Thursday, March 22, 2012


  Buddy is enjoying the gorgeous summer like temperatures (and most unusual) that are presently in our area. The poor lad deserves a break. After trips to the family doctor, ER and the ear specialist we learn what is really going on.
  It all began a month ago with what appeared to be a middle ear infection that apparently broke the ear drum. Several trips to the GP and one to the ER, we met up with an ENT and we learned that was not the case.
  What he actually has is cholesteatoma which is a type of cyst that develops in the middle ear and may cause oozing from the ear when an infection occurs. Once the bacterial infection is under control, the next step will be to determine the method needed to remove the growth before it causes further damage. After an MRI, surgery is the only option.
  I was told by a dermatologist that all the skin growth that happens on the outside of a person with psoriasis also happens to internal tissues. Seems to me this is to be the first indicator that it's doing just that. Though what's most puzzling about this ear event is it's timing. It became an issue while his external skin cell growth was in a remission that was bringing a smile to Buddy's face. He loved watching himself and rejoiced as his cleared up skin was appearing all over himself. When over 80% of your body is full of plaque and it drops away revealing the skin beneath it, that has an impact that I can only imagine! Alas those episodes never last more than three months. As of yesterday that lull is struggling. His arms and legs have flared up again. We are applying creams in hope of keeping this under control as long as it will allow us to. We do what we can every day. Each day is a new challenge.
   But what's more frustrating is that in the past few days the ear drops seemed to be causing some sort of allergic type reaction but we weren't sure. Today that became most clear. It made his face and eyes red and itchy about one hour after his dose. For now he must take an Allerdryl and a cortisone tablet to become comfortable. Immediately the drops will be stopped and taken off his this list of safe drugs(topical ciprofloxacin antibiotic)to be allowed. Apparently other forms of that antibiotic are reported as causing some serious side effects to some folks so I am not surprised that the drops are disagreeing with him.
  Still Buddy is very happy that the Florida like weather has come to him. WHY? He'd love to go to Florida. He's waiting to go.
  For over two years now we keep hoping to travel to Florida but we are stalled by unexpected  issues, mostly health ones; my eyes, hubby's heart and now Buddy's ear. We pray that the fall season will give us the break to make that getaway. HOPE keeps us all moving ahead. FAITH has us believing it will happen. Buddy will get better and his wish will be fulfilled.

P.S. Buddy monitors the daily and weekly weather reports with great intent, listening to hear that winter is gone. Once he loved those wintery days and he would toboggan, skate and ski. But no more. He claims he's grown too old, pointing to some white hairs on his whiskers and sideburns as he grins. Gotta love his humour!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Help (part1)

   The other day I decided to watch the movie 'The Help' and while it took me back to the very early '60's and discussions I had with my dad about the sad way people of colour were treated in the US, it also brought me to the role I played in helping others with their child rearing.
   My parents were the first to get me to understand I play an important role in assisting in caring for the younger siblings. My 20 months younger brother had to be played with a lot. When my sister was born when I was 10, old enough to do a lot more than just play.
   A daily event, I was taught how to sterilize bottles on the stove and fill them with boiled cooled water and measured formula to be put in the fridge for later. I was taught to clean cloth diapers and baby clothes made of cotton by placing them in a huge pot of boiling water with added soap. Then these had to be carefully and manually rinsed and hung to dry in our tiny one bedroom apartment. The sterilization had to be done for a period of over six months. This was to ensure the tiny baby would not pick up any harmful germs.
   I was shown how to bath her properly and dress her too. She always smelled so nice that I loved this chore that I shared with my mom and dad. And there were the daily walks so that baby would get plenty of fresh air. I would walk beside my mom proudly as she pushed the pram. Sometimes she would take us to the nearby Woolworth's where she would stop for something. The pram and baby remained outside. Often a passerby would look at the sleeping infant and comment on how cute she was. I would beam with pride. Once in a while I was allowed to walk her without my mom's presence. I had to stay close by so I could be seen from the window of our place. Those were precious moments.
   But there was a darker side to my help.  My parents expected me to get up at night when baby awoke because I was closest to her room, the sunroom next to the living room where my brother and I slept on a pullout couch. It was my duty to let my parents rest for work. We were struggling immigrants in the mid '50's. I did as I was told even though there were tiny moments of resentment during some of those nights when she was hard to settle back to sleep.
   I was the help. But there was a huge difference. I was made to feel very proud of what I was doing to contribute to the family well being.