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Bits and Bites

Posted Jan 15 2009 7:50pm
A co-worker was telling me today about her husband's back problems and other ailments including the trouble with his rotator cup. She said it a second time so I knew I hadn't misheard her. When I said, "You mean rotator cuff", we laughed and she said "Is that what it's called?" That led to other mis-spoken words. She told me about going to the mechanic and saying there was something wrong with the "cadillac converter". Apparently everyone at the garage had a good laugh.

In other trivial things over the past couple of days, I was preparing my lunch for work and slicing some strawberries. I discovered that on the inside they look remarkably like brains. So I took some pictures. Cool. Then I started slicing the carrots, but realized the pics of them wouldn't come out well as they needed a contrast and I couldn't find my food colouring.

I was also wondering about my flour beetle in its bug observation container. So while wondering about what to feed it and looking on the net for information, i discovered it's not actually a flour beetle. It's a warehouse beetle. Not really a big difference between the two unless you're another beetle, but that means I have to change its name from Guy LaFleur to Bea Wear. He, she, or it, is the beige worm like thing in the bottom right corner of the flour.

After reading Joan's post on A Short in the Cord about hearing peepers while outside last night, I phoned the Museum of Natural History today to see if any peeper reports had come in yet for Nova Scotia. Nope. But the curator I spoke with said he's expecting the first reports this weekend from the south-west part of the province. We've had a westerly wind since last night, milder temps, and westerly winds forecast for tomorrow as well, so I expect things will begin to warm up presently. The snow is finally going.

On Monday I had a meeting with my neurologist and one of the clinic nurses to take a look at the MRIs I've had for the drug study I've been in for 10 years. No significant change in the pics, which is a good thing. Of course I asked why we still look at the MRIs if they are only good for diagnosis and the number of lesions doesn't statistically correspond with clinical symptoms. To see if the meds are working is the answer. That's the simple answer. I've been reading and trying to decipher technical stuff for the past couple of days so I can post something about this, but my brain seems to fog up after a few minutes. too many big words, I suspect. Dr. Murray did say that a good clinician is critical to assessing MS progression until we are better able to determine the chemical changes going on during an attack, a relapse, etc. And he also said that the next step in MRI-type picture taking will be actually measuring the chemical changes so that we won't have pics to look at but graphs.

So the question remains, why don't the lesions correspond with disability or clinical symptoms? it turns out there's more going on with those lesions than meets the eye, or MRI, in this case. And this is why they are trying to develop a way to measure the chemical changes going on. More of one chemical or process, the worse it is for you, or the better. And even though we can only see individual lesions, we know that MS is a whole brain disease. Well a white -matter -of- the -brain disease, mostly, and we just can't "see" physically or chemically what is going on. So while some processes are going on in a specific lesion, maybe the rest of your brain is trying to deal with it as well. We do know that early on in the disease there is a cycle of repair/relapse/repair/ that gets harder for the body to continue as the disease progresses. You can only replace the duct tape so many times before the wire is toast, then axonal damage occurs. More chemical reactions going on with that and we can't see that yet, either.

What we need is a spectrometer for the brain. anyone wanna give that one a try?

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