This is my son Griffin, and he may have measles.


On February 9th, I received a phone call from York Region Public Health, informing me that Griffin, alongside my mother and I, was potentially exposed to the measles virus while attending a newborn weigh-in appointment at my doctor’s office in Markham on January 27th.

Griffin was 15 days old at the time.

I was informed that someone who later developed measles sat in the doctor’s waiting room between 1 hour before and 30 minutes before we arrived. I was also informed that measles is regarded as “airborne” and can stay in the air and on surfaces up to 2 hours after the infected person has left.

I was then asked if I had had the measles vaccine. I had.

Griffin. Griffin had not. Can not.

I was advised to not be around small children. If I worked in such an environment I would be written off work. I do work in such an environment; my home. Where I now sit with Griffin and my 3 year old, Aurelia, who has only been able to get one MMR vaccine so far. She is now, technically, exposed too. We are to sit tight and watch for symptoms: fever, cough, runny nose. If we develop any of these we are to call my doctor and arrange to come in under official medical precautions. We are to wait at home, in isolation, until February 17th, after which the 21 days of possible incubation will have passed and we are clear.

So, Griffin is now Schrödinger’s baby. Simultaneously with measles, and without it. Until he develops symptoms, or until a further 7 days pass. One or other.

And I’m angry. Angry as hell.

I won’t get angry at or blame the person in the waiting room. I would have likely done the same thing…you get sick, you go to the doctor. I have no idea what their story is and I will never know. But I do know one thing:

If you have chosen to not vaccinate yourself or your child, I blame you.

I blame you.

You have stood on the shoulders of our collective protection for too long. From that high height, we have given you the PRIVILEGE of our protection, for free. And in return, you gave me this week. A week from hell. Wherein I don’t know if my BABY will develop something that has DEATH as a potential outcome.


Now, let’s unpack this shall we. All out on the table.

You have NO IDEA what this “potential outcome” means. NO IDEA. I do. Unfortunately, I do.

You think you are protecting your children from thimerosal? You aren’t. It’s not in their vaccine.

You think you are protecting them from autism? You aren’t. There is no, none, nada, nothing in science that proves this. If you want to use google instead of science to “prove me wrong” then I am happy to call you an imbecile as well as misinformed.

You think you are protecting them through extracts and homeopathy and positive thoughts and Laws of Attraction and dancing by candlelight on a full moon? You aren’t. I PROTECT YOUR CHILD. We protect your child. By being concerned world citizens who care about ourselves, our fellow man, and our most vulnerable. So we vaccinate ourselves and our children.

You think you are protecting them by letting them eat their shovel full of dirt and reducing antibiotics and eating organic? You aren’t. As an unvaccinated person you are only protected by our good graces. WE LET YOU BE SO PRIVILEGED thanks to our willingness to vaccinate ourselves and our children.

You know what vaccines protect your children from? Pain. Suffering. Irreparable harm. Death.

And you would be the first to line up if you had an inkling of what the death of a child feels like. You would be crawling through the streets on your hands and knees, begging, BEGGING to get that vaccine into your precious babies because that is what I would have done, if I could, to save my daughter.

The fact is, there was no vaccine for her. Not for her illness. And she died. She died at age five and a half, and she is gone.

And I watch these arguments trotted out on Facebook and twitter citing false science and long discredited“studies” that just won’t stop and Jenny McCarthy quotes and “it’s MY choice” to not vaccinate…and I think…what would you have done if your child lay dying? Would you give them a scientifically proven, safe and effective vaccine and risk the minuscule likelihood of a side effect? Or would you let them go, knowing that at least they won’t develop autism (which they wouldn’t even develop anyway because SCIENCE)?

And don’t you DARE tell me that you wouldn’t vaccinate them then. Don’t you dare. You have no idea what it feels like to go through what we went through.

So, look at Griffin. Tell me why he gets to bear the brunt of your stupidity and reckless abuse of our protection? Tell me.

Seven more days until I know that my baby is safe. Seven more days.

How is your week going, anti-vaxxers?

(From Jennifer Hibben-White via Facebook).

Goldfish strikes again.

I had a little chat conversation at about 7:30 in the morning a couple of weeks ago that went something like this:

Yale:   Wow, that is expensive just for the shipping.
Borys:  Huh?  What’s expensive?
Yale:  You said earlier that it costs $100 to ship that lens you want… read back up.


*scrolls up*  … discovers that I had sent a message about an hour and a half earlier saying that the camera lens I had been coveting (a Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6L IS USM Lens) was going to cost $100 to ship and that I thought that was ridiculously expensive.

Borys:  I don’t even remember looking at that this morning or sending you that message.
Yale:  Did you buy it?
Borys:  No.
Borys:  I don’t think so.
Borys:  Shit, I dunno!

*checks email* … discovers some alarming correspondence.

Borys:  OMG.  I bought it!  Not only did I buy it, but I had the wherewithal at the time to search for a discount code and got 30% off the shipping cost.
Yale:  lol.
Borys:  I also bought a Canon 2x III multiplier/extender too  🙁
Yale:  Really?
Borys:  According to my confirmation email… checked out with Paypal and everything, so didn’t even have to find my credit card.  FFS.

Okay, this is getting beyond a joke.  We’ve been saying for ages that I need to have my credit card taken away, but obviously even that ain’t gonna help!  Not only did I spent about $1600 in the early hours of the morning and have no recollection of it barely two hours later… I bought an extender for $385.00 that is NOT compatible with the lens I ordered.  Never fear, the extender has been offloaded on eBay for a slight profit already, but yep…  that’s right I ordered the wrong damn thing.  I read the details on the screen in front of me and I think all I saw was that it was ‘compatible with L series lens’ and a long list of which lens it went with, and only after receiving the stuff in the mail did I have a better look at that list and realize the EF 70-300mm f4-5.6L was not on the list!

Sigh… Goldfish have probably got a better memory than me at the moment!  Thank god, Mr K has a sense of humour about these things…

It’s only a problem if you know about it.

Ever forget where you left your keys?  Ever forget an appointment with your accountant? Doctor? Manicurist?  Ever forget to send permission forms up to school?  Ever forget to turn the iron off?  How about forgetting your passwords or forgetting about the Tooth Fairy?  Shit happens, right?

What about these then… ever forget that you have ordered a book and went and ordered a second copy?  Ever forget that you bought someone’s birthday present and then spent a week trying to come up with an idea for it?  Ever forget a conversation you had in the morning about the Goat Pie Guy and then wonder why you’re unexpectedly presented with goat pies for lunch three hours later?  Ever forget that you’re out shopping for a toaster and come home with a new kettle instead?   Ever tell the same person the same thing three or four times and watch their face glaze over as you realize you’ve already imparted that information?  Ever forget what the family said they wanted for dinner even though you asked them every half hour from 3-6pm?  Ever forget to turn off the TV or lock the door or set the alarm or close the garage and just leave the house and come home to find the place wide open?  Ever forget about a ‘to do’ list in your own handwriting and have no recollection of writing it?  Ever forget driving your child to school and spend the day believing someone else took him?  Ever completely forget something you only just learned the day before?  Ever scarily forget you’ve taken your nightly medication and promptly turned around five minutes later and taken it again?

We have been laughing about my goldfish memory for about five years now.  So what if you accidentally order the same book twice?  It was on medieval gold smithing and the extra copy made a great present for Surly’s next birthday anyway.  So what if pink Tupperware turns up in the mail and you have no recollection of ever having ordered it?  So what if you arrive a day early for your doctor’s appointment?  So what if you boil the kettle three or four times before remembering to actually make the cup of tea?   So what if you get frustrated trying to logon to your PC using a password you changed two years ago?  So what if you forget the Small Child’s basketball training…again?  So what if you have to keep the world’s most complex calendar because you can’t trust your memory to remind you of ANYTHING.

prescription drug addiction dependence memory loss concentration

Well, this is where I’ve been at for the last five years.  Too many drugs with too many side effects.  Not the least of which it turns out over long term use include diminished cognitive abilities, loss of concentration and drumroll please … memory loss.  Woulnd’t be so bad, in fact I doubt I would have come to call it a serious problem at all, if I weren’t trying to learn Classical Latin at the moment.  You see, I’ve managed to get through two semesters of Latin (I still have no idea how I did that) and am in the middle of my third (and fucking final) semester of Latin Language and Literature… and I CAN”T REMEMBER ANY OF IT.

Now, this isn’t the usual, ‘I hate Latin and brain is resisting learning Latin’ thing that often comes if someone is forced to deal with something they think is unpleasant (like me and income tax returns).  I like Latin and was finding it challenging and enjoyable, even though it comes with more than it’s fair share of monumental mind fucks.  No, the problem here is I am being taught grammatical concepts one day and the next day being unable to recall what the concepts were, what they were called, how they are applied or how they are translated, which is seriously hindering my ability to complete the course.  Homework assignments that should take only a matter of hours are taking me two days to complete as I look up words and then look them up again three lines later having already forgotten the English translation over the duration of about ten minutes and facepalming the minute I see the English again.  Seriously frustrating.  At the moment, with some changes in medication, I can’t seem to recall anything we learned last year – not even simple noun declensions, verb conjugations and tenses or principle parts.  Asking me to explain the mood or case of something, when parsing, is like asking me to teleport to Ancient Rome to run Cicero to ask him why he’s inflicted all this shit on us in the first place!  Impossible!

So struggling with Latin has gone from being challenging and enjoyable to being frustrating and riddled with anxiety, as I just can’t seem to remember what I need to know.  And it has bought home hard, like a slap upside the head with a wet haddock, just how bad my memory has become.  I can’t remember the Latin I learned yesterday, but to test a theory, I started working through an online self taught French tutorial program and have been sailing through it on high school French that I learned over 20 years ago!  I’m paying more attention to the memory problems now and I’m noticing more and more that I can’t remember shit.  I can’t remember important stuff, I’m losing track of menial stuff and I’m now officially getting worried about it because after a tiny bit of research and a meeting with my dealer… err I mean doctor, it turns out I have developed some serious prescription medication dependencies.  Or flat out drug addictions if we want to do away with the niceties.

Problem is, I can’t give them up.  I don’t want to give them up.  Go ahead, make my day… just try and take them off me and see what happens!  For without the drugs, there is no sleep.  Without the sleep, there is no coping with being in pain ALL day.  Without the coping there is a bottle of the most ludicrously expensive champagne and ALL the pills at once in my foreseeable future.

So… my name is Borys and I have a prescription drug addiction.  But somehow I doubt there are meetings for people with no desire or motivation whatsoever to kick their habits.  🙁

I know how they feel…

Whoa!  Stillnox vs Valium debate is still raging.  The Stillnox seems a way better knock out pill than the old faithful Valium, but it doesn’t have the same muscle relaxant properties so if I take if for a few days running, I end up exacerbating my lockjaw problem and my muscle spasm tendencies. 

In the meantime I’m having some really fucked up dreams!  This morning’s effort revolved around some old friends who I am not really in touch with any more, furtive encounters behind their wives backs and them worrying about being found out?!  Weird stuff, I was being pulled back and forth between these two guys whom I haven’t seen in years. One was at a holiday house on an island and constantly pushing me into a back room mid conversation, and the other was frequently jumping out of bed at his place when he heard something, looking around guiltily for pants and closing the door on me as he left the room… and both of them were trying to hide me from their wives!  But while they were trying to hide me from their wives, they kept confronting each other, saying they wanted to ‘keep’ me (it puts the lotion on its skin!), and no one bothered to ask what I wanted in regards to the matter!

Ahuh.  Not sure which drug is better, but so far the Stilnox dreams are weird but definitely not as creepy as the Valium dreams.

alice in wonderland dorothy wizard of oz



Shake your groove thing.

Alright now! Because having the flu (euphemism for severe bronchitis that doesn’t seem to want yield to anti-biotics) isn’t bad enough, one of the three new medications I’ve been given – two to try and kick it and one to add to my usual cocktail of pain meds, muscle relaxants, analgesics and sedatives is giving me the shakes. And I don’t mean a strange little old lady quaint type of trembling in my hands as I fluster with my purse either… I mean something that is giving me the whole body tremors and making my head bob about like a Parkinsons patient.  🙁

Whole thing is making this typing business a bit of a challenge (so I will take the opportunity to blame my typos on the shakes for a while) and my fingernails are chattering against the keys as they hover over the keyboard, like your teeth do when you’re really cold. One of the weirdest sensations ever and I can’t seem to ‘mind over matter’ control it. Stupid brain.

drug interaction side effects tremors trembling medication

Question is how to figure out the culprit when you’re on so many medications, and in particular so many new ones, or is it very likely a combination deal? I think I’ve narrowed it down to one likely suspect where studies have patients reporting tremors, trembling or ‘shaking palsy’… about 10 in 5930 patients report getting the shakes from it – 80% are my gender, 50% in my age group but 100% report it after 2-3 years on the medication… not 2-3 doses!

Oh well, it’s all fun and games until your damn doctor prescribes something that makes you feel worse than you did to start with. This is going right up there with the Mouse Tails side effect.