Saturday, 21 February 2009

Time... seems to be running away at a phenominal rate at the moment. I never seem to get the time to blog anymore and I suppose the better I feel the less I feel the need to blog - that is a good thing!!

I am still only experiencing my background MS symptoms which is great and I have now been back at work full time for two weeks. It has been tiring as I have been on shortened hours since October and B and I have been very busy in the evenings but I am adjusting and managing well. I don't think I am unusual in having fairly long winded relapses but I think the average is somewhat shorter. I also have more in the way of sensory symptoms remaining than I thought I would have - although a lot of the remaining symptoms relate to my relapses in 2007 - I have a slight change in sensation to my lower legs and hands/forearms which just seem to remain at a level which doesn't have an impact but is enough to remind me the feeling isn't normal...... Still, the bits that matter to me - like my vision, have always returned to pre relapse normality eventually.

My migraines however have not had the decency to get any better. I am still on the increased dose of Amitriptyline (50mg) to try and help with them but I am now averaging two a week. Yesterday I had one at work that didn't respond to the medication so had to leave work early. I hate having to do that, I haven't had to since reduing my hours. I guess with how busy I (we) have been alongside going back to full time hours, added to the terminally boring meeting in a warm room it was just waiting to happen.

On the subject of terminally boring meetings......! I have discovered that the beginning of the year has even more meetings than the rest of the year. Company Kick Off, Claims Kick Off, Customer Care Division Kick Off, plus the normal quarterly meetings, I question the need for all of these.... I will say again that working for the UK arm of a big american corporation has some definate pluses but the overload of meetings is a definate downside...... Work on the whole however is very good at the moment. I am going to have Zurich and a section of Virgin Media as my only clients which is great. I think the broker for Virgin Media are harder work than Zurich but it will again be good experience and a different one to Zurich.

Work are again being very accomodating. I am going to be having Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy at the MS Therapy Centre and have been given the time off to attend for the 11 sessions I need to have initially. I am taking leave for the first 4 days so I am meeting them some way with the time off I need. I am also having Accupuncture at the moment. I have only had two full sessions and the initial assessment and so far have felt worse rather than better.... Still I am going to perservere for a while longer.

The kittens are getting big now and are spending time outside every day. We haven't been able to get them fully outside yet as it is too cold to leave the door open for them to get used to using the litter tray outside and then going to the toilet outside and they still haven't got the hang of getting into the garage through the cat flap...... Whisky has been outside of the garden a couple of times now. He hasn't worked out how to get back in as yet so we have to go to the back gate and let him in, silly kitty!

As for the wedding - it's only about 2 1/2 months away - how did that happen...... We don't have a lot left to do really, well I suppose it is quite a lot but a lot of little things. All the big main things are done, things like table dressing and where to get the beer from are left. I also need to have a dress fitting or two once the dress arrives, at the last minute (I did decide to get a dress at the last minute..). I have asked Mum to organise the favours as she has more of idea than I do and I hadn't really delagated anything. Tomorrow we are going to look at Nan's cake books and decide what sort of thing we would like. Well I say we, most likely I!

We have booked a date to try the menu's and wine with both sets of parents which should be good and our stag and hen do's are pretty much there. I am having a nice relaxed day and evening at a fairly local hotel with around 10 friends and family and B is going to Newcastle for the weekend to get very drunk two nights in a row and to go gocart racing. Good job it's a few weeks before the wedding. A friend of B's is getting married a couple of weeks after us so his stag do is the week before our wedding - B better come back in one piece!

Oh, on the subject of other weddings, have I mentioned my boss is getting married two hours before me? It's quite funny really, we keep being asked (tongue in cheek) if 'we' are getting married! Two different venues and times so I think we are safe!

Engagement seems to be the thing for end 2008, beginning 2009. 3 couples in B's circle of friends are now engaged after being in long term relationships - lots of weddings this year!

I was on the MS Society message boards this morning and discovered a new MS blog; Me, Myself and Tysabri, which as it sounds is a blog about a journey through her treatment with Tysabri. Tanya has so far had one infusion of Tysabri and has since had treatment with steroids for a further relapse. She sounds a lot like me in some ways, she is trying to recapture aspects of her life before MS, which is, I suspect, a trial for all of us dealing with the diagnosis of a life changing medical condition, however slight or major that change is and whatever the medical condition.

I was also reading an article in Open Door, the MS Trust publication, which was titled 'Twenty something and MS'. It again rings many similarities for me. I know I shouldn't have defined myself by my job, but you know what, I did, so when I took the decision that I couldn't do it anymore and took a new job I spent about 7 months thinking I had given up and saying that the physical aspects of MS were the reason for leaving. I now think that I took the decision for good reason. I had changed, even out there on the road. My confidence was diminished both times I came of the road and I wasn't as good at my job anymore. Couple that with having all the responsibility on the ambulance the vast majority of the time meant that I didn't feel emotionally stable or confident enough to go back on the road. Physically, who knows, I may have been able to manage but I would have been back off the road again within 5 months with the confidence seeping out of me again. It's actually quite hard to accept that I didn't give up, I chose to leave for good reason, just not the reason that is easier, to admit to not being good enough at the job to be making decisions about people's health is harder than blaming it on physically not being able to do it anymore.

I think now that physically I probably wouldn't be able to manage for more than a month at a time. I have found it hard enough working in a sensible sedentary role over the last few months. If things get better maybe I will try and go back to it, who knows. I have been able to reliably go to Lifesaving and play my clarinet which is great, a life outside of work. Is it worth it? I am adjusting my outlook on life and coming to terms with not defineing myself by my job. It has got easier over the last few months and it helps that I am again good at a job that I am enjoying and am rewarded with good reviews for the hard work. It isn't the same as my old job but I will always have that experience.

I suppose the point is, that I think I am now moving away from the old definition of me and carving out my new definition, for want of a better word, which is more than a job. It does of course include my role and my ability to do it well but now includes other, more important things like lifesaving, playing my clarinet and of course the man I will, fairly shortly, be marrying.

So after my indulgent ramble (the benefit of writing a blog - sort out the rambling thoughts!) I will now go get myself sorted and start a belated Saturday (it's about Midday...!).