Wednesday, June 23, 2010

ANOTHER Cold!!!!!

So do other MS'ers get A LOT of colds? It seems like I get more than my fair share! I had a cold mid-May and it lasted a good 10 days. Now I have another one with the SAME symptoms. Now I know I just started working in a hospital where I'm around a lot of germs but I wash my hands all the time. So there you have it - I have a headache, stuffy nose, sore throat, ect. I hope this one doesn't last long b/c I'm tired! Summer colds are NO fun!!!

On another note I can't have a post with no pictures so here is a picture of Corky (who I'm dogsitting) riding in my car. She LOVES the car

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Origin of "Jodi Bean"

Happy Father's Day to my Dad! I'm so thankful to have a father who does so many things for me. My father is an amazing teacher and role model. He is my loan officer, my car go to guy, my furniture putter together and so much more. He LOVES sports, especially baseball and is an excellent umpire. It is amazing to watch him with Peyton and Ella because he is such a sweet Grampy. The girls adore him as much as he adores them!

In honor of Father's Day I thought I would tell you where I got my nickname. Many people ask me why Jodi Bean or why The Bean Team and the simple answer is it is the nickname my dad gave me!

I asked both my parents if they could remember when my dad started calling me Bean and they weren't exactly sure but believe it was as early as my first birthday which falls near Easter. So instead of a jelly bean I was a Jodi Bean. My dad likes nicknames and it just stuck. He is the only one that calls me that and to this day still refers to me as Bean. When it came time to name my team for the Boston MS Walk I came up w/ a few ideas but The Bean Team just seemed to be the most catchy and has the biggest personal connection. So there you have it!


Love, Bean

P.S. Happy Father's Day to my brother, Timmy! You are an excellent dad to your two little girls. I'm so happy you made me an auntie!

Monday, June 14, 2010

2 Month Anniversary!

I've now been a "blogger" for 2 whole months! When I started this blog it was with the intent of using if for fundraising and sharing my life with MS. I've "met" some other MS bloggers and think people are reading but sometimes I'm not sure!?

So if you read would you please follow me? You will see the follow me button on the right hand side of my page.

And if you read a post and have something to say please leave me a comment! I LOVE comments!!

Lastly if you have a blog with a list of blogs you read would you consider adding me to your list?

Thanks everyone!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Relay for Life

Today I had another opportunity to exercise! I walked for Team CJB. My sister-in-law is the team captain and her whole family walks the Relay for Life every year. This is my fourth year walking. I walked about three miles on my own and then Peyton and Ella arrived and my pace slowed down. . . a lot. But that is ok. We had fun and got some exercise too!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lifestyle Changes - UPDATE

If you missed my first post about lifestyle changes read it here first.

Today after work I met Joana and Carter at Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield for a walk. For some reason when I come home from work I just can't motivate to walk by myself. Luckily Joana and Carter love to take walks and since I work so close to where they live we are going to try to meet up on a regular basis. How can I resist this cute, happy boy???

When I arrived at the lake it looked much bigger than what I remembered (it has been a while since I've been there)! This picture doesn't do it justice but trust me it is a BIG lake!

So we set off for our walk and it was good. I asked Joana how long it was around the lake and she guessed 3 or 4 miles. Well I check online when I came home and it is 4 miles. Wow 4 miles. And that is after running around the hospital all day and using the stairs to get from the 1st to the 5th floor many times (the elevators are much too slow).

When Joana and I got about 3/4 of the way around the lake I said to her, "this isn't so bad at all." Then a few minutes later I changed my mind b/c I still couldn't see where we had parked which meant we still had a ways to go. Also we weren't blocked by the wind anymore and I thought we were going to get blown over.

So now I'm exhausted! I "hit the wall" while driving home. Anyone w/ MS can relate to this. All of a sudden my whole body ached and I was exhausted. Not tired but exhausted. I'm glad we did it b/c I really want to exercise more and get in better shape. Also it is always nice to catch up with Joana and see Carter. He is too cute w/ his new haircut!!

In regard to my other lifestyle change I've been doing VERY GOOD. I've only had caffeine TWICE since I started this challenge. I had a small cup of tea while in Ireland b/c it was cold on a boat ride and they didn't have decaf. The second time was on Monday while I sat through an all day new employee orientation. I had to have an 8oz coke at lunch in order to make it through the day! I'm really proud of myself that I'm doing so well with this and I do think I've been sleeping better since I made this change.

Now if I can just increase my exercise a bit more. . .

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

MS - not so bad. . .

Don't get me wrong I don't actually like having MS but it isn't so bad either.

Today at work I saw my first patient. I went into the room with the doctor to meet with the patient, his wife and his daughter so that the doctor could inform them that the patient had cancer all over his body, stage 4, terminal, not good. The patient came in with severe pain never expecting to get a diagnosis like this. Now, along with his family he needs to get his affairs in order and live out his last few months with family while being treated for pain management only since there is no cure. He is 74. That is not that old. I don't know if he has grandkids but he has a loving wife and two daughters and it is just so unfair.

It just put things in perspective for me today. Some days I really don't like MS. Today I was reminded that life throws everyone curve balls and some are curvier than others. So today I am thankful - thankful that my MS is currently under control, thankful that I am healthy and thankful that I should live for a long, long time.

And anytime I'm feeling down all I have to do is look at this face and I smile!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Thursday - we took a day trip to Kenmare. It is a cute little town with colorful houses and window boxes filled with flowers. We decided to do another tour so that we could see the Beara Peninsula. It was very different from the Ring of Kerry and Dingle (the other 2 peninsulas) and pretty in its own way. The tour guide drove us up Healey Pass which is a very curvy and windy road. You literally had to come to a complete stop if a car was coming for the other side. Sometimes we had to stop for sheep too! After the driving part of the tour we went on a boat cruise in the Lakes of Killarney.

After our tour we returned to Killarney for dinner and drinks! Of course!

Friday - Allan, Cathy and Gail golfed 9 holes in Killarney while Katelyn and I did the Ring of Kerry tour. We went on a small bus with a group of other tourists. This was the least sunniest days of our trip but it didn't rain so we weren't complaining!

First stop we got to see a sheep herding demonstration. I though it was really cool. The border collie's are SO smart. They listen to every command and seem so happy doing there job. I never knew sheep could run so fast but boy can they!

We stopped in a little town for lunch. Katelyn and I decided to stray away from the group and walked around. We found this pub,  and knew it was the perfect place to eat lunch. While we were in there our distant cousin (haha) made friends with us. He was so drunk! He told us he worked 2 days a week doing landscaping. We assumed he spends the other 5 days hanging in the pub. He talked our ears off for a while and half of what he was saying we couldn't understand due to his accent and the slurring of words! Luckily when our food came he left us alone!

The views of the Ring of Kerry were nice but I always feeling silly posing for pics alone!

After the tour we met the others back at our cottage in Killarney. That night we went to a martini bar that I really like (we had been there the last time).

Well little did we know that they would be having a huge "Sex in the City 2" party. All the girls were really dressed up and drinking fancy drinks. We sat in another room that was pretty quiet and I enjoyed my own pretty drink!

Saturday - we got up and packed our stuff and started our drive to Dublin. On the way we made a lunch stop in Kilkenny.
It is a medieval town. It was really pretty and very busy! It is also the home of Smithwicks but the brewery.

That afternoon we made it to Dublin and we headed out to a few of our favorite bars/pubs for drinks. First stop was at "The Bank." It is a really cool bar inside an old bank. After that we went to dinner at a restaurant that Gail's cousin recommended. It was pretty trendy!

The food was great. Oh and it seemed like we were a little under dressed as all the girls there were decked out! It didn't stop us from enjoying more drinks!

From there we went to a pub called Beau's. Allan had read about it and really wanted to go. They are known for all of the whiskey they carry. Allan was happy. It was actually a cute little put and only a block from our hotel!

After this pub we called it a night. We knew we needed to save some energy for our big day on Sunday!

- the highpoint for today was to go to Brazen Head for the Irish session. They really have the best live music. We knew from experience that we would need to get there early to get a table. So Katelyn and Cathy headed out to Guinness and Jameson (since Katelyn had never been) and Allan and I headed out to kill time. We stopped off at the Jameson gift shop and then we were off to the brand new Leprechaun Museum. It was a little cheesy but good to see something new and different after being to Dublin several times before!

Allan and I were the first people to arrive at Brazen Head for the music. We picked out a great table (right next to where the guy who plays the spoons sits) and we killed time for about 2 hours! Luckily a few drinks helped pass the time. The music was great as usual and after the session we got to talk to the guy who plays the spoons. He was really cool.

Monday - time to go home. I didn't want to leave to head back to reality but at the same time I was exhausted from all the eating, drinking and sightseeing! We had an awesome trip!

And since this blog is mainly about my life with MS I wanted to let you all know that my MS was well behaved on this vacation. When you live with MS you never know when symptoms are going to pop up and ruin your day. I was feeling great most of the week with very little fatigue which I was thrilled about! I slept well too which for me is a huge thing. By the end of the trip my body was exhausted but I think that is too be expected considering how much we did. So glad I could enjoy an amazing vacation without complications from my MS!!!

Of course there is a lot more about my trip that I didn't write about. I took over 200 pictures and didn't think I should post them all! I hope you enjoy this recap and if you ever go to Ireland I'd be happy to tell you more. I've now been 4 times!


From May 21, 2010 to May 31, 2010 I was on vacation in Ireland with my brother, Allan, my aunt Cathy, my cousin, Katelyn and a family friend, Gail. We had an amazing time with wonderful weather, especially for Ireland. Here is a recap of our 10 days.

- we landed in Shannon around 6 AM local time which was really 1 AM Boston time. Since none of us really slept on the plane we were all pretty tired. We got our rental cars and drove to Killarney.

This is our cottage (well actually it is Allan and Cathy's). Once we got settled we took naps. That night we went down to the center of town and had dinner and our first of many pints!

- we took a day trip to one of my favorite places in Ireland, Dingle. The drive to Dingle is so beautiful!

We all wanted to see Slea Head but none of us wanted to drive it. So we called a local tour company and had John take us around on a private tour in his van.

He took us along the coast and stopped at the most beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean. The ongoing joke of the day was "next city Boston" because Dingle in the western most point of Ireland. Not only were the views amazing but it was 70 degrees and sunny which is such a treat.

John quickly learned about my obsession with sheep and cows so he made sure to get me up close to them. I swear this mama and her babies posed for me to take their picture! What a great view they have!

During conversation with John he mentioned that he had a farm. I of course asked him if he had sheep and cows and he said he had cows and calves. Well you can imagine how excited I was when he offered to take us to is farm to see them! So off we went and boy did I get up close and personal with the calves.

These four were only two weeks old and they were so cute. You can tell that one in particular was pretty friendly! Oh and while I was hanging out with the cows Cathy and Gail were trying to marry me off to John's brother, the farmer. Poor kid didn't know what to do with those two and their crazy ways! I don't think he has ever been outside of Dingle.

All good days end with food and drinks of course! We ate at a pub in Dingle and enjoyed some pints.

So glad we fell upon a tour guide who had cows! If you ever go to Ireland let me know and I will give you John's info. He was an excellent tour guide!

Monday - the rest of the crew planned to golf 9 holes that day at the Gap of Dunloe. I didn't really want to go anywhere by myself so I decided to go along for the ride. I was going to sit and read my book but I was allowed to walk the holes with them so I did. I became the official photographer and sunbather! And of course after golfing it was more eating and drinking!

Tuesday - we all
took a day trip to Kinsale which is a pretty harbor town similar to Newport. We walked around for an hour looking for a restaurant called "Fishy, Fishy" which Allan had read about in his book. Well I wasn't too interested in eating there since I don't like fish but even less interested when it was taking us an hour to find it. We ended up going to their other restaurant "Fishy, Fishy, Chippy" which is a more casual version and thankfully they had chicken! While in Kinsale I got to try Berry Bulmers for the first time. I liked it but Pear Bulmers is still my favorite!

Wednesday -
Allan, Cathy and Gail went to play 18 holes of golf while Katelyn and I went horseback riding on the beach in Rossbeigh. Since it is still "off season" we were the only 2 people there. My horse was Tom and Katelyn's was Paddy. Paddy did not like to keep up with us and often had to trot to catch up! Katelyn sure had a bumpy ride!

I've always wanted to go horseback riding on the beach. It was pretty fun! After horseback riding once the horses were back in the stable let's just say Paddy got a little "excited." Me being oh so mature had to take a picture but I won't post it here (trying to keep my blog PG haha!) Let's just say Katelyn and I learned where the expression "hung like a horse" came from!

Ireland Vacation Recap. . .
to be continued. . .

Friday, June 4, 2010

Surviving My First Week of Work and Disclosure

Disclosure is a word I know a lot about. As a social worker we learned about this in grad school. We talked about when and when not to disclose certain information about ourselves to clients. This is something that has always stuck with me.

While I was at my last job I was diagnosed with MS. I was in the hospital for a week when it happened and missed almost two weeks of work. I told my boss and coworkers (there were only 3 of them at the time) and I think it was a good decision b/c they were very supportive and it would have been hard to keep such a huge thing private.

When I was interviewing for this job I thought a lot about if I would disclose my big "secret" and decided that there really was no need for them to have this information. After getting the job I really didn't think I would tell my boss or any coworkers either. Again I didn't see the need for them to know and I didn't want anyone to treat me different before they really had a chance to get to know me.

Well that all changed - on my first day of work I was shadowing another social worker who is really great. We got talking and one thing led to another and I told her. She asked me some questions (another blog post will be coming about that soon) and was really supportive. She acted very normal about the whole thing which was nice. So that was that - one of my colleagues knew. No big deal.

Then three days later it happen again! I was talking to another social worker and we got talking about kids and allergies and then auto immune diseases. Well it seemed weird not to tell her after this whole detailed conversation so out it came. . . so now two people know at my new job and I'm ok with that.

Disclosing to clients is a whole other story and that won't be happening. I didn't tell my clients at the adoption agency and I do not plan to tell patients. As a social worker when I am helping a client or patient with their problem I do not feel like it is appropriate to talk about me. Of course there are times when disclosure can be really helpful to a client in some situations.

So I made it. Made it through my first week of work (did I mention that it was a four day work week and I left early everyday? haha!) So far so good. I look forward to next week when I will go to a bunch of meetings and then hopefully see some clients.

I'm sure I will have some good stories to tell about my new job. . . .

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New Job

I use to be an Adoption Social Worker but as of today I am now a Medical Social Worker. This is one of the great things about social work. There is a lot of flexibility in the type of work you can do. I'm excited to start this new chapter and look forward to the challenges I will face.

So this is my new home away from home! Even though it isn't a very big hospital I still don't know my way around that well. Today was an easy day. I had a tour, was introduced to many people (and I'm sure I won't remember any of their names), took a photo for my ID badge, and hung out with one of the other social workers, Jenn. Then I left at 2:30 since there were no clinical issues that needed social work. I think the rest of the week will be quiet as well since I don't have a pager yet nobody can really page me anyways! Next week is filled with meetings with many people so then the real work will start.