Friday, February 27, 2009

March is Epilepsy Awareness month . . .

March will be Epilepsy Awareness Month in Canada. I am one of the 30% of patients where my seizures cannot be controlled by treatment. With epilepsy research being seriously underfunded and awareness limited, I will likely die from my condition. Please feel free to read the following facts and visit the following websites:

Epilepsy Facts (from CURE)
Epilepsy affects over 3 million Americans of all ages – more than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and Parkinson’s disease combined. Almost 500 new cases of epilepsy are diagnosed every day in the United States. Epilepsy affects 50,000,000 people worldwide.

In two-thirds of patients diagnosed with epilepsy, the cause is unknown.

Epilepsy can develop at any age and can be a result of genetics, stroke, head injury, and many other factors.

In over thirty percent of patients, seizures cannot be controlled with treatment. Uncontrolled seizures may lead to brain damage and death. Many more have only partial control of their seizures.

The severe epilepsy syndromes of childhood can cause developmental delay and brain damage, leading to a lifetime of dependency and continually accruing costs—both medical and societal.

It is estimated that up to 50,000 deaths occur annually in the U.S. from status epilepticus (prolonged seizures), Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP), and other seizure-related causes such as drowning and other accidents.

The mortality rate among people with epilepsy is two to three times higher than the general population and the risk of sudden death is twenty-four times greater.

Recurring seizures are also a burden for those living with brain tumors and other disorders such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, tuberous sclerosis, and a variety of genetic syndromes.

There is a strong association between epilepsy and depression: more than one of every three persons with epilepsy will also be affected by depression, and people with a history of depression have a higher risk of developing epilepsy.

Historically, epilepsy research has been under-funded. Federal dollars spent on research pale in comparison to those spent on other diseases, many of which affect fewer people than epilepsy.

For many soldiers suffering traumatic brain injury on the battlefield, epilepsy will be a long-term consequence.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This was so yummy . . .

Vegan Jambalaya

2 cups of brown rice
1/4 cup of wild rice
4 cups of vegetable broth
1/2 cup of dried TVP chunks
1/2 cup of vegetarian bolonaise sauce (PC Blue Menu)

Put the above ingredients in rice cooker and set to cook.

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 shallot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
1/2 cup carrot, finely diced
1 red pepper, finely diced
1 can of black beans, drained
rest of bottle of vegetarian bolonaise sauce
pepper to taste
cajun spice, to taste
tabasco sauce, to taste

1. In wok over medium heat, lightly brown shallot in oil. Add diced garlic, celery, carrot, red pepper. Cook until soft. Add black beans, sauce and spices and simmer under low heat. 2. When rice is cooked, add mixture in wok to rice. 3. Enjoy!

Makes plenty+++ Pack for lunches or dinners.

Senators game last night . . .

I went to the Senators game last night with Kelli. We had great seats - Section 101, row P, seats 15 and 16. Right behind the Senators goalie, Alex Auld. Kelli got them from her friend from her hometown, who is the Director of Communications for the Senators. Hockey is very boring on TV, but very exciting live. They have short entertainment spurts during the commercial breaks and in between periods. The arena is very impressive. I was very impressed with the building itself. I bought us two $9 Heinekens. Crazy.

Running since pneumonia is going surprisingly well. I'm picking up and adding milage like I wasn't even sick. I am not liking this little lapse back into winter though, but we are expected to get above 0 Celsius tommorrow.

Stella has been getting back into her destructive self again. I thought that this was slowly going by the wayside, but the past two times coming home from work, she has destroyed stored furnature down in the basement (which is now closed off to her) and last night she destroyed a couple of photo albums (Peanut & Latte's baby albums) and started chomping down on the TV stand. I've been coming home for lunch on 12 hour shifts (and incorporating it into a small run) to alleviate her anxiety (if that is what it is - I'm not sure it is yet) but last night I was just gone for an 8 hour shift. She is more hyper than usual lately. I really don't want to start crating her during the day when I am gone, in case that adds to her anxiety, but I soon might have too. If I leave thinking I have dog-proofed everything, she just goes for stuff she hasn't gone for before.

No seizures again since last post. I am starting to feel a little anxious myself, since it's been a little while, and I'm due. The monkey's back on my back, waiting to strike.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Running at lunch . . .

Yesterday, I got to run at lunch to home and back to work. I'll be doing this more often as the weather gets warmer around here I think, as it is a great brain refresher. It was a cold, very windy day yesterday, and I found I was walking over a few deep snowdrifts. I also should have brought a change of clothes, since I was doing a very easy jog, as not to get myself too hot and sweaty. It's nice to be running again and I seem to have recovered quite well from pneumonia without any apparent loss of fitness or energy.

I am so happy and honoured to have Jo-Jo (aka "Bunny Girl") offer to be my pacer during my upcoming goal race, the NCM half marathon. It will be quite refreshing to have her with me, since I was starting to feel increased anxiety about my first half marathon, even though it is 3 months out. I just want to have fun and get over the finish line during the allotted time. No stress involved. Once the first is over with and I know I can finish one, the second will not be so anxiety-ridden.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pneumonia update . . .

I am feeling much better today. I went to work and walked there without too much deficit. I was occasionally having productive coughs, but nothing that could not be handled. I really think I will be able to do a short run tomorrow.
In the meantime, the Blackberry went for a crap, so I need to go to the Telus store and get it exchanged. I was supposed to go to the doctor, but I don't think I'll be able to fit that in. I have to go to the hospital and get my CPR refresher course and I have a Maniac meet & greet in Kanata all tomorrow. I will not be able to do all of these things, plus my run tomorrow, since I do not drive and all of this takes time to go from one place to another. So much to do in one day and so little time!
The furnace is off and I had to call the furnace guy and am waiting for the off-hours guy to show up. Supposedly, someone is supposed to be here in 3 hours, which makes arrival between now and midnight. It is getting cold in here!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Can't believe I'm still sick . . .

This pneumonia is kicking me in the ass. I get strength one day, and then I'l laid up for the next three. I went to work a couple of days ago for the first time since I got sick, and when I got home and ate supper, I just went outside and kept throwing up and throwing up. Then, for the next day, I kept coughing and coughing (lovely chunks for all of you that love this kind of stuff) which made me quite short of breath and nauseated. I just can't catch a break. I feel better today, just drained and I have absolutely no appetite. I am a little nervous to do anything involving too much energy today, so not to start up any coughing. My boss had called and wanted me to go to a CPR refresher course, but I bailed at the last minute because I didn't want to walk over there and start coughing and barfing. All I want to do is improve and get better. I want to get some energy back. I can't live like this for another week.

On a brighter note, I ordered a Garmin Forerunner 205 today and can't wait to start running with it once I kick this pneumonia is the ass. I got a new fuel belt with it too, all from MEC ( The fuel belt has a double water bottle holder at the back (one for water and one for my mix of Gatorade/water) and lots of little pockets for gels, cell phone and such.

Luckily, no seizures this week.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

First run since pneumonia . . .

My stats looks horrible for the last week or so. My first run today was sad, but I ran! Had to walk a lot and cough big, giant lung cookies, but I did it! Hopefully, this is the first step to clearing this pneumonia up faster than expected. I really don't want to be coughing up crap for another 2 weeks. I want to be finished this by the end of this week. I'm so impatient when it comes to recovery from sickness!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Recovering with blog redo . . .

So I have to do something while recovering from this pneumonia (no surprise, that's what I've been sick with), so I've done some redesigning around here. Nothing fancy, but wanted to add some little do-dads here and there.
Redid the header, changed the layout, Added some permanent pictures of the girls to the side. I hope you like!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Still sick . . .

I am still sick with this horrid chest cold. I think this is the worse day yet. I start coughing and coughing, until I almost throw up. Nasty. The codeine is coming in useful today.

I haven't ran since last weekend and I haven't done any worthwhile physical activity since Monday. Blah. The body really, really wants to get out there, especially since the weather is looking more and more favourable, but the lungs have been taken over by an evil entity. I am so running tomorrow, no matter what. If I have to do 1:1s than I will. The great thing is that I have been feeling stronger and stronger with each run and have been seeing improvements lately. I am not worried falling behind in my half-marathon plan, since I changed the plan. I am presently running ahead of the plan, so the amount of runs I have missed this week with being sick is not concerning me at all. I have room to make that up. Plus, spring is going to be so encouraging to get out and run, after running in such crappy, cold weather all winter.

At least Peanut, Latte and Stella are having a good time with me being here all day. Latte and Stella are playing together more. Latte is starting to become more and more confident with playing with Stella. It's good to see. I weighed Stella yesterday, and grew a little concerned about her weight. She is at least 10 pounds underweight for a female puppy her age (and that is 10 pounds underweight of the lower end of the weight range). She is eating like a pig and she is quite active, but she does look skinny for a Lab. I would rather her be underweight than overweight, but because of her activity level, I increased her food to see if she can just add another 5 pounds to her frame. I would be comfortable with her being only a couple of pounds underweight rather than a full 10 pounds underweight.

Luckily for me, I haven't had a seizure with this chest cold. The last time I had a seizure with a serious chest cold, I got pneumonia (probably aspirational), about two years ago. That was nasty. I had to go on antibiotics and everything and almost got hospitalized. I could see why people die of pneumonia. You are so aware of every breath you take because it draws so much energy to do so. I am really pleased with the amount of seizures I have been having since December (I have only had two seizures since then). I haven't had a lot of pain from the surgical site either, but have felt the wires pull in my neck, which isn't painful, but just uncomfortable.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Added a homemade running "ticker" . . .

As I am no longer reading the volumes of novels as I was last year, I have added a "running ticker," made by me at the bottom of the page. I am still looking for a similar ticker or widget that will be this easy and uncomplicated. It will be manually updated at least once a week by moi, until I can find one that can update more easier. It's a real good excuse to post more than once a week though.
Feeling a little run down and fighting off a cold today. Called in sick to work because I have a cough and chest tightness that has taken over the upper part of my lungs and lower part of my throat. I am hoping that intense hydration and rest might fight it back, since I feel it hasn't taken hold yet.
Peanut, Latte and Stella are quite happy with me calling in sick. I, on the other hand, instead of resting, am looking at all the work I should be doing, like laundry, dishes, sweeping, tidying, . . . I am dying to run today, but that really flies in the face of resting and hydrating and helping my body fight this off. I might do some Power Yoga today.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

25 random thoughts about me . . .

25 random thoughts about me... as from Facebook:
1. I wanted to be a coroner growing up.
2. I started out university planning on becoming an environmental lawyer. I left university wanting to get into medical school, but had to wait until my health got better.
3. The last thing I ever wanted to do was nursing. I was considering engineering. Nursing was chosen because my gramma told me I was meant to be a nurse.
4. I miss my Gramma Marcotte every day.
5. I've considered ending my life several times because of my seizures when I was younger.
6. I love being alone.
7. I cannot sleep unless my dogs are with me.
8. I'm terrified of flying and of heights.
9. I love my job.
10. A doctor told me that I have a mild form of Asperger's Syndrome. I don't believe that.
11. Don't ever touch my toes. Ever.
12. I have never been in love. Ever.
13. My epilepsy controls my life more than I let on.
14. I played violin in high school.
15. My life insurance beneficiaries are my dogs. Really.
16. I cut my own hair.
17. I broke someone's heart and still feel a little bad about it, even though it was the right thing to do.
18. I didn't do my taxes last year, but I know I don't owe anything.
19. I can have surgery (a right temporal lobectomy) that might end my seizures, but I refuse on the fear I will be a different person.
20. I have a real hard time meeting new people. I feel nervous and awkward inside.
21. I have a tea cup collection.
22. I rarely watch movies. I'd rather read the book.
23. I don't believe in ghosts.
24. The idea of eating meat horrifies me.
25. I fear my parents' no longer being there for me.