Our Journey Through Hell: Chapter 3

By Angela March 6, 2011

This chapter is best read while listening to Come Back by Pearl Jam. Inhale the song. It completely captures the feelings felt for the 17 days that took place in this chapter. On another note, this chapter is made up of paraphrased memories from both myself and Steve. Shock took over. Completely, took over for Steve and myself. And then, the MS fog rolled in. Days have been wiped clean from our memory. Details, lost forever. We are tortured by this. But, we are thankful, none the less, to not have to carry a daily burden of those memories.

Sirens or no sirens, Grace woke up and by the time the EMT’s had arrived she was snuggling with Lenna on the couch. I don’t remember saying goodbye, but I’m sure I did. I do remember the cats finding the EMT’s equipment incredibly fascinating.

The next challenge was getting me to the ambulance. To enter my house from the driveway there are 8 steps. You are then faced with another 10 to get upstairs where the bedrooms are. They managed, and then loaded me into the back. It was my first time ever in an ambulance. This would be [...] continue the story

Our Journey Through Hell: Chapter 4

By Angela March 8, 2011

This is a long one . . .sit tight.

In order to be ready for the Rehabilitation hospital I needed to learn and re-learn how to do several day to day activities. These activities included but were not limited to: transferring from the bed to the wheelchair and back, transferring from wheelchair to toilet and back, bathing and getting dressed. I couldn’t move on until I had attained a satisfactory level of understanding and accomplishment of these activities.

It was tough, it was tiring.

I would get frustrated with my body not doing what I wanted it to do. The muscles in my core were weak and it was difficult to sit up for long.

I fell off the toilet several times.

It’s ok to laugh. I did too. Then I got swear-y.

The left side of my body was still very numb and although some feeling had come back in my right arm and hand, this side of my body was very weak. There had been a lot of damage to the nerves on this side of my body. Nerves that are required to receive signals, that are sent through the central nervous system in order to have proper function were [...] continue the story

Our Journey Through Hell: Chapter 5

By Angela March 9, 2011

It was going to be a short week. Monday was the holiday and I was leaving Thursday to go home before heading to the wedding, which was taking place at a resort in Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia.

I had a lot of work to do between Tuesday and Thursday.

I drew inspiration from the patients.

I met a lady, Cora, she was elderly, sweet and lovely. She asked me what had happened and when I explained my situation she gave me the “I’m so sorry” face with the head shake. But she didn’t dwell on it. We chatted as we did our exercises in the gym. She is from a neighbouring community and loves to garden. We bonded easily. She was sad and disappointed because she wasn’t healing as fast as she had hoped (she had broken her hip and while waiting out a 7 day delay for her surgical space at the hospital she developed an infection) and her rehabilitation was going slowly. She was worried that she wouldn’t be able to get in her garden. I felt for her. I wanted to be in my garden. The weather was tormenting with how beautiful it was outside. [...] continue the story

Like A Hurricane

By Angela Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August is usually the hottest of the summer months in Halifax. This year though, with the rainiest and coldest summer in years, we’re only just now seeing August in its true form.

The warm August winds, although great for drying clothes hung on the line, means only one other thing: the Atlantic hurricane season is upon us.

The most famous of them all to hit Halifax was 2003’s Juan.

With only days to go until our wedding, my sisters got on a plane, before the closure of the airport and made it to Ontario just narrowly escaping Juan’s wrath.

The worst hurricane to hit the Canadian Atlantic coast, Juan was responsible for acres upon acres of damage and destruction, including major natural landmarks, provincial parks, and for the death of a rescue worker.

There have been several hurricanes since we have lived here. In fact the year we did move here there was what seemed to be one after the other after the other.

And although there weren’t many that hit land, last year was still no exception.

In August of last year we were walloped by a doozy that left us without power for 2 days.

Not terrible if you are in the [...] continue the story

I am a caregiver of someone with MS

By Kent Pollard

I think that part and parcel of coming to terms with becoming a caregiver, is acknowledging that there is going to be change, change that will almost always be difficult at the start. Change that we have to accommodate and embrace if we are going to have the best life we are capable of having.

My wife, Victoria was diagnosed with MS on October 5th of 1998, three days after I started a new job. At the time, caregiving didn’t even enter into my experience. We were a couple and there were things that we did for each other, none of them out of the ordinary. For the first 4 or 5 years after the diagnosis, caregiving was a minor, and completely unrecognized, part of my life. Victoria experienced unusual fatigue, and we worked through some initial anger and bitterness toward the world, but she continued to work and our lives were, or at least, my life was, not particularly disrupted. However, the disease state progressed, slowly but inexorably until about four years later when it, and the accompanying symptoms had become much more pronounced and began to creep into our day-to-day lives. Victoria was more tired than ever. [...] continue the story