I’ve been blocked!

Facebook, you can love it or hate it, or maybe a little of each. It’s a great way to reconnect with those who we lost touch with over the years. It’s a fun way to discover obscure facts and read funny jokes, or it’s a great way to waste time.

As much fun as all of this is, I think it’s sad that people have to use a pseudo-anonymous website to let everyone know they are mad, sad, pissed, upset, etc. I was shocked to find out that someone I knew blocked me. She isn’t a close friend, more of an acquaintance, but I’ve known her for a number of years. Apparently I said/did something that got her dander up. But instead of acting like an adult and telling me what I did to offend her, she blocked me. I find that to be the most juvenile action you can take. Did she sit at her computer and say, “Keli really made me mad. I know! I’ll block her! That will show her! But the best part is she won’t even know!” ?

If you aren’t familiar with blocking, the person you blocked can no longer see or find you on Facebook. I found out because I went to tag this person in a photo and her name didn’t come up. I mentioned it to a mutual friend and she mentioned that she just saw a post from her. So I figured it out – I had been blocked.

I had to laugh. If I did something to piss you off, tell me. And everyone is using Facebook as a way to express their angst. I love these posts: “I’m so mad!”, “I can’t believe it!” , “What a bitch!” OK, I’m being sarcastic. I hate those posts. If you want to tell us all that you are mad, or you were wronged, than tell us. And if you are mad at me, don’t block me. Unfriend me, tell me, whatever, but don’t think I won’t find out that I was blocked, because in between looking at pix of kitties, I will find out.

A little time off

It’s been a while since I wrote. I kept thinking about it, but felt I really didn’t have much to write about. That’s not technically true, I guess I felt that I didn’t have much to say that anyone would care about. Not that that matters, I guess.

Now it seems I have so much to write about, it would take forever. First, my health (not to jinx it) has been good. I feel good, my back feels good (thanks to a new physical therapist) and I feel like things are going well. I have a possible new venture that I hope comes through. I’ve started a natural body products business, Twig and Leaf Naturals, that I am loving. Love the products and love making them.

So glad the election is over – hoping the country turns around, but we’ll see. At least the ads are done.
Been thinking about the direction of my life – I hit my 43rd birthday and I still wonder if there is more or something different I should have done or should be doing. I still think about going back to school – I just want to find something that I love.

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What’s Next?

I can honestly say I always have this sense of “unfinished”. Like I’m supposed to be doing something, something else. I try to head down a road that I think I’m supposed to and it seems as if someone or something always turns me around. So I’ve started dabbling in some things I’m interested in, and have been getting responses from people that I never expected. So we’ll see. But it just seems that the anxiety, the feeling of unrest, maybe it will go away? What am I doing, you ask? I’ve started making organic products (lotion, scrubs, etc). It wasn’t intentional-it was out of necessity. I was tired of how dry my skin was due to my meds, so I did much research, and investigating. So I said, why not? So I made my own, but have also given them to friends. But unexpectedly, everyone keeps telling me how they love what I made. It just feels nice to have create something that people like.Kind of like art. Being able to share what I can do with others.

Does Optimism Have its Limits?


Does Thinking Positive Really Help? (abc.com)

Scientists may have found a physiological explanation for the power of positive thinking. When optimists and pessimists attempt the same task, their different attitudes are reflected in different neural activities in their brains.

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology found that participants in brain-scanning experiments who thought they were doing well on a complex task had greater neural activity in a high-level area of the brain called the posterior parietal cortex (PPT).

Different neural activity was observed in the brains of participants who thought they were doing poorly.

The implication in those results is that personal attitudes may pre-program us to succeed if we are optimists, and protect ourselves against failure if we are pessimists. Does that mean that optimists are more likely to succeed, as other experiments have suggested?

Not without limitations. In the Caltech experiments, changes in how the brains “lit up” depended on how the participants thought they had performed, not on whether they were successful or not. There was no correlation between neural activity and actual performance. Optimists were just as likely to fail at the task as were pessimists, and vice versa.

Optimism May Give Someone a Boost Up the Ladder of Success

That may seem contradictory, but the results suggest that while optimism may be helpful and even give someone a boost up the ladder of success, it’s not likely to overwhelm a person’s actual ability to perform better than someone else.

Of course, these conclusions go far beyond the limited objectives of the Caltech team of researchers, who are concentrating on understanding the neural mechanism involved in translating sensual stimuli into motor actions.

How do you duck if you see a baseball heading for your nose? Lots of questions are involved in that seemingly simple function.

“We are trying to understand the transition between the sensory input and subsequent motor actions,” Igor Kagan, senior research fellow in biology at Caltech, said in a telephone interview. He is co-author of a paper in the August issue of PLoS Biology.

Brain Scanners Help Researchers Study Human Brain in Real Time

Until a decade or so ago, the only way to delve into that area was through animal research, which may or may not shed light on human activities. But with the advent of powerful brain scanners, researchers today can study the human brain in real time as subjects perform various tasks.

The “overarching goal” of the Caltech research, as Kagan put it, is to develop neurological prosthesis for paralyzed patients that could translate brain signals into physical functions.

That could enable a patient to operate external devices such as a robot arm, autonomous vehicle, or a computer, purely through neurological signals. But that’s a long term goal, so the more immediate objective is to better understand how those same signals allow us to move our bodies.

Seventeen persons participated in the experiments, which required them to lie inside a functional magnetic resonance imaging scanner and perform a very difficult task of memorizing precisely when, where and in what order a trackball appeared on a computer screen.

Optimism Has Its Limitations

“The subjects were given one second to memorize the sequence, 15 seconds to plan their movements in advance, and then only 10 seconds to finish the task,” Kagan said.

Onward and Upward

As you know, I have had a pretty craptastic year. (See previous posts) So I am ready for something new! Something exciting! Something fantastic! How can I be so happy? So upbeat? Frankly, I don’t f-in know.

Someone asked me that not too long ago, “How come you are so happy? You have had the year from hell, more than most people have in a lifetime and now you’ve been dealing with your back for 6 months (2 herniated discs, one bulging), how can you maintain this outlook?”

I answered her with this, “I don’t fu@king know. I just keep plodding along, doing what my heart tells me. I guess it’s not in me to sit around and mope. I just am not that type of person. I believe we have choices: we can choose to give up or we can choose to go on. There was just something on TV where some guy said it was proven that a positive outlook cannot help or change things. I think he’s full of shit. A positive outlook might not cure my MS, or my back, but it was as sure as shit keep me from playing in traffic. If I can’t push myself to keep going, what have I got? I find things to do that don’t involve hurting my back. I can’t ride, but I go and groom my horse, or I paint, do yoga, knit . . . until I am back on track, I have to find other things that i enjoy. And I think that’s the secret: don’t sit around, pissed at what you can’t do. Enjoy what you can. So that’s my secret!”

Then we poured more wine and had a laugh at ourselves, and at life.What we have is a gift: good friends, family, and the future.

A beautiful post from a fellow blogger

I had to contact the author of this post to get her permission to repost a portion of it. She has so perfectly summed up what it is like to live with MS. Thank you Angela (from Nova Scotia). She has a great blog that you should all read:
Gracie’s Mum: A Story of a Mum with MS

Living with MS is much like hurricane season.

All year long.

Nobody knows why some people develop MS while others don’t. Nobody knows why some people have mild cases of relapse-remitting that remain in remission for years.

Nobody knows why some people have faster cycling forms of relapse-remitting. Nobody knows why some with relapse-remitting graduate to Secondary Progressive and others don’t. And nobody knows why some people develop Primary progressive right off the bat.

And nobody has the cure.

And even more importantly, those with any form of MS have no idea when or where the next attack will come and what damage will be left in its wake.

Much like hurricane season, many will be ready and prepared only to be relieved from time to time when not much of anything has happened at all.

Many will face a wrath of nature that no amount of planning could have ever prepared them for.

So what do people who live in the path of hurricanes do?

They live, they breathe, they hunker down for the long haul, they rebuild if necessary only to do it all again.

But very few move away out of fear.

They adapt or die.

So, while I start making longer grocery lists that include canned goods, bottles of water, batteries and candles I am confident in the fact that I too am as prepared as I will let myself be for the next one, which has every chance of being the big one.

And when and if it comes I have but one thing to say.

You better bring it ‘cause you’ve met your match this time.

A good day? Do they still exist?

Yesterday was “the bad day”. I had a horrible day, running around, work, etc. Finally, I lost it. The tears, the weeping, the sobbing. I am entitled to one losing-it per attack and yesterday was it. So today, was for me.

I started with getting my nails done. I never do that. I never pamper myself. There is never time! So today, I did. Then I met a good friend for lunch. It was nice to catch up and hear what he’s been up to.

Then I treated myself and him to cupcakes at Dolce Cupcakery. 3 for me, 1 for him. Maybe I’ll share with the family, maybe I won’t.

I also stopped into a new yarn store. For those of you who knit, you understand the nirvana that this can be. 3 skeins later I left, already planning who was getting what for Christmas.

As simple as these pleasures sound, it made for a good day. Yesterday is still knocking around in my head, but today is starting to fill up the space.

The next phase

So finished the 3 days of steroids. To put it in perspective – when your Dr. puts you on prednisone for an infection, you usually take 20 mg. I am getting 3 days of IV steroids, at 1000mg each. So think about how awful that 20 mg makes you feel and multiply it 50 times! I did sleep a little bit last night though.

But a new symptom! Gotta love it – vibrating and numbness in my stomach and legs. It’s a lot of fun trying to walk like this. And of course, the world doesn’t stop and I have work and things to do, so I continue on my way. But going to bed early tonight, that’s for sure.

The high point of my day was teaching a lesson this morning to the nicest girl. It was great to get my horse fix, even if it was thru someone else!

Another sleepless night

Someone said to me recently that they can’t believe i have MS. With all that I do (real estate, work with my husband, graphic design, teach horseback riding, paint, etc) it was a shock to know I had this disease. I guess I don’t really think about it. If you choose to be defined by what you have instead of who you are, I guess I can see that. I don’t go about my day and say “Gee, I shouldn’t do that because I have MS.” I go about my day and if I notice I am tired or not feeling quite up to it, then I might say “today isn’t a good day for me.” I don’t want to be defined by a disease. I want to be defined by the person I am. Make sense?

But to discuss this damn disease, I woke up, again, at 3AM. Can’t they find a drug that doesn’t make you have insomnia? Solumedrol is not the one, I can tell you that. So I am working on 3 nights of hardly any sleep with one more to come. (The first night was due to the steroids I had injected in my back, the other 2 nights were from the dreaded Solumedrol). So I get up, work, clean, enjoy the quiet. But I’d much rather be sleeping.

The side effects are the worst part. They are worse than the MS flare-up. Insomnia, insatiable hunger, moodiness, anxiousness, the list goes on and on. In the info from the company, they even mention the possibility of ‘frank psychotic manifestations’. Whatever that might be, I’m sure I’ve had one or two.