Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Many Doctors Recommend....

I have no idea when this ad ran. I'm guessing by the dress and the politically incorrectness it was the 40's or early 50's. After all LYSOL was a household name, I just had no idea that it ever had a place in a douche bag.
Besides the fact that she was made to supposed by the the makers of the disinfectant that her husband was indifferent to her because she needed to be internally fumigated, I find it "hysterical" (ha ha ha) that it professes the recommendation from many doctors.

I wonder what humorous findings our children will read about our doctor's medical recommendations 50 years from now.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Do you remember the Amazing Kreskin?
If not, you're just a young'un. He went on as a guest on TV shows in the 60's and I think he later had his own show where he did his amazing things. He read minds and showed the world examples of his uncanny ability to know the name of the card you were holding. Very tame stuff compared to what the illusionists and magicians do on TV today.
Well, I'm not blogging today on whether or not you believe in a sixth sense, but cyberworld has an interest in your ability or your lack of it. You see, search engines depend on words and images that correspond with what you are searching for. OK, so maybe it's not as much as the ability to "know" as much as it is a command of words and language.
Anyway...I digress. As a person with MS, I often have trouble finding the right word. I know's there on the tip of my tongue, or it's on the tape and I'm waiting for my brain to rewind. This troubles me. Damn...I did have an English major with an Art minor. I'm well read. Now I have trouble remembering what I just read.
This website caught my attention. It's run by Carnegie Mellon and they use the results from us playing the esp game with other gamers online to better understand what words we use to describe the pictures they show. This information is used to help search engines find just what it is we are looking for when we fill in the blank with just a word or two.
I warn you! The game is quick and addicting. After finishing one game and seeing the results you are hard pressed not to play one more time. But on the bright side, think of it as a cognitive excercise to keep those synapses ungunked.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Martha Must Die!

I have been possessed since the holidays. It came upon me suddenly and took over my mind and body. I thought it was just a "holiday ghost" and would leave as soon as the tree was down, BUT Nooooo... I have been struggling with this demon ever since. Her name is Martha, and as you might know, she thinks she is a domestic goddess. The antithesis of Bubbie. Yes, the ANTI-Bubbie!

She has driven me to dawdle through aisle 5 at the grocery store, throwing ingredients in my cart. Flour, unsweetened cocoa, bakers chocolate, flours, flavorings, sweeteners, herbs and spices. I have made cookies, cakes and pies from scratch. The flour sifter has made a permanent home for itself on my kitchen counter. Beans have been soaked, soups made and frozen, sauces and stews from recipe books that haven't been opened in decades. It's been scary.

This demon has not only had her way in the kitchen, she set her sights on the rest of the house too! She has drug me through fabric stores. Not only has she had me to recover my dining room chairs, she's planning to sew new draperies in there too. ( Damn, I think she just whispered to me something about a beautiful shade of paint for the living room)

There are fresh flowers in the vases about the house. There's a new crochet project next to my chair, lest I totally waste time in front of the TV, and my house is strangely clean with the scent of flowers and candles.

I will admit, a little Martha goes a long way. She's not all bad, she just needs to chill out and relax. I can't say I haven't enjoyed the fruits of these labors and the fact that I have been able to follow through on them physically is saying a lot. I think Martha came with the cooler temperatures. This Martha and my MS couldn't stand the heat in the Florida summers. I know too well there have been days I could not even stand at the kitchen counter, or have the strength and coordination to use a sharp knife and chop veggies or clean up.

Ok...she can hang awhile longer. I want to see what she has in mind for the living room.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

New Warning

Serious Skin and Hypersensitivity Reactions with Provigil

Ahhh....of course. Just as I have been luxuriating in almost a full month without injecting myself with interferon, this following little tidbit of information was fowarded to me:

Cephalon has notified healthcare professionals about new safety
information for Provigil (modafinil). Provigil is used to reduce excessive
sleepiness in adult patients with narcolepsy and other sleep disorders. Provigil
is not approved for any indication in children.The revised labeling warns that
Provigil can cause life-threatening skin reactions, including Stevens-Johnson
Syndrome (SJS). Although benign rashes can also occur with this drug, the
company says that it is not possible to reliably predict which rashes will be
serious. Because of this, Provigil should ordinarily be stopped at the first
sign of a rash, unless the rash clearly is not related to the drug. The labeling
also warns that Provigil can cause other serious hypersensitivity reactions. If
a multi-organ hypersensitivity reaction is suspected, the drug should be
discontinued. Patients should be told to stop taking the drug if they develop
signs or symptoms suggesting angioedema or anaphylaxis. Provigil can also cause
psychiatric symptoms, including anxiety, mania, hallucinations and suicidal
ideation. The company advises caution when the drug is given to patients with a
history of psychosis, depression or mania. If psychiatric symptoms develop,
consider discontinuing the drug.
Additional Information:
FDA MedWatch
Safety Alert. Provigil (modafinil) Tablets. October 24, 2007.

I have only been taking Lyrica, Tizanadine (generic zanaflex) the occaisional Klonopin, a more serious pain pill as needed (not since I have been interferon free) and for the last year, what I thought my was life saver...PROVIGIL.

I had been prescibed this med years ago and never even tried it, not even with the ample amount of free samples I was given. Maybe it was the Owellian name that put me off. I could not rationalize taking something to keep me up when obviously my body was screaming for rest. Then there was the pill itself. It's not an amphetamine, it keeps you up and alert and able to focus (all things I needed), and it's on THE list. You know, the list of substances that can and are often abused. There's also the question of HOW exactly does it work. Well, that seems to be the case with many of the drugs on the market. They know what the results are likely to be, but haven't got a clue as to how it does what it does or why.

So, last year, I was asked again if I wanted it. (want some candy little girl?) Hmmmm? Do you have to take it everyday? Is it addicting? Side effects?

The answers were NO, NO, and NO.

The desire I had to live a more productive life won out over my fear of trying a new drug. After all, this was the third doc that has offered it to me in the last 5 years. Could they all be in cahoots?

The sample packs I was given were 200 mg tablets. I tried it. I zoomed. I sped. I didn't sleep, even that night. I vibrated, I talked fast, and I did a million things.

Fast forward to the next day------------------>

I crashed. I called the doc. Nurse told me to take half the dose and try again. I waited a few days and tried it again at half strength. Not bad! I didn't feel like a cross country trucker. I didn't vibrate, I was alert, could focus, got things done and didn't need to nap. That was actually nice. I thought to myself that I had really missed out the last 5 years. I was determined though to take it PRN. If I had things to do and needed to be awake through them, I would plan to take one in the morning. (If I took one late morning, it would just prolong the effects and keep me up past a reasonable bed time) So, that was the plan.

It turned out that on a provigil day I could do the shopping, some housework, and have a productive day BUT, the next day that I didn't take one, I crashed anyway. This led to taking it 3 or 4 days in a row, not wanting to crash...and then to just taking it everyday. I was assured by my doc and his nurse that the was perfectly fine. I was on a very low dose, a dose that many of his patients took triple of.

Long story short is that I loved taking it and loathed taking it, knowing that if I missed a day the crash was epic.

And now, a FDA warning. What a surprise! I know the Multiple Sclerosis won't kill me, but I do believe that one or the other med for the symptoms and control of it most probably will.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

True Confessions

I have a confession. I haven't been posting and I haven't been keeping up with your blogs. Forgive me.

The question is why.

*I could say that it's because the Holidays kept me soooo busy with friends and family and cooking and baking.

I cooked mounds of food and tons of deserts. I out-did myself...and I couldn't stop. I made things from scratch! Pies and cakes and cookies, Oh my! Flour sifters and measuring cups and piles of dirty mixing bowls. The holidays are over and STILL I am being a MARTHA. I don't know what got into me, but it had better get out. Call an exorcist.

*I could say that the weather here was (underline was) so perfect here between Christmas and New Year's that it would have been a sin not to be enjoying the outdoors. The pictures are from the bay front park. By the dolphin fountain is where my son was married just one year ago.

*I could say that I have been fortunate to have received some very good reading material. I have read 3 good books in the last 6 weeks. It's a terrible vice of mine (unlike the baking that was just a fluke). When I begin a book, and it captures me within the first chapter, I do little else 'till the book is completed. Honestly...the house could be burning down around me and I would finish a chapter before getting up, grabbing probably nothing but the pages in hand and calling the fire department while running out the door flipping to the next page.

It's true. None of these are lies. I have been distracting myself from anything that I have related to MS. I have been off my Rebiff injections since the 1st week of December and it has been wonderful. Did I say wonderful?? It's been great, glorious, amazing. What a difference! I still have MS...IT always reminds me, but none of the ill effects of my previously mentioned disease modifying agent.

I was told by my cut and dry, who hates when I ask questions neuro (wish I had a replacement in the wings) to give myself a month off (how gratuitous) the interferon and then call his office (not HIM, his office) and let them know what I've decided.

He ran through a very short list of my options after giving his professional opinion that the Rebiff didn't agree with me. (Like I needed a doctor to tell me that) I asked about other therapies and options I know of and he shot them down as quick as the words left my mouth.

I know how much better I feel now without the added side effects.

I don't feel like any of HIS favored options are worth considering and he has no argument nor education to offer for any of them. It's like saying, "Pick your poison".

Having just finished reading my last book this afternoon, I may have to go buy a new one or troll the library tomorrow. The cooking has got to stop.