Tiny Humpers! The Key to Success is a Sense of Humour
- November 15, 2016
- Theresa Bertuzzi
Headed off for a full body MRI today and I was stuck in that machine for a full hour. My friends who suffer panic attacks from MRI machines, I have more than one, will shudder at this. It is pretty bad when you have had enough MRI’s in one year that the technician’s and nursing staff greet you by name as you arrive. Sighhhh. The set up took a long time since they cage in your entire body so that you are virtually turned into a robot before you even get stuffed into the tube. Thank god I am not claustrophobic and I couldn’t help but notice that the technicians were nervous while putting all of the equipment on me, constantly checking to make sure that I wasn’t freaking out. I asked them if a lot of people lost it during this test and they were like “Oh yeah, all of the time!” The nurses took a long time to get the cages on too because they said they did not do this test very often, hmmm comforting. Running the MRI machine for that length of time also made it really hot in there, I was virtually baking when it was running and then in between scans they would blow cold air on me that gave me nipples that could cut glass. I would love to embellish this blog post by telling you that I panicked and needed a dramatic rescue but the truth is I just fell asleep in there. I know that that will irritate my friends who hate the MRI machine but it really doesn’t bother me at all other than the fact that I can’t itch my nose for an entire hour and you know it was itching the entire time. I couldn’t even itch it in between scans this time because my arms were completely caged in like I was a mummy in a tomb. I would have thought that I would be nervous today considering they were searching my body for muscle disorders and looking for cancer in all of my organs but I had absolutely no apprehension whatsoever and I am going to take that as a good sign. Either my soul knows that everything is ok or I have faced so many tests and been told bad news so many times that I no longer worry about it anymore. Could also be that every single time I visit my doctors they remind me that I could still have cancer somewhere and I have become numb to that announcement. I just respond “I know, I know.” I will be glad to get the all clear for cancer so I can put that part behind me but I really have not been that worried about it, just more irritated by the amount of testing that I have had to do. But let’s be honest, even when you are certain you don’t have cancer, the threat can’t help but sneak into your thoughts here and there, normally in the middle of the night while I am on WEB MD working myself into hysteria.
I can also see again!!! Whoot Whoot!!! After a week of not being able to see I finally got into the optometrist who explained that he could see that my corneas were swollen with fluid from the high dose of Prednisone I am on. This was causing my vision to be so blurred that, by the end of the day, I couldn’t make out people’s faces and it looked like I was viewing the world underwater. He prescribed me some salt drops and ointment to use to suck the excess swelling out of my eyes. This sounds simple enough, except that salt water drops burn like hell. It is literally like pouring salt in your eyes and as my eyes water throughout the day I now leave a trail of white salt all over my cheeks. I am supposed to put them in five times a day but I must admit I am only doing it two or three times a day. I just can’t bring myself to pour those salt drops in and put it off knowing that it is going to burn so bad that smoke should be steaming out of my eyeballs. When my eyes start to blur I suck it up and squirt in the teeny tiny drops from hell. Small price to pay though to be able to see and my family is enjoying the show I put on after the drops go in; there is a whole lot of thrashing and yelling. They have all volunteered to put the drops in for me; I think there is something wrong with them and I do not believe for one second that they are trying to be helpful! My movements are also a lot better now and I am really feeling quite a bit stronger. If it wasn’t for the horrid side effects of the medications I would be making good progress as they still make me feel like I have the flu every single day. I look forward to tapering off of the meds but am also afraid as each time they try to lower my dose of steroids within days I am right back where I started.
Now that I have my venting out of the way I think it is important that I point out that autoimmune disease is such a minor part of my life and I want to make sure that this blog reflects that by also talking about other parts of my life. I want everyone to know that my whole world does not revolve around dealing with these horrible illnesses. In fact I have learned how to continue on full force even when I am extremely unwell and there are days and weeks that go by when I don’t even give a single thought to being sick anymore. I guess that comes with having had Lupus for so long. The only time that the illnesses become more of a focus is when I am flaring up with severe problems like I currently am with dermatomyositis but this is mainly because of all of the doctors’ appointments. Normally I will only have to see my rheumatologist once every three months and I will complain about it because I know that I will get in trouble for not adjusting my work schedule and home life to give me the rest I need to ensure that I stay healthy. She constantly points out that I am in denial and I in turn will point out that I know what kind of hours she works too and then we will chat about how well my company is doing as she knows I am a lost cause. I can’t help it, I love my company and backing away from it would cause me more stress and unhappiness than the physical work. I have had to get a little help keeping up over the past couple of months but my hand is still in there full force and nothing keeps me away when my company needs me.
This week our Hamilton Tiny Hoppers won the Best Daycare award and I am so proud of them and how wonderfully they are representing our company. We have amazing franchisees and they are all doing so well. I often am asked how we managed to get our company off the ground in the beginning as we were not a franchise and had absolutely no support when we were first starting out so I thought I would share with you the secret behind our initial success. I would love to say we were just brilliant and knew exactly what we were doing but the truth is that the success of our company in those first few months we were open can be contributed to hard work, naivety and a community joke. Yes, it is true that the success of the Tiny Hoppers franchise can be partly contributed to the sick sense of humour of our fellow neighbours in the Riverside South Community. When we first opened we were not yet running the daycare and nursery school portion of our company but were only running parent and child play classes in our play room. The rent in Riverside South is very high and we knew that we would need a lot of people to flood through our play classes and become members in order to make this rent each month. The first few weeks we offered these classes for free and tried to convince as many people as we could to come out and give it a try so we could build up our memberships as quickly as we could. As fate would have it, the neighbourhood would work together to help us out. When we opened we had purchased two, large stuffed frogs that we had sitting in the window of our play centre. We noticed the day after our first play classes, as we pulled up in the parking lot, that some disturbed visitor had arranged our frogs in the window in a precarious position. Ok… they were doing it. We laughed and put them back where they were only to find at the end of that evening that someone had once again repositioned the frogs. This went on, night after night for weeks as more and more people flocked into our centre and filled up our memberships. By the end of the first month we had over a hundred people signed up for our play classes and our frogs were getting it on each night. We soon found out that there was an ongoing joke in the neighbourhood, a challenge of sorts, that people were daring each other to attend our play classes and make the frogs do it. We even pulled up one morning and our large street sign had had the letters changed to read “Tiny Humpers come out and try a free play class on us!” Now I can only assume that all of these pranksters either enjoyed the class and signed up or felt bad for us and gave us a sympathy registration but the mass crowds this community joke created was the key to our success in those first few months. I have always found it fitting that our success can be contributed to a dirty joke but there it is… the secret to Tiny Hoppers’ success. These fortunate mistakes and hilarious mess ups have followed us throughout our expansion of Tiny Hoppers and no matter what challenges we have faced things have always turned out ok. These experiences have helped me in facing each new health crisis as they come my way because I have a calm sense of knowing that no matter what life deals me I will be ok in the end and the challenges I face will only provide me with new and wonderful experiences and opportunities. It really is a beautifully, broken, silly and wonderful world and it is the unexpected mistakes along the way that make life way more interesting!