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    #61
    Originally posted by NoraS View Post

    To entertain myself, I got a pair of binoculars to help me watch the wildlife out back. It's been so hot and humid that even the birds are hiding, but I did get to watch a pair of fawns yesterday morning. They were about 150 yards away, and with the binoculars I was able to count their spots and identify the flowers that were growing behind them. It's making life in a rocking chair so much more interesting!
    Fawns can be endearing little buggers. Deer often have twins. There is a doe with two fawns which hang around in the river bottom behind my home. I mow 4 to 5 acres of it as an extension of the yard but there are several more acres which are left natural. Deer tend to stay around where they were born so the fawns were probably born close by. One of the two is inquisitive, I occasionally see him staring, checking out the house from 30 yards away while the other stays close to mama down in the bottom.

    As far as what to do... projects never end around here. I just finished shingling the house entirely by myself using metal shingles. Not the big sheets of metal roofing. These are charcoal colored metal shingles. They look great and last 50+ years. It took 38 days from first shingle to last which I'm sure sets the record for length of time to shingle a house but the scaffolding required took a third of that time to build being another one-man job on this project.

    Many years ago I purchased and stored actual redwood siding when an ancient local lumber yard went out of business. In 1997 I designed and built this home with greatly appreciated and needed help of a brother during construction. We dug and poured the basement, built the house, a huge deck and wrap-around walk, dry-walled, painted, did the flooring, plumbing, electrical, everything, outsourcing nothing.

    It took us 8 months to complete working everyday but I had most all of the material picked out, purchased and stored beforehand. Also, the design never was altered, which can be expensive and time-consuming. I gave myself one year, 1996 to design and let me say that the nuance is mid-numbing. The one year time frame was to allow all changes in design to occur before construction began.

    Presently, I am in the process of sealing the redwood again as maintenance with an excellent product called Australian Timber Oil. Thankfully, I still have a few gallons of the old stuff. The price has become shocking and the newer product is different. The newer product is good but like everything, the formulation changed because the older, the really great looking and lasting stuff was potentially carcinogenic; if you drank it, I guess.

    I am always mindful that many reading this would love to be able to physically accomplish the myriad of things they would love to do but are unable because of MS.

    It humbles me because I am so fortunate. But it also makes me very determined to help others in any way I'm able. No one choose MS but they have to deal with it in practical terms everyday. No, it isn't fair, but you still have to deal with it daily, tough as it is.

    Learning how we are dealing with MS, the pandemic, and more strengthens everyone, I believe. Thank you for the thread, Seasha, thoughtful and sweet lady that you are!

    Comment


      #62
      My lifestyle hasnít changed too much since this all started. I still spend most of my time at home in the sunroom either reading or watching TV. Pre-pandemic, my husband worked from home 2-3 days a week so transitioning to full time was less of an issue for us. My husband continues to do the shopping and picking up take-out dinners. We often go for a drive on Saturdays after we pick up drinks at McDonalds.

      My parents and adult children stop by occasionally and visit while social distancing as best we can. We took our kids up to the North Shore for a few days last week staying in a cabin so that we could do our own cooking and avoid others as much as possible.

      While Iím very excited to get back to my favorite restaurants and stores, I can see that it wonít be happening for quite a while. Numbers are ticking up in my state and I will be among the last who will venture out when we finally get the ďall clearĒ.
      Paula

      Comment


        #63
        It's good to hear from many of you who are playing it safe and therefore, healthy!

        Some of you have used this time to start (and finish) projects and other's have lost some ambition. I started out so motivated to clean and organize and start projects and now I'm slowing down - partially due to MS progression - and mostly due to "it can wait till tomorrow or later" cuz who knows how long this will last?

        I had a hair appointment last week and missed it because I forgot what day it was. The days all blend into one another! So, appt is for this week and although my hairdresser runs her business out of her home with only one person at a time, I'm still a tad bit nervous. My hair is longer than it's been for years and years, so it's time.

        Our big outing is to grocery shop every two weeks to stock up. So glad they have sanitized carts and mask requirements for all entering. Workers wear them too plus gloves.

        Like many of you, this hasn't affected my dh and me as much as some. Living a quiet life in the country, growing a garden, watching birds and wildlife - there was a cougar spotted in our area about 1/2 mile away and I'm glad I have a motorized scooter to ride in case I need a quick get-away plan!

        Hope to hear more from many of you and know that's you're OK and doing what you can with what we are dealing with
        1st sx '89 Dx '99 w/RRMS - SP since 2010
        Administrator Message Boards/Moderator

        Comment


          #64
          I decided to resurrect this thread. It's been about 6 weeks or more since any comments, and time sort of stands still with this virus. Or time marches on. I'm not sure which one.

          Last time I'd reported, I'd returned, in June, from traveling to Canada to visit my daughter's family. I'd started, before we left, returning to the gym (my local rec center and senior center) to exercise.

          Things haven't changed much since then. I am getting out to exercise regularly again now -- usually about 3x a week. Both places use a high degree of COVID precautions. We had begun, very occasionally, to eat out in restaurants, but we've backed off on that and are back to using carry out or curbside pickup. It just feels safer than eating indoors.

          Our church is still not meeting altogether in person. We've had a few smaller (12 or fewer), outdoor social gatherings. We're a larger-than-that church (about 200 per Sunday). My Sunday School class has been meeting weekly by Zoom for most of this whole time.

          One of my volunteer activities has met outdoors for a socially distant meal about twice.

          I seem to have had a lot of appointments during July and August. Some fall annually at that time; some are alternative health kinds of things that occur more frequently.
          Others were delayed and rescheduled due to COVID. Some have been in person; some have been virtual.

          We are anticipating another visit with my daughter and her family, who live in Canada. This time, they are coming here. Likely not her husband; since he is not a US citizen. I think it's not impossible for him to come (flying might work, rather than driving). But, due to him not being a citizen, and also being in the process of applying for permanent residency in the US (a green card), it could be more complicated than it's worth. We hope things will go as planned for her trip. During COVID times, it feels like everything is uncertain.

          My husband struggled, especially during April through June, with debilitating anxiety and depression related to changes in his job that COVID caused. Although things have been temporarily back to normal job-wise since July, his future there remains in limbo as they procrastinate with processing a "reasonable accommodations" request. He's coping much better, but not always back to his normal mostly worry-free self.

          A temp contract job that my son held for about nine months might have turned into a permanent position had it not been for COVID, but it ended in July. It looks like he might have found something else; it appears promising but he's waiting to hear for sure.

          I've been calling my dad (85 years old; lives 1200 miles away) regularly. Back to once a week now, but it had been twice a week during times when we were all locked down more.

          My sister and I, who used to text occasionally, and call a few times a year, did regular weekly video chats during the spring and summer. That was nice. She is a teacher and starting school next week, so those will likely be less frequent now as her schedule becomes busier.

          My brother and I used to call once or twice a year. We've done slightly more than that during this time. But we're also emailing occasionally -- once or twice a month.

          So, this has increased far-away-family contact for us.

          We'll be celebrating my husband's 60th birthday this weekend with his family. Probably about 20 of us, and it's the reason for my daughter's trip. Outdoors, socially distant, catered (sort of -- it's a no-contact delivery).

          I've been glad to see people a little more than a few months ago. It was hard being an extrovert living with two introverts and, most weeks, hardly seeing anyone else.

          How have things changed for the rest of you during these months? Have they opened up some? Or are you still pretty isolated? How are you coping?
          ~ Faith
          MSWorld Volunteer -- Moderator since JUN2012
          (now a Mimibug)

          Symptoms began in JAN02
          - Dx with RRMS in OCT03, following 21 months of limbo, ruling out lots of other dx, and some "probable stroke" and "probable CNS" dx for awhile.
          - In 2008, I was back in limbo briefly, then re-dx w/ MS: JUL08
          .

          - Betaseron NOV03-AUG08; Copaxone20 SEPT08-APR15; Copaxone40 APR15-present
          - Began receiving SSDI / LTD NOV08. Not employed. I volunteer in my church and community.

          Comment


            #65
            Thanks for the update Faith. Glad your husband is doing better. Hope his accommodation is successful and also that your son's job comes through.

            It is a positive that slowing down helped you have more time to catch up with family. Hope you have a wonderful get together for your husband's 60th. Enjoy your daughter's visit.

            Paul was sick for almost a month - his covid test was negative. It seemed to be a combination of a summer virus that seems to be active in this area and a skin infection. So for a few weeks, I was quarantining to make sure I didn't expose anyone. Once both his test and mine were negative, then I could get back to our new normal

            Still volunteering at our church's food pantry, which is busier than ever. About 13 other churches refer people to the pantry, so it is a community outreach. Our church itself has remained virtual only.

            We have had a few socially distanced get togethers. I have also been catching up via zoom, WhatsApp, FaceTime, or regular calls with folks. After getting an actual letter from a friend overseas, I decided to start writing myself. In these days of technology, I was surprised how wonderful it felt to read a letter. My goal is to write a letter a week and surprise someone. Hopefully, it will brighten their day.

            We have been up our cabin again now that Paul is better. My torn meniscus finally healed, but now have Achilles tendonosis. I couldn't get it to heal on my own, so started PT, again. No walking, hiking, or biking for a few weeks until they get it under control.

            Hope to hear from more folks!
            Kathy
            DX 01/06, currently on Tysabri

            Comment


              #66
              Originally posted by pennstater View Post
              Hope to hear from more folks!

              I read some early posts and thought of adding to the thread, but apparently never did. Since it's just me with MS (and senior years)... no major changes.

              The loss of gym and pool therapy, church & library meant establishing different routines. I succeeded.

              Things are closer to March levels now... I've even gotten out for a few nice meals (w. reservations / masks / social etc).

              BUT... The thing I noticed most was disconcerting: I was as oblivious to difficulties endured by others and their families, as oblivious as someone without MS is to our difficulties. A depressing observation. At my age there are no excuses.

              I can fix this, but sadly it took a pandemic to bring it to the forefront. And reading this thread. Thanks for sharing everyone.

              Comment


                #67
                Originally posted by 502E79 View Post
                The loss of gym and pool therapy...
                This is the tragic part for me. My exercise habits have been hit hard. The gyms have re-opened where I live. But I have no confidence in them.

                My county is suffering from 20-30+ infections per day and the state had a recent screw-up with testing.

                For me, that means no going to the gym. My exercise has been to use free weights and riding a trike but that's much harder for me to establish a fixed routine compared to what I had with my previous gym routine. Or is that just me whining?!

                Suffice it to say I still have to improve on the exercise front.

                Originally posted by Seasha View Post
                The days all blend into one another!
                I get it. But with the weekends delineating things and only 5 days in the week, I can hit the weekday appointments fairly well.

                Originally posted by Seasha View Post
                My hair is longer than it's been for years and years,
                Mine too. It was rough a month or so ago but now with the weather cooling I'm thinking the winter will be easier and I'm looking forward to having a new hair style by spring!
                59M / RRMS / Dx1987 / Ocrevus

                Comment


                  #68
                  Originally posted by Golgotha View Post

                  For me, that means no going to the gym. My exercise has been to use free weights and riding a trike but that's much harder for me to establish a fixed routine compared to what I had with my previous gym routine. Or is that just me whining?!
                  No, not just you whining. While our gyms were closed, I did almost nothing at home. Less than you.

                  It's just not the same. I get it. Motivation is hard.
                  ~ Faith
                  MSWorld Volunteer -- Moderator since JUN2012
                  (now a Mimibug)

                  Symptoms began in JAN02
                  - Dx with RRMS in OCT03, following 21 months of limbo, ruling out lots of other dx, and some "probable stroke" and "probable CNS" dx for awhile.
                  - In 2008, I was back in limbo briefly, then re-dx w/ MS: JUL08
                  .

                  - Betaseron NOV03-AUG08; Copaxone20 SEPT08-APR15; Copaxone40 APR15-present
                  - Began receiving SSDI / LTD NOV08. Not employed. I volunteer in my church and community.

                  Comment


                    #69
                    I've pretty much settled into what I call our Covid routine. I go out once a month for curbside grocery pickup and every other month to our local big-box membership store. My boy is living with me now, still unemployed, so while he gets out more than I do it's still very limited and he's careful to wash up and use hand sanitizer regularly. Mum stops in for coffee every week, frequently bringing me little treats, but we're not a huggy family so it's easy enough to social distance while she's here.

                    My daughter moved back to the area, but I rarely see her because she's providing extensive care for a disabled woman with 3 young kids in a neighboring county. She's afraid of bringing germs into my house, so we stay in touch with Skype.

                    I'm emailing more relatives, took a couple online classes, and mostly just spend my free time on the back porch trying to identify the birds I see. I added a hummingbird feeder and discovered that we have 2 sets of fawns living in the woods with 3 does. I'm getting caught up on my fiction reading and have gotten back to nonfiction, which I had to drop last winter due to brain fog. I'm also more involved in my long-time hobby of genealogical research, which is slow, solitary, and time-consuming. In other words, perfect for when you can't go anywhere!

                    Comment


                      #70
                      It's been 6 months now from when I started this thread and it shows that we are in it for the long haul! I'm wondering again how everyone is doing?

                      Are you having "Covid" pandemic fatigue? Here's are some helpful hints for leaning coping strategies while we wait it out...

                      "“We can help ourselves,” Hermanson said. “We’ve heard this before, but it’s true: It’s time to develop coping skills.” Those include:
                      • Exercise: “It’s the No. 1 best thing we can do for coping,” she said. “Any exercise – even a simple walk – helps. It releases endorphins, gets some of the adrenaline out when the frustration builds up. Just getting out and moving can be really helpful for people.”
                      • Talking: “This really helps, too. Just saying it out loud is important,” Hermanson said. “Find the right places and times, but do it. Ignoring feelings doesn’t make them go away. It’s like trying to hold a beachball underwater – eventually you lose control and it pops out. You can’t control where it goes or who it hits.”
                      • Constructive thinking: “We may think it is the situation that causes our feelings, but actually, our feelings come from our thoughts about the situation,” she said. “We can’t change the situation, but we can adjust our thinking. Be compassionate with yourself and others. Remind yourself, ‘I’m doing the best I can.’”
                      • Mindfulness and gratitude: “The more you do this, the easier it gets,” she said. “Try being in the moment. You’re right here, in this chair, breathing and looking around. We put ourselves through a lot of unnecessary misery projecting into the future or ruminating about the past. For now, just take life day by day.”

                      She said coping can start by just being aware, and by being easy on yourself.

                      “We have a tendency to get down on ourselves,” Hermanson said. “But be aware, if you’re someone who never cries and suddenly you’re in tears, or if small things make you super angry – those are signs you need to reach out and talk to somebody.”

                      https://health.ucdavis.edu/health-ne...logist/2020/07
                      ************************************************** ********

                      And always remember that you are not alone!
                      https://mymsaa.org/publications/moti...s-of-pandemic/

                      Wishing you all mental and physical wellness during these times.
                      1st sx '89 Dx '99 w/RRMS - SP since 2010
                      Administrator Message Boards/Moderator

                      Comment


                        #71
                        Spending an insane amount of money on tattoos and building an expensive computer that I didn’t need. Nothing like 8000 dollars worth of refunded concert tickets to make me do crazy things.

                        Can this end so I can get my life back please?

                        Comment


                          #72
                          Originally posted by Seasha View Post
                          It's been 6 months now from when I started this thread and it shows that we are in it for the long haul! I'm wondering again how everyone is doing?

                          Are you having "Covid" pandemic fatigue? Here's are some helpful hints for leaning coping strategies while we wait it out...
                          • Exercise:
                          • Talking:
                          • Constructive thinking:
                          • Mindfulness and gratitude:

                          She said coping can start by just being aware, and by being easy on yourself.
                          Thanks, Seasha! Good reminders. :-)

                          ~ Faith
                          MSWorld Volunteer -- Moderator since JUN2012
                          (now a Mimibug)

                          Symptoms began in JAN02
                          - Dx with RRMS in OCT03, following 21 months of limbo, ruling out lots of other dx, and some "probable stroke" and "probable CNS" dx for awhile.
                          - In 2008, I was back in limbo briefly, then re-dx w/ MS: JUL08
                          .

                          - Betaseron NOV03-AUG08; Copaxone20 SEPT08-APR15; Copaxone40 APR15-present
                          - Began receiving SSDI / LTD NOV08. Not employed. I volunteer in my church and community.

                          Comment


                            #73
                            Well, friends... here we are again. With the rapid increases of Covid cases lately, it feels like we're almost back to square one again.

                            Has your elected official put more restrictions in place? Ours has.. no indoor dining, gyms and movie theaters closed, indoor social gatherings with people from outside the home are prohibited, religious gathering to 25% capacity, to name a few.

                            For us, the main bummer is that we will not be hosting Thanksgiving family dinner for the first time in years and possibly again for Christmas.

                            I am still going to my much needed PT appts, but may have to forego this. I'm not sure yet. Will check with them tomorrow.

                            My dh and I have always tried to be careful, but now are feeling more anxious.
                            How about you? Are you once again having to change your lifestyle and activities?

                            I pray that we all stay safe at this time and continue to hold on!


                            1st sx '89 Dx '99 w/RRMS - SP since 2010
                            Administrator Message Boards/Moderator

                            Comment


                              #74
                              Here in NY we are back in restrictions. All restaurants and bars are to close by 10pm with only four people allowed per table at reduced capacity. Also you are not allowed to have any private gathering with more than 10 people.

                              It's pretty frustrating as our governor has been very supportive of protests and riots that have occurred the past 8 months. He has spoken publicly on the subject and pretty much makes it appear as if Covid doesn't exist at those places yet if you have a funeral you can't have people attend because of Covid. Just doesn't make much sense.

                              Personally my family is still having thanksgiving dinner (not a lot of people but it will be more than 10). We are cautious and have been during all of this. We just can't take much more of this lockdown. Also we are a Law Enforcement family so can't say we approve of our governor. We did cancel our big christmas party with the extended family though. Want everyone to stay safe and reduce the risk.

                              I continue to work as I have during all of this. We just wear our masks, wash hands, keep hand sanitizer close and keep our distance as much as we are able. I'm with everyone else just looking for the day this is behind us.
                              Dx March 2018; possible first episode: August 2011
                              Tysabri May 2018-June 2019, Mayzent July 2019

                              Comment


                                #75
                                Not many new government u restrictions here. Our county has a mask ordinance but it isn't always followed, by either the public or by businesses.

                                Just limiting gatherings to 45 or less.
                                But covid numbers are much worse here again. My church met in person for about four weeks earlier this fall. But is shut down again.

                                Exercise is still open but I've been attend less because I worry about safety.

                                My small group met in person once this fall but went back to zoom meetings.

                                Not getting together with any extended family for Thanksgiving. It will just be my household of three.

                                It is somewhat hopeful that vaccines are moving towards being released.
                                ~ Faith
                                MSWorld Volunteer -- Moderator since JUN2012
                                (now a Mimibug)

                                Symptoms began in JAN02
                                - Dx with RRMS in OCT03, following 21 months of limbo, ruling out lots of other dx, and some "probable stroke" and "probable CNS" dx for awhile.
                                - In 2008, I was back in limbo briefly, then re-dx w/ MS: JUL08
                                .

                                - Betaseron NOV03-AUG08; Copaxone20 SEPT08-APR15; Copaxone40 APR15-present
                                - Began receiving SSDI / LTD NOV08. Not employed. I volunteer in my church and community.

                                Comment

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