The enjoyment and pain of writing Christmas cards

I’m very late with writing my Christmas cards this year. When all the kids were at home it was easy, we would all sit around the kitchen table, taking turns signing the cards. I would write notes in each one, and hubby was given the pleasure of licking the envelopes closed, whereas I just slapped on the stamps.

Family photo used for our 2013 Christmas card
The family photograph we used for our Christmas card last year, was taken when our eldest graduated from College in June of 2013.

Then the kids went away to school, but I was smart and started the cards at Thanksgiving, knowing all would be together. This year though, with everything going on, I was late with ordering our cards. So now I sit at the table writing them all out. It is not difficult, and I really do enjoy hand-writing customized notes in each, but my hands are failing me. Recently my one pain medication was changed due to the chronic insomnia it caused, so now we are still working out the correct dosage of the new med. I didn’t realize how much the other medication masked the chronic pain I suffer from. After writing a mere five Christmas cards my hands and arms from the elbow down were in so much pain I had to stop writing. I actually couldn’t write another word without tears.

Breakthrough medication was taken so I could enjoy a cup of coffee and not drop the cup and break another one. It appears I may have to dig some more out of the high up cupboards, oops. Regardless of the pain, I will continue to write the cards, but like the rest of my life, I will take more breaks. Apparently five cards is my limit, unless of course I really medicate myself, but then, I tend to write incoherently, which is not a good thing.

Do you still write out Christmas cards? 



Drug Shortages

I don’t often write about my own pain, I guess because it is such a part of my everyday life, I try not to dwell on it. I also don’t remember the last pain-free day that I have had, but it has been years. So for me to cope with each day, I take a variety of medications but even then it is still difficult, the pain is never completely gone. As I sit here typing my neck muscles and the muscles between my shoulder blades are in spasm. I have taken my breakthrough meds and have had heat on my neck and back all night to no avail. The worst thing though, is I only have a few pills left to control the muscles spasms that are a constant problem throughout my body.

Drug shortages became a problem in Canada a few years ago for various different reasons. To try to inform the public of this problem the Canadian government set up a website listing the various shortages but this is a voluntary list. Since it is voluntary, some companies do not list the shortage, thus both doctors and pharmacies have no idea if the prescription they are writing/filling is in stock. So when I went to renew my muscle relaxant, the pharmacy was only able to fill a quarter of the prescription. The pharmacist was great, literally phoning all the pharmacies in Hamilton and the actual manufacturer of my medicine, but alas, none were to be found. As a result, my family doctor had to write a different prescription for me. This is a problem because for me to change medicine’s I have to be weaned off one before I start the other, so my body doesn’t have a complete freak out and when you find out at the last-minute that your meds are not available, well you’re screwed.

Is there a solution for the drug shortages in Canada? Should the government make it mandatory for drug companies to list a shortage?

Update: Here are two articles in regards to drugs shortages in Canada:–voluntary-drug-shortage-reporting-approved-despite-health-canada-s-concerns–manitoba-woman-suffered-ear-damage-from-substitute-drug-taken-during-shortage

The teenage boy is a young man


This past Thursday night I did not sleep well at all, a combination of pain and stress. I took extra pain medication but as a result I dealt with insomnia. Anyways on Friday you can pretty much say I was a total utter mess and by the time the teenage boy returned home from his university classes, I was hanging by a thread.

As usual, we chatted about his classes and then he made the mistake of asking me about my day. All started out well, but when I started talking about middle child’s depression and feelings of sadness, I completely fell apart, and this is when the teenage boy became a young man. Instead of running away from his mother who was bawling her eyes out, he came over to the couch, sat beside me and held me while I cried and cried and then blew my nose over and over again. Once I settled down, he went on his way, to do whatever he does after school. Later on that evening, my best friend phoned to give us the details of the concert she was taking the teenage boy to on Saturday night. After I finished speaking with her, the teenage boy wanted to chat with her. I did think it was weird when he took the phone to the basement for privacy, so when he returned I asked him why? His response, which I thought was quite funny was “I have a personal relationship with your best friend too”. I burst out laughing, but she is considered his aunt, so I thought nothing more of their telephone conversation.

An hour later, as I sat on the couch, doing nothing particular, someone knocked on the door and who walked in, but my best friend. The reason the teenage boy had gone downstairs to chat with her on the phone, was to ask her a favour. He had asked her to come over and visit me because I was sad. I love my son. I love my best friend, who came over when I needed her.

The teenage boy is a young man and the best friend of twenty-nine years is a keeper.