My Story (so far)

What might seem odd, after having published 42 posts, is to be writing something entitled “My Story”.   Since I wasn’t clever enough to have made my last post The Answer To The Ultimate Question Of Life, The Universe, And Everything, I decided it was high time to write a short biographical, with all the interesting bits in one place.  You see, lately I’ve been joining various online groups — mostly MS-related — and I am finding the redundancy of “introducing” myself over and over again to be incredibly tedious.  The future plan?  Point ’em to this tell-all page.  Brilliant! So, with apologies to those who have already slogged through 42 posts, here goes … Continue reading

Sometimes the MiSery is Not MS

Over the past year or so, I’ve joined several MS Facebook groups, mostly out of curiosity regarding what MS “looks like” in other folks, in hopes of getting some needed perspective.  In some cases, the collective advice and wisdom have been somewhat helpful. On the flip-side, I have also noticed an alarming tendency to attribute every ache and problem under the Sun to MS.  At one point, I was even advised by a member of one of these groups to “just blame everything on MS because it’s easier that way”.   Maybe, but the scientist in me ain’t buying it.  Even more importantly, sweeping everything under the “MS rug” has the potential for doing considerable harm. Take my hand, for instance…

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Coming Out Of the [Medicine] Closet

Each of us, at some time in our life, is confronted with the dilemma that brought me a lot of anxiety this  past week:  telling a loved one some news that we know will likely cause them discomfort, in the least stressful way we can manage.  Whether the topic is revealing sexual orientation,  a marriage that has inexplicably fallen apart, a drug addiction, an unplanned pregnancy, or (as in my case) a potentially debilitating disease, all we really want is to get the confrontation over with as quickly as possible, hopefully get our loved ones’ support, and then move on.  These moments of revelation are significant; they serve as the event that defines a “before” and “after” phase of life.  Once the news is told, we know that going back to the “before” life is forever impossible. Continue reading

A Second Opinion

Last week, following the wonderful mini-vacation and science conference that we enjoyed, I had a follow-up appointment with the MS specialist.  This follow-up comes on the heels of having seen an  neuro-opthomologist (which frankly was kind of a waste of time) and a neurosurgeon (the pineal cyst is not big enough to require surgery or be a source of concern), and following several blood tests (with tests for NMO and sticky-blood syndrome, along with the usual MS blood panel, all of which tested negative).

During this appointment, Dr. H. seemed to me to be a little off her game, or maybe I was expecting more from her than was fair.  Continue reading

How many specialists does it take to …

… make a diagnosis?   (My title here was a weak attempt at humor, making a play on the “How many PhD’s does it take to change a lightbulb” joke.  Yeah, I know, don’t quit my day job to become a comedian just yet).

In the past 2 weeks, I will have or will soon be seeing no less than 4 specialists related to the field of neurology, in addition to my “primary” neurologist.  Continue reading

How I got here, Part 2: Choose your charities carefully!

I love to cycle.  My love for bikes started when I was an undergraduate … one of my physics lab teaching assistants (TA)  had a beautiful, very expensive bike that he had won in a bike race.  That bike went everywhere with him, and was a permanent fixture during labs.  As I was hanging weights off of pulleys, and trying to figure out why the hell my circuits weren’t working, I’d sneak glances at that beautiful, sleek bike and wish it were mine.  My lab TA — the owner of said bike —  did semi-professional racing on weekends, and his body was a toned, lean-mean machine.  He made biking look very, very cool. Continue reading

Hello world!

Welcome to my very first blog post!

In the next post, I will provide some background that led me here, but here’s the abridged version:  about a week ago, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).  The possibility of this diagnosis has loomed for quite some time (again, I’ll fill you in with the details in future posts), but as you might imagine, considering the possibility of a diagnosis is quite different from weighing the pros/cons of treatment options…

Which brings me back to why I am starting a blog: (1) I may very well need some sage health advice in the future from those who preceded me in this “journey”;  (2) the scientist in me is interested in identifying common threads in the longterm health backgrounds of those who end up getting MS and other neurological issues; and  (3) perhaps my blog will help others seeking advice. Continue reading