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Everything posted by CrankyGoat

  1. Well, a quick update - we are moving off our remote Island as of next weekend AND the new minivan is on it's way. I'm a bit sad giving up my nice 4x4 truck but the van is truly much more versatile for our current needs. Hard to believe, but we are excited about the minivan - it's the new Toyota Sienna and this version has a "lounge chair" in the 2nd row that Jennifer finds very comfortable because it takes the weight off her leg joints and makes her feel less fatigued after a 'bad' day. Plus, it will easily fit bicycles so travelling short day trips will be much easier for Jennifer (and our
  2. CrankyGoat

    Family Photos

    Jennifer and I on Quadra Island, British Columbia.
  3. From the album: Family Photos

    Shep giving kisses to Jennifer, he has become her 'companion' and is a major comfort. He definitely knows she is going through pain and discomfort and always keeps a close eye on her - a true buddy.
  4. From the album: Family Photos

    Leaving our beloved Quadra Island, moving to Old City Quarter of Nanaimo,BC to be more central and closer to both Jennifer's medical specialists but also my office - in case I need to be home for Jennifer.
  5. Just an update - my wife recieved full 'approval' from her insurance company for short-term disability status. It was kind of expected, however a relief nevertheless and one more hurdle that's been completed. It is also expected that she may never be in a position to go back to work - but we still need to adhere to all the "rules" imposed by the insurance company and follow their 'treatment protocols' ... as if they actually know anything about Diffuse Scleroderma! Ah well, c'est la vie... Jennifer has been off work a full week now and although she notes no particular change one way or ano
  6. Thanks Judyt - your kind and thoughtful words brought tears to my eyes. Yes, we will definitely miss our beloved Quadra Island and hope to have to opportunity to revisit regularly. But life goes on, irregardless of ones own problems, and we have been together for nearly thirty years ... so we are treating Jennifer's diagnosis as simply 'another bump in the road' and making do as best we can. Jennifer received official approval from the insurance company regarding disability - never any real doubt but a relief nevertheless. Another hurdle we have dealt with. Now planning to trade our two vehic
  7. Thanks for the great responses - also,Scareysarah, very good hearing from a fellow Canadian :emoticons-clap: Jennifer totally relates to the fatigue issues - and it seems to affect her without a lot of rhyme or reason, as she can feel equally fatigued from simply staying at home and reading a book. She is trying to develop a daily "routine" and thankful for having a dog in our household - our German Shepherd has 'stepped up to the plate" and has become my wife's caretaker and walking companion big time. He will even get up in the middle of the night to check on how my wife is sleeping, gi
  8. Thank you everyone, your responses have been both informative and uplifting. Sorry I have taken a while to respond back - things are moving quickly in our lives. We live on a remote Island off Vancouver Island, which we dearly love but it is now not very practical for Jennifer's current needs. Having to 'wait for a ferry' every time she attends a specialist appointment; physiotherapy; and related has gotten very tiresome in itself. As such, we have decided to move at least temporarily to central Vancouver Island in a community that is 'easily walkable' to all amenities and still has tons o
  9. Well, thought it may be helpful to provide an update - Jennifer's symptoms seem to be developing fairly aggressively, the doctors are stating to expect that for the next eight to twelve months and then hope for a plateau of sorts? Regardless, she is now at the stage where work is becoming intolerable - exhausts her too much, very fatigued and increased shortness of breath after a couple days. We spoke with a lawyer - he was helpful and very honest, basically stating to 'save our money' with legal fees until we know there may be a problem. As long as we have good documentation, he did n
  10. Thanks guys, appreciate all your thoughts and perspectives on this - particularly regarding issues around stairs and mobility. Currently, Jennifer finds her six or eight hour shifts at work are not too bad, but the ten hour ones are brutal... very tired by end of day, and affects her sleep pattern that night (joints feel inflamed) and consequently impacts her following day! Employer is not fully aware of what is going on yet, but IS aware that Jennifer is facing some chronic health concerns of which she is currently being tested for. They have been very responsive in a positive manner,
  11. Thanks Kathy, Jennifer tends to always try and 'push herself' and is finding out the hard way that is not a smart thing to do - instead of our usual eight hour mountain hikes (we did a 20 km hike a few weeks ago) Jennifer is finding a solid four hour hike is ideal. It allows her to stretch out and work her muscles but does not fatigue her overly much, nor does it impact her sleep. We are exploring small Class B Campervan options for next spring - trade in our truck and will allow Jennifer to travel in comfort (heated seats and dual climate control - big deal now with her Raynaud's) and ca
  12. This past weekend I tried the California Plank Salmon, Avocado and Mango Salad - it was very tasty but the following night I varied the dish and had Plank Salmon with Sticky Chili Balsamic glaze over a baby spring salad mix with pomegranate dressing topped with avocado, strawberries, blueberries, red onion and black olives --- and THAT was truly delicious. Jennifer has not had pasta for a while, and wants to give it a try - so plan to make a grilled scallop and mushroom fettuccine this weekend with blueberry mead instead of wine ... a delightful treat. Ah, it's truly those 'little thi
  13. Thanks to everyone for your wonderful thoughts and replies - we indeed are trying to tackle this 'head on' and this site is proving invaluable. My wife plans to join these forums but 'not ready yet' as her diagnosis is still settling in - plus she states she wants to ensure the symptoms she describes and presents to Rheumatologist are 'her own' and not what she has learned from online sites and research. We do have a meeting with an employment lawyer set up asap, and aware both family physician and Rheumatologist need to be in agreement regarding disability status - which does not appe
  14. Thanks Amanda, especially for the link to the caregiver blog ... very much appreciated.
  15. Once again, can't thank you enough for the wonderful information on this site - a lot of time and effort has certainly gone into it. It's always comforting for us to learn we 'are not alone' out there... After a quick view of the links, the question of Disability is truly a tough one. Because Jennifer works full time and has a good health plan, we are going to see an Employment Lawyer and make sure all our basis are covered before Jennifer discloses her diagnosis to her employer ... better to be safe than sorry. She most likely can still work for a while but it is the little things
  16. CrankyGoat


    From the album: Family Photos

  17. Thanks for the links, Jo, very much appreciated. The Rheumatologist basically gave Jennifer Pantoprazole (Pantaloc) and said eat a balanced, healthy diet and do not lose any more weight - as she had lost about eight pounds due to acid indigestion. However, Jennifer has found certain foods really impact her, and appear to promote joint inflammation - these include almonds, tomatoes, peanuts, cashews, cheese / dairy products but THANKFULLY for her, she is still able to enjoy wine and chocolate - her two essential food ingredients
  18. My beautiful wife has been newly diagnosed with Scleroderma, in process of additional testing - including pulmonary function - but Rheumatologist is quite confident of the diagnoses. We are in process of 'recovering' from this surreal experience and educating ourselves as much as possible. I'm hoping my wife (Jennifer) will join these forums for additional support, but I'm also careful not to push her and let her go at her own pace - she has always been very proud of her health and fitness, this is a substantive blow to her ego and self identity. We have been wondering how to deal with t
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