Friday, December 19, 2008

Post Vacation

So, I made it through vacation without losing any body parts! Ya, I am kind of surprised, too. In the past, I have lost things like my appendix, injured myself, etc...

I got a blu-ray player for my birthday... that is awesome! And, got some movies, too, but with Circuit City closing it's doors in my area, I have been investing a small fortune in discounted movies. Nothing else there seems to be anything but down to the prices that everyone else charges.

So, I have been getting a lot of interest in people trying to hire me out of my current position. I am somewhat courting it a bit now since I have been a little unhappy with the direction of my current position is going. I am not sure I will actually go, but it is kind of fun since I am really interviewing them as much as they are me. But, I don't want to get caught up into a situation where I am thinking a new company is going to provide the "little nest" I have built in my current position. They have been letting my work from home a lot lately to take away some of the stress and fatigue that is generated when I am in the office. I actually get a lot more work done at home than at work with all the distractions. So, I am not very sure what I am going to do. I like the place that I work, but just not the way it is being ran now in my area.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A lot going on

Again, I took a long time to add to my blog. I think that I don't really add to it until I have to get something off my chest.

Since my last blog message, I broke my right foot again! It is really one of the toes, but there really isn't anything to break in a foot than the toes. I don't generally call it a toe since I broke it half way between my heel and where the toe becomes an appendage... inside the foot. Anyway, you cannot cast it, so I just have to be nice to it. I started walking on a cane to help it out, but noticed within a couple weeks that I was putting to much stress on my left ankle (the titanium reinforced one). So I then had to switch my cane walking to now take stress off the left foot... ugh.

I have had some anger/depression issues again. One of my doctors adjusted the drugs I take (more than a dozen pills and a self administered shot every day) and that seems to have helped.

So, my issue now is how to cope with the MS fatigue and weakness, my ankles and feet that need physical therapy, memory issues, the need for exercise, taking care of my children (an attitude perfecting teenage daughter, an attitude developing daughter, and a wild and temperamental 5 year old daughter... all cute and all very good kids, but....) while my wife works 2 jobs and goes to school.... oh, by the way, I work full time!!

And, to make matters worse, we now have a dog that I absolutely hate. It is as dumb as a doorknob, yaps all the time, and cannot figure out where she is supposed to "go to the bathroom". From that description, anyone with any knowledge of dogs probably know about what type of dog I am speaking.

I did make some progress with my job in the fact I got them to agree to working 2 days in the office and 3 at home a week. It does wonders for my fatigue. But, I have also heard from my company that the price of my healthcare (which I cannot do without) is going up 30%...

So, the title "A lot going on" is very accurate.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


So, I quit smoking a couple weeks ago and it sucks. I suddenly fell into a state of depression. It just seems that I am no one to everyone.

I pretty much sucks.

I have been trying to figure out what I can do to get over this, but I have found nothing that helps. No one to really talk to about it since everyone seems to be too busy.

On top of this, it seems that I have piles of stuff that I need to do, yet cannot make headway on anything. Money is always an issue. My wife seems to believe that everything is fine, but I don't see it that way since I am in the time of my life where I should be making money enough to catch up on all the debt, but I can't.

I have things to fix at home. I have things to fix at work. I have things to fix.... well, everywhere. I hate being run-down all the time. I hate having to veg out because I am too tired to do anything after work. Once the weekend comes around, I try to catch up as best that I can, but it never seems to be enough.

I wish I could do something that would take all this away, although if it did go away then I would have nothing to do, which would also be a problem.

So, it seems like a lose-lose situation to me. I cannot win, no matter how many caffeine pills I pop. And, once it seems like I might be able to, I go and do something like break my foot. (Actually a toe up inside the foot)

I pretty much snap at anything... fuse is really short. And, this is really bad for my family. My teenage daughter says that she is tired of hearing about Multiple Sclerosis... I know she is a teenager and shouldn't take much from it. But, that sucks, too.

So, basically, I am depressed with no end in sight. Maybe I should start smoking again.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Facebook, etc

This thing has been pretty cool. I have contacted people that I haven't spoken to in a decade or more, I am networking with people that I barely know, and it is a little bit of fun.

So, in the last post I spoke about my camera getting stolen. Well, we found the thief! It was my wife. It was hidden away in a bag that had been put away after our last weekend trip. So, it was not really stolen, just misplaced. LOL... I had even bought a new one to replace it... guess I need to hurry up and take it back!!

Well the first MIZZOU football game is this weekend!! So ready!! I love football. And, finally, the tigers are respectable. I am tired of Jayhawk fans. They cheer for their basketball team and all it's glory. It has been a powerhouse basketball team since the 50's. Of course the best players want to go there and of course they do well.

I don't think you are real fan unless you stick with your team through the bad times before you see the good times and you stay with them when it goes bad again. I really hate "bandwagon fans"... those that only root for winning teams and it changes from year to year. The jayhawk fans that I come in contact with talk like they are "entitled" to it or something... naw, root for a team where the goalposts are torn down after ANY win since they are so few and far between as I did with MIZZOU in the late 80's and early 90's. Hell, I was one of the people tearing them down. Then get to watch them start winning... those are the fans... not those that only know the team when they are winning.

The same goes for the Chiefs. They are going to suck this year. That is expected when more that half of the team have less than 2 seasons experience. They are rebuilding through the draft. Not a quick-fix-find-a-free-agent-to-fill-a-role rebuild, an old-school rebuilding. Creating a team that is used to working together. That is the way it should be done.

I guess that is all I have for today...

Fighting through pain + allergies right now, but that is boring.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Not sure what to write about, but I haven't left any entries for a while.

My headaches are mostly gone. After 4 shots of steroids to the spine and an increase in meds (like I need more... I take about 16 pills and 1 shot a day right now), there are only a few break-through pain episodes now and they are all minor. Nothing like the ones that started this whole thing.

Maybe it is because the temperature around here is freakishly low for August. I am pretty sure that has something to do with it.

So, only news I have is that someone (teenagers from the neighborhood, I'm sure) broke into my truck and stole cigarettes and nice digital camera. Sucks. Don't have the money for a new camera. I have been looking around in the classifieds online and in the newspapers for the camera. It had family pictures still on it! I haven't found it yet.

So, I found facebook this month. I originally had not planned to use any sites like that, but many of my friends across the country use it and it is a way to keep in contact. It has been sort of nice, but takes up too much time. I have suddenly ran into people that I have not talked to in 20 years. No kidding. High School.

Oh well. That is all I have got for now. Nothing really good or bad going on.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


So, I am back exactly 1 month after my last post... boy, I am really burning up the blogosphere (/sarcasm).

Heat has been the issue as of late. When it gets into the 80's and 90's and so forth, it is a pain in the ass. I get fatigued. I start having issues concentrating. I have issues with more random pains. Sometimes everything seems to close in and I cannot function correctly.

Oh, btw, I added a bunch more medicine to my current regimen, so the headaches are better. I also had several spinal steroid shots. The headaches are more manageable now, but are not gone. It is amazing what my pain tolerance is now. I laid in recovery for my spinal shot which I barely noticed, and listened to people moan and cry in pain from the same shot. The pain tolerance is nice, but the cause of it is no so nice.

I started smoking again. I shouldn't do it. But, when you have so many other things to deal with, it is hard to give it up. On top of that, I am not eating correctly. I generally skip everything but dinner... too busy, I guess. Another thing I need to get into the habit of doing.

Back to the heat. It is messing with my memory and my moods. Mainly making me depressed. Maybe not depressed in a clinical sense, but depressed nonetheless.

I have so many thing I need to do:
  • quit smoking
  • exercise every day
  • eat every meal in moderation
  • cut out my self medication (drinking)
  • get a sleeping habit together so I can fall asleep at night
  • get to work on time (hard to do)
  • stop drinking so much caffeine
  • fix this
  • fix that
  • upgrade this
  • upgrade that
  • build this
  • build that
  • etc
  • etc
  • etc
  • etc
  • etc
My list seems to be overwhelming to me. And, what is even harder is to remember it! Especially in the HEAT.


Sunday, June 22, 2008


I have been having some problems with pain for the past few weeks. The locations are random on my head. It feels like a mini-migraine and lasts for only a few minutes. It pretty much sucks. When they hit (no warning, just pain), I lose my train of thought and it is difficult to speak or anything. It does not take away any motor skills or anything, just moves all attention to the pain. Like I needed something else.

I have been taking hydrocodone and oxycodone to mask it, but it is still there, nonetheless. In the middle of all of this, my job has ramped up so I have a LOT of work to do in a very small amount of time. So much for trying to take it easy.

I had to leave in the middle to go to a wedding. The wedding was planned a year ago and it was on my schedule to leave since then. The work necessity came up about a week before and suddenly I was under pressure to work. They wanted me to work while I was at the wedding and make sure to keep up with my email, etc. No pressure.

I have been talking for months about getting some help with what I do since, currently, there is NO ONE else in the company that knows how to do it. Basically, if there is Oracle work, I have to do it. No problem. But there is a limitation with how much time there is in a day and the fact that I really do need to sleep.

On top of all of this, I am still making less money than I did in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 & 2007. I can say 2007 even though I was working for the same company because in the beginning of the year, I was working a second job. This year, all salaries were frozen, so no raise. Oh, they also changed insurance, so I now pay a considerable amount more in insurance. Insurance is absolutely necessary in my case. Copaxone is not cheap.

To give you an idea, I am now working a second job again. This is absolutely wrong. My doctors... plural... all say the same thing that I should be taking disability right now and not working at all. So, what am I doing, working 2 jobs. My wife is working 2 jobs AND going to school to get her PhD. Basically, in my house there are 4 college degrees and a fifth on the way.

Oh, 3 daughters, 2 dogs, vehicles, house, etc... If we had more money, we could pay for some help with the house cleaning and such. We did have someone helping, but she was sporadic on when she would show up and pricey.

The pain (changed subject, I know) puts me in a down mood. Way down since I am being hit with intense pain without warning... I just know that it is coming. It is sort of a torture almost. Right now it is occurring about every hour, sometime more, sometimes less.

If the MS didn't make you live a life feeling all alone all the time. Seems kinda stupid, but ask anyone else with MS and they will tell you exactly the same. You cannot live a normal, active life all the time. You have to make time to rest (and feel like you are being lazy). You have to stay away from heat. You have to take a cocktail of pill every morning and again every night. You have to inject yourself with a painful shot EVERY day. No one else close to you has to do this. They just watch and think of it as a normal thing or something. Sorry, it is not.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I have a lot to say, but not much time to do it. So here goes. I apologize if a lot of it does not make sense.

I am having what I think are MS exacerbations or symptoms now. I have been having these mini-migraine headaches. Basically, I have a headache only in a small area of my head, like the side above the ear. It is pretty painful, but only last 5-15 minutes. The next one will be in a completely different spot on my head. Can't really take anything for it since I don't know it is coming and the medicine would not take effect until after it has gone away. Sucks!!!

My company changed insurance at the beginning of the year. It hurts. I take copaxone everyday and it is a very expensive regime. The price of it doubled. Plus I am supposed to go through a step routine for the medicines so I can take the medicines that I have been taking for years. Fortunately for me, my doctor is the same and he is taking care of those issues for me since it took me several grueling years to get to where I am at now. Also, the insurance won't cover things like Chantix and several other medicines now, so I have to pay out of pocket for them. Sucks!!!

BTW, I have be doing incredibly well at my job, going above and beyond and producing. How do they repay me for it?? Change insurance, causing more expenses.... and freeze all raises. Oh, in my household there are 4 college degrees... me=2, wife=2, but working on number 3 right now. College costs... debts cost.... medicine costs... kids cost....Sucks!!! I am now looking to work a second job. I am in pretty high demand, if I want to be, but I am not sure that my health can handle it. But, I want to live life without having the stress of life. ;)

Oh, I am so good at what I do, that the company is using my technology suggestions leaving me as the implementer of everything... but not allowing me another employee to help me out with the workload. The people that I work with are 95% microsoft based stuff. So, there is no one with the skills to cross over and I am not given the time to train anyone. The people with Microsoft skills tend to be IDE addicted and do not know the basis of anything underneath. Makes it hard for them to crossover since there are very few IDE's for what I do. I am a writer of code in a text editor. Old School. Sucks!!!

I have to do something about my weight now, too. I have been trying to slow down lately so I feel better. I take naps sometimes now.... it is getting hot outside (I can't handle that very well)... so I have been increasingly inactive. My weight has shot up. The only thing that I can willing do, it seems, is just to stop eating. I am now only eating 1 meal a day. It is not healthy and I know it. It is not working since my body just goes into starvation-mode and I don't lose anything but muscle. But, what do you do when you have MS and trying to lose weight.... Sucks!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Yes I smoke. I quit in January of last year for good (so I thought). Then last year about this time, I had an exacerbation and took IV steroids. Turned out that the steroids caused more harm than anything. I lost my appetite (that actually wasn't all that bad), bone marrow stopped producing blood cells, and more health problems. It was a horrible experience, especially since I did the IV's at home and went to work just the same as always (bit of a work-a-holic). The steroids, basically, drove me back to the cigarettes.

So, I decided that it was time to try again and use Chantix (like I did last year). That stuff really works. By day 2, the nicotine was no longer being absorbed into my system!! Kinda sucks because I want a cigarette, but if I go and have one, it does nothing but make me stink. No nicotine.

I figure I will no longer be smoking by the end of this weekend. I still am in the habit of smoking, so that will take a few days.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


For some reason or another (MS), my moods flip up and down. I take some really good meds to help with that. I say really good because the meds I was taking years ago did not work very well and, in turn, was affecting everyone around me. A few years ago, I tried something new (which I had done on multiple occasions) and this worked! Really well!

I can still tell when my moods flip. It is not nearly as drastic as it was in the past, but I can still tell. Bipolar is what they call it, but I know what causes it (sort of.... since no one really knows the hows and whys about MS).

So, right now, I am down. I see it as a little scale of 1 through 10, 5 being normal. I now sway between about 3 and 6. I am down at about 4 right now. So, not too bad. Really doesn't affect me all that much at that level... just sort of annoying, for lack of a better way to explain it.

There are some triggers, but they don't affect me as much as they used to. The main ones at this point are normal and weird ones. Like my health (I am still smoking... bad bad bad), family (chaos is a trigger, lack of time with my wife), and intagibles (like things breaking, money, etc).

I don't think that there was any type of definite trigger this time, although I have been working a stupid amount of hours as of late. 60+ hours a week is not a good thing with MS which causes me to be even more tired than normal.

I am getting a bit burned out with the fact that I am the only person doing what I do for my company. If I had extra time, I would train someone to help me, but time is not something that I have had as of late. I think I am going to have to slow my work down so I CAN train someone. People I work with (boss) are a little concerned with it, as well.

My wife has taken on a second job teaching at a local college and getting ready to start her PhD. This is a plan for the future in the fact it will give us more stability. Although, it is going to be a tough time for me having to endure that period of our lives with her being extremely busy and more of an onus placed upon me. Just scares me a bit. I can handle it, but still....

Monday, March 24, 2008

Wow, it has been a while!

So, I have been doing a lot of long hours, lot of hard work and not enough sleeping. Not good for me.

I am very needed in my position due to my Oracle skills.... kind of an Oracle developer crossed with a dba. I have never wanted to be a dba because of the repetitive stuff you have to do. So, I never took those classes even when I got them for free as an Oracle employee at HQ. I am much better at doing the design and such of development work. I know how to write Java having spent years doing it at Oracle HQ working on Oracle Applications, but I got a bit burned out with java. I think it has to do with all the little things you had to do for the "business" people getting picky about what color this needs to be and where they want it to sit on the screen, asking it to move 1 pixel this way or that way.

I am now back to a company that spreads it between Open Source stuff (my preference) and Microsoft stuff. The MS stuff has it's place, but it pretty pricey when you come down to it. I know, you want to say that Oracle is way more expensive, but I beg to differ. Say for a standard development environment with a dev-test/qa-production environment hierarchy. In the dev enviroment for MS you have to pay for the OS, the Database and the Visual Source Safe IDE. In Oracle/Opensource, you have to get an OS (linux) -- FREE, IDE -- FREE and the Oracle DB -- FREE (in development). In test/QA, same situation, pay for all MS stuff and all Oracle/OpenSource is FREE. In production, same for MS and you may even need to set up load balancing with 2 or more databases and 2 or more webservers in essence doubling the cost. On the Oracle/OpenSource side, everything would be free except for the Oracle database which is expensive, but probably not as expensive as the whole cost of all the MS software all the way up the hierarchy. Also, in many cases where you need multiple databases in MS, you can probably use a single Oracle db. Given, that some of that is the OS since linux has a MUCH smaller memory footprint than windows, but still.

I did say Oracle in my title, so I had to at least throw some of that in rather than just my multiple sclerosis. Football season is not going on and there is not much Chiefs news, so geek stuff it is.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Learning limits, fatigue, and other MS related stuff

I haven't posted in a while, which has everything to do with me. I haven't learned my limits yet. I have a VERY strong work ethic. So, I work much longer than most people that do not have MS. When I get home, I am so tired that I eat, take my shot and veg out... watch tv and go to bed. I am pretty much worthless... this has been going on for a few weeks now. Putting in 10-12 hour days and wearing myself out.

I am finding that the fatigue seems to have a hangover effect. So, late work days in a row have a cumulative effect. I sleep well, where I wasn't before... so there is one bonus there.

I really need to figure out a way to limit myself a bit. Dunno. I guess I will try, but not sure what will happen.

Monday, January 21, 2008


I have been getting emails from people wanting to talk. I really appreciate the correspondence and love to talk to people. I have learned in this last year that talking about it with people helps out immensely.

So, thank you Sandi for your emails. I hope the conversations help you out as much as me.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Long time

Well, I haven't posted in a while. It is a new year! I do not want to have a year like last year... new job (not too bad, just busy), major exacerbation, lots of treatment side-effects from the episode, a burst appendix, and an abysmal Chiefs season. Hopefully, 2008 will be better, I can't imagine much worse.

Things seem to be going okay these days. I am still having issues with fatigue and a few remaining effects from the surgery about 6 weeks ago. But, I will survive.

I have finally gotten to dabble back in HTMLdb (ApEx is what it is called now). I am a bit rusty, but it is nice to work with it again. It is not quite as easy as I remember, but remembering everything is half the battle. I put up a couple helpful applications, so I did remember enough.

I will, hopefully, be posting more... but, right now I don't have much to say. I just felt guilty for not posting in over a month.