Wednesday, April 26, 2006

msb-0017 Start Me Up

I remember the Rolling Stones singing that back in '81.

(Yeah, I'm old. And no, I'm not going to play it because its not podsafe.

While I feel confident that Mick Jagger et alia has better things to do than complain about playing that song on my/our little MSBPodcast, the RIAA, ASCAP/BMI have nothing better to do.

Its their job to sue my butt off if I threaten their 'Intellectual Property.'

Must be a bitch wanting to sue people for thinking of a song though, after they spent all that money trying to achieve that very effect.

Hell, I don't feel safe even mentionning it except as a passing reference to a cultural touchstone.)

Little did I know that four years later, I'd need to heed the word after shooting the herd.

I was having a major friggin' attack.

They'd put me on intravenous ACTH and it was simply dreadful.

I went from sort of recovering to flat on my back and vomiting blood as the cow steroids screwed with my, well, with everything.

I spend a couple of days flat on my back while some student interns poked around and prodded me with sticks until I ended up for a week in Neuro-ICU at the Ottawa General hospital.

After a week of that, discovering what a catather was and how good it feels to get it out, and what moistening your lips with a wet gauze really does for quenching your thirst, not much, I finally got placed in a ward, still flat on my back.

I also remember telling my admiting doctor, a cute read-head who was still working to get her own admission into the exalted world of doctors: "Well. Now we begin to rebuild a man."

I repeated it twice before giving up since she just was not making out what I was saying.

ACTH was so bad that I got real healthy and I stayed real healthy for twelve years.

I didn't want to go through that again.

I produced the Ottawa MS Chapter newsletter for a little while.

But life changed, I discovered Smalltalk and Object-0riented programming and I ended up travelling all over the place both on this continent and in Europe.

Lemme tell you a story about spending the night at Logan airport.

I think I go on and on about building a specialty channel for MS, and I do and its blazingly obvious, and talking about it has become boring, even to me.

But I spent the entire night at Logan at Logan airport watching the billiard balls go through those wire races and I know what being bored really is.

Hour after soul crushing hour without even a security guard around watching those
billiard balls go through those wire races on and on and on and on.

In fact, I'd lost touch with my disease and didn't know that they were no longer carving up cow brains for the ACTH any more.

I was given cortizone for the following attack and I found out that there even disease modifying treatments.

I chose Rebif for no other reason than it offered me the fewest jabs a week for my treatment.

I hate needles. If they ever want to test inhalers so I could breathe in my medecine, I'll sign right up.

My father worked for a pharmaceutical firm, Merk, Sharp and Dohme in Montreal, and I learned to avoid puncturing my skin at all costs.

I'd grown up in the fifties when there was still polio, people still died from eating too many crab apples and they definitely died from infections.

It didn't help the rampant paranoia that my family knew somebody who'd died from slipping on ice and falling on the ashes that were spread to try and prevent slipping. Real effective there no?

She'd died from the infection she's got from making a bad landing on the ashes and ice. She was a young healthy twenty something.

Nowadays, there are several disease modifying agents: Avonex, Betaseron, Copaxone, Novantrone, Rebif and Tysabri and who knows what else is coming out of the lab soon?

What exactly they do, I'm not qualified to tell you.

Ask a doctor. Maybe he could hazard a guess as to the mechanisms. On the one hand, its science and fundamentally knowable and explicable, on the other hand, its voodoo that works.

Basically, I fall back on the old Bob and Doug MacKensey line from SCTV: "How it happened? Like, we don't know, eh? But there it is... The Miracle of Back Bacon."

I've got a question for the people who download me through iTunes:

I'm trying to figure out if people ever go "command i" on an episode?

Maybe its a feature nobody uses much.

I know about it because have to.

After I've written an episode, sometimes weeks in advance like this one, and I've hunted down and downloaded some interesting music off of
  • I use Garage Band to record an episode,
  • mix the music and
  • any other audio features I need to do,
  • then I export to iTunes,
  • in iTunes I convert to MP3,
  • add the art and
  • show notes before
I copy and paste the show notes and get the MP3 uploaded to

You can look for the lyrics tab on iTunes and the show notes on what music I played are there and the websites of the artists.

You can also look for the pictures or images tab and you can see what pictures I downloaded with the episode.

I really should get some of the other podcatchers I see appearing on the list I get on the statistics web page tab, but my Mac is full enough.

I'm working on some news, but this episode was written weeks ago as you hear this, and things have not progressed a lot.

While Lee went to the caregiver's conference and I went to a presentation on acupuncture.

Don't ask, I'm scared of needles, I was squirming in my seat the whole time and it hade nothing to do with MS. It had to do with being scared of puctures. I like my integumen unpunctured, thank ye very much.

But things are happening.

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