Thursday, February 21, 2008

Energy low, but walking a lot . . .

I've been working at the Riverside for 2 weeks now and everything is going okay. I walk back and forth from the Riverside everyday; it's not really that far – about the same distance from the General. I am quite tired in the afternoon and have been taking naps then to regain some energy. I have been neglecting grocery shopping and errands because of my lack of energy after work. Today, I walked to Billings Bridge to put a cheque in the bank. I was already at the Riverside, so I figured I was halfway, so I just continued walking. While I was there, I also picked up some bread and cereal, because I was out of both. It was all I could probably carry all that way anyways. I walked all the way back home and I'm probably going to have to go for more than a little nap. I'm totally drained, but I feel good for doing it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Finally, improvements are happening

I've finished a full week of back to work (even though it is half days) today and things have been going pretty well. I haven't gotten too tired and I have been chipping at that large mountain of files at work at a good clip. Today was the first day I noticed I made a bit of a dent in the pile. It is tedious work but I'm working on it. I can't believe the clinic let their records get like that. I don't know how they do adequate research with their files in such a mess.

My health has been doing okay. Slow improvements, but like that pile of files, I can finally see the improvements over time. My memory is coming back, my concentration, and my energy levels are improving. Hopefully, I'll be back to normal when I get back to my regular position. I would love to start working nights again. I love working straight nights. I would miss the wonderful allied health people that work during the day, but the noise and the crap that goes on all day just is too much for my brain to compute. Night shift is busy, but at least things usually happen one at a time.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Without internet access for 4 days now . . .

Today is Saturday, February 09, and I am just going to accumulate blog entries until I have internet access again. I wrote the previous one on my Treo, but you can only type out so much text before it locks you out. It is quite frustrating. I guess I could by a data card for it, but with me thinking about switching to another Smartphone, what's the point? I like the Treo for the touch screen, but it is deficient in web browser and email and such.

The internet connection problem is quite frustrating and Bell & Sympatico are frustrating as well. My phone line is completely dead and you just can't get any answer from them. When this contract is over, I will be leaving Sympatico and get with someone who can provide consistent internet service. If it is the phone line is the problem, they should replace it. This has happened a few times now. They don't want to replace it, so I should just get a cable line or something else. This is just silly. I don't know how they keep customers around when they don't have service to provide them.

Went out to Breakfast Club today and laughed so hard.

I worked two days this week and it is good to get back to work. It is a different job and a different pace than I am used to. It is quite a quiet area and a lot of paperwork to get through. Hopefully, I'll be able to get the job done completely before I get back to my real job.

I've been feeling good lately, but I get tired easily.

Friday, February 8, 2008


I have been without internet access at home since Wednesday. This is killing me. Bell (Sympatico) first said they would have it up and running in 3 hours. Then they said it would take 24 to 48 hours. Now, I have to wait until Monday. This totally sucks. I demanded a refund for everyday I am without service. I went around the house and checked the phone line, and the phone is totally dead. I can't even call 911. (OK, I only use the phone line for DSL, but let me be dramatic.) I am posting this on my Treo, which also sucks. I can only post so much text at a time.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Small victories . . .

I started a diet at the beginning of February to try and lose some of the weight I gained during "house arrest." I'm not trying to get skinny, because that is not going to happen on the current regimen of anticonvulsants I am on now, but just trying to get back to what I consider the lowest weight I have been on since I started the Keppra and Trileptal. I am just using a website called because all you do is track what you eat all day using their lists from their databases or if you are eating a food that is not on their list, you can easily input the nutrition label from the side of the package. I was cooking my cauliflower curry dish and I just inputted the recipe and then divided it by serving. Easy. It also has a large list of activities you can use to take away calories, even housework. I like this because I find that laundry is hard work, especially when you have a lot of it and the washer and dryer is downstairs in the dungeon. The funny thing is, being vegan, it is easy to stay under 2000 calories without even trying. I also keep telling people that I get adequate protein, and the proof is that every day, I have been over my daily protein count by at least 10. This programme has made me see that I am still taking in too much fat, but the positive thing is that very little of it is saturated fat, and the past week I have taken in 0 in cholesterol (not surprising since I am vegan) and very little in saturated fat. We'll see how long this lasts. I just want to get back to the weight I was in the summer, pre-house arrest, before the seizures really started affecting my life.

I am now approved to go back to work. A small victory, of course. I do only work half days for four weeks on medically-supervised paperwork, which kind of sucks, since I do live by myself. I guess our director at work is putting me to work at our department clinic at a different hospital going through files for six weeks. That is disappointing, because I really wanted to get back in the groove with all my friends at work. The positive thing about it is I will be a little closer to home (what- ten feet?) so I can walk home and look after the puppy when Stella gets here March 8th. I think with Stella arriving, it will pick my mood up even more and give me something to look forward to. This year started out in the toilet, hopefully I can steadily make it positive all year.

My street has had increased traffic all year until it has reached the point that you can't even cross the street during the two rush hours. This is a residential street. The increased pollution and noise is horrible. This is also an ambulance route, with the hospital just around the corner, and they can't even get down the street. The city has been making some small changes, like I have noticed they are posting a police officer in an unmarked car nailing speeders and they are removing snow banks this winter during the day, causing a major traffic jam, maybe to stop people from using this street as a throughway. I know this is a "old person's" complaint, but living here with all this unnecessary traffic does affect quality of life.

Monday, February 4, 2008

There might be light at the end of the long, winding tunnel . . . .

Well, I heard the most positive news yet about the work situation from M today. No, it wasn't that I can go back, but that I have a job waiting for me at the Nephro Clinic working with files that will go on for about 6 weeks. I guess I'm not thrilled about working with everyone else (I won't miss JB though), but at least I will be doing something worthwhile and that is needed rather than wandering the halls feeling useless. On top of that, I thought, that the Riverside Hospital is closer to my house than the General (although not by much) but I can go home for lunch with the puppy coming in March. Hopefully it all will work out .

Peanut hurt her knee again playing in the deep snow. I tried to snowblow the paths in the backyard after the storm, but it ended up being too much to do that day, and I tried to do the backyard today, but with all the warmer weather, the snow weighs so much. I did the best I could, but she is still walking through the deep snow and coming up limping. I am trying to encourage her to use her special orthopaedic bed that I bought her for x-mas and I'm going to try and crush an aspirin and hide it in her food for supper.

The puppy is coming March 8th. I think I will name her Stella. That was the name I originally wanted to name the puppy when I started waiting for the puppy almost a year ago, so I guess that is what I am set upon. These are the puppies and Stella is in the middle of this puppy pile.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Try this, I am proud that I invented this . . .

Curried Coconut & Cauliflower Lentils


This is something I just whipped up, but wrote down what I put in the pot . . .

1 shallot, chopped finely (you can use onion)
3 tbsp canola oil
1 can coconut milk
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 whole cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 tbsp chili paste (I like it hot, if you don't, you can omit this)
1 can of lentils
1/2 cup of water

Salt and pepper to taste

I put the chopped shallot in the bottom of a medium-large pot with the oil and put it on medium heat for about 3 minutes. I then added the coconut milk and chopped garlic, stirring it up.
I then added the spices, stirring as they went in the pot, screaming with delight.
I chopped up the cauliflower and put it in the pot, stirring to make sure it was covered in that beautiful yellow orange glow. I then added the chili paste, stirring it up again.
I then added the can of lentils, drained, of course and stirred it up. I then added the water. I put the heat on medium-low and let simmer for 1/2 hour to 1 hour, occasionally stirring.
I like my cauliflower soft, so I will let it simmer until it reaches that texture, but cook it as long as you like until it reaches your desired (yum) texture.
You can eat this straight, or on top of some rice or rice noodles.
This will give you 4 to 6 servings.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Birthday dinner out

A bunch of us went out for a variety of reasons – my birthday, M's birthday, etc. It was surprisingly fun! I haven't been out socially for such a long time, ever since my "health problems" started, not including Breakfast Club. We went to the Empire Grill and had a good meal, good wine, and fun talk. We went out across the street to the Rainbow Room to listen to some blues afterwards. It wasn't a "blues" band to be specific, the band sounded like a folk-rock band and the singer sounded a little bit like Tracy Chapman. It was very loud. I'm not very use to that just yet and I was getting tired. N stayed at the Rainbow, some of the people went to Foundation, and M, M, and I went to find some coffee. I had no idea of the time of night, but started figuring it out when Starbucks was closed, So Good was closed, etc. That's when we decided to go home. I can't wait to go out again now. It had been so long that I forgot about the experience. The dogs were happy to see me though.

I'm still fighting with work to go back to work. Dr. G has sent two notes that I am allowed to go back, and yet no one wants the responsibility to take me back. The Occ Health nurse and my manager want me to fill out the long term disability forms, but I don't think they'll accept them, because when it asks me when I expect to go back to work, I want to fill in "two weeks ago." I sent an e-mail to the union because this is discrimination.

I've been feeling quite down the past two weeks. I think it is the stress of all this work BS, financial stress, emotional stress, and seasonal affective disorder (which I don't have, but when you haven't had a lot of sun in a month, I think everyone gets affected by it). I have proven that taking vitamin D supplements doesn't really work to prevent this January "funk" in my case.