Thursday, October 07, 2010


Over the last year or so, it's been hard not to notice that I've been on the receiving end of a lot of help and good will much more often than I've been on the giving end. I hope I remember to say thanks to those who help me out, because it makes a huge difference in my life, especially the kind of help that saves me a few steps or a bit of lifting--I really think it makes a difference in terms of my ability to stay employed and to devote some of my limited energy to taking care of myself.

Honestly, I'm not naturally inclined to be a taker and it's taken some humbling for me to get to a place where I can accept a hand here and there. I'm using a cane more often than not these days, and it seems to bring out the better instincts of people around me.


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

New toy/tool: iPod Touch 4G

After my old hard-drive iPod conked out about a year ago, cash was short so I replaced it with a 4 gig Sansa refurb I got from Woot for less than the cost of a tank of gas. When Carmen went back to work, though, I wanted to get back to the iPod, mainly because it's so much easier to manage music with iTunes, but also because I'd gotten hooked on Angry Birds on Carmen's older Touch. When the new iPod Touches came out, I got a 32 gig Touch, and it turns out to work well as a PDA. I use it to keep track of to-do lists and calendars, and it's working well for me.

This morning, on my way out the door, I had the notion that I might get to the grocery store at some point during the day. But I also knew Carmen had the same notion, so I didn't want to take the paper grocery list off the fridge. Solution: take out the Touch and snap a quick, kinda-blurry-but-legible (no flash on the iPod) photo of the paper list. Now, if I happen to have a half-hour to drop by the store, I've got a good-enough picture of the list. If Carmen gets to the store first, she'll still be able to take the paper copy. Bam!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Mindfulness and MS: it works

Officially, even. If you're looking for an intervention that will make you feel better, as opposed to merely reducing the likelihood of a relapse or reducing the number of spots on an MRI, try mindfulness. Of course, the abstract doesn't detail what exactly constitutes a "mindfulness-based intervention," but it was enough to remind me to take out the John Kabat Zinn books again and get back in the habit of meditation.