Monday, August 27, 2007

October 16, 2007

This is my big day .... I just spoke with the surgeon and I am scheduled for my total knee replacement that day.

I have so many mixed feelings ... nervousness, excitement, impatience, etc...

I know that this surgery is going to be tough and very painful, but the pain I have suffered for almost two years constantly reminds me that it will be worth a few weeks of intense pain to get my life back.

So, I will employ positive thoughts, use "The Secret" to get me through this upcoming event speedily and with as little pain as possible and no complications.


This darling little girl is named Adanu Tofic.

I recently became the proud sponsor of this child. After waiting for nearly 2 months, I finally received her file on Friday.

She is 6 years old, has 2 sisters and 1 brother. Her mother is the sole provider for this family as her father recently passed away from lung problems. Her mother does not have steady income, but cuts grass occasionally with a machete or sometimes sweeps the streets.

Adanu was fortunate enough to get into a sponsorship program and has been accepted into the Kid's Hope Centre run by "Canadian Humanitarian Organization for International Relief" in a semi-rural part of Addis Ababa. She will be starting school (kindergarten) this fall and will have schooling provided for her until she is 16.

Sponsoring a child seems such a small thing in our land of plenty, but what it gives a child and their family in a country such as Ethiopia is enormous.

Here is a link to the organization I am sponsoring Adanu through.

What If?

Africa breaks my heart --- that’s the simplest and most persistent emotion that bursts out of such recent films as “Hotel Rwanda,” “The Constant Gardener,” “The Last King of Scotland,” and, now, “Blood Diamond,” the best and most enjoyable of these movies set against the background of civil wars, ethnic conflict, and Western meddling and exploitation.

Blood Diamond takes place in civil war-torn Sierra Leone in the 1990s, its story centered on a fisherman whose life is uprooted when his village is invaded by the the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and his wife and children are taken from him. Solomon (the fisherman) is captured and turned into a slave trolling for gems in the river. He finds a rare and priceless huge pink diamond and buries it nearby, but not before being spotted by the amiably vicious leader of the R.U.F.

Solomon Vandy played by Djimon Hounsou who has tremendous presence and depth, gives a powerful performance and keeps the movie’s moral sense firmly in place. Danny Archer played by Leonardo DiCaprio plays his finest role yet in an impressive career. He plays a white Rhodesian (Zimbabwe) by birth and a former mercenary in Angola ... and he wants the diamond. In the capital city of Freetown, Maddy Bowen played by Jennifer Connelly, a magazine reporter, cozies up to Archer trying to get the story of how the smuggling racket works. Solomon, Danny, and Maddy all want something, and they take turns using, helping, and half trusting one another to get it, stumbling in and out of war zones as young killers (whose ranks eventually include Solomon's son Dia) rampage through the towns firing AK-47s from the backs of pickup trucks. The story's full horror comes through when Solomon's 12-year-old son Dia played by Caruso Kuypers is kidnapped by them and brainwashed into being a child soldier. This bright boy and good son changes into a zombie, and his transformation stands in for all the horrors that war is.

Every time a valuable natural resource has been discovered in Africa—whether it’s ivory, gold, or diamonds—white Europeans have hired surrogates to plunder the goods, and the Africans have suffered terribly.

Though the scenes of flying bullets and widespread carnage are shattering (especially at the hands of children), the violence - in the course of a real-life war - is organic and necessary. The varied African landscape is depicted with breathtaking beauty.

Add to this the African Children's Choir, a strong presence whose mission we all need to be in support of. Made up of the most precious of faces and the most delicate of voices, the choir is comprised of young African children aged between 7 and 11. Many of them have lost a parent or two to famine and disease, some are HIV positive orphans. They speak different languages and are from various countries around the continent, but they have united in one voice to represent and raise awareness to the issues concerning AIDS orphans from all over Africa.

A moving piece of music ..."Nangirira" is sung by this choir in the final moments of the film. They also did a few other sounds and music throughout the film and during some noticeable moments at the beginning.

New Furniture

Don & I decided to treat ourselves to some new furniture for our 20 anniversary.

After researching quite a few stores, I found Bassett Furniture. They have beautiful, quality furniture. Although they are on the expensive side, the furniture will last .... I'm sure it will outlive me.

We kept our dining room set, but added on 6 new chairs. My chairs were very loose and no amount of glue could tighten them up and as well one of the seats had actually cracked in half ... was being held together by the fabric & padding on the seat. The table style leans toward Sheraton, so I chose the Louise Phillippe chairs - see above. They have fairly straight lines with a little embellishment by way of carvings on the top edges of the back of the chair. I think they will blend quite nicely.

As well, we have not had a coffee table in the living that was ours but have been using an interesting over scale Rice Bowl (chawan) that belongs to Don's younger brother, so I finally took the plunge and purchased our own.

All in all I'm quite happy with my choices, I sure hope that they look as great in my home as they did in the showroom.

I had the dining chairs upholstered in a custom fabric, so I have to wait for one month for the arrival of my new furniture and patience is not my strong suit. Will update when it's here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Happy 20th Anniversary

It's hard for me to believe that we have been together for nearly 23 years ... it seems like you have been in my life forever.

You came into my life when my children were 9 & 7 and you have been a constant for them since that time. Although Todd did not live with us, you have shown him friendship and you are always there for each other and enjoy each others company. Sebrina is your "daughter" - let no one tell you any different. I see the fierceness of your love, protection and devotion for her. Just look at the pictures above and see the love for your girls. And our beautiful grandchildren, when they visit us or we visit them, I can see how much they love you. The night we picked up our precious Gabriella from the airport and you took her in your arms for the first time, I could see that she would became your little princess, just like Sebrina was when she was a little girl, although judging from the picture above, I don't think much has changed.

You met me, a healthy young woman and unfortunately arthritis & fibromyalgia have taken away a large chunk of my health. Has it mattered to you ... I think not. I don't know what I would do without you. You are my angel. You worked tirelessly to pay off our mortgage, so I could stop working over 8 years ago now, due to my health and now you take such good care of me.

You are a man of little words, but every day by your actions, you show me how much you love me, our children and our grandchildren. Words are not necessary to pass between us many, many times. Just sitting with you, I can feel the bond between us.

What a wonderful man ... think I'll keep him.

Just Relax

I am planning a "Pamper Party" for my soon to be sister in law in September. I hired a Mobile Spa Service to come in that day to give Sarah a pampering pedicure.

So, today I decided to try them out just to make sure that I liked the esthetician, if she does a good job, etc... Well, let me say, what a delicious pampering experience. It almost felt sinful to have someone come into my home and pamper me like that. I am so used to going to the spa to have my pedicures, etc... For just $40.00 this wonderful woman spent 1 1/2 hours on my feet, smoothing out my calluses, massaging me with a sea salt mixture to slough off the dead skin, then giving me a wonderful foot and lower leg massage. And the best part, I didn't have to put on those silly disposable pedicure sandals to drive home in so I didn't damage my nail polish. I just ran around bare foot at home until they dried. What a treat!

She came fully prepared just like at a spa, she had foot bath, antiseptic cleaning products, a large array of nail polish colours, all her own towels. She even brought a few candles to light and a relaxing cd.

Here is their website If you want a treat give them a try. If you're not in her area, just do a search on mobile spa services ... you'll be surprised what you find.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

New Knee

Well, the day has finally come. After all of the pain and difficulties in the past 2 years with my knee, the surgeon I saw on Friday August 17th, told me I need to have a Total Knee Replacement (TKR), despite my younger age. The first surgeon had said he would not do one, but this doctor agrees that quality of life is important. I decided to see a second surgeon because following scope in February of this year by the first surgeon, I have struggled with regaining my mobility. As well the pain following the scope has been almost intolerable, wakes me up constantly at night. This doctor also said that a TKR is a very difficult surgery, much harder than a hip replacement. He is the third person who has told me this.

Am I scared? You betcha!
He has put me on a high priority list because the pain constantly interrupts my sleep ... approximately every 30 minutes or so and as well my ability to walk is slowly getting worse and worse. That means that I will be having surgery sometime within 2-4 months.

Well, here is my bitch for the day .... a big issue for me right now is that this injury according to my rheumatologist and my orthopaedic surgeon is a direct result of the automobile accident in January 2005 and the other party involved will accept no responsibility and as well have pretty much shut me down. That means my insurance company is stuck paying all of the expenses that have been incurred since the accident (unfortunately they will only pay so much - so some of the cost is now falling on our shoulders). I did speak to a lawyer who thinks I have a pretty good case, but if I lose, I would incur hundreds of thousands in court fees, plus his fees, so you can see my dilemma. I don't feel that the other party should get off scott-free, but also don't want to have to live with the possibility of what would be the outcome of initiating a law suit. Don & I have talked and both feel that they shouldn't get away with this. We are not really looking for a major financial settlement .... an admission of guilt and maybe paying my medical expenses instead of my insurance company footing the bill for an accident that I was not at fault for. According to my Inusrance Adjuster this is considered a life changing injury and the other company should accept responsibility for this. He spoke with their corporate lawyer and was told that I have grounds for a positive case against the other party's insurance company. Okay, now that I've got that off my chest I feel much better.
Now to get ready for this upcoming event. I need to ensure that I eat very well, so my body is prepared for the big repair, try to knock off a little weight, which will certainly make the months and months of therapy easier, get in home help in place for after the surgery. I spoke with my older brother yesterday who underwent a TKR 3 1/2 weeks ago. He said that he needed a lot of help for approximately 1 1/2 weeks when he came home. There is beds to move to the first floor to set up a room for me, there is equipment to purchase or rent, ie, walkers, canes, aids to help with dressing, grab bars for the tub, the list goes on and on.
I'll just have to suck it up with regard to the after surgery pain and remember that I have been living with a blow torch in my knee for 2 years which has increased in intensity since the arthroscope surgery in February of this year, and hope that a few weeks of intense pain will reward me with the ability to live my life again the way I want to, walking the dog every morning, shopping and actually enjoying it, climbing the stairs without wincing at each step and most of all getting a good nights sleep. Ah heaven!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Power of ONE

ONE child dies every 15 seconds in the world from diseases associated with a lack of clean drinking water. ONE dollar can provide ONE African with clean drinking water for ONE year. ONE person can make a difference. African Children's Choir concert music video with photographs and other video link together to portray the difference each of us can make!

The African Childrens Choir is touring presentingly. Sebrina and I are going to see them in Scarboro, Ontario in a couple of weeks. I can hardly wait!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Chiropractic Care

Do you see a chiropractor regularly?

I do and let me tell you, there is an enormous difference in my health. Although I do still suffer from arthritis and fibromyalgia, I can't imagine what it would be like without my chiropractor.

For many, many years I suffered from headaches so bad that I submitted myself to trigger point injections, very painful injections in the neck and shoulder area by an anestheologist which gave me a moderate amount of relief for approximately 3 months. My doctor also sent me to a public health nurse to learn how to inject myself with a strong intra-muscular injectable pain killer.

Since seeing a chiropractor regularly for the last 4-5 years, the strongest painkiller I take now is Advil and usually more for my arthritis pain especially my knee. Very seldom for a headache any more.

Here are nine reasons for chiropractic care.

1. Relieve nerve irritation caused by narrowed openings of the spine due to degenerated discs.
2. Restore movement by stretching shortened ligaments resulting from chronic joint stiffness.
3. Restore joint movement by breaking down scar tissue from old injuries.
4. Help to "pump" in nourishment and lubricates the discs to avoid drying, cracking and rupturing of discs.
5. Calm muscle excitability to reduce tensions and spasm.
6. Can trigger specific pain-controlling nerve reflexes.
7. Can save you time and money in the long run by preventing chronic pain and future disability.
8. Correct underlying structural problem, rather than "cover up" your symptoms.
9. Pain relief without drugs or surgery.

Many, many people are nervous to see a chiropractor because of many horror stories of neck twisting, cracking, etc.... When you look for a chiro make sure that you and he/she understand your fears. They don't have to do the twisting and cracking. My chiro has never twisted or cracked my neck due to the lack of mobility and pain I suffer from arthritis in my neck. She uses a small hand held machine called an "Activator" which gently provides adjustments to the spine.

It's most important to understand that chiropractic is not a treatment for disease. It's purpose is to reduce nerve system stress, a serious and often painless condition most adults and children have in their bodies. Nerve system stress interferes with the proper functioning of the nervous system, can weaken internal organs and organ systems, lower resistance, reduce healing potential and set the stage for sickness and disorders of all kinds. When a chiropractor frees the nervous system from spinal stress, the healing power of the body is unleashed: the immune system works more efficiently, resistance to disease increases, and your body functions more efficiently. You can then respond to internal and external environmental stresses such as germs, changes in temperature, humidity, toxins, pollen and all the other stresses you may come in contact with more efficiently.
Try chiropractic care ... I'm sure you will come to love your chiro as much as I love mine.


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