Diary January 2002


The new year

After Monday, everything has gone back to normal. I wasn’t looking forward to it. I liked the holiday lifestyle: going to bed late and sleeping in. Being around Hein and the kids. And January is always such a boring month. I noticed that I was more anxious for Hein to come home during the first week. By the second week of January, I had adjusted by his comings and goings. Still, I will never not feel relieved when he gets home.

The pedicure

A toenail on my other foot has gotten infected, it’s swollen, red and leaking fluids. Standing has become painful. And my other toes are likely to become infected too. Hein found it in the phone book, which offers a myriad of pedicures. Luckily, we found one closeby that was willing to come by on the same day, following one rather urgent phone call. She was very competent. She trimmed two ingrown toenails and trimmed the others short. She was worried about the infection, though. But the wound is now unobstructed and it’s not as irritated now. The pain has subsided somewhat. Tonight, I’ll take my first foot bath in a long time. I have a foot deformity and crooked toes, making it so that every time I stand up, my toenails get the worst of it. I’m going to keep seeing her. These are the secondary problems caused by ALS. I panicked a bit on Monday when, despite of my pedicure, my legs buckled from pain while trying to stand up. I have enough to deal with already, I didn’t need this. But after a few antiseptic foot baths, the pain and the infections have all but disappeared. In addition, we have contacted the shoemaker about the possibility of some adjustments of my footwear to compensate for my clawing toes.

The homeopath

I still visit a homeopath in the Veluwe every 5 to 6 weeks, quite a trip. We went again in early January. Generally, my scores are fine, barring the occasional dip. My blood is slightly toxic. It didn’t score that well this time, either. It’s probably got something to do with Christmas dinner. But according to him, the winter may have had something to do with it. The lack of sun could be bad for my central nervous system. I’ve resolved to spend more time in the sun (by the window). Sometimes, Ward pushes my chair to the window and says; “sun therapy, mom?”. Yes, son. All things considered, I can hardly wait for spring.

Herd mentality

We tried visiting the Municipal Museum in The Hague, an exposition about Picasso and other Spanish painters. Of course, we picked the wrong day with the wrong weather. Like us, hundreds of other people had decided to spend this rainy day in a museum. There were queues down the street. We decided not to go. Eventually, we settled on the Museum Mesdag. Not a bad place to spend a rainy day. Thankfully, the kids stayed home. They’re going through a brief period of Nintendo addiction, which they play together.


I’ve been getting a lot of feedback after writing about missing small talk, my house, garden and kitchen conversation. I got mail about moving house, a temporarily evicted husband and experiences with online dating. I exchanged puberty-stories with the mother of Floor’s classmate and best friend. Lots of people came to visit; Ward’s teacher came by for a parent-teacher conference, an unknown cousin of Hein’s whom he emails sometimes and one of my soon-to-be ex-colleagues with whom I’ve worked for over 13 years. In the tea parlour we exchanged stories about our kids with other parents. Long live smalltalk.

Corrie online?

My mother has had a second-hand computer, boughts specifically to chat with me now that using the telephone has become impossible. That way, my mother can stay informed. My brother and I weren’t hopeful. Some of the questions she answered didn’t inspire much optimism. At first, I would only receive emails written with someone else’s help. But a month ago, she managed to do it without assistance. Of course, she called to ask if it had arrived properly. It had. By now, it’s back to radio silence. Somehow, the thing just won’t work anymore. Even an expert didn’t know what was wrong. Now we’re just waiting for a wizkid. My mother spent hours working on her uncooperative computer. Sometimes, she’d rather throw the thing out of a window. Hats off to her for even getting this far. All of this trouble, just to connect with me.

Bowel movement

If you don’t suffer from ALS, I would advise skipping this part. You see, pooping is an issue with ALS. Lacking movement and difficulty breathing aren’t very advantageous when using a toilet. Every day, I take my tea with lactulose, a laxative. It really helps, except when I’m on holiday. Everything’s wrong, a different schedule and odd, often uncomfortable toilets don’t help. Sometimes, the laxatives are too potent and I end up with diarrhoea. Not a good time when one is immobile. By a stroke of luck, I discovered that I only get diarrhoea when I take my laxatives too far ahead of a meal. Preventable. And thus, things have been going fine. Another one of those secondary ALS problems.