chronic illness, MS

Crafts and chronic illness

I recently had some surprising reactions to the fact that I’ve been playing around with watercolours and calligraphy. Surprising, as in not terribly positive or supportive.

So, partly to get it out of my head but more importantly to share the BEST little craft for us spoonies, I decided to pass on another discovery.

First of all, as to the why am I doing ‘weird’ things like watercolour and calligraphy? Ummm…have you met me? Well, most of you haven’t, but whatever. Besides being Handy Mandy, I’ve always been crafty like that.

Handmade candles for 250 at our wedding, many Halloween costumes, school costumes for my students’ annual plays. Oh, and my extended family has always loved getting handmade gifts for Christmas. BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Too bad, it amuses me. 🤓

My happy place

Anyway, the crafties have returned because the writing muses have gone on strike, or fled to a tiny house in Timbuktu. Also, I like learning new things so the rest of my brain doesn’t join them.

And the truth is, I spend a lot of time resting, not by choice. Sitting on my butt reading, watching tennis or skating, because that’s all my body will tolerate.

Fatigue is a son of a bitch. Worse for me in the winter. But even though my body is pretty much permanently conked out so it’s like moving through setting concrete, my mind wants to be doing something productive.

So at the moment, I am queen of the simple crafts. I’m so excited to decorate for our handmade Christmas, but that’s another post. And not handmade gifts, as our children feared when I mentioned it last night. Just decorations people, you can all relax. 😂

Right now, I have to share the best craft I’ve found that I can do with little effort and not even looking – finger knitting! So simple and forgiving but the possibilities are endless.

I had a 6 year old try to teach me in my last year teaching but I was already struggling so focusing on the instructions while multitasking in a busy classroom was beyond me. Boy she was patient as she tried to teach me with so many interruptions and my clumsy brain and fingers tangling everything up. Sweet kid.

Anyway, in the quiet of my bedroom I’ve figured it out and it’s perfect. Here’s the link I used to learn:

If I ever knit anything beyond a long string, I’ll post it here. 😏 Planning to try for a scarf. People make all sorts of cool things with it though.

❤️ Amanda

Now I found out you can finger crochet too – look out!!

family, life

Mom fail

I’ve literally been counting the minutes.

As much as I love the texts telling me how well things are going, and the fact that the bathroom stays MUCH cleaner, I have really, really missed my boy since I left him in Ontario for university.

So that wonderful creation called reading break has arrived, and all day I’ve been giggling and wheee-ing (not weeing!😉) to myself that I get to see him tonight.

His room is clean. I’ve bought his favourite groceries and left some treats on his bed. My husband and I have discussed how we’ll split the driving to pick the girls up from rehearsal at 7:30, and our son from the airport at 11:16pm. As usual, he’s going to do both because that’s the wonderful kind of guy he is.

So, all I had to do was wait in anticipation.

Around 5pm, I get all excited that he must be on the plane and on his way.

At 5:15pm, I get a text: “Where are you guys?”


Um, yeah. Nice welcome home. Poor kid had to cool his heels for 45 minutes until we got to the airport.

Note to self: Double check arrival/departure times ON THE DAY. This is not the first time something like this has happened. #brainfog

Good thing we all have a good sense of humour.

Now it’s time to enjoy having the clan back together. This is one happy Mama!!!

❤️ Amanda

Health, MS, Partners/Caregivers

5 Tips: How to converse with a ‘foggy’

Brain fog causes issues with processing and comprehension. Here are some things to remember to help conversations flow more easily when you’re speaking to someone with brain fog.

Memory issues

1. Don’t change the subject.

It’s a very wavery tightrope to collect your thoughts and articulate them clearly when your brain is drowning in cotton. When you change the subject mid-conversation, often we can’t retrieve the original thought that just might have been world-altering.

2. Don’t ask questions until we’re finished speaking.

Again, any interruption throws the train off the tracks so even if you think being an attentive listener means asking questions, hold back. It can be a ridiculous feeling of success to process and articulate a complete thought when your brain doesn’t want to cooperate so please allow the time and space for that to happen, without interrupting.

3. Don’t talk to us when we’re trying to complete another task.

Multi-tasking is the gold standard for success these days, everyone is SO BUSY! Brain fog allows a person to only complete the simplest of tasks, one at a time. Please don’t try to chat if they are trying to cook or even tie their shoes. Every task takes so much mental (and physical) energy, it is impossible to split the focus.

4. Speak clearly and slowly, don’t mumble.

It takes as much effort to listen and process the message receiving information when Charlotte has spun her web so thoroughly in your noggin. Again, allow time and space for processing and for Pete’s sake, speak loudly and clearly. But not like we’re morons. Thanks.

5. Accept a grunt as a polite response.

Sometimes carrying on a conversation is more than we can handle. Don’t take it personally. It’s sort of like when toddlers ‘hit the wall’ – “Complete meltdown approaching, back away, BACK AWAY!”

Brain fog affects many people living with chronic illness. For many, it never goes away, it just changes in its severity. I hope these tips help your next conversation with a foggy to proceed without too many hiccups.

Do you have any tips to add? What is the most difficult aspect of conversing when you’re suffering from brain fog?

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week!

May the spoons be ever in your favour

❤️ Amanda