always worries me; hopefully, the results will be close enough to normal so not to cause more health concerns.   Also received a notice last week that my six-month ultrasound is scheduled for December 13th.

A Reminder:  Weekly chats are scheduled on Monday evenings at 7:00 PM CDT.  If you are dealing with an Autoimmune Disease or Diseases please feel free to join our chat.  You will usually find participants in the chat room who are dealing with similar issues. The chat room URL is  Autoimmune Diseases Chat.

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October 28, 2017

LuellatwoOctober has arrived and with it our first snowfall of the season.  Thursday, October 26th began with rain in the early morning which thanks to the Alberta Clipper passing through led to snow and blowing snow by the afternoon.   Sections of the Trans Canada Highway were closed due to icy road conditions.

The Canadian Thanksgiving holiday always falls on the second Monday in October.  We had planned to spend Thanksgiving Monday in Winnipeg with our daughter, her partner, and our grandson.  The saying “the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry”, is adapted from a line in “To a Mouse,” by Robert Burns.  To say that our Thanksgiving plans went awry is an understatement.  Peter usually walked 3 – 4 miles every day with any problems.  The Monday before Thanksgiving he walked 3 1/2 miles.  On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of that week he was only able to walk 2 -3 blocks.  On Friday I suggested that he go to the Walk-in Clinic or Emergency.  He did try the Walk-in Clinic only to be told that they were booked up until closing time at midnight.  He woke up Saturday morning and the shortness of breath, pain in the middle of his chest and pain in his forearms made it difficult for him to walk as far as the bedroom door.  A short time later he began to perspire with sweat running down his face.  Needless to say, we headed out to Emergency at the local hospital which happens to be five blocks from our home.  Peter was seen to as soon as we arrived; had the appropriate tests done and was given medication to help ease the symptoms.   I had to go home to get Peter’s medications.  When I returned to the hospital I was told that the results from blood work showed that my husband had experienced a heart attack.  He would have to remain in hospital to prepare for an angiogram and possible stent placement.

Our Thanksgiving plans changed.  On Monday, Natasha, her partner, and our grandson brought the Thanksgiving meal to our house.  She was able to bring her dad a piece of her amazing pumpkin pie.  We sure missed him at our dinner but were so very very thankful that he was going to be okay.  Life can literally change in an instant.

Peter stayed in the local hospital until Friday at which time he was transferred to the Ste. Boniface hospital in Winnipeg for his angiogram.  The angiogram showed that one of his arteries was 90% occluded.  He received two stents.  Apparently, the medical staff calls the artery that was occluded the “widow maker”.  Peter was transferred back to the local hospital on Saturday morning after spending one night at Ste. Boniface.  Saturday evening he was discharged home from the local hospital.

Peter celebrated his 71st birthday on October 24th.  We spent a quiet evening at home sharing a Boston Pizza spaghetti and meatball dinner and watching “Britain has Talent” and “America has Talent”.

This Thanksgiving holiday we as a family had much to be thankful for.  Peter survived his heart attack with minimal damage and is looking forward to a future of continued good health.  My family doctor gave up her practice here in Steinbach and I am thankful that before she left she made sure that I had a new family doctor.  Finding a family doctor in our community is about as common as pulling chickens’ teeth.

DAd picture for blogAMy dad celebrated his birthday on October 10th and he would have been 98 years old this October.  He passed away in June 2010 and I miss him every day.

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September 28, 2017


Fall has arrived bringing with it colder temperatures and rain.   A sure sign of fall is the gathering of geese at the museum pond.  It has been reported that the geese have begun their journey south at least two weeks earlier than normal.

These past two weeks have been a nightmare.  For some reason I was suddenly plagued by Restless Leg Syndrome; something you would not wish on your worst enemy.  This nasty syndrome had caused me grief a number of years ago but had gone away after taking a medication called Serc.

According to Mayo Clinic, restless leg syndrome is a condition that makes legs feel highly uncomfortable, making affected people want to get up and move around, which only temporarily relieves the feeling of restlessness in the legs. RLS can start at any age.  The specific causes of restless leg syndrome are often unclear, but it is believed to be linked to imbalances of the brain chemicals that are responsible for balanced muscle movement. Restless leg syndrome may also be linked to pregnancy and kidney failure. Mayo Clinic also explains that symptoms of restless leg syndrome typically occur in the lower legs and feet. Symptoms include tingling, throbbing and burning sensations that are often relieved by muscle movement. Restless leg syndrome symptoms also tend to be more prevalent during the evening hours.  Women are affected by RLS more often than men. Doctors do not know what causes RLS in most cases, but genes are thought to be an influence.  Approximately half of the people diagnosed with RLS have a family member with the condition. Some treatments for the condition include having regular sleeping patterns, establishing a consistent exercise regimen, leg massages, and hot baths. Medications may be helpful for RLS, but the same drug does not work for everyone.

Desperate for relief I tried every suggestion given by the Mayo Clinic and WebMD.  Nothing helped.   We had been planning to meet my cousin Morley and his wife Ann for supper this past Tuesday.  By the time 3:00 PM arrived I was a nervous wreck.  How could I possibly go out for supper when my legs had a life of their own.  I could just see myself sitting down in the restaurant only to have my leg begin the bizarre dance that is Restless Leg Syndrome.  (I should mention that RLS attacks my legs one leg at a time.  As soon as one leg calms down the other leg begins its diabolical dance.)

Thankfully just before 4:00 PM with only three hours left before we were going to meet Morley and Ann my legs decided to give me a break and return to normal.   Oh, what a blessed relief.   As always we had a very enjoyable evening with Morley and Ann.

As many of you know I have been busy scanning my slides (just over 6000) into my computer.  Once that project was completed I loaded my videos into my computer.  My other project has been to collect picture frames.  I collect mostly wooden frames; which are so much easier to repair than plastic or metal frames.   My friend Pat, the owner of Presenting Art, has once again done an amazing job of re-framing, re-matting, and putting the finishing touches on 14 pictures.  My family keeps telling me that I am running out of wall space but so far I have always found another spot that is perfect for pictures.  Another advantage of having so many pictures is the fact that they hide any blemishes on the walls.   As I tell my family there is a method to my madness.

Here is a short video that I recorded almost 30 years ago.  It brings back a lot of memories.


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September 11, 2017

When I woke up this morning and turned on the news I was reminded of the terrible disaster that hit the US on this day in 2001.  I remember turning on the television that morning in September and seeing the horrible pictures of the attacks on the World Trade Centre.  At first, I did not believe what I was seeing.  Hopefully, we will be spared from future attacks.

Seems that fall has arrived early this year.  The geese are back at their watering hole on the Museum grounds.  Seems a bit early for them to be heading south.  We have had several nights of frost and cool daytime temperatures.   This week the temperature forecast is for 32C on Tuesday and 29C on Wednesday.  This change in temperature, humidity, and pressure plays havoc with my body.  Getting out of bed in the morning is sheer torture.

Finally finished my new website.  Also revived my old chat room and placed it on the new site.  The new site can be found at Autoimmune Diseases Chat.

To begin with, the weekly chats will take place on Monday evenings at 7:00 PM CDT.   The purpose of these chats is to give people suffering from an autoimmune disease the opportunity to connect with others with similar conditions.  If you are interested in joining us at chat please email widebertha@gmail.com for the password.  The site also has a message board.

As I mentioned earlier I have been trying to ride my bike (or I should say three wheeler) on a daily basis.  It seems that a bike ride brings on restless leg syndrome.  Restless leg syndrome is awful; nothing seems to help.  The only course of action is to wait it out.  The involuntary leg movements eventually stop but not before I have acquired many more grey hair.  You add the huge bags under my eyes, the red Rosacea rash on my cheeks and forehead and I am truly a sight for sore eyes.

It’s nearly midnight and I should try to get some sleep.  Goodnight, sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.

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September 9, 2017

The Pituitary Patient Bill of Rights 
With heartfelt thanks to Robert Knutzen 

As a patient afflicted with a chronic, often lifelong disease, I wish to affirm the following:

I did not bring this disease upon myself through any form of omission or commission.

I know, however, that my illness and its many symptoms and manifestations are poorly understood, and often imperfectly treated, with results that are unacceptable in any medically civilized society.

I affirm that I am a valuable human being: to myself, my family and the society in which I live and work. My right to proper diagnosis, care and management shall be second to none.

Either I or my fellow patients may have our lives and the length and quality of life at constant risk.

I cannot allow my rights as a member of society to be trampled on. I realize that it is not currently politically popular to give me my fair share of quality medical care, research, education, and mental, moral, psychological or societal care.

For these and other reasons and on behalf of myself, my loved ones, my family, and my fellow patients, I claim the following:

Our Rights:

Pituitary diseases, tumors and the resultant hormonal imbalances shall be recognized as a serious, major public health problem afflicting a large segment of the world’s population.

The financial and intellectual resources of my government and our public and private health services shall be as fairly allocated to me and my disorder as they are to any other life-threatening and life-altering disease.

I have a right to an early and appropriate diagnosis, treatment, care and medical intervention by the experts in these fields of medicine.

I have an inalienable right to be told of – and allowed to use, whenever possible, any and all medications and treatment methods past, present or future – which will complete or assist in my healing.

Upon completion of any medical evaluation, treatment and care, I am entitled to the emotional and psychological care afforded anyone else with psycho-socially affective disorders.

I reaffirm my right to be treated completely so I may reclaim my place in society and my family as a fully functioning and contributing member.

I shall not be discriminated against in my workplace or any other part of society because of my physical, mental or emotional state.

There shall not be any financial, insurance, job, or promotional stigma attached to my disease’s discovery, medical care or emotional recovery. My future life shall only be limited by conditions not under man’s ability to rectify.

My family and coworkers have a right to be informed and counseled about my illness and Its many manifestations. In order for them to understand and accept the temporary limitation to my job performance and my family obligations, they must if possible, become part of my healing environment.

I reaffirm to the world: I am a valuable member of the society and family of man. My life is too valuable to waste. It is too costly to society and too detrimental to my family to allow me to merely exist at their sufferance and largesse.

I have the right to be believed! Just because a physician has not yet heard of, or seen, my symptoms before, does not mean they are not real and deserving of medical care and further investigation.

With permission from:
Robert Knutzen, Pituitary Network Association

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August 30, 2017

Summer is almost over.  We spent last weekend at Buffalo Resort on Falcon Lake with our daughter Natasha, her partner Mike and his daughter Melissa. Melissa celebrated her 11th birthday while at the lake.  She has been collecting porcelain dolls and has just started reading the Anne of Green Gable books.  I was lucky to find a porcelain Anne of Green Gables doll to give her for her birthday.IMG_0893

We arrived at Buffalo Resort late afternoon on Friday. Thankfully by leaving right after lunch we avoided most of the lake traffic.  After settling in went to the Mall to do some shopping.  Later that evening we enjoyed the delicious birthday cake Natasha baked for Melissa.  Saturday was spent relaxing, reading and watching the rain. Cold enough to turn on the heat in the cabin.   Sunday weather was warmer so Peter, Mike, and Melissa went to Caddy Lake and took a boat through the tunnels.  We had a bonfire both evenings.  Check out was at 11:00 AM Monday morning after which we headed for home.  I managed to survive the weekend without too much pain and nausea.   So grateful for pain medications and Gravol. However, I realized that I no longer have the ability to walk as far as I would like.

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One of the things I really miss is going for a bike ride.  When I was a kid, probably about 9 years old, my dad got me this really neat brand new CCM Bicycle.  I had many an adventure with that bike.  Sadly in the past year the dizziness and nausea have become such that I can no longer trust my ability to maintain my balance.  This spring my husband surprised me with a new bicycle or rather an adult tricycle.  At first I was not sure I wanted to be seen riding this “tricycle” but after a few rides I changed my mind.  No more worries about being able to balance and the ability to stop and rest whenever the need arises without having to get off the bike.

It is time for me to try and get some sleep.  Tomorrow will be here soon enough.  Will try to post to  my blog on a more regular basis.

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July 23, 2017

LuellatwoWe are almost halfway through our summer here in Manitoba and the nights are getting noticeably longer.  My wish to spend this summer at the lake is turning out to be just a pipe dream.

My cataract surgery took place on May 16th, 2017.  It was quick and pain free.  It is such a pleasure to read again without experiencing an overwhelming fatigue.

We flew to Boston on June 23rd to visit son and daughter in law in their new home.  They moved from Seattle to Boston in March.  The west coast is really quite different then the east coast.

My family doctor is leaving her practice and moving to another city as of July 31st. Thankfully she has made arrangements for me to become a patient of another doctor.  The doctor shortage in Manitoba is becoming rather ridiculous.  Surely we could allow more students into medical school to prevent such a shortage.  However the almighty dollar is always the bottom line.

My feet and lower legs are terribly discoloured and I finally had some tests done to try to figure out the cause.  Thankfully there is not a problem with circulation or blood clots. However I would really like to know the cause.  It looks awful.

I finally got rid of the overwhelming fatigue I experienced before my cataract surgery only to have it return when I started taking medication for Rosacea.  Rosacea (row-zay-sha) is a common, chronic, inflammatory skin condition causing redness on the face and for some, small red bumps and pimples.  The causes of rosacea are unknown but it is thought that a faulty immune system could be involved.

My problem these days seems to be writer’s block.  Will write more soon.

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