Saturday, March 31, 2007

You'd Just Be Missing Out If You Don't Follow The Link...

     Having grown weary and short on time, I have decided the AOL-ers will just have to click on Brain-Cheese at Blogger to read the most recent post!  Besides, the post titled:  Happy(?) April Fool's Day...I Think?... has an Easter Egg embedded in it at the end of the post.  I simply cannot disappoint those on Blogger by double posting a treasured Easter Egg here on AOL now, can I?  LOL

     Hit this link, and you should be directed right over to Brain-Cheese on Blogger:

Friday, March 30, 2007

I Broke It...

     It happened so quickly...we were demonstrating a self-defense technique to the class and I was on the floor.  "T", my partner in training crime, was holding the kick bag and pretending to be my attacker...I was "pretending" to be a victim on the ground, about to be assaulted with a knife.  We had done this maneuver before together...we were the "trainers", not the trainees after all...skilled and aware of the safety issues of the class.

     I gave a solid blow to her knee in the direction of the kick bag (with my allegedly weak leg) and that's when it happened.  My foot slipped up under the kick bag and connected with "T's" knee, nearly buckling the leg.

     There wasn't any swelling initially..."T" remained a trooper and returned later in the day to instruct ANOTHER 4 hour session with our coworkers...but the "knee" was very sore.  I hung my head, feeling like an idiot who had just sternly instructed my coworkers (the trainees) on the issues of SAFETY while in the course, the need for careful attention to detail, and to NOT injure one another.

     "T" called me today while I was in a 9 hour Union meeting.  There's a crack in her bone...not fractured through, but cracked.  She can't walk on the leg and the doctor has instructed her to stay off of it to give it time to "heal".

     She tells me, "Well, that technique really works cuz this is proof.  I'm supposed to stay off my leg and it should heal just fine."

     Unfortunately, while she's going home to heal, I feel like a heel...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

No Rest For The Wicked...

     Peggy used to say mother, that is.  "No rest for the wicked".  To this day, I have no idea what exactly that saying meant coming from her!  LOL

     All I know is I must have racked up some "wicked" points in the past few months because I've had no REST at all these last few job has been extremely fast-paced and relentless lately and I am nearly "too pooped to pop" (another "Pegism"...she had some good ones, didn't she?!?).

     Tomorrow morning, I return to work at the crack of dawn (7:30AM) to present two, 4 hour training sessions ON MY DAY OFF, I might add.  I will literally be at work from 7:30 in the morning to 11:00PM at may now make wagers on exactly how "wicked" I have been recently...LOL.

     I have become so tired recently, I find myself waking up each morning and saying the MS know the one..."Dear God, please don't give me a relapse of my multiple sclerosis today.  And if you must, please let it kill me."

     I very much doubt between now and Saturday I will find the time to post anything on either BrainCheese sites (you AOL-ers REALLY need to get on board and switch to the dark side of BrainCheese at Blogspot: )...I also have an all day meeting to attend starting at 9:00AM on Friday.  As I have told Corrine via a private email, "I imagine I will be ass-spanking insane by the time this month is over"!!!  Well, at least I work in the business of "insane", so it IS familiar territory...

     So, I'm off to go about my "wicked" ways...I have some typing and an outline to get completed before dawn shows her gnarly face in the morning.  I imagine by 11:00PM tomorrow I will feel as if I have been "rode hard, and put up wet".  Someone should really thank my mother for these God-awful sayings...anybody have a Ouija Board handy so we can call her??...LOL...

Just So You Know...

       If for some strange reason, you are still lurking over here at AOL to read BrainCheese, you ARE missing Easter Egg #2 at BrainCheese on Blogspot...and believe me ladies (and I apologize now, gentlemen!), EE #2 is a keeper!

     Head over there now at

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My Source Of Entertainment...

     Well, my life has been worn down to little more than sleeping, eating, and going to work...and, of course, reading OTHER people's blogs! These blogs (note links to the left) have become my primary source of entertainment as I sludge my way through this grueling work period. And, BRAINCHEESE will be celebrating (or ducking for cover) a one year anniversary this week...I believe it was March 31st, 2006, I began spreading my cornucopia of crap on the Internet on the AOL Journals site (and moving completely to Blogspot soon!).

     I appreciate "all y'all" out there, with and without Multiple Sclerosis, who keep me informed, laughing, crying, and generally exercising my brain muscles via the reading of your blogs. I was really new to this type of communication when BRAINCHEESE was born (or spat out on the wall...either image seems to do justice). But I have learned a great deal from YOUR writings, so I want to formally say "thank you" for taking the time to write as often as you do.

     Blogging became quite popular as the Internet grew to be much more accessible to so many people around the world. I went recently to Wikipedia to look up the word "blog" because I wasn't certain I could really use it as a VERB...but as you can see below, I guess I can! Here's a snippet from Wiki:

A blog is a user-generated website where entries are made in journal style and displayed in a reverse chronological order.
Blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of most early blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual although some focus on photographs (photoblog), sketchblog, videos (vlog), or audio (podcasting), and are part of a wider network of social media.
The term "blog" is a portmanteau, or, in other words, a blend of the words web and log (Web log). "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

     Glad ol' Wiki could clear THAT one up for me!

     I've also stumbled (quite literally) upon several of you bloggers out there by hitting your links when you have left comments on BRAINCHEESE...a few of my more recent favorites have been Marie's Muses (a wonderfully, positive and upbeat chef in England, who's blog will add pounds to your middle just by looking at the pictures!); Funky Mango (who I will admit I JUST started reading today via backtrack link...but hey, Funky...I can't seem to register to leave comments on YOUR site. Is it just me and my complete computer illiteracy?!?); Miss Chris down in the scorching desert of Arizona (how DO you survive that heat with the MS??); Jaime across the Cascades here in Washington State (sorry to hear the Novantrone isn't "holding" you longer...hang in there); Suzy in Chicago, who I believe may now be registered in the Witness Protection Program as her blog entries have been far too FEW for my liking (**hint hint**); MDMHVONPA, super dad with MS, who may have run away with Suzy in Chicago because he has not posted in over a week (send up a flare, dear man!); Mumma4evr on AOL, who's life with her children, going to school to become a massage therapist, and just plain living brings a smile to my face every day; dear Zee in Portland, OR, who has one of the cutest little dogs and sharpest wit I've ever seen (for someone with MS holes in your brain, that is!); Lauren in California, who manages to keep us all abreast of the latest Tysabri news and her triumphs with the MS drug; Trevis over at there's a great chef with MS who knows how to write excellent prose for the masses!; Charles at MSBPODCAST, who gets around to more blogs than I think even I do, and always has some great stuff to say (and listen to via podcast!); and there are a few others who's names and sites escape me right now (bite me...I have MS!...I can't be expected to remember ALL of you under blogging pressure!).

     So, as I near the one year anniversary of BRAINCHEESE, I am looking back through previous entries (because I HAVE to, to move them over to Blogspot) and wondering with amusement what twists and turns THIS blog may take in the next 12 months. I appreciate all of you loyal readers (both of you!) and hope my hands, heart, and health continue to sustain me through another blogging year.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Rocket Science Strikes Again...

     It's official...Anna Nicole Smith died from an accidental, polydrug overdose.  I NEVER would have guessed that in a million years.


     For the love of God, I am sick of hearing about this poor woman's life!  I would be curious to know how many thousands of dollars it has taken to determine that she DIED FROM A PRESCRIPTIVE DRUG OVERDOSE.  If only "they" would have called ME, I could have saved people a hella load of money on that final report...and I am neither a pathologist nor a rocket scientist.  LOL

     It amazes me the stories that "entertain" us (focusing mostly on American culture now) these days...dramatic, bizarre, freak-show-type tales of other people's lives.  I guess this is why reality TV is sooo popular in our culture, too.  Our OWN lives have become so mundane and boring, we must rely on the tragedies of others (and I'm sorry, but every contestant on any reality TV show is a "tragedy"!) to entertain us or feel better about ourselves in some sick sort of way.

     For instance, we now have TV shows about midgets, obese people trying to lose weight for money, celebrities trying to lose weight for money, kids singing with the dream to become an "American Idol" but usually ending up humiliated on national television, stupid women trying to win the "love" of a bachelor for cash, and the list goes on and on.

     Let's face it folks...we are ALL fat, stupid, ugly, untalented, graceless, irritating slobs to some degree if that's what we choose to see in other people around us.  We will never be any more than what we choose to believe is REALITY about our neighbor. 

     Maybe that's why so many of "us" are killing ourselves these days from "accidental drug overdoses"...just a thought... 

Sunday, March 25, 2007

On The Move...

     Yeah, I know...I threatened you "peeps" with a move of BRAINCHEESE over to I AM in the process of trying to transfer every last, freakin' piece of rambling prose over to that "other" site! I imagine this move will take another six months at the rate I'm going...

     But I DO intend to eventually be posting solely at that "other" site once I get all of the files and pictures transferred from AOL (and for those of you actually READING this post right NOW on Blogspot, you should be completely confused and disoriented to what I am talking about! LOL) I've decided as "incentive" (and this is a pretty grandiose notion) to get more of you reading over on the Blogspot site, I will return to RESPONDING to comments left "over there"...I know I was doing this at one of the quieter moments in my life over HERE on AOL (that lasted all of five minutes!)...I also know this idea might be the final straw that drives you FROM reading BrainCheese! LOL
     I may also start posting what I call "Easter Eggs" on Blogspot...just to tease and entice you further. These will be tiny posts about something completely minor and brain-numbing...but they WON'T get posted on AOL! You really wouldn't want to miss that now, would you?!?
     So, will I be seeing you soon at ? It is my dying wish...LOL...
Sunday, March 25, 2007, 10:20PM:
(What are you still lurking over HERE for?  Easter Egg #1 is already posted at titled, "I Peed With Barbara Jordan"!!!)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Can You Hear Me Now?...

     Anybody else sick of those Verizon commercials?!?  I can't wait until that commercial guy who walks around in those silly things really DOES start to have hearing problems...and not just because of his cell phone connection!  But, I rant for not...

     Actually, the title of this post is to elicit feedback from all of you loyal CHEESE readers (that would be all two of you) regarding hearing problems and Multiple Sclerosis.  Generally speaking (and posing an extremely simplified version of a complex question), do YOU have any difficulties with your hearing because of your MS?

     My personal quest to unravel this mystery stems from my own curiosity...that, and a vague response from Dr. She Who Will Not Be Named regarding this issue!  It began as follows:

     About two weeks ago (maybe more, maybe less...I'm not much for attention to details when it comes to symptoms and time LOL), I started noticing these brief periods of "buzzing" in my left ear.  I have frequently had "issues" with my left ear since childhood (i.e., multiple ear infections, some hearing loss, occasional pain, etc.), so my first notice of this occurring was more of a "Hey...that's odd" type of thought.  Not wanting to be an alarmist, I'd just sort of "note" it, and carry on.

     Then the buzzing episodes began occurring almost daily, very briefly, no pain, and no real reason to think I wasn't just experiencing some bizarre allergy or head cold development.  Now, I am experiencing this buzzing several times a day.  It's not exactly tinnitis (ringing in the ears), but literally more like a white noise, buzzing sound that seems to mute my hearing slightly.  It is as if the sounds around me are having to travel under water before I hear them.  (I know, I I really AM starting to "sound" like a lunatic!)  It's truly no more than an annoyance and the episodes only last for a few seconds to minutes...but, it IS bugging me!

     I emailed Dr. SWWNBN a question about MS and hearing problems and she responded, "potentially" MS could cause this and that I needed to see an Ear/Nose/Throat doctor.  I not-so-gently reminded her I just SAW an ENT that SHE sent me to in January and my ears checked out just fine!

     So, I've now decided to pose this question to the REAL experts...all y'all who read my blathering crap and have MS!  Have YOU had any trouble with your hearing caused by MS and/or experienced a similar symptom?  I KNOW more than two of you with MS read this cornucopia of crap, so please throw me a friggin' bone here and leave a comment...I'd love to HEAR (yuck yuck) from you!...

Friday, March 23, 2007

It's Amazing How The "Other Half" Lives...

     My mother used to refer to the "other half" a lot...her "other half" (my father) and "THE other half", meaning people with money.  I'm speaking of neither of those "other half-s" in this post.  I'm talking about the unusual breed of "DAY PEOPLE"...the other half.

     As I mentioned earlier this week, I am being punished (I'm still searching for the culprit responsible LOL) by having to work a string of daytime shifts at my job.  I refer to it as "punishment" because I am just not a daytime/morning person...never have been, doubt I ever will be.

     My best hours of functioning on the 24 hour clock are generally anytime between 12PM and 12AM.  I can't even claim to be fully alert and oriented until around 10:00AM!  LOL  And my entire work life, I have somehow managed to get (and keep) jobs that afforded me this afternoon scheduling.  It's also a much more convenient work schedule for someone who suffers from chronic bouts of just works for me.

     The past two mornings, I have had the extremely unpleasant and distasteful horror of waking to the loud, bleeping of an alarm clock...I hate alarm clocks.  But I hate being late for work even more, so I have had to rely on this disgusting technology to insure my arrival at my place of employment "on time".  Rarely do I ever have to set an alarm clock when I'm working with MY "other half"...the afternoon and evening people who carry on the same tasks as the morning folks, but just later in the day.  And I will be blessed with these "day folks" presence for at least 3 more mornings in a row...I'm nearly SICK with "delight" over the prospect of an alarm for three more days.  LOL

     I've noticed several differences between "the other half" and my crew of derelict, evening worker bees.  First of all, day people are grumpy...and I really can't blame them!  Who in their right mind would be "cheerful" having to show up day after day, after being awakened by an alarm, throw down a quart of coffee just to act civilized, and THEN try to be pleasant?  I certainly wouldn't be.

     The "other half" also seem to become much more involved in the politics of the job...they spend several minutes to many hours a day discussing and cussing with administrative figures about this and that.  We evening people have the wonderful pleasure of avoiding most contact with the "suits" (what we refer to as our administration group)...consequently, we seem to get more of the actual WORK done during our time at the office.

     The "other half" contends with miserable morning traffic, but they also have 100 bus routes to choose when coming and leaving work.  When I drive my three miles to work around 2:00PM in the afternoon, my biggest "jam" is generally found when a school bus decides to unload a group of kids on their way home at the end of the day (yes, school does let out quite early here in Seattle!).  But I have very limited bus choices, especially when returning home at midnight...unless I want to stand on the corner downtown with a crowd of drunks and deviants.

     The "other half" gets all of the good parking.  I suppose they SHOULD since they get to work dayum near in the dark!  But, then again, I ALWAYS leave in the dark, too, so...LOL

     The "other half" almost always gets to leave work on time...and I've discovered that's because THIS "other half" (again, my evening peeps!) comes in dutifully to RELIEVE them...every after clock work.  I find it somehow comforting to know someone ELSE will be coming in to clean up or finish whatever mess I have started or created.  This must be a luxury to the "other half"...LOL

     The "other half" always seems to have time and takes time for's a union rule I guess.  LOL  When working anytime before 2:00PM, it is sanctioned that a sit down meal MUST occur.  MY "other half" is lucky if we get to cram down a cold beverage and a bag of chips while running in between cases some evenings.  Sitting down to eat has seemed odd to my digestive system these past two days.  LOL

     I guess if it weren't for the TIMING of working the day hours, I could grow to ENJOY the shift's many perks.  If only I could somehow convince Congress to completely revamp our commerce system...but hey, there's always hope!  They did sneak in that crappy Day Light Saving time change earlier this year by government vote...LOL...


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Are We Breaking #2 Of The Ten Commandments?...

     Mkay...somebody pu-leeze explain to me all of this "American Idol" hype!  I simply don't get it...

     Teenaged KIDS go on national television to be judged by the American public whether or not they meet the "high" standards of the American people to be considered an American Idol...the extremely intelligent American public TEXT MESSAGES or CALLS in their vote and only one of these young lost souls gets crowned "THE" American Idol.

     I'm sorry to have to inform you of this, but I'm pretty sure most of those votes are coming from a trailer park located somewhere in an extremely remote part of the country...where huge, flat-screened TVs are more important than feeding the children...just as long as the 3x4 screen fits nicely on the single wide, tin wall and it doesn't cause the trailer to tilt TOO much to one side!

     Oh...and if YOU happen to be a fan of this show, OF COURSE I am not talking about YOU (unless you ARE living in the double-wide, missing several teeth, and truly believe seeing young kids humiliated on national TV is a "hoot").

     As they say in the "biz", that's entertainment...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I'm Just Not A Morning Person...

     I have witnessed my fair share of sunsets in my past 42 years walking around on this fine earth...but I have to admit, I haven't seen many sunrises. And the reason I haven't viewed much of that grand, bright star rising in the early sky is for this very simple reason: I am not a morning person!!! 
     I once went camping at dear Mount Rainier here in Washington State and convinced myself to awaken early enough so I could venture up the eastern side of "Big Momma" (just what I call that wonderful mountain!) and watch the glory of the sun cresting from a site known for this particular event: A little spot on the mountain named "Sunrise" (We're just creative like that here on the Pacific Coast...inventing quaint names for places of interest).
     I did awaken around 5:00AM, only to discover a cold front had traveled through the valley and left a near freezing chill in the air...this did not "encourage" me in any way to leave the confines of my body-heated tent and head outside for my 10 mile drive up the mountain in the dark! But, since the freezing temperature (and this was July folks!) had already awakened my bladder, I was forced to unzip the tent fly and head out anyway...rather than simply wet myself and go back to sleep...LOL
     The harrowing drive up the two-laned mountain road in the dark was enough to cause me to want to turn back and dive for cover into my sleeping bag...but I forged ahead. Once at the spot on the mountain called "Sunrise", I exited my car, only to discover the higher elevation not only brought a much more icy chill to the air, but the "air" itself had turned into a wind that was whipping it's way around the mountain and the valleys. But still, I remained determined.
     Standing in the freezing cold, I waited...and I waited. Until finally a small sliver of light began to push through a small bank of clouds and the clouds began to change colors from blue, to pink, to yellow, then white. An artist could not have captured the scene and done it was truly beautiful. And then the sun all her glory.
     I often tell this tale of standing at Sunrise to watch the sun rise because, not only was it a most exquisite scene, but the mere fact I was present for it should be chronicled as a small miracle! I just don't "do" mornings without a dayum good reason.
     And this brings me to my point of this post as I DO have one! Tomorrow morning (Thursday), I will be at my place of employment at the crack of dawn (and not only do I NOT want to see her "crack", I don't even know who "dawn" is!)...I will be presenting the second round of a workshop series with dear "T", and neither of us are in any way happy about this. It's not because we don't WANT to fulfill this's just this MORNING thing!
     The presentation begins at 8:00AM...and since I don't typically awaken fully until around 10:00AM, I imagine things could get "interesting"...LOL I will be armed with my version of stout coffee (Mountain Dew) and will hopefully remain upright the entire 4 hours of the presentation. I DO hope no one will be expecting any humor or gymnastics as I am quite certain I will be lacking in both areas!
     And just to add insult to injury, I am also scheduled to work 4 more DAY TIME SHIFTS immediately following tomorrow! I'm not certain who exactly I "pissed" off to pull this type of punishing duty, but I am groveling an apology as I type...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

All's Well That Ends Well...Or Something Like That!...

     Well, it appears by all practical purposes, today was a RED LETTER day! I received word via carrier pigeon that my "comparison mammo" was just need for ultrasounds, no repeat testing, and I am to just carry on as if my initial ALARMING notice was no big deal. And, considering my "ta ta's" remain intact (last check anyway!), I feel this is good news. LOL

     I also had the pleasure (or's a matter of perspective) of a visit to Dr. She Who Will Not Be Named today. She looked at me rather puzzled as to why I was in her office...I considered the odds of getting her to change my diagnosis from Multiple Sclerosis to...oh, I don't know...maybe a benign brain tumor, but then her memory snapped back into place (it really should worry me that my neurologist has to ASK me why I am in her office!). It was my first Novantrone infusion follow up...she remembered after all.

     I seemed to have passed my neuro exam without much cheating on my part...I DO study for these events...always trying to master new ways of keeping my EDSS score (Expanded Disability Status Scale) on the low side! LOL In my dealings with Dr. SWWNBN, I find it is best to "control" the amount of information/data I provide for her...lest she suggest bright ideas I have no intention of carrying out...for example STEROIDS or NEW MEDICATIONS!

     I believe after our first year of working together, Dr. SWWNBN has learned she must suggest things to me in a manner which, I then in turn, believe her suggestion was MY idea. She told me today she "knew better than to suggest Solumedrol" for my current complaints/concerns/annoyances. I strongly agreed. After my last go round with the potent steroid, I have taken a vow of "steroid celibacy"...refusing to consent to the drug unless under drastic circumstance...such as blindness, total paralysis, or any near death experiences! LOL AND, my current set of complaints simply do not rate high enough on my discomfort scale at this time to warrant consideration of a "drastic circumstance".

     I have found myself once again settling into that horrible place of fatigue. Having had a recent burst of energy following my Novantrone dose, I was reminded what my energy level USED to be...and, I must say, I rather miss my more "peppy" side. Dr. SWWNBN and I bantered over the idea of taking Amantidine or Provigil for my fatigue. I reminded her I still have a full bottle of 100 Amantidine (which I never took after filling the script!) from my previous neurologist and I simply wasn't "keen" on the idea of more medication. She skillfully (and I now believe somewhat manipulatively, too) argued the benefit of the drug versus side effects, placed me in her neurologist hypnotic trance, and I walked out agreeing to TRY the dayum drug for at least a week! Fortunately, the effects of her mesmerizing spell have worn off throughout the day, and I am once again leaning toward NOT adding another pill to my mix...especially right now during one of the busiest times in work life. We'll see...(But I doubt it...Mum's the word!)

     So, I am off to bed soon (which translates into "sometime in the next 6-10 hours") to try to get some rest with the help of my friends, Xanax and Klonopin...I have not been sleeping well at all, and this only adds to my already fatigued feeling. I have a very busy and extremely LONG work week ahead of me. (And by the way, if I work MORE than 7 days in a row, can this really be called a "work week"? Feedback please...LOL)

     For those of you that I have been remiss in leaving comments on YOUR blogs, please know you are definitely being "watched" by me (AKA, I am reading your posts)...I don't know if this should comfort or alarm you...LOL...

I Hear You Knockin', But You Can't Come In...

     Who sang that song anyway?  The title of this post, that is?  I can only assume it was some strong-willed person with an investment to keep "something" out...LOL  I have adopted that song as my theme for this week...that's right...I hear YOU (MS) knocking, but you can't come in!

     It started as just a few pebbles being thrown at my windows...MS tossed me a bit of fatigue and some calf stiffness/spasticity a week or so ago.  When I didn't throw open my shades and peek out at it, MS decided to become a bit more "persistent" in gaining my attention...this past week my dear friend upped the anti on the fatigue in an exhausting attempt to gain notice.  But still, I paid it no mind.

     Over this past weekend, my lifetime buddy has been screaming that famous quote from the movie "Fatal Attraction" know the one...where the lovely (but a bit deranged) Glenn Close yells at Michael Douglas, "I will NOT be ignored!"  MS began raising a bit more ruckus outside my door...I plugged my ears and did the ol' "La la la la" thing.  LOL

     By Sunday evening, there came sounds of frantic thunder pounding by my MS friend...shock waves of electricity bolting down my arms if I moved my head/neck in a certain way (what I can only imagine is L'Hermitte's Sign)...actually, I find this phenomenon kind of "cool" in a sick and twisted sort of way!

     And finally today, the grand finale'...pain in my left arm radiating into my hand.

     "OK, OK!", I'm yelling.  "I HEAR you.  But I'm not letting you in.  Just slip a note under the door and I'll get back to you."

**Note to self:  If this little coup works, I'll try this tactic on door to door proselytizers and sales people.**

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Well, I Think I'm Headed For Divorce...With AOL, That Is!...

     Oh, the times they are a changin'...maybe...probably...we'll see!  LOL

     I think I have finally decided to do away with AOHELL...eventually (note the indecision here?!?).  We just seem to have grown apart...we like different things.  For instance, I prefer to be able to log into my journal and have ALL of the features up and running.  AOL prefers to take a hit or miss approach.  I like things that are "free"...AOL likes to charge me for free things.  I like the freedom of high(er) speed internet...AOL would like me to pay not only them, but ALSO a high speed internet company.  I'm hoping if I DO decide on divorce, this can be settled out of court! LOL

     I've been spending some time over at .  I've been playing with setting up a new home for BrainCheese over there...I must say, it is quite tedious to try and transfer well over 300 posts!  I only started BrainCheese here on AOL last year in at the end of March, and I am not even HALF WAY through transferring April 2006!

     But, if you'd like to check out the potential new home for BrainCheese, here's the addy: .  What I plan to do for the time being is double post...that's heard my ranting crap in TWO places simultaneously!!!  I won't transfer "over there" completely until I've finished cut and pasting the entire year of 2006...which, at the rate I'm going, could be sometime at the end of 2007.

     I have also heard horror stories of folks trying to sever their ties with AOL and running into a nightmare-ish loop of calls between India and we all know, AOL IS no longer "America On Line"'s more like IOL...International On Line.

     As always, I'll keep all y'all posted (now in TWO places!) of where and when I finally land...but if I have my say in the matter, it just won't continue to be here.


Friday, March 16, 2007

The MS Gods...

     "Lack of sleep...lack of physical rest...too much stress/anxiety...lack of a proper diet...very long hours at work...lack of physical exercise because of time schedule...monthly hormonal fluctuation..."

     The above paragraph just came to me in a vision (or via psychotic break, perhaps!) as I attempted to hobble my way from my bed to the bathroom, realizing I am now into FORCING myself to make it to work another day.  This is not good.  The effects of my "heathen" ways these past few weeks are no longer something I can ignore.

     The MS gods have spoken to me in my vision...and, I think they're pissed!


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Flowers From The Big Boss Lady...

     I arrived at my cubicle/desk at work yesterday, nervous and feeling ill at ease, ill-prepared, and just plain "ill" hours before the first presentation of the "dog and pony show" Ms. "T" and I were presenting to the first round of our peers/critics.  On my desk, there was a quaint, little basket of flowers with a note.  The "note" was written by our Big Boss Lady, thanking us for the many hours of preparation we had put into this daunting task we were about to "kick off"...a series of 7, four hour, classes/instruction for our department.

     It is truly amazing how a little basket of flowers and a thank you note of acknowledgement can make weeks of anxiety and struggle seem all doesn't take much to make me happy.  But then again, I'm rather "simple" like that...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I Had A Sex Dream This Morning...

     I wonder how many unsuspecting perps will "google" the word PORN today and get a link to this post!  LMAO  What a surprise they will be in for...

     Well, it IS true...I did have a "sex dream" this morning...BUT...I won't bore you with THOSE details!  Instead, I'll bore you with my personal interpretation of what the dream meant to me (porn hunters may redirect now back to their original search!).

     What little I know about dream interpretation, I learned in psychology 101 classes and most of it was based on the teaching of Dr. Freud.  Frankly, I believe most of the time, Freud fanned the female fire (say THAT 10 times fast!) and he had many hang ups about his own mother...thus the majority of his theories.  I also believe much of Freud's work was based on his OWN inadequacies, desires, and dysfunctions, which he primarily projected via female archetypes and energy!!!  How's THAT for a line of psychobabble?!?

     OK, so back to the "sex dream"...without going into gory details (because let's face it...the imagery or even the THOUGHT of moi in a sexual encounter might cause projectile vomiting for some), my "sex dream" involved several aspects of being exposed, humiliated, and included a multitude of people (which I'm STILL trying to figure out how an old high school class mate, who I have not thought about or remembered in years, weaseled their way into my unconscious psyche!!).

     DOH!  I don't think I need to pay an expert to figure this one out for, Tuesday, is the FIRST of a series of presentations my coworker, "T", and I are doing for our department at work.  We're both very nervous (yes, I WILL speak for her also!)...the material is new to both of us, in the sense neither one of us has taught this particular course before (although I used to be an instructor in two similar courses).  We have studied and prepared to the best of our ability,'s STILL new material.

     Add on top of the "new material pile" the notionI have not done any type of public speaking since 2003, when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  The reason is, frankly, because the opportunity has just never arose in the past 4 years...but, I'm also quite nervous about my word finding difficulty, which has certainly worsened during my diagnostic tenure.  Add on a pinch of stress (pinch?!) about "performing" in front of my colleagues, and I am fairly CERTAIN not only will the CAT be holding my tongue hostage, but MS may make a mockery out of my speech as well!  I have always taken great pride in my communication abilities and my manner of teaching.  Therefore, my "performance may be less than adequate, in front of a multitude of people, and become embarrassing"...

     Thank Gawd I was able to save THAT $150.00 and interpret my OWN sex dream...LOL

Monday, March 12, 2007

Feeling A Bit Verklempt...And I'm Not Even Jewish...

     Today, I received my quarterly (at least I think it's on that schedule?!?) edition of "MS Connection" local MS Chapter's publication.  I always peruse these publications to try to stay abreast (you'll find out later in this post why the use of this word is a bit ironic here!) of local topics and events.  And I always read the stories submitted by people living with MS...AND, these stories always bring tears to my eyes!

     It's not that I feel sorry for these folks...good grief, the stories are geared to "inspire" and be "uplifting"!  Perhaps it is that I feel sorry for MYSELF when I read them...I'm just not sure.  What I do know is this:  The power of the human spirit is a force unlike any other I have ever known in its ability to survive, change, grow, and withstand adversity.  This simple fact is what reaches out from the pages of these stories and touches my heart so.

     My own "spirit" is being toyed with today in a peculiar manner as the irony of some of my words meant to be humorous are being shoved in my face!  I got "the call" today regarding the results of my mammogram last seems my poking fun at the Breast Cancer Awareness marketing campaign has caused the Universe to want to poke me back...I only hope the "big U's" poke will contain some laughs as well!

     It appears my average-sized, never fed children, frontal appendages may have a "problem"...or, they may not!  I just LOVE this kind of indecisive preliminary mammo shows diffuse asymmetrical quite possibly fibroid "developments".  That's the polite way they tell you something's growing in your jugs that looks "suspicious"...but the Breast Testers have to first compare my mammo from two years ago to my CURRENT one...then they will decide what if anything needs to be done next.

     My first reaction to this news was the thought I MIGHT finally have a disease who's marketing colors will match my personal color chart!  My second reaction was, "What?!?"  And my third (and the final one I'm settling with) reaction was based in scientific fact/knowledge that MANY women have preliminary mammograms that look "suspicious"...this is NOT like the news when I was told (and shown because I didn't believe the neurologist!) I had multiple lesions in my brain and one in my spine!  I am comforted by the medical knowledge a high percentage of women walk around with "developments", AKA fibroids, which are not cancerous.

     Meanwhile, I continue to feel a bit "verklempt" in the words of Linda Richmond (character played by Mike Myers of Saturday Night Live YEARS ago), "Talk amongst yourselves..."   

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I'm So Tired, My Hair Hurts...

     That blog title is something my mother used to say I "allegedly" said when I was but a wee lass!  But it is true...I AM so tired my hair hurts tonight.  LOL

     I have managed to spend most of my weekend either working on a WORK project or taking care of business around the hut...I am no longer in fear I might be crushed under a pile of toppling dishes that were awaiting a good scrubbing next to the sink and my laundry is (for the most part) done.  I am blaming MS on my lack of reasoning and impulse control for agreeing to take on this "special" work assignment last year that has kept me consumed most of the weekend.  Oh, yes...and I AM blaming you too, "T"!

     I spent the better part of the afternoon today downtown at the "bat cave" where my main office of employment is (don't worry...young "T" was there, too), trying to organize some form or sense out of the pages of information we are about to present on Tuesday to the first group of our colleagues.  I've decided the ONLY way we might come out of this project alive is to bake some's a nice distraction while trying to slink out the door after presenting a mandatory training!  At least if their mouths are full, they'll be less likely to spew venom at us...but there IS always the possibility of vegetable throwing (**making note to self to do a security check on all bags brought into the conference room**).

     Oh yeah...and WHO IN THE H-E-double-L TOOTHPICKS decided THIS week was an excellent time to start daylight savings all over again?!?  I certainly wasn't consulted, were you??  Just as I thought...maybe it was the MS Society since neither you nor I were consulted ( jab there!). 

     I am sitting here at the puter utterly exhausted thinking, "But it's REALLY only 8:00PM right now.  Why am I so dayumed tired?"  It's a little game I play with myself every time thefeds roll the clocks forward or backward...the, "but it's really only" time game.  I am giving serious consideration to moving to Arizona where this silly game is NOT's just always the same time there...spring or fall...steady time...if it weren't for the hellish heat in AZ, I'd already have my bags packed!

     Well, I must go now and comfort my aching hair...the poor, little follicles have been clinging for dear life as it is post Novantrone!  Maybe laying them gently down on my pillow will soothe their tired strands...LOL...

All Of These Crime Statistics Kind Of Make Me Want To Punch Somebody!...

     I have just immersed myself in a multitude of national, local, and city crime statistics...what a dayumed depressing topic is THAT?!?

     Trust me, I wouldn't be doing this intensive research if it didn't relate directly to this "little" work project my best of buds, "T", and I are presenting in the next 5 weeks!  I am simply shocked by the massive amount of violence REPORTED in our country...and the statistics do not reveal those crimes left unreported (such as a large percentage of domestic violence cases).  And here's the real kicker of it all...did you know Mental Health Workers Rank in the top five highest percents of workers assaulted on the job???  That's right...we fall just under police officers, bartenders, and cab drivers.

     I'll be spending my leisurely Sunday morning checking the "Help Wanted" ads...right after I read the comics...LOL

Friday, March 9, 2007

And Just So You Don't Think I'm Blowing Smoke Up Your...Skirt...!

     I shouldn't really ask anyone to do something that I am not willing to do's MY letter back to Ms. Annie Hammel of the NMSS (and if you've just joined this current broadcast of "BrainCheese Takes On MS", please read a few of the more recent postings this week to catch up!):

Dear Ms. Hammel,

      I appreciate your personal response to my email earlier this week, which was originally sent to Ms. Lindly.  It appears the reason my email was forwarded to you for a reply may have been twofold:  you were the person researching blogs on the Internet and you were also designated to forward an apology from Ms. Nelson.  I must admit hearing now from yet a third party of the NMSS is/was a bit confusing, however.
     I am relieved to hear the NMSS has been "researching" the Internet and the various potential this communication source can offer to people living with MS.  It is important to recognize the Internet has become the PRIMARY communication tool among so many of us living with MS.  We find ourselves in multiple chat rooms, reading and commenting on multiple blogs/journals, establishing email "chains" among ourselves, and attempting to find the most up to date research and information that is available about the disease and its treatment options.  This "tool" has become so predominate in our lives for many reasons:  For some, it is simply a mobility issue and an inability to establish face to face contact with each other.  For others, it is the extreme ease of use.  And still for others, it is the only source available to research ACCURATE, real time, true and honest information spoken from the perspective of an individual dealing with the many aspects of living with MS.  I will admit the latter two rationales of the previous sentence are my personal reasons for relying on the Internet so heavily.  But at times, I am often disappointed in what information is available to me in a concise, well-formatted presentation.
     At the risk of sounding disappointed or "rude", I will tell you the NMSS website itself is quite difficult for me to navigate, specifically the local Greater Washington Chapter site (which appears to be formatted to fit the NMSS layout).  Pages load very slowly, I often find I cannot simply return to a previous page with ease, I am never certain if I should be looking under "events", the "calendar", or "programs" to find a specific piece of information, and so on.  The search feature is cumbersome and, once clicking a specific search return, I cannot go directly back to the original search page and I have to start all over again with the search.  If the pages were more "user friendly", I might be inclined to USE them more often.  These are issues that could be remedied by a skilled ITS person(s) and web designer.
     Information I have found extremely difficult to access via the Internet has been regarding the many drug therapies available to those of us with MS. Certainly, I am always directed specifically to the pharmaceutical websites when researching a "brand name" medication, which may be helpful to some.  It is NOT assistive to me.  Because I work in the medical/psychiatric field, I am all too familiar with how this information is compiled and distributed and it is ALWAYS in a biased manner designed to SELL the drug company's product.  I have no interest in seeing or hearing smiling testimonials of only the "positive" effects of certain medications.  And possibly, this is the only information the pharma companies have to dispense because of the nature of how side effects/adverse effects of medications are reported POST drug study.  Unless a physician personally takes the time to report an adverse effect, it is never taken into consideration by these companies...and it is only RESEARCHED and THEN possibly listed as an outcome when there is a significant percentage of responses from physicians (or a risk reported that might lead to serious death or financial loss via law suit, such as with Tysabri).
     I proposed on my own blog the idea of having a site set up as a "clearinghouse" of sorts where patients with MS could document their personal experiences with the extremely costly and all too often and even debilitating effects the MS treatments pose.  I am quite certain this would be met with serious resistance from the pharmaceutical industry and I believe this is why no one has ever approached this idea.  But speaking as someone with MS, this idea SHOULD be a priority.  We are, after all, the people who have the BEST experience and ability to report these effects to one another because our physicians don't even have a means of accessing a data base without direct contact with the drug companies/drug study results/pharmaceutical reps.  Because we/I have MS, it should not be assumed my intelligence and ability to discern fact from fiction in information useful to me is inadequate.  I am deeply concerned the financial profits of these drugs are outweighing the honest presentation of the drug's effects.  This is a MAJOR area where the NMSS could become a front runner in providing unbiased, experientially based information to the MS community.
     Another personal experience I have had with the NMSS (somewhat unrelated to the use of the Internet) is the notion I generally only hear directly from the society when there is a fund drive occurring.  I DO give to my local charities, but I find it odd I am specifically contacted to donate money to a charity I would hope to receive direct benefit from, but yet a charity who remains somewhat "dormant" in my life, except for requests of money.  This is just added as a personal observation and "food for thought" in feedback form.
     I frequently "lament" on my blog in a humorous manner about the wonders of the marketing department for Breast Cancer Awareness and what a stark contrast it is to the "marketing" for Multiple Sclerosis Awareness.  I am also amazed at the educational programs available to this particular cancer community and the various sources they utilize to disseminate information.  They have managed to rally an entire population around their cause by using smart marketing tactics.  By contrast at least in my area of the country, the only time one hears about MS is in the spring when yet another fund-raiser event approaches:  The MS Walk.  It would seem a more aggressive approach to MS Awareness might be the key to rallying the masses and not just when requesting donations.  Establishing educational programs in schools, within large businesses, and even major chain stores might be a place to start...after all, EVERYONE with MS eventually uses a local pharmacy for medications!
     My personal "fight" with MS awareness is based on the premise no one will listen to me unless I give them a reason to and I GIVE them something useful in return.  Whether that is creating a forum whereby people feel included, feel a sense of altruistic responsibility, or feel they are making a difference.  These are the reasons I take the time almost daily to write my blog, BRAINCHEESE.  But in doing so, I must present information in honest and believable terms, the good and the bad, and NOT just the smiling, persevering "face of MS".  This is the only way in which to be authentic and inspire people to listen and/or take action.
     We as a community (those of us with MS) have remained complacent and silent far too long.  Before I was diagnosed with MS, I had only read about it in medical/nursing education classes.  I was never exposed to MS and never saw much in the community that attracted my attention to LEARN more about it.  Now that I am diagnosed with the disease, I have a full understanding WHY the community at large is not more supportive or involved in supporting the needs of someone with MS:  The community is not educated, motivated, or feeling a sense that they can assist the cause in meaningful ways.  I would hope this email to you might be used in a constructive manner to assist in focusing the NMSS to work toward these goals of education, motivation, and involvement.
Thank you for your time.
Linda (Last name not important)
Seattle, WA

Yes, As A Matter Of Fact...You ARE Being "Watched"...

     Well slap my a$$ and call me paranoid!  I certainly have been called much worse...

    A few days ago, I wrote about the National MS Society contacting me via BRAINCHEESE with a request to add their redirect logo to my blog, sending people to the NMSS website.  As you may recall, I did as I was asked (note the somewhat looming logo at the bottom left hand side of the "All about me" section) and I ALSO sent a letter back to the anonymous marketer who sent ME the email in the first place.  I asked in my first paragraph exactly HOW the NMSS found my email and my blog...after all, my personal email address is NOT the could only find this email address directly on my blog.

     Well, today I received an email back from a DIFFERENT source at the NMSS, which I will post here.  There was nothing in the email requesting that I keep it confidential and/or not share it with the entire, I am!  Here it is with my editorial comments interjected in pink...because PINK is at least a "purdy" color in my humble opinion (hint hint):

Dear Ms. (name deleted to protect the innocent!) 
Thanks for taking the time to respond to Ms. Lindly's request.  I have spoken to Joyce Nelson(President and CEO of the NMSS...for those of you not in "the loop" LOL) about your email and she asked that I please relay her apologies for not responding.  Like you said, she is very busy, and her lack of a response was an oversight. 
As to your question about how we came across your blog:  over the past year we have been focusing on how people utilize the Web and how we can better serve people with MS through the Internet and virtual communities.  While doing research, I came across your blog (I KNEW THE MS POLICE WERE WATCHING ME!!!) and decided to reach out to you about MS Awareness Week and the possibility of promoting it on your page. 
There is no denying that the Web is serving people with MS and their loved ones in ways we never imagined.  Both the amount of information available and the ease of interpersonal connection are unparalleled.  We are researching, exploring, and testing the waters and figuring out our "voice" on the Web.  For example, if you visit the Face of MS ( (KIND OF A SNEAKY PLUG HERE I THINK...especially if the writer of this email had visited the faceofms site herself, she would have seen MY FACE OF MS with a brief story already written on the site?!?)
you will be able to see one of our first attempts at creating an online community.  In just one year we have had over 1,000 people impacted by MS post their stories, and the message board pages have grown exponentially.  In the coming year, you will see more work on our part to maximize the potential of the Web.  And I do hope you will be pleased with the results.  If you have any suggestions or input on places for us to research or visit online I welcome suggestions and input. (I THINK SHE WOULD ACCEPT SUGGESTIONS/INPUT FROM ANYONE WHO READS BRAINCHEESE, SO HAVE AT IT FOLKS!  BUT I BELIEVE IT'S TOO LATE TO GET THOSE LOGO COLORS VOTED OUT...MS. HAMMEL'S EMAIL ADDY IS
Ms. Nelson also wanted me to let you know that she is very interested in launching a blog of her own, as soon as she can be sure that her schedule will allow her (OK...I TAKE A TAD BIT OF OFFENSE HERE BECAUSE SHE ALLEGEDLY DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO ANSWER MY EMAIL...IT SEEMS A BIT UNLIKELY SHE'D HAVE TIME TO WRITE A BLOG!) to dedicate the time needed to make it authentic (WHAT EXACTLY DOES THE CHOICE OF THIS WORD HERE MEAN...AUTHENTIC?).  I hope that you will comment on it once it is up.
Thank you for writing and again, we (WE?  SPEAKING IN PLURALS ALWAYS RAISES MY ALARMS) apologize for the delay. 
Annie Hammel
    All righty's what I think (cause I know you're holding your breath awaiting this BRAINFART!).  First of all, I wrote Ms. Nelson an email several months ago, received an email from Ms. Lindly this past week, sent a reply BACK to Ms. Lindly, and got an email from Ms. Hammel apologizing FOR Ms. Nelson!  I am beginning to think instead of representing Multiple Sclerosis, the NMSS is representing Multiple Personality Disorder (now called Dissociative Identity Disorder for you folks wondering if I really DO practice in the psychiatric field and use out of date diagnostic labels)!!  What is up with that?!?
     Second, (and speaking of psychiatric labels) I really WASN'T paranoid...BRAINCHEESE IS being "watched"!  LOL  Oh well...I guess if you write something in a public forum, repeatedly using the word Multiple Sclerosis (and the word "brainfart" LOL), GOOGLE is going to begin to recognize you!  And it is the price one pays when writing a blog/journal that is can't limit anyone's access (not that I want to anyway) AND everyone IS entitled to their own opinion (gawd knows you ARE entitled to mine!), which is why I don't censor the comment section of this blog (unless someone writes something profane, derogatory toward someone else besides me, or is trying to "sell" something, like snake oil).
     I have received several private emails and also comments from a few of you regarding the NMSS...the general consensus is, the organization hasn't been as helpful to you as you would have liked or, once you became "disabled", the NMSS seemed to have no services to offer you.
     Well, now's your chance, folks!  I suggest you drop my friend Annie (OK, I'm being a bit snotty here because I'm still bitter about those logo colors LOL) an email and let her know your thoughts about the NMSS, the use of the Internet, and how YOU use this resource/growingcommunication tool for your benefit (or like me, your potential demise!)...feel free to tell her BRAINCHEESE sent ya! 
And now for the "other side" of this dirty penny...because there are always two (or more) sides to every story.  I never expect ANYONE to do something for me unless I ask them too.  The same goes for large companies or organizations.  There is no way for an organization as big as the NMSS to read my little pee-brained mind and no way for them to cater entirely to my deranged wishes.  I am one fish in a big ocean (of gimpy, swimming fish!). 
     But when many fish swim together, it's called a "school"...traveling this way is much safer in numbers and offers other benefits, too.  Until we (you and me with MS) begin to focus our resources and energies into a stronger voice and travel in more organized "schools", NO ONE IS GOING TO GIVE US THE TIME OF DAY.  Let's face it...those Breast Cancer Awareness folks will continue to have the prime choices off the color wheel for their logos, and continue to have the largest marketing budget known to man, and continue to have more money (than God) available for research!  LOL  And we, those of us with MS, will continue to bitch about our disease, our lack of services and "awareness", while we rot away in our wheelchairs!!!
     The time is NOW, my friends, to get your voice heard...while you still have use of its function and the FREEDOM to speak...our one week of MS AWARENESS is drawing to a close.  Don't wait until next March to have your say...who knows, maybe by then, we will have stolen back all the cool colors for our logos and HAVE our dayum parade!  We need to be taking this to the streets anyway... 

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Auntie Em! Auntie Em!...

     Once again, my life has taken on a fiendish, swirling pace and I am finding myself yelling out for Toto!  As I wrote yesterday, I am also begrudgingly beginning to feel a strange return of probable MS symptoms (you know what "they" say...too much of a good thing?!?) just as my life is kicking up the pace a few notches.  I found myself tonight (at work) having a near melt down because I couldn't locate an envelope that was pre-stamped to mail a subpoena...this is NOT my usual response to inconveniences!

     I have been putting in some long hours at work and this pace will only intensify next week through the second week of April.  Myself and another coworker have quite ignorantly agreed to take on a major training project at my employment, which will require many "extra" hours of being at work for our dog and pony show (what WERE we thinking, T???).  Add to that several meetings, doctor's appointments, and spring time get togethers with some friends, and I may have created the perfect storm!  Oh, and I shouldn't leave out my recent bout of insomnia either...LOL

     I figure if I can manage to live through the next 6 weeks with only minor cuts and bruises to my body and psyche, I will have made a major if I can just avoid those flying monkeys and any falling houses, I should be able to follow my yellow brick road to some relief!  After all, I already LIVE in the Emerald City...

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Sounding The Silent Alarm...

     Well, it seems it wasn't enough to simply have an "external" MS Awareness own personal MS pal appears to be trying to pay me another visit and I'm trying to figure out how to just NOT answer its knock on my door!

     I haven't been writing much about my own MS these past few weeks because...well, frankly...I've been feeling pretty dayumed good!  You know the old saying?  Out of sight, out of mind...

     Dr. She Who Will Not Be Named has been tooting her own horn, taking full credit for what has been a remarkable recovery over the past 3 weeks.  She believes this rapid turn around of events has been solely because of the Novantrone...and, of course, her brilliance!  (And I really can't argue with EITHER reasoning!)  I, on the other hand, remain skeptical and believe most likely my "flight into wellness" has had something to do with a combination of global warming, hormonal shifts, incantations, and planetary alignments.  LOL

     I have enjoyed an absolutely wonderful couple of weeks with only very minor MS symptoms...I suppose to some a numb left side of the face, vertigo if looking up, and a tightness around the waist would not be "minor", but to me those symptoms are no more than a gnat's bite on the arse!  Considering how incredibly miserable I have felt for nearly a year up until 3 weeks ago, those "base" symptoms are just a slight annoyance.  And, I have been walking without any assistance and feeling a "bounce" in my step again...which I think has actually FRIGHTENED several people in my life recently!  LOL

     Unfortunately, the past several nights I have been plagued with insomnia (which is NOT an unusual occurrence for me).  I have also been working very long and hard hours at my job (just the nature of my schedule right now).  I began to notice a tightening in my calves again two days ago, but as is typical for me, made the decision to ignore it and "push" a bit harder.  Last night, I could barely get my lower extremities to uncurl from under my chair after sitting for several minutes.  And this morning, I once again "forgot" my legs might be stiff when I tried to get out of bed, and did my all too familiar World Wrestling Federation slam to the wall/floor!  It is fortunate I am never injured from these "events" (minus a bruise here or there) AND extreme good luck I am almost always entertained by should ALWAYS laugh heartily to release those endorphins at times like's quicker pain relief than a shot of morphine.  LOL

     So...the ol' MS is trying to weasel its way into my "awareness" again and I am very displeased by the distraction...not angry or scared as would have been my typical response this past year...just watchful.  I've had such a fabulous past 3 weeks, it will take far more than a set of "log legs" to steal my joy!  I'm hoping if I can FORCE myself into more restful slumber (this usually requires a large hammer or medications) in the next few days, I may be able to ward off this MS visit...I do think when I am very tired, I am just more vulnerable to attack.  MS is kind of like unwanted relatives who decide the "best" time to come visit you is after a post surgical procedure in the hospital...when you CAN'T get away from them!

     For now, I'll just keep an eye on my little friend and try to do the things I know to do that might deter it (MS) from staying.  Gawd knows, if this visit were based on the condition of the hut right now (as I said, I've been a bit busy and not paying much attention to my home...give me a break people!), no "visitor" in their right mind would stick around for very long for fear of contracting a "health hazard illness"...LOL...

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Just To Add Salt To My Wound...

     I kicked off the beginning of my MS Awareness Week by rubbing elbows ( appendages) with none other than the BREAST CANCER AWARENESS folks!  That's was my brief brush with medical compliance by having my every-few-years-or-so mammogram...the pink crush...the pancake test.

     My primary care practitioner knows better than to suggest I do ANYTHING via a strict schedule...and it has been a couple of years since I had the boob X-ray, so I complied with her request to "git 'er done" and I went today before work.

     Now, for you few men who read CHEESE, this topic may not interest you all that much...unless, of course, you could imagine having your testicles wedged tightly between two 100 pound rocks and told to "stand very still".  LOL  But, I bring this topic up because it DOES have something to do with MS Awareness Week...sort of.

     I will spare you the details of the mammogram test...if you're a woman past age 40, you've probably already experienced this and it's just best left CAN cause PTSD for some!  But today, the beginning of MS Awareness Week, I took special notice of the differences between my neurologists office and these all-too-happy-and-bubbly Breast Testers.

     First of all, the mammogram "lounge" (and they DO call it that) has all of the most recent and updated magazines in neurologists office is lucky to have anything dated after 2004.  All of the staff amongst the Breast Testers's rather eerie...kind of like being dropped onto Fantasy Island and a bit surreal.  They're all extremely polite, offering beverages, while peaceful musack flows in the background.  My neurologist is usually flitting around her office like a gnat in a wind tunnel and on occasion, there can be heard groans of discomfort from exam rooms.  The Breast Testers cringe at the slightest thought of causing you discomfort (while they are pulling and stretching your chest appendages and having you contort in unnatural positions) neurologist smirks in disgust at my lack of tolerance to most pains.

     Today, while I was being contorted in an unholy position and being told to hold my breath (like I could possibly breathe anyway?!?), I asked my personal Breast Tester if she was aware it was MS Awareness Week?  She looked at me rather puzzled (I'm sure wondering how that question could possibly relate to my aged mammaries) and said, "No.  Really?  A full week?", as if MS was not deserving of having an entire week dedicated to its "awareness".

     I casually replied, "Yes, ma'am.  We only get one week in March because the Breast Cancer Awareness people commandeered the entire month of October!"

     I went on mumbling about how the BCA people took all the good colors for their campaigns and how I was jealous of their marketing strategies and fund raisers and why didn't "we", us poor and miserable MSers, get more recognition?

     This is when my Breast Tester obviously was moved out of her comfort zone...her smile left her face and she seemed to be pondering my comments and question.  Finally she spoke...slowly and with some hesitation...but attempting to provide a serious response to my concerns (because that's what Breast Testers do...take their jobs very seriously!).

     The following response came out of my Breast Tester's mouth...I kid you not.  She looked at me seriously and said, "Well, I suppose that's because everybody has breasts and not everyone has MS."


Sunday, March 4, 2007

Scratching My Head In Amusement...

     I received this email today from "someone" at the National MS Society via :

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Sun, 4 Mar 2007 11:53 AM
Subject: MS Awareness Week

MS Awareness Week begins March 5, and with it the beginning of a whole new movement by and for people with MS. 
I am asking that you show your support for the MS movement by adding an html button to your blog and passing it on to others you think should also join the movement. 
You can choose your button by visiting  All necessary code is provided there.
People with MS understand something that others don’t – that moving isn’t always a guarantee.  Help us to give that guarantee back and move us towards a world free of MS. 
Olivia Lindly
Marketing Department
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
733 Third Avenue
New York, New York  10017-3288 
Tel   212.476.0444
Fax  212.986.7981
     Well, as you can see, I "did as I was told"...I smacked the "bit too big" logo over there to the left!  You can now just click on that logo and be redirected to the National MS Society's web page to become "part of the movement".  This is where I began to scratch my head.
     I decided I simply could not let this email from the NMSS go unanswered, however.  I found myself becoming more and more paranoid and I began to wonder if the MS POLICE had been monitoring BRAINCHEESE!!  Was I about to be thrown into MS JAIL for my sarcastic, sometimes off color remarks about MS and even the Society?  Would someone representing the Society via a drug company be coming to rip the needle out of my arm during my next Novantrone infusion because I have become "unworthy" of treatment in the eyes of the MS gods???
     So, I calmly sent this email back just a few minutes ago:
 Dear Ms. Lindly,
I received what appears to be a mass marketing email from the NMSS, requesting I place a "button" to redirect people to the Society from my blog/journal, BRAINCHEESE.  I will happily place the logo/redirect to my AOL Journal, but I am quite curious how you located my blog in the first place?
Several months ago, I wrote the NMSS president an email regarding the multitude of MS bloggers that exist on the Internet and offered some insights into this expanding communication tool among those of us living with Multiple Sclerosis...I never heard back from her.  I recognize Ms. Nelson is an extremely busy person, but I had hoped someone from the Society might, at the very least, acknowledge my email.
As the Internet continues to expand itself and become available to nearly everyone in the United States, people living with MS are also expanding their social circles and reaching out to one another via emails/journals/blogs/web pages.  We (MSers) are no longer forced to feel isolated or remain anonymous to one another.  We are creating a network of information about the disease, its treatments, and our personal experiences with MS via the Internet.  Our opinions and our experiences are quite variable (such is the nature of the disease itself!) but, for  the first time in history, AVAILABLE to one another with only the click of a button.  This format should be viewed by the NMSS as an extremely vital communication tool and a way to spread information about MS globally.
My hope is the National Multiple Sclerosis Society will soon work to unite and integrate each of us with MS to one another via the Internet if we choose to is my personal belief that knowledge is power and by sharing our experiences with one another, we will have the wisdom to overcome Multiple Sclerosis, either by cure or conquer.
Linda (Last name removed for CHEESE readers...because I'm a very private person!  LOL)
Seattle, WA
     As I sit here now at the computer staring at the NMSS logo, I am amused.  First of all, who consulted  the color chart for this?  Why do WE get brown and orange when those Breast Cancer Awareness people get all the "pretty" colors?!?  (Yes, I'm STILL jealous of their marketing department.)  And, when you click on the logo and go to the NMSS site, you see various themes about "joining the movement".
     OK, I'm a nurse AND my mind often wonders to bodily functions because I lack the cognitive processing to find humor in complicated jokes.  But really...JOIN THE MOVEMENT?  I immediately went from the brown color of the logo, to the word "movement"...BROWN + MOVEMENT =???  I'm sure you get the picture without further explanation needed.  LOL
     Did the NMSS consult those of us with MS about this new marketing strategy?  And if they did, are we with MS REALLY this bland?!?  Do we seriously lack the white matter cells in our brains responsible for creativity and humor?
     If the National MS Society wants to get me personally on board with "the movement", they're going to have to try a bit harder.  I'll leave the logo-thingy over there on CHEESE for the time being and I DO encourage you to click on it and check out the website...I encourage ALL opinions/attempts at getting the word out there about Multiple Sclerosis...and please don't misunderstand me...I BELIEVE THE NMSS DOES GOOD WORK FOR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS.
     I just think it's time we start "shakin' it up" when it comes to MS AWARENESS...I'm still pushing for our dayum parade!...