Thursday, May 10, 2018

Do you see M.E.?

Do you see M.E. Prime Minister Trudeau?

Up until 2015 I was a healthy, active woman, working full time as an Oncology Nurse, when I was struck with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

I’ve seen many doctors, been investigated, and finally diagnosed, only to find that’s the extent of it. There are no approved treatments for M.E., no clinical trials, no funds dedicated to this debilitating illness. It struck me in 2015, the year cases of ME spiked by 38% in Canada. This is an alarming statistic.

We are the missing millions, too weak to protest, walk, or raise funds to get our lives back. We grieve all we’ve lost, we fear we’ll be part of the 95% who are incurable. This disease needs to be studied. A bio-marker needs to be found so it can be diagnosed early and believed by the community and even some in the medical community. In the past, before MS and epilepsy were associated with bio-markers they were also classified as hysteria and dismissed.

This disease affects women disproportionately, and therefore our suffering is minimized or dismissed. You claim to care about women. Please be the Prime Minister who will direct funds towards the study of this devastating disease. Canada should be a leader in the study of this illness as we have one of the highest rates of M.E in the world. I am one of the 580,000 sufferers in Canada, and one of the 17 plus million worldwide.

I am missing from life. I can no longer work in the career I loved. I have to draw on disability funds when I would rather be working and active as I was before. I want to have hope; hope for a cure, if not for me, then for the others who will get this illness. It’s hard to prevent something you don’t understand. No one is safe from it. It affects men, women, and children. It can strike you or a loved one. My daughters have a 50% chance of developing this. That terrifies me. Please see M.E.

Pia Thompson

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Happy Birthday to me

April Journaling

1.      Resurrection Sunday. Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed!

2.      No school today because of Easter.

3.      A day off from Bible study. Trying to finish up my summary of Nehemiah.

4.      Chiro and massage. It always fixes my limp.

5.      Home day alone. I’m always surprised at how depressed I feel when I’m alone. I didn’t realize I was so needy. It’s not like I engage with my family so much when they’re home either. Curious.

6.      My granddaughter grabbed 1984 off the bookshelf and brought it to her mom to read.

7.      As I spend yet another afternoon in bed with pain and exhaustion, I long for Heaven where I will have a pain-free eternity. Illness weans you from this life.

8.      My husband got an 86 on his paper at Seminary. It’s the first paper he’s written in 30 years and he was nervous.

9.      Sunday, great preaching. My husband’s first Sunday as an Elder, taking part in the Lord’s Supper.

10.   My friend is visiting from out west overnight. She is the National Director for a parachurch ministry called Freedom Session which is a discipleship program. She has also done prison ministry, which intrigues me for some reason.

11.   Finishing up my message for Saturday’s WM Finale meeting. Making chicken noodle soup.

12.   Buying a small gift for the ladies on my ministry team as a thank-you. Yoga tonight.

13.   Making two soups for tomorrow. Finishing up my summary of Nehemiah for printing. Date night.

14.   Women’s ministry Finale brunch. Homemade tomato basil soup, homemade cream of mushroom soup, two quiches, homemade buns, pasta salad, green salad, taco salad, dessert. I’m speaking on VIRTUE, the Virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 and what that looks like today, and Emergency Preparedness drawn from old blog posts I did years ago. Then I’m finished with Women’s Ministry, other than the Retreat, but we have a separate team that plans that.

15.   No church today because of an ice storm. Good thing we spoke about emergency preparedness yesterday. Hopefully the women are somewhat prepared now. Slept deeply for 2-1/2 hours.

16.   A week of rain=a week of pain. Changed the school day this week for safety because of the storm. Is this mid-April?

17.   Bible study. Pain clinic for back injections. Then two stops on the way home for my nap.

18.   Doctor’s appointment to fill out forms for my pension to be covered one final year.

19.   School day. Missing yoga tonight; too bad, so sad. Not.

20.   Sending complaint letters to my MP about this “attestation clause” on applications for summer jobs money.

21.   I got a Kitchenaid stand mixer as one of my birthday gifts, now I can whip up some organic butter.

22.   Today at church there was a welcome lunch for newcomers, so we went since my husband is an elder now. Had to say a few words about ourselves.

23.   Possible terrorist attack today in Toronto. Nine killed, 16 injured when a man drove a van onto a sidewalk in North York. Sad, but the surprising thing is how surprised people are that it would happen here. There was a credible threat recently.

24.   Yikes! Because the government didn’t take any tax off my CPP back pay I now owe taxes. Plus we need to re-shingle our roof, so we had to cancel our flight out west. Sad. Maybe next year.

25.   Hair appointment. I should probably highlight my hair twice a year instead of only once, so I hide my greys.

26.   My daughter came over with the kids last night. Exhuasting. Today I had to drop off my car for a tire change-over and tune-up. My mom came over as well. My daughter brought cupcakes.

27.   Bible study at home; also sending out invitations for my husband’s party in June, 20 years cancer free.

28.   My husband is repairing our dishwasher. I didn’t enjoy handwashing for the past week.

29.   Church today.

30.   It’s my birthday! Safely through another year. I am going to Niagara Falls with my husband for two nights as he’s speaking at a conference on Water Supply.

Monday, April 30, 2018

A Year of Gratitude: April 2018

 I am thankful for…

1.      Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

2.      A break from school.

3.      The internet.

4.      A visit from an out of province friend.

5.      Supplements.

6.      Homemade soup. I’m on a kick.

7.      Getting my kindle working again; I thought it was a goner.

8.      Encouraging friends.

9.      My mom’s help at school.

10.   Homemade butter. I never thought I could do it.

11.   A warm house.

12.   Yoga, even though it’s hard.

13.   My women’s ministry team. I bought thank you gifts for them since we’re wrapping up.

14.   Teaching about Emergency Preparedness on the day before an ice storm.

15.   Being able to stay in during an ice storm.

16.   Power still on. No school today.

17.   Lunch out after presenting the summary of Nehemiah.

18.   A new Bible reference book.

19.   Coffee, and my Keurig.

20.   My husband’s job over 28 years.

21.   White wine, even if it’s from a box. Cardboardeaux.

22.   Meeting new people at church.

23.   Income; even though this year I owe income tax.

24.   Beginning a new Bible study; Esther.

25.   Getting highlights, so I look and feel younger.

26.   Car care; winter tire changeover and tune up.

27.   Birthday cupcakes from my daughter.

28.   A new spring/summer purse.

29.   I got a Kitchenaid stand mixer for my birthday.

30.   God’s faithfulness over 54 years. It’s my birthday!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

A Year of Gratitude: March 2018

Today I am thankful for…

1.      Dental care every 3 months for 35 years. I still have my teeth.

2.      Movies to distract/entertain.

3.      Old friends; we easily pick up where we left off.

4.      The Bible.

5.      Time to study.

6.      The privilege of teaching the Bible.

7.      Fried fish.

8.      Yoga class, even when it’s hard to go.

9.      Coffee. I love coffee.

10.   Yoga pants.

11.   Freedom to worship.

12.   School; planting seeds with my grandson.

13.   A week off from school for March break.

14.   Pickled beets, which I made for the first time.

15.   Loyalty cards to pay for flights.

16.   Ability to rest/not work/recover/pace myself, which is the only “treatment” recommended for M.E.

17.   Prospect of travel this summer to see friends.

18.   Missionaries willing and able to go. Ironic that on St. Patrick’s Day we commissioned an Irish woman to go to Ireland for missions.

19.   Jerk chicken.

20.   School; doing fun things like making slime.

21.   Pajama days; don’t judge me.

22.   Appliances, especially my dishwasher.

23.   My daughter’s final day at work!

24.   My i-phone.

25.   Good preaching.

26.   25 school days so far.

27.   My mom’s 78th birthday.

28.   Spring cleaning done by someone else!

29.   Netflix. Just got it. Let the binge watching begin.

30.   Good Friday. L Christ died, for me! J

31.   Long weekend (for my family). My whole life is a long weekend.

Monday, April 2, 2018


March Journaling

1.      Dental appointment today, plus errands, so I was exhausted when I got home.

2.      Home day, but I didn’t have energy for anything. I napped over two hours.

3.      Already tired and I have two events today; a wedding shower for the future daughter in law of the man who was our best man, then after dinner visiting friends we only see once a year.

4.      Church.

5.      School day; letter T, Ezra/Nehemiah story, skeletal bones, volcano experiment, shadows.

6.      Bible study, errands, nap.

7.      Chiro and massage, Costco, nap, and fish for dinner. Also voted for the provincial leadership hopeful. We need a change.

8.      Home day; doing homework.

9.      A low energy day.

10.   Interesting result in the PC leadership race. We became members just to vote. Hopefully now they’ll listen to the social conservatives.

11.   A great day at church with a very long nap in between.

12.   School day; the letter U, and planting seeds. I’ll post a picture.

13.   My husband took a vacation day and we went to the mall to buy him some work clothes. The new Oshawa mall is nice, but there is virtually no seating. They may be afraid of loitering but surely they know that not everyone who shops is young and healthy. Also we stopped at Panera for lunch and before I even ordered or handed her my loyalty card, she said my name and that she remembered me from the drive through. Oops. I guess I’m a regular. It could be worse; I could stop at a bakery for cake instead of Panera for a salad.

14.   Home day. Mostly cooking and baking, which I know I will pay for: dinner of Greek chicken, cilantro-lime rice, parmesan roasted asparagus, lemon poppy seed cake, and I also canned beets for the first time, and did laundry. The canned beets turned out great.

15.   The ides of March for those who care. I’ve never been superstitious. I made Thai shrimp soup, and also shrimp ceviche for the first time, must’ve been a bad recipe, not very good. But then again, a bad carpenter blames his tools. Nice nap, a bit of homework, and rest. Everyone in the family is out today.

16.   Unproductive day. Not really surprised.

17.   Home day, school prep, cleaning up with hubby.

18.   Church luncheon today. We brought jerk chicken.

19.   School day; the letter V, the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, making slime. This is my third home delivery of organic food.

20.   Bible study, appointment with my hormone doctor, unfortunately during my prime nap time.

21.   First day of spring. Making more fish today. Also pickling more beets. I already ate the others, they were so good. My daughter (the lawyer) went to a conference on human trafficking yesterday.

22.   Yoga tonight. It’s hard to drag myself out there, but I feel better at the end of it.

23.   Pain clinic for back injections; they work pretty well. If only someone could do something about my leg pain, it’s my one constant still.

24.   Women’s ministry breakfast with a guest speaker. Breakfast burritos.

25.   Church. I can’t say enough about Pastor Randy Mann’s preaching. Listen on our church website; Ajax Alliance on sermon audio.

26.   School today. My daughter has quit work to stay home with her kids. They’ll feel it financially but they won’t regret it. You don’t get those years back. Their stove broke and the glass on the oven blew, so we brought our hotplate and my mom bought them a microwave.

27.   My mom’s 78th birthday. Closer to eternity, yet still unsaved. L

28.   Bible study. Our church’s annual general meeting. My husband was elected elder for two years. He finally felt ready after a rest of four years since we left our old church.

29.   Today we had a cleaning company come in and do spring cleaning; blinds and light fixtures and regular cleaning too. So nice to have that treat once a year.

30.   Women’s ministry planning meeting, planning our final meeting under my leadership. I served two years. Happy to take a break now and just do the Women’s bible study.

31.   It’s Good Friday. After our morning service, we went to my mother-in-law’s for dinner. Our daughter’s family came to stay over.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A Year of Gratitude February 2018

Today I am thankful for...

1. My grandson is three today! I mailed him a card since we are learning about community helpers like letter carriers. In it I wrote, “There is a boy who’s turning three, and Benny was his name-o. B-E-N-N-Y, B-EN-N-Y, B-E-N-N-Y, and Benny was his name-o.” He loved it so much he slept with it in his crib.

2. My mom just got bilateral hearing aids, now everything is too loud.

3. I restarted yoga classes, but not sure if I can make it twice a week.

4. My grandkids are 1 and 3, but since their birthday parties are a week apart, they’re celebrating together, today. My grandson knew how to blow out his candles.

5. I love fresh flowers. Gerbera daisies are my favourite. I always said if I was rich, I’d make sure I had fresh flowers every week. I guess I’m rich.

6. Visiting a friend, our first pastor’s widow, who just had to move from her senior’s residence to a nursing home. My mom came along with us.

7. I love Costco, except I always overspend.

8. My granddaughter, Robin, who is one today.

9. Being able to rest when I have a cold.

10. Women’s ministry breakfast with a ministry called Defend Dignity, which helps women escaping trafficking.

11. Church was cancelled, as was the potluck. We made so much jerk chicken. I was going to stay home today anyway since I was still sick.

12. Finishing my summary of Ezra.

13. Teaching at the Women’s Bible study. I love it.

14. Thankful for the love of my husband. It’s Valentine’s day.

15. A good day at school. My granddaughter took eight steps!

16. Thankful for energy to prep for our dinner party tomorrow, and my mom’s help.

17. We can host dinner parties for friends. We did a Valentine’s Day theme.

18. My granddaughter’s dedication service today.

19. Family day, thankful for my family. I love them, and I like them.

20. Summary of Ezra, then lunch out to celebrate.

21. Watching the winter Olympics. I like seeing sports I don’t usually see, like biathlon, ski jumping, cross country skiing, and snowboard cross. I even liked the mixed doubles curling, especially since the Canadians won gold.

22.  Restorative yoga class.

23. The grandkids are coming to stay overnight.

24. My friend Tammy’s 50th birthday.

25. The prospect of heaven. One day closer.

26. My hand-me-down car.

27. Organic food delivery to my door.

28. The organic meats store, especially the bacon, chicken, hamburger, and salmon.

Winter Olympics

February Journaling

1.      Our grandson is three today! I mailed a card to him and he loved it so much he took it into his crib when he went to sleep. All alone tonight as my husband is at his Seminary course and my daughter is away for a long weekend. She needs the break. She’s working so hard she developed an ulcer.

2.      Home day.

3.      A nice Saturday. I started back at yoga. Then my husband came grocery shopping with me, which is always a help. Then we cooked cod for dinner.

4.      Church this morning, then headed to Oakville to celebrate the grandkids’ birthdays, they are two years and one week apart, so they’re destined to have their birthdays celebrated together for the foreseeable future.

5.      School day.

6.      Bible study. Also went to visit a previous Pastor’s wife who is now in a nursing home. We’ve known her for over 30 years. Her husband baptized me and married us.

7.      Massage and chiropractor. Costco, where I always spend more than I should. So tired.

8.      I think I’m getting sick. A shower was all I could manage today. Crashed on the couch. Not cooking today. Not up to yoga either.

9.      Tired but need to buy supplies for tomorrow morning’s women’s breakfast meeting.

10.   Women’s meeting. The speakers are representing which is a ministry protecting and helping women escaping sex trafficking.

11.   Church was cancelled today because of ice, but I think it was an overreaction. Also that meant no potluck and my husband had made so much jerk chicken. Oh well, more for us. I was going to stay home anyway as I’m sick with a cold I got from the grandkids.

12.   School day switched to Thursday this week as I’m still sick and need to recover. Also finishing up the summary of Ezra for next week.

13.   Bible study. Ezra done except for my summary next week.

14.   Getting the summary printed and doing my homework for Nehemiah.

15.   School day, on my own. The letter R and the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. My granddaughter started walking today.

16.   Prepping for guests tomorrow, with my mom’s help. Another school shooting, this one in Florida.

17.   Dinner party with three other couples. Keeping it simple. I’m not what I once was, but yes, I still eat even though I have chronic illnesses.

18.   Our granddaughter’s dedication service is today. Disappointed to hear that my application for a disability tax credit was denied. They have a very narrow view of disability and don’t even care what your diagnoses are.

19.   Family Day in Ontario. No school.

20.   Summary of Ezra, then lunch at Perkins to celebrate.

21.   Home day. Beginning homework on the book of Nehemiah.

22.   Watching the Olympics. If ski jumping was on my list, and it’s not, it would be last because I’d die.

23.   Pain clinic appointment. I’m going there every four weeks now. My daughter’s family is spending the night and they are going farther east to see friends for another night but leaving our grandson here. Yay!

24.   Our daughter stayed all weekend but her husband had to go away overnight Saturday. Exhausting but fun.

25.   Our grandson came to church with us today.

26.   School day. The letter S, the story of Jonah, and learning about skeletal bones.

27.   Bible study, errands, then Botox injections. I know I shouldn’t complain since the injections I get at the two pain clinics help a lot, but today I really felt each of the 70 needles to my face, scalp, and neck. I slept for two hours to try to recover. Also a pill prep day; I set them up for half a month at a time.

28.   A home day, reading. Made chicken and pasta soup for dinner.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Another New Year

 January Journaling

1.      Started the New Year with our traditional hot tub and mimosas. My days of rolling in the snow are over. I wouldn’t be able to get up fast enough. Since I completed my Bible reading for the year, I started again. I like the chronological reading system. I’m also accompanying it with Matthew Henry’s commentary. I also started a bullet journaling system for things like gratitude, events, finances, projects, goals, and ideas. Then I tidied up one room just a bit and took a nap.

2.      Women’s ministry meeting at my home. Bad pain day. The cold is as bad a trigger as rain for me.

3.      Chiropractor appointment.

4.      Massage appointment.

5.      Pain clinic for nerve block injections to my back. Checked out a new restaurant called The Captain’s Boil.

6.      Home day.

7.      Church today. Long nap, and prepping for school tomorrow.

8.      School day. I started to teach my grandson computer skills.

9.      I tried to make a better dinner; homemade pizza and a southwest salad with green goddess dressing, but I was on the couch in pain for my troubles.

10.   Home day, and paid the mortgage. Thankful for a steady paycheque for my husband.

11.   Went shopping for some clothes for myself. My daughter is good to take along, as she gives sound advice. Started on a new program called Plexus, which is probiotics to heal my gut and hopefully help me lose some of this weight. I’ve gained 30 kg since I got sick. It doesn’t help that I can’t exercise since I have PEM or post exertional malaise from my M.E.

12.   Picking up a few things for the women’s ministry breakfast tomorrow.

13.   Women’s ministry breakfast with a speaker from a local crisis pregnancy centre.

14.   Church today. Thankful for our Pastor’s faithful preaching.

15.   School day, on my own, as my mom is in London. Exhausting.

16.   Bible study, very in depth. Then a few errands and a nap.

17.   Had to go to Costco, but otherwise at home.

18.   Home day, working on my Bible study homework. My husband starts his Seminary course tonight and my daughter is going out for dinner with friends. I always think I’ll enjoy being alone more than I do. I miss my family.

19.   School prep.

20.   My husband bought groceries with me, then I made a Thai shrimp soup for dinner. It was very good.

21.   Shrimp and cilantro rice, with okra and tomato side dish. Delish.

22.   Home day. School switched to Thursday this week.

23.   Bible study, then buying boots for my granddaughter.

24.   Babysitting.

25.   School day, alone again. My mom has appointments.

26.   Pain clinic, then having old friends for dinner.

27.   Quiet day, leftovers.

28.   Church.

29.   School day, with my mom. She made Finnish food for dinner. Comfort food.

30.   Bible study.

31.   Doctor’s appointment to fill out more forms.