Just a quick eye-health report. and its a good one. I’ve had 2 OCT scans since I last reported on my eye condition. I saw a new neuro-opthomologist back in the spring, at UCSF, and then back to my optometrist last month. As usual, I give you a summary of all the OCT measurements so far:
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…
Nearly a month has already passed since my last check-up appointment with my neurologist, Dr.K, and I thought it was high time that I write up a summary of the event before memories completely dissipate.
As a wide-eyed undergraduate physics student getting introduced to scientific research, the following proverb was drilled permanently into my head: no measurement we could possibly make in this imperfect world — the cup of flour that our recipe calls for, the pencil marks on the wall indicating the annual growth of our child, the 10 gallons of gas that we were led to believe just went into our car tank — is ever exactly the “true” measurement, but rather is a value with some “give or take” (aka, uncertainty) associated with it. And that amount of tolerance shall always be attached to any measurement! After my recent OCT eye scan last week, I’m wishing that students in the medical field had the same borderline-unhealthy obsessions about uncertainty. Continue reading
Last night, as my fellow Americans enjoyed the Independence Day festivities, I achieved a personal milestone: I took my 180th injection of Copaxone. I’ve been on this treatment now for 6 months (due to my rough start, only about 5 1/2 of those 6 months have been continuous). When I first started this journey, I would never have imagined that I would be able to write about this minor “victory” today! Continue reading
An entire month has somehow passed since my last post, and what a month it has been. On the work front, I’ve mostly wanted to pull my hair out, but there were some “I can’t believe I get paid to do this” moments as well, such as the day that I gave a technical brief to a veteran astronaut (who is my boss, three times removed). On the non-work front, I’ve received some medical test results which have left me scratching my head. Continue reading
The results from the sleep test that I took last month are in. The test experience was a contradictory mix of painless medieval torture. After all the electrodes were super-glued to my scalp and legs, two tight belts were placed around my abdomen and upper chest (under armpits between breast and chin), a mask-like device with silicone appendages that go up the nose was strapped to my face, and an oxygen-sensor was clipped to and securely taped to my pointer finger, I was ready to catch some zzzz’s. But here was the problem: Continue reading
Tonight, while everyone else is recovering from post-Super Bowl festivities, someone will be spying on me while I sleep. Continue reading
Did you know that sleep could kill you?! (Or at least, cause a lot of serious health problems?) Neither did I. Of course, I’ve been familiar with the term “sleep apnea” for quite some time, but until now, always just regarded it as a fairly benign problem related to snoring that impacts sleep quality. Continue reading
[Note: Feb 18 2013 — new update with higher resolution pictures and additional data.] In my professional work, when someone publishes a paper that is heavy on tables (or plots) of data, but thin on serious analysis and interpretation (eg, “what is all of this data telling us about such-and-such star or galaxy?”), we often refer to such a paper as a “data dump”. While data dumps are not necessarily bad (if the author chooses to not dig deep into the physical implications of the data, then at least by making the data available to others, someone else might be able to make more sense of the data), the term “data dump” is somewhat derogatory.
With that background provided, I hereby confess that this post is a bona-fide data dump. And I hope that it becomes a sort of data depository, as others begin to read my blog. Continue reading