Heartbreaking News In The Cardiologist’s Office

Norman Rockwell's "Doctor and Doll"

Norman Rockwell’s “Doctor and Doll”

The dreadful, shocking news I received at the cardiologist’s office on Monday morning left me a sobbing mess for most of the day.  As you may recall from my last post, I recently visited my Primary Care physician to get his take on the problems I experienced during a recent bike ride.  After a thorough checkup, he referred me to the cardiologist, and stressed that I needed to set up a follow-up appointment to see him immediately after the referral visit.   I remember thanking him and saying “good bye, see you again soon” and, at that moment, putting my finger on one of his attributes that I found so refreshingly  quaint:  he was dressed in one of those zip-off hiking pants/shorts and was wearing a casual polo shirt.  I’ve seen plenty of pretentious doctors  during my life; he was the first doctor who actually listened to me, who was humble almost to a fault.  Thoughts of him stir visions of an old-fashioned doctor in a Normal Rockwell painting, although “youthful and in-touch” would represent his persona just as accurately.  I would have never guessed that this “good-bye” would be the very last. Continue reading

Remembering This Week

This past week marks two sad moments in history:  Challenger and Columbia.  Ironically, I was an eye-witness to both of these terrible shuttle tragedies, and the memories of each day are as crystal clear in my mind as the day that they happened.

I was an undergraduate at an engineering school located on Florida’s Space Coast in on January 28, 1986.  Continue reading

Daily injections of fire

[NOTE: updated on Feb 21, 2013 — added a couple new injection suggestions near bottom of post].  I’m posting fast-and-furious  because my life is in super-fast motion right now, and I need to get y’all caught up to “today” rather than telling historical stories. Reading a blow-by-blow account of someone’s  life,  rather than a historical account of past events, allows the reader to be “in the moment” with the author, experiencing all the twists and turns, and makes for far more interesting reading!  My past posts have served to provide some medical history/background, but very soon (maybe after this post?) we’ll be all caught up and current with today.

Enough disclaimer, now back to the regularly scheduled program …

Multiple sclerosis, briefly, is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the myelin sheath that surrounds/protects the neural axons in the “white matter” part of the brain (the “white” actually comes from the myelin, which is a fatty tissue). Continue reading