Thursday, April 30, 2009

Living Under A Rock...

Seriously? Am I really the only United States citizen who believes this "swine flu", AKA, H1N1 influenza, isn't a NEW thing? Are people really believing the notion this virus JUST hit the good ol' USA 5 days ago??? Are "we" really that gullible????

I'm not and here are my predictions. H1N1 has been an active virus in the States for over a month, maybe longer. The CDC was alerted to this virus and the conditions in Mexico nearly 2 1/2 weeks BEFORE making any sort of announcement it existed in the USA (Google the company "Veratect" for more information about this...heck, follow Veratect's Twitter feed, where they have been tracking H1N1 information for many days now at www.twitter.com/veratect ). This information was not made public because of socio-economic concerns of the impact such an announcement might have on trade/business in the global market (The World Health Organization actually showed the gonads to SAY this as they considered raising their *alert* levels...Google WHO for more info.). The situation in Mexico is dire as would be in any 3rd world country where health resources, education, and climate exist that perpetuate epidemic conditions (but nobody seems to care all that much about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa where THOUSANDS continue to die).

And, just this evening, health officials have announced they believe they have 6 suspected cases of H1N1 here in Western Washington where I live...well DUH. This isn't news OR new people. This rate will grow and grow and there WILL be deaths attributed to H1N1...because we are LOOKING for it now and what we give our attention to is what we see...but come on. Each year in the United States, there are ALREADY an estimated 36,000 deaths from influenza or influenza-related illnesses. You'd have to be living under a rock to not know death from influenza (all types and strains) doesn't already occur in our fair land.

So far (at last check tonight on the CDC website), SWINE FLU one death, REGULAR FLU STILL 36,000 a year!...I'm not advocating ignorance, but I'm also not advocating panic. Wash your hands, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough (and wash your hands again), and stay the hell away from me if you think you are sick...same thing my mother and her mother said to avoid this type of illness. Well, that and don't pick your nose...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Deodorant Is Suffering From Agnosia...

...it no longer recognizes my underarms! (Agnosia - neurological disorder resulting in the inability to recognize objects, shapes, sounds, smells, etc.)

Yeah, so it's been a few days since I *cleaned up*...whatever. I've been ill. But hope is on the horizon...my loverly ARNP started me on a course of prophylactic antibiotics (not the condom kind) today and I am going to try to go back into work Tuesday. We both decided "whatever" type of influenza I have been wrestling with isn't important...what's important is that I RECOVER.

Between the antibiotics, prednisone (for lung inflammation), and an albuterol inhaler, no one should even notice I'm still croaking like a frog and look like hammered sh!+. But hey, my UNDERARMS do smell better...

**I also suffer from agnosia...I don't even recognize that is NOT me in that picture**

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Practicing my Kegel's...

Well, not with the kind of product in the picture (who knew there was a bowling ball brand called, "Kegel"?!?)!

But I swear, if this hacking/coughing/sneezing/SWINE FLU (not really "swine" flu, but I FEEL piggish) doesn't leave me soon, I'm probably just going to wet or mess my bed and not even care.

**Squeeze, relax, squeeze, cough, relax, sneeze, squeeze...my mantra**

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Could It Be The Swine Flu?...

Well, I've been called *pig-headed* before, but it's doubtful my current respiratory distress is anything more than good, old, regular influenza...but THIS report from the Center For Disease Control sure makes a person wonder.

I have to go root around for some more Ibuprofen now...snort, oink...

Friday, April 24, 2009

How Sick IS A Dog?...

Don't know where that saying came from, "Sicker than a dog"...but I am. And still trudging my way to work after a brief hiatus of illness/sick leave on Wednesday...because I HAVE to. Because my coworkers depend on me to be there or THEIR lives are made more difficult...because I have little compensatory time to afford days on end of lying about at home, hoping the "crud" leaves me as easily as it slipped into my lungs.

But mostly because I refuse to believe I CAN'T do whatever I set my mind on doing...like fulfilling my responsibilities...even when I feel "sicker than a dog"...woof, woof...my bark is now way worse than my bite, which sounds more like a croaking frog than a hound sounding an alert.

Back to licking my wounds...


**Editor's Note, Friday 2/24, 9:00AM**
Mkay, reeeeeeaaally funny now, Baby Jesus...thanks for taking my voice away entirely! Yep, laryngitis...the original, "I'm speechless" quote...which could never have BEEN quoted because, if the *quote-ee* we like me, they couldn't have SAID it anyway! Geez...seriously. This crap is highly annoying...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

FEVER!...Not Peggy Lee Style...


Alrighty...what I'm about to write has absolutely nothing to do with Peggy Lee or the YouTube link up above...I just like to hear her sing, "FEVER!", with such flare. Hehe...so click the play on the YouTube window and listen to Peggy Lee make the word "fever" sound incredibly sexy while you read the rest of this dribble.

I really should title this post, "MS 101 - The Pseudo Exacerbation", but I didn't...most of you wouldn't have bothered to read this far if you knew what I was REALLY intending to talk about (and sadly, have now clicked over to an MS web blog far more useful, like MS Strength...yeah, sorry to out you, Jen!). But I've noticed a new and interesting *trend* in the CHEESE blog stats and I'm seeing several new searches for topics that appear to be MS 101 - type issues, so I thought this topic would be good to cover again. And the REAL truth...since it IS all about me...I'm experiencing "FEVER!" (**insert Peggy Lee voice each time you see the word**) and a pseudo exacerbation MYSELF today. It's in my face and it's what I know right now...you're kind of sh!+ outta luck, my friends, if you were expecting anything else.

The previous post would indicate I did NOT awaken as a happy camper this morning...I'm not even certain 4:00AM can be classified as *morning* in most circles (mine, in particular). I instead awakened to the sound of my own lungs attempting to free themselves from my ribcage and a bone-chilling coolness to my body. I'll get back to the lung issue later...but those of you who know me or have read much of my experiences here, recognize I am a perimenopausal/hormonally challenged female who can generate enough HEAT to power a small factory on any given day. I am rarely, if ever, COLD...even when it IS cold or below freezing outside...my body just seems to percolate away, radiating enough heat to cause Al Gore to want to shut me down due to concerns about global warming. So, waking up *cold* is a sign.

Usually, the only time I ever feel cold these days is when I am experiencing a "FEVER!"...otherwise known as being febrile...but I'll stick to using "FEVER!" for continuity sake. LOL My bones will ache from the cold sensation when a "FEVER!" is upon me...my bones were experiencing such achiness this morning (or late night...depends on your personal philosophy of time) as my lungs attempted their dramatic escape from my body (little bastids!). Looking back on the past 24 hours, I can now see where I most likely was experiencing a low grade "FEVER!" late yesterday afternoon, sans bone-aching chill...because I was having the *MS Lean* come a knockin'.

So, what does ANY of this have to do with MS Pseudo Exacerbation? Yeah, yeah...put your hand down, Arnold Horshack...I know YOU already know the answer (did I just date myself with that vague, "Welcome Back, Kotter", 1970's TV show reference?!?). But, on the off chance you are someone who has fallen into my evil trap and continued reading thus far without KNOWING this answer, I will tell you...in my own words, from my own experience...because I am NOT a doctor...I just PLAY one on the Innerdnets.

It seems whenever I run a "FEVER!", which I will define for myself as any elevation in my core body temperature above 99.6, I tend to have what, for all intents and purposes, *appears* to be an MS relapse...key operating term in that sentence is *appears*. I am NOT experiencing a relapse...my body just PRETENDS it is. OK, I probably shouldn't use the word "pretend" here either, because we all know MSer's frequently get accused (or just feel that way for no particular or explainable reason...WTF?!?) of "pretending" their symptoms anyway. Maybe I should say, "when my body reaches a core temperature above 99.6, it EXPERIENCES symptoms not unlike a full-blown MS relapse". Is that better?

Since cave man times, or at least the advent of the mercury thermometer, the standard core body temperature used to delineate "FEVER!" in human beings has been 98.6 (99.6 rectally, but let's not go there, OK?!?)...anything ABOVE 98.6 could be considered "FEVER!" and anything BELOW...well...dead. But that's WAY below 98.6! My core body temperature typically runs around 97.8...sometimes a few 10ths of a point lower, sometimes a few 10ths higher...but standard temp for Moi is 97.8. And, no. I'm not considered *dead*. Most of us do not run the typical 98.6 standard Fahrenheit temperature (sorry to all the Aussie's, Brits, and Europeans...37.0 Celsius is the norm on the metric scale...speaking of *cave men* here in the States).

As you can see, adding MY personal standard core body temperature to the mix makes any "FEVER!" I experience SEEM more like an above 100 degree fever the average person would experience (anyone who typically runs a base temp of 98.6)...thus my narrow margin of cut off - 99.6 - as a magic number which awakens the raging bull of MS inside my body.

"But, why God, WHY?!" MSers shout in exasperation (not to be confused with *exacerbation*, but perhaps we SHOULD confuse the terms for emphasis!). Why can something so benign as a one or two degree increase in our core body temperatures cause the MS to become active, thus experiencing a PSEUDO EXACERBATION? Unfortunately, the science is still out to lunch on this one...sigh. But rest assured MSers, you are most likely NOT in the development stage of new lesions because of your pseudo exacerbations...it's just the "FEVER!"..."FEVER!" in the mornin' light...Oops, I digress.

Most neurologists/scientists/VooDoo practitioners agree (or like to think) that, when the core temperature of an MSer is increased (sometimes just ever so slightly, mind you), the nervous system slows in it's ability to CONDUCT it's business...like firing our nerves correctly. If you've ever lived in the South (with or without MS), you already know when the temperature outdoors rises above 100 degrees F and YOU have to be out in the swelter, our bodies as a whole get a little "crabby"...we get "irritable"...OK, some of us get down right mean! We "can't take the heat" as the old saying goes. And this is because, on a molecular level, some cells become *excited* from the heat, while others become sluggish. Some systems have to work overtime to keep us cooled down (thus the purpose of sweat or perspiration...and you thought you just did this to LOOK cool or be a jock?!?).

The Multiple Sclerosis body, being the fine-tuned, yet FLAWED machine that it is, functions in the same manner. Nerve conduction becomes somewhat random as some nerve cells get too excited from the heat, while others just decide to take a break from it and sit in the shade to do nothing...plaques that already exist in the brain or spinal cord make the conduction system work harder or sometimes not at all,acting as *reactivated* road blocks on the nerve conduction road. Basically, nerve conduction/nerve fibers act just like I do on a hot day...if I can, I find somewhere cool to lie down and I take a nap...and if I can't? Well, let's just say it ain't *purdy* and I tend to misfire my irritability all OVER the place!

When the MS body is forced to contend with increases (or drastic decreases also...but we're not talking about that here) in it's core body temperature, it responds in kind by creating a sequela of symptoms MIMICKING an MS relapse. And believe me, "FEVER!" in my body can recreate a host of MS symptoms long forgotten in previous MS relapse periods! Once the "FEVER!" subsides, the MS symptoms eventually go away also...sometimes in a matter of minutes to several hours.

When I have a "FEVER!", I will typically experience painful nerve firing, often in my left leg, hip, or arm...pain was one of my primary diagnostic symptoms, which occurred in my left side. My vision will often become distorted, giving shapes a fuzzy or blurred appearance, especially in my left eye. My ability to demonstrate higher cognitive functions generally decreases (often consisting of a vocabulary simplified by swear words) and I can experience what is best described as confusion or *slowing* of my thinking. On rare occasions, my speech will be affected (not this time, thank you Baby Jesus!). I tend to get lower limb, bilateral weakness...feeling as though standing is too much effort or that my legs will collapse out from under me. I develop the *MS Lean* and occasionally experience the MS (not) Hug in my chest (again, something I don't have today). I once developed a fine to coarse upper trunk tremor when I experienced a "FEVER!". So, as you can see...anything is possible when "FEVER!" strikes the MS body...AND, the MS body STILL has to deal with whatever the SOURCE of the fever is as well. Like urinary tract infections or, in my case, upper respiratory/viral illness.

I've been home from work today resting my aching bones and eating Ibuprofen candy...since it is obvious I have managed to contract yet ANOTHER germified virus of some sort, my only options are to rest and try to eliminate my "FEVER!" with antipyretics (stuff that makes a "FEVER!" go away, like Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Acetaminophen, Jack Daniels, and a twist of lime). This, too, shall pass...or kill me...I'm good either way.

But, I sure do like Peggy Lee's rendition of "FEVER!" better than my own...

I Shoulda Known...

It was oh, so subtle...but I should have known yesterday. When I was experiencing such heaviness and fatigue and having balance issues...I should have known then. I should have anticipated this when I was standing in my yard talking to friends that had dropped by and I kept having to shift my weight around, finally choosing to put out an arm to steady myself, then just leaning my back against a wall...because I was developing the *MS Lean*...that sensation of losing balance or falling over when standing upright (not to be confused with dizziness or vertigo...different beasts!).

Yep...should have suspected this. But now, as I lie awake at 4:30AM (before Dawn has even bothered to show her Crack), coughing and with wheezing lungs, running a mild fever, and wondering how/WHY every bug/germ on earth has recently accessed my address and moved in uninvited, I think to myself, "You should have known."

Six years with this disease they call Multiple Sclerosis and, short of flying it overhead on a banner trailing a small plane, I STILL don't seem to read my body's messages or heed it's warnings. Now, looking back upon yesterday late afternoon and evening, I probably *shoulda* gotten the message when I was having trouble standing upright without a support to lean on! And I suppose the real deal-making handshake *shoulda* been when I crawled into bed at 10:00PM because I was "just too tired" and was asleep by midnight (I'm RARELY ever in bed that early because I work vampire hours)...my lethargy of Tuesday perhaps WASN'T pure laziness.

Yeah...shoulda, coulda, woulda...but dint...

**Note from author**
Frequently, infections/fevers/viruses or other bodily illnesses will create a set of symptoms similar to that of a Multiple Sclerosis relapse. This is called a "psuedoexacerbation", i.e., once the external/internal bodily stressor is removed/eliminated, these seemingly relapse symptoms disappear as well.
**End note from author**

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How DO They Count Us?!?...

Mkay...about a week or so ago (which "could" be a few months in BrainCheese years) I received some Google Alert or an email of some sort (probably from the National MS Society...NMSS for short) requesting my assistance in support of a national registry for Multiple Sclerosis. I was relieved it was NOT issued from the Center For Disease Control (CDC), as this might mean I was heading down a dark path of "govmet" involvement in my Multiple Sclerosis! I mean, it's bad enough I can barely board a plane or cross the Canadian border (actually, I can GO to Canada, but the USA requires a blood sample and ankle monitor for me to RETURN...or at least that's my interpretation of Homeland Security!)...so the thought of registering myself with some legislated national data base was a bit unnerving. But then I remember I am one of the fortunate INSURED in the United States and I WORK for a government agency, so I assume "they" already have flashed the photos of my latest colonoscopy on their big, high tech computer screens for a *looksee*...unbeknownst to ME, of course. LOL

So, after pondering the notion of a national data base to track each and every one of us MSer's out there, I began to do some research on the subject...and I have to say, I STILL have some mixed feelings about the matter...but that's not the content of this blog post.


In the course of my *research*, I came across some disturbing information...most of it from the NMSS itself...so I focused my *research* specifically on this organization. After all, shouldn't the NMSS ALREADY have a fairly accurate guesstimate of the true number of Americans affected by MS? If you sign up for ANYTHING on their websites or offices (donations or not), "they" always ask what your relationship is to MS...surely "they" had some accurate numbers at their disposal???


Well...not so fast. The disturbing part of what I uncovered made me question even more where and WHY the magical number of "approximately 400,000 Americans are living with/diagnosed with MS". I mean, we ALL know this magical number hasn't changed in over 15 years, in spite of new and improved therapies hitting the market prolonging our life spans and a population in the States that is ever increasing.


The first article I came across regarding the MS population in the USA was this one, in which the NMSS admits they are using figures from a study as old as 1992 to derive their *estimates*. I'm still not certain where the NMSS gets their "every 20 minutes, someone is diagnosed with MS in the United States each year" (you've read THAT one, too...right?) And YES, I AM cutting and pasting the article here...sue me:


Jan 30, 2007
National MS Society Raises Concerns that Recent NIH Study Underestimates Number of People with MS in the U.S.


An article released in the January 30, 2007 issue of the journal Neurology reviews published estimates of the numbers of people affected by various neurological disorders including multiple sclerosis. The authors estimate that the annual incidence of MS in the United States (new cases diagnosed during a 12-month period) was approximately 4.2 new cases per 100,000 population, that the total number of people with MS (prevalence) in the U.S. was approximately 266,000, and that the prevalence rate of nearly 100 per 100,000 was 50% higher than an estimate published 25 years ago.


Lead author Deborah Hirtz, MD, and coauthors, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, derived their figures by looking at those studies published since 1990 that used the best methods. However, data from the U.S. alone was scant, and estimates are complicated by the fact that the disease occurs at higher rates in the northern states and at lower rates in the southern states.


Studies from different geographic areas yield a wide range of estimates for MS prevalence, so there is considerable uncertainty about the exact number of people in the US who have MS. Combining all studies, the range of estimates for the 25th to 75th percentiles (the middle 50% of estimates) was 180,000 to 471,000 persons with MS.


The National MS Society applauds the efforts of the NIH to document the importance of neurological disorders, however, we believe the article may leave the impression that there are fewer people with MS than suggested by previous studies. The Society alone currently has over 300,000 people in its database who have identified themselves as having MS, and based on previous research, the Society estimates the prevalence of MS to be about 135 per 100,000 population in the U.S., for a total MS population of approximately 400,000. Although this figure is higher than the 266,000 reported in the Neurology article, it is within the 25th to 75th percentile of estimates reported in the article.


The Society’s estimate was based on an article published by NIH researchers in 1992 (Annals of Neurology 1992 Mar;31(3):333-6) that used different study methods. At that time, the authors had concluded that the total number of people with MS in the U.S. was approximately 250,000 to 350,000. The Society arrived at its current figure of 400,000 by using the same age-specific prevalence rates used in the 1992 article, adjusting for population growth and population shifts in the U.S.


Comparisons between the 1992 study and the study published this week are complicated by the fact that the 1992 study included definite, probable and possible cases of MS whereas the study published this week only included definite and probable cases. Eliminating cases of “possible MS” would have led to a somewhat lower figure in the newer study. Viewed in this way, the new figures might be regarded as consistent with the 1992 figures. Both studies concluded that the MS numbers are much higher than those estimated in the 1980’s.


Without a nationwide system of tracking this disease, there will continue to be little hard evidence upon which to base incidence and prevalence figures. The National MS Society supports such a tracking system and is now collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to conduct pilot studies aimed at determining the feasibility of tracking MS (and ALS) to achieve better estimates of the numbers of people who have these diseases in the U.S.


Further studies using the best possible methodology over a wide geographic range in the U.S. would provide more reliable numbers and over time, answer more accurately whether the prevalence of MS is increasing. We agree with the authors that “we need better studies of incidence and prevalence to improve the accuracy of estimates, to enable more confident generalizations to broader populations, and to assess trends.”


Based on this article, I set out on a quest...I called the NMSS and spoke to a nice representative there who, for a lack of a better statement, had NO CLUE HOW TO ANSWER MY QUESTIONS. I wanted a head count...I wanted to KNOW the numbers of MSer's in the United States the NMSS boasts they are assisting?...I wanted to know what the number of MSer's registered with them in 2009 totaled, since 2007 had 300,000 (hit or miss several thousand)? How DO they count us?!?


Well, it's interesting. I spent the good part of several hours (which could be 5 minutes in BrainCheese years) researching the NMSS website for EACH INDIVIDUAL OFFICE AND STATE and compiled a number. I also compiled a complete list of ALL the state offices in the USA (now aren't you impressed?!?), went to each website and, where I could locate numbers, added these numbers up.


If you've ever gone to a particular state MS Chapter website, most of them will list how many MSers they currently serve, how many people "affected" by MS they currently serve, or how many people they "estimate" their chapter serves (which makes it unknown if the latter number reflects MSer's alone or family/friends/professionals...these numbers are broad and VERY misleading at times). Some Chapter websites give NO indication of their particular numbers, so I either called them or emailed them...most responded within a few days, and some not at all (so YOU, dear Chapters, are BLACK LISTED in my list...naughty, naughty!).


Much for my own amusement as to be *helpful* to all of you, I will publish this completed list here. Please also note that many states "share" a particular Chapter (like the All American Chapter, which serves nearly 10 different states)...when this occurs in the list below, I did not add the repeating Chapter's number/head count of service...this would be duplication and done in poor taste. Instead, I simply listed the state where the number/head count originally appears in the list (such as "SEE ALASKA" for the All American Chapter or AAC). To date, this is the ONLY published and complete list of all of the NMSS state chapters I have found...please feel free to plagiarize at your whim and will! Or, you can go to http://www.nmss.org/ and click on each state to make your own (which is far too time consuming...trust me). LOL I'm sure the NMSS will either thank me or sue me for the compilation:


Alabama-

Alabama Chapter (7,500)
3840 Ridgeway DriveBirmingham, AL 35209Phone: 205-879-8881Fax: 205-879-8869Email: ALC@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Alabama Chapter website

Alaska-

Alaska Office-AAC
All America Chapter (27,000)

511 West 41st Avenue, Suite 101Anchorage, AK 99503Phone: 907-562-7347Fax: 907-562-6673Email: AKA@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Alaska Office-AAC website

Arizona-

Arizona Chapter (8,000)
5025 E. Washington Street, Suite 102Phoenix, AZ 85034-2005Phone: 480-968-2488Fax: 480-966-4049Email: mailto:INFO@AZA.NMSS.ORG%20Website: Arizona Chapter website

Arkansas –

Arkansas Office-AAC
All America Chapter (SEE ALASKA)
1100 N. University, Suite 255Little Rock, AR 72207Phone: 501-663-8104Fax: 501-666-4355Email: ARR@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Arkansas Office-AAC website


Mid South Chapter (SEE TENNESSEE)
4219 Hillsboro Rd, Suite 306Nashville, TN 37215Phone: 615-269-9055Fax: 615-269-9470Email: TNS@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Mid South Chapter website


California –


Great Basin Sierra Office-AAC
All America Chapter (SEE ALASKA)

4600 Kietzke Ln., Ste. K225Reno, NV 89502Phone: 775-329-7180Fax: 775-827-3167Email: mailto:nvn@nvn.nmss.org%20Website: Great Basin Sierra Office-AAC website


Northern California Chapter (20,000)
1700 Owens Street, Suite 190San Francisco, CA 95834Phone: 1-800-344-4867Email: info@msconnection.orgWebsite: Northern California Chapter website
Sacramento Office
Sacramento, CA 95823Phone: 916-927-8000
Silicon Valley Office
Santa Clara, CA 95050Phone: 408-988-7557


Pacific South Coast Chapter (18,000)
5950 La Place Ct., Ste. 200Carlsbad, CA 92008Phone: 760-448-8400Fax: 760-804-9266Email: msinfo@mspacific.orgWebsite: Pacific South Coast Chapter website


Southern California Chapter (101,500)
2440 South Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 115Los Angeles, CA 90064Phone: 310-479-4456Fax: 310-479-4436Email: MS@CAL.NMSS.ORGWebsite: Southern California Chapter website


Colorado


Colorado Chapter (72,000)
900 South Broadway, 2nd Floor Denver, CO 80209Phone: 303-698-7400Fax: 303-698-7421Email: COCRECEPTIONIST@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Colorado Chapter website

Connecticut


Connecticut (6,000)
659 Tower Avenue, First FloorHartford, CT 06112Phone: 860/714/2300Fax: 860-714-2301Email: info@ctfightsMS.orgWebsite: Connecticut website


Delaware


Delaware Chapter (1,500)
Two Mill Road, Suite 106Wilmington, DE 19806Phone: 302-655-5610Fax: 302-655-0993Email: KATE.COWPERTHWAIT@DED.NMSS.ORGWebsite: Delaware Chapter website

Florida -


Mid Florida Chapter (10,000)
2701 Maitland Ctr. Pkwy., Ste. 100Orlando, FL 32751Phone: 407-478-8880Fax: 407-478-8893Email: mailto:INFO@FLC.NMSS.ORG%20Website: Mid Florida Chapter website
Local Offices
Tampa Area Office
Tampa, FL 33634Phone: 813-889-8303


North Florida Chapter (18,000)
4237 Salisbury RoadBldg. #4, Suite 406Jacksonville, FL 32216Phone: 904-332-6810Fax: 904-332-0898Email: MSNORFLA@FLN.NMSS.ORGWebsite: North Florida Chapter website


South Florida Chapter (6,000…found via email!)
3201 West Commercial Blvd., #127Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309Phone: 954-731-4224Fax: 954-739-1398Email: FLS@NMSS.ORGWebsite: South Florida Chapter website


Georgia


Georgia Chapter (8,500)
The MS Life Center1117 Perimeter Center West, Suite E101Atlanta, GA 30338Phone: 678-672-1000Fax: 678-672-1015Email: mailbox@nmssga.orgWebsite: Georgia Chapter website

Mid South Chapter (SEE TENNESSEE)
4219 Hillsboro Rd, Suite 306Nashville, TN 37215Phone: 615-269-9055Fax: 615-269-9470Email: TNS@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Mid South Chapter website


Hawaii


Hawaii Office-AAC
All America Chapter (SEE ALASKA)

418 Kuwili Street, #105Honolulu, HI 96817Phone: 808-532-0806Fax: 808-532-0814Email: HIH@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Hawaii Office-AAC website


Idaho


Idaho Office-AAC
All America Chapter (SEE ALASKA)
6901 W. Emerald St., Suite 207Boise, ID 83704Phone: 208-388-4253Fax: 208-388-1907Email: IDI@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Idaho Office-AAC website


Inland Northwest Chapter (2,000)
818 East SharpSpokane, WA 99202Phone: 509-482-2022Fax: 509-483-1077Email: WAI@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Inland Northwest Chapter website


Illinois


Gateway Area Chapter (6,000)
1867 Lackland Hill ParkwaySt. Louis, MO 63146Phone: 314-781-9020Fax: 314-781-1440Email: INFO@GATEWAYMSSOCIETY.ORGWebsite: Gateway Area Chapter website

Greater Illinois Chapter (20,000 living with MS in Illinois per website)
525 West Monroe Street Chicago, IL 60661Phone: 312-421-4500Fax: 312-421-4544Email: mailto:cgic@ild.nmss.org%20Website: Greater Illinois Chapter website


Indiana


Indiana State Chapter (7,500)
7301 Georgetown Road, Suite 112Indianapolis, IN 46268Phone: 317-870-2500Fax: 317-870-2520Email: Indiana@nmss.orgWebsite: Indiana State Chapter website

Kentucky-Southeast Indiana Chapter (4,600)
11700 Commonwealth Drive, Suite 500Louisville, KY 40299Phone: 502-451-0014Fax: 502-451-9747Email: KYW@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Kentucky-Southeast Indiana Chapter website


Iowa


North Central States Chapter (8,000)
2508 S. Carolyn AvenueSioux Falls, SD 57106Phone: 605-336-7017Fax: 605-336-8088Email: NTH@NMSS.ORGWebsite: North Central States Chapter website


Kansas


Mid America Chapter (30,000)
7611 State Line, Suite 100Kansas City, MO 64114Phone: 913-432-3926Fax: 913-432-6912Email: mailto:INFO@NMSSKC.ORG%20Website: Mid America Chapter website
Local Offices
Eastern Kansas Branch
Topeka, KS 66604Phone: 785-272-5292
Ozark Branch
Springfield, MO 65804Phone: 417-882-8128
St. Joseph Branch
St. Joseph, MO 64506Phone: 816-233-1129

So. Central & W. Kansas Office-AAC (1,700)
All America Chapter

9415 E. Harry St., Suite 706Wichita, KS 67211Phone: 316-264-7043Fax: 316-264-5436Email: KSS@NMSS.ORGWebsite: So. Central & W. Kansas Office-AAC website


Kentucky


Indiana State Chapter (SEE INDIANA)
7301 Georgetown Road, Suite 112Indianapolis, IN 46268Phone: 317-870-2500Fax: 317-870-2520Email: Indiana@nmss.orgWebsite: Indiana State Chapter website

Kentucky-Southeast Indiana Chapter (SEE INDIANA)
11700 Commonwealth Drive, Suite 500Louisville, KY 40299Phone: 502-451-0014Fax: 502-451-9747Email: KYW@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Kentucky-Southeast Indiana Chapter website


Ohio Valley Chapter (6,000)
4440 Lake Forest Drive, Suite 120Cincinnati, OH 45242Phone: 513-769-4400Fax: 513-769-6019Email: INFO@OHG.NMSS.ORGWebsite: Ohio Valley Chapter website


West Virginia Office-AAC
All America Chapter (SEE ALASKA)2 Players Club Drive, Suite 104Charleston, WV 25311Phone: 304-343-5153Fax: 304-343-5154Email: KAMI.BAKER@NMSS.ORGWebsite: West Virginia Office-AAC website


Louisiana


Louisiana Chapter (4,000)
4613 Fairfield St.Metairie, LA 70006Phone: 504-832-4013Fax: 504-831-7188Email: mailto:LOUISIANACHAPTER@NMSS.ORG%20Website: Louisiana Chapter website


Maine


Maine Chapter (3,187)
(Maine Chapter website boasts 1:400 population having MS – 2000 census listed 1,274,923…had to manually calculate THIS chapter’s estimate!)
170 US Rt One #200Falmouth, ME 04105Phone: 800-FIGHTMSFax: 207-781-7961Email: INFO@MSMAINE.ORGWebsite: Maine Chapter website

Maryland


Maryland Chapter (6,500)
11403 Cronhill Dr., Ste. EOwings Mills, MD 21117Phone: 443-641-1200Fax: 443-641-1201Email: INFO@NMSS-MD.ORGWebsite: Maryland Chapter website


National Capital Chapter (6,500)
1800 M Street, NW, Suite 750 SouthWashington, DC 20036Phone: 202-296-5363Fax: 202-296-3425Email: INFORMATION@MSandYOU.ORGWebsite: National Capital Chapter website


Massachusetts


Central New England Chapter (14,000)
101A First Ave, Suite 6Waltham, MA 02451Phone: 781-890-4990Fax: 781-890-2089Email: COMMUNICATIONS@MAM.NMSS.ORGWebsite: Central New England Chapter website

Michigan


Michigan Chapter (18,000)
21311 Civic Center DriveSouthfield, MI 48076Phone: 248-350-0020Fax: 248-350-0029Email: INFO@MIG.NMSS.ORGWebsite: Michigan Chapter website


Minnesota


Minnesota Chapter (9,000)
200 12th Avenue SouthMinneapolis, MN 55415Phone: 612-335-7900Fax: 612-335-7997Email: mailto:INFO@MSSOCIETY.ORG%20Website: Minnesota Chapter website


Mississippi


Mid South Chapter (SEE TENNESSEE)
4219 Hillsboro Rd, Suite 306Nashville, TN 37215Phone: 615-269-9055Fax: 615-269-9470Email: TNS@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Mid South Chapter website
Local Offices
Memphis Regional Office
Memphis, TN 38119Phone: 901-755-4900

Mississippi Office-AAC (SEE ALASKA)
All America Chapter145 Executive Drive, Suite 1Madison, MS 39110Phone: 601-856-5831Fax: 601-856-7173Email: MSM@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Mississippi Office-AAC website


Missouri


Gateway Area Chapter (SEE ILLINOIS)
1867 Lackland Hill ParkwaySt. Louis, MO 63146Phone: 314-781-9020Fax: 314-781-1440Email: INFO@GATEWAYMSSOCIETY.ORGWebsite: Gateway Area Chapter website

Mid America Chapter (SEE KANSAS)
7611 State Line, Suite 100Kansas City, MO 64114Phone: 913-432-3926Fax: 913-432-6912Email: mailto:INFO@NMSSKC.ORG%20Website: Mid America Chapter website


Montana


Montana Office-AAC (SEE ALASKA)
All America Chapter
1629 Avenue D, Suite 2-CBillings, MT 59102Phone: 406-252-5927Fax: 406-252-5956Email: MTT@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Montana Office-AAC website


Nebraska


Nebraska Chapter (27,000)
328 South 72nd StreetOmaha, NE 68114Phone: 402-505-4000Fax: 402-505-6277Email: NEN@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Nebraska Chapter website

Nevada


Arizona Chapter (SEE ARIZONA)
5025 E. Washington Street, Suite 102Phoenix, AZ 85034-2005Phone: 480-968-2488Fax: 480-966-4049Email: mailto:INFO@AZA.NMSS.ORG%20Website: Arizona Chapter website
Local Offices
Phoenix Branch
Tempe, AZ 85281Phone: 480-968-2488
Tucson Branch
Tucson, AZ 85711Phone: 520-747-7472


Great Basin Sierra Office-AAC (SEE ALASKA)
All America Chapter4600 Kietzke Ln., Ste. K225Reno, NV 89502Phone: 775-329-7180Fax: 775-827-3167Email: mailto:nvn@nvn.nmss.org%20Website: Great Basin Sierra Office-AAC website


Nevada Office-AAC (SEE ALASKA)
All America Chapter6000 S. Eastern Avenue, Suite 5CLas Vegas, NV 89119Phone: 702-736-1478Fax: 702-736-2487Email: NVL@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Nevada Office-AAC website


New Hampshire


Central New England Chapter (SEE MASSACHUSETTS)
101A First Ave, Suite 6Waltham, MA 02451Phone: 781-890-4990Fax: 781-890-2089Email: COMMUNICATIONS@MAM.NMSS.ORGWebsite: Central New England Chapter website

New Jersey


Greater Delaware Valley Chapter (11,000)
1 Reed Street, Ste. 200Philadelphia, PA 19147Phone: 215-271-1500Fax: 215-271-6122Email: PAE@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Greater Delaware Valley Chapter website
Local Offices
Lehigh Valley Branch
Allentown, PA 18103Phone: 610-782-9450


New Jersey Metro Chapter (10,000)
1 Kalisa Way, Suite 205Paramus, NJ 07652Phone: 201-967-5599Fax: 201-967-7085Email: INFO@NJM.NMSS.ORGWebsite: New Jersey Metro Chapter website
246 Monmouth RoadOakhurst, NJ 07755Phone: 732-660-1005Fax: 732-660-1338Email: INFO@NJM.NMSS.ORGWebsite: website


New Mexico


Panhandle Office-AAC (SEE ALASKA)
All America Chapter6222 Canyon DriveAmarillo, TX 79109Phone: 806-468-8005Fax: 806-468-8022Email: TXP@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Panhandle Office-AAC website

Rio Grande Office-AAC
All America Chapter (SEE ALASKA)

4125 Carlisle Blvd. NE, Ste. AAlbuquerque, NM 87107Phone: 505-243-2792Fax: 505-244-0629 Email: NMX@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Rio Grande Office-AAC website


New York


Long Island Chapter (42,000)
40 Marcus Dr., Suite 100Melville, NY 11747Phone: 631-864-8337Fax: 631-864-8342Email: PMASTROTA@NMSSLI.ORGWebsite: Long Island Chapter website

New York City Chapter (5,923)
733 Third Ave., 3rd Flr.New York, NY 10017Phone: 212-463-7787Fax: 212-986-7981Email: INFO@MSNYC.ORGWebsite: New York City Chapter website


Southern New York Chapter (2,800)
2 Gannett Drive, Suite LCWhite Plains, NY 10604Phone: 914-694-1655Fax: 914-694-1656Email: NYV@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Southern New York Chapter website


Upstate New York Chapter (12,000)
1650 South Avenue, Suite 100Rochester, NY 14620Phone: 585-271-0801Fax: 585-442-2817Email: CHAPTER@MSUPSTATENY.ORGWebsite: Upstate New York Chapter website


North Carolina


Central North Carolina Chapter (2,300)
2211 West Meadowview Road, Suite 30Greensboro, NC 27407Phone: 336-299-4136Fax: 336-855-3039Email: NCC@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Central North Carolina Chapter website


Eastern No. Carolina Chapter (4,600)
3101 Industrial Drive, Suite 210Raleigh, NC 27609Phone: 919-834-0678Fax: 919-834-9822Email: NCT@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Eastern No. Carolina Chapter website


Hampton Roads Chapter (2,700)
760 Lynnhaven Pkwy, Suite 201Virginia Beach, VA 23452Phone: 757-490-9627Fax: 757-490-1617Email: info@fightms.comWebsite: Hampton Roads Chapter website


Mid Atlantic Chapter (7,400)
9801-I Southern Pine Blvd.Charlotte, NC 28273Phone: 704-525-2955Fax: 704-527-0406Email: NCP@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Mid Atlantic Chapter website


North Dakota


North Central States Chapter (SEE IOWA)
2508 S. Carolyn AvenueSioux Falls, SD 57106Phone: 605-336-7017Fax: 605-336-8088Email: NTH@NMSS.ORGWebsite: North Central States Chapter website

Ohio


Northwestern Ohio Chapter (1,400)
401 Tomahawk DriveMaumee, OH 43537Phone: 419-897-9533Fax: 419-897-9733Email: NWOHIO@AMPLEX.NETWebsite: Northwestern Ohio Chapter website


Ohio Buckeye Chapter (10,000)
6155 Rockside Road, Suite 202 Independence, OH 44131Phone: 800-667-7131Fax: 216-696-2817Email: WEBMASTER@NMSSOHA.ORGWebsite: Ohio Buckeye Chapter website
Local Offices
Central and Southeastern Ohio Office
Worthington, OH 43085Phone: 614-880-2290
Northeast Ohio Office
Independence, OH 44131Phone: 216-696-8220


Ohio Valley Chapter (SEE KENTUCKY)
4440 Lake Forest Drive, Suite 120Cincinnati, OH 45242Phone: 513-769-4400Fax: 513-769-6019Email: INFO@OHG.NMSS.ORGWebsite: Ohio Valley Chapter website


West Virginia Office-AAC (SEE ALASKA)
All America Chapter

2 Players Club Drive, Suite 104Charleston, WV 25311Phone: 304-343-5153Fax: 304-343-5154Email: KAMI.BAKER@NMSS.ORGWebsite: West Virginia Office-AAC website


Oklahoma


Oklahoma Chapter (3,000 diagnosed with MS)
4606 East 67th St, Bldg 7, Ste 103Tulsa, OK 74136Phone: 918-488-0882Fax: 918-488-0913Email: LISA.GRAY@OKE.NMSS.ORGWebsite: Oklahoma Chapter website


Panhandle Office-AAC (SEE ALASKA)
All America Chapter

6222 Canyon DriveAmarillo, TX 79109Phone: 806-468-8005Fax: 806-468-8022Email: TXP@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Panhandle Office-AAC website


Oregon


Oregon Chapter (7,000)
104 SW Clay St.Portland, OR 97201Phone: 503-223-9511Fax: 503-223-2912Email: mailto:INFO@DEFEATMS.COM%20Website: Oregon Chapter website

Pennsylvania


Allegheny District Chapter (6,700)
1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 105Pittsburgh, PA 15233Phone: 412-261-6347Fax: 412-232-1461Email: PAX@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Allegheny District Chapter website
Local Offices
Keystone Branch
Duncansville, PA 16635Phone: 814-696-1017

Central Pennsylvania Chapter (5,700)
2040 Linglestown Rd., Ste. 104Harrisburg, PA 17110Phone: 717-652-2108Fax: 717-652-2590Email: PAC@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Central Pennsylvania Chapter website
Local Offices
North Central Regional Office
Williamsport, PA 17701Phone: 570-326-3751
Eastern Regional Office
Lancaster, PA 17601Phone: 717-509-6301


Greater Delaware Valley Chapter (SEE NEW JERSEY)
1 Reed Street, Ste. 200Philadelphia, PA 19147Phone: 215-271-1500Fax: 215-271-6122Email: PAE@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Greater Delaware Valley Chapter website

Puerto Rico


South Florida Chapter (SEE FLORIDA)
3201 West Commercial Blvd., #127Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309Phone: 954-731-4224Fax: 954-739-1398Email: FLS@NMSS.ORGWebsite: South Florida Chapter website

Rhode Island


Rhode Island Chapter (2,000)
205 Hallene Road, #209Warwick, RI 02886Phone: 401-738-8383Fax: 401-738-8469Email: CATIE.DUSSAULT@RIR.NMSS.ORGWebsite: Rhode Island Chapter website

South Carolina


Mid Atlantic Chapter (SEE NORTH CAROLINA)
9801-I Southern Pine Blvd.Charlotte, NC 28273Phone: 704-525-2955Fax: 704-527-0406Email: NCP@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Mid Atlantic Chapter website

South Dakota


North Central States Chapter (SEE IOWA)
2508 S. Carolyn AvenueSioux Falls, SD 57106Phone: 605-336-7017Fax: 605-336-8088Email: NTH@NMSS.ORGWebsite: North Central States Chapter website

Tennessee


Mid South Chapter (A MYSTERY NUMBER!)
4219 Hillsboro Rd, Suite 306Nashville, TN 37215Phone: 615-269-9055Fax: 615-269-9470Email: TNS@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Mid South Chapter website


Texas


Lone Star Chapter (20,000)
8111 N. Stadium Drive, Suite 100Houston, TX 77054Phone: 713-526-8967Fax: 713-394-7422Email: TXH@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Lone Star Chapter website

Panhandle Office-AAC (SEE ALASKA)
All America Chapter6222 Canyon DriveAmarillo, TX 79109Phone: 806-468-8005Fax: 806-468-8022Email: TXP@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Panhandle Office-AAC website


Rio Grande Office-AAC (SEE ALASKA)
All America Chapter4125 Carlisle Blvd. NE, Ste. AAlbuquerque, NM 87107Phone: 505-243-2792Fax: 505-244-0629Email: NMX@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Rio Grande Office-AAC website


West Texas Office-AAC (SEE ALASKA)
All America Chapter1031 Andrews Hwy, Suite 201Midland, TX 79701Phone: 432-522-2143Fax: 432-694-7970Email: TXQ@NMSS.ORGWebsite: West Texas Office-AAC website


Utah -


Utah State Chapter (4,500)
6364 South Highland Drive, Suite 101Salt Lake City, UT 84121Phone: 801-424-0113Fax: 801-424-0122Email: infoutah@nmss.orgWebsite: Utah State Chapter website


Vermont


Vermont Office-AAC (SEE ALASKA)
All America Chapter75 Talcott Road, Suite 40Williston, VT 05495Phone: 802-864-6356Fax: 802-864-6509Email: VTN@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Vermont Office-AAC website


Virginia


Blue Ridge Chapter (3,000)
One Morton Drive, Suite 106Charlottesville, VA 22903Phone: 434-971-8010Fax: 434-979-4475Email: VAB@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Blue Ridge Chapter website

Central Virginia Chapter (MYSTERY CHAPTER)
2112 W. Laburnum Avenue, Ste. 204Richmond, VA 23227Phone: 804-353-5008Fax: 804-353-5595Email: mailto:JUDY.GRIFFIN@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Central Virginia Chapter website


Hampton Roads Chapter (SEE NORTH CAROLINA)
760 Lynnhaven Pkwy, Suite 201Virginia Beach, VA 23452Phone: 757-490-9627Fax: 757-490-1617Email: info@fightms.comWebsite: Hampton Roads Chapter website


National Capital Chapter (SEE MARYLAND)
1800 M Street, NW, Suite 750 SouthWashington, DC 20036Phone: 202-296-5363Fax: 202-296-3425Email: INFORMATION@MSandYOU.ORGWebsite: National Capital Chapter website


WASHINGTON


Greater Washington Chapter (9,000)
192 Nickerson Street, Suite 100Seattle, WA 98109Phone: 206-284-4236Fax: 206-284-4972Email: GREATERWAINFO@NMSSWAS.ORGWebsite: Greater Washington Chapter website

Inland Northwest Chapter (SEE IDAHO)
818 East SharpSpokane, WA 99202Phone: 509-482-2022Fax: 509-483-1077Email: WAI@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Inland Northwest Chapter website


Washington D.C.


National Capital Chapter (SEE MARYLAND)
1800 M Street, NW, Suite 750 SouthWashington, DC 20036Phone: 202-296-5363Fax: 202-296-3425Email: INFORMATION@MSandYOU.ORGWebsite: National Capital Chapter website

West Virginia


West Virginia Office-AAC (SEE ALASKA)
All America Chapter2 Players Club Drive, Suite 104Charleston, WV 25311Phone: 304-343-5153Fax: 304-343-5154Email: KAMI.BAKER@NMSS.ORGWebsite: West Virginia Office-AAC website

Wisconsin


Minnesota Chapter (SEE MINNESOTA)
200 12th Avenue SouthMinneapolis, MN 55415Phone: 612-335-7900Fax: 612-335-7997Email: mailto:INFO@MSSOCIETY.ORG%20Website: Minnesota Chapter website

Wisconsin Chapter (10,000)

1120 James Drive, Ste. AHartland, WI 53029Phone: 262-369-4400Fax: 262-369-4410


Wyoming


Wyoming Office-AAC (SEE ALASKA)
All America Chapter

525 Randall Ave., Suite 105Cheyenne, WY 82001Phone: 307-433-9590Fax: 307-433-8657Email: WYY@NMSS.ORGWebsite: Wyoming Office-AAC website


And now, for that head count (taking INTO account some Chapters FAILED TO RESPOND TO ME or do not list their service numbers anywhere on their Chapter website)...if you add all of the numbers bolded for each state Chapter of the NMSS, the grand total comes to:


661,010


Well OVER that magical 400,000 guesstimate...but remember...each Chapter website has their OWN mystical way of formulating the numbers of people they serve...sometimes combining your garbage man in their counts (because he knows you and YOU have MS!) and sometimes bothering to list the ACTUAL or ESTIMATED number of people DIAGNOSED WITH MS that the particular chapter serves. I don't know about you, but I'm kind of selfish here...I don't especially want to know how many people "might" be affected because I have MS...I just want to know how many people WITH MS are out there! Is that too much to ask?!?!


Apparently, it IS too much to ask. So...bring on that national registry and sign me up. Either that or, the NMSS needs to get a bigger abacus and somebody who can count past 400,000...'cause I think it's time we all jump ahead 15 years and start adding and subtracting with a little more accuracy...

Monday, April 20, 2009

I Love You, Man!...

And I would seriously consider having your children, even knowing the offspring would most likely be mentally "challenged", given my high-quality genetic composition!

Yes, I'm talking about YOU, Edwin Ruud...the god and inventor of the conventional HOT WATER HEATER. I know you are dead/passed on/pushing daisies/sucking dirt, but I think your "do" is long over "due".

I was thinking of you today, Edwin, while I was soaking in my long awaited hot bath after a weekend of dirt and sweat in the yard...I was thinking of you with GREAT fondness as the steam was rising from my very warm, sore muscle-soaking spa (otherwise known as my tub)...and I just wanted to say, "thank you".

Thank you for bringing me one of the finest inventions on earth (well, next to fire that is...but we humans really didn't INVENT fire...we just figured out how to use it to grill steaks, that's all!)...HOT WATER. Wonderful, relaxing, piped to perfection, warm and soothing, HOT WATER. Seriously...all I have to do is walk in my home, strip off my dirt/sweat infested clothing, prance to my bathroom (more like drag my aching and decrepit body toward), turn a magical knob, and POOF! I have an instant spa-like, hot springs, wonderfully large basin of water in which to soak my weary bones (and clean my stinky body).

Edwin Ruud, you rock, dude...(And here's a bit of 411 about my man:

In the 1870s, Englishmen, Maughan invented the first instant water heater. Little is known about Maughan's invention, however, his invention influenced the designs of Edwin Ruud.

Edwin Ruud, a Norwegian mechanical engineer was the inventor of the automatic storage water heater in 1889. Ruud emigrated to Pittsburgh where he pioneered the early development of both residential and commercial water heaters. He founded the Ruud Manufacturing Company. )

But, now that I'm clean, relaxed, high on muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatories, I probably should reconsider my offer to birth your children...seeing as how YOU are dead and everything! (But seriously...call me on the Ouija Board any time and let's talk)...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I've Been Watching WAY Too Many Episodes of "Criminal Minds"...

Or HAVE I?!?

I saw this particular Demotivator picture and nearly soiled my underwear with laughter...until I realized there is something SERIOUSLY wrong with my sense of
humor that is not acceptable in most social circles (but then again, the totality of my person is NOT acceptable in most social circles)...occupational hazard, I suppose.
(**still snickering**)

Happy Thursday, my pretties...

Happy Anniversary, Dear MS...You Stinker!...

Six years I've been *officially* married to Multiple Sclerosis. Yes, that's right. I WAS diagnosed on TAX DAY 2003...and again by a second opinion a few months later...and again by a third opinion several months after that (call me paranoid, but I think it's important to REALLY get a cross sample of experts to say the same thing over and over to make it real!).

Yes, today is my 6th anniversary from that bizarre day, sitting across from a total stranger allegedly educated in neurology, and hearing the words, "You definitely have Multiple Sclerosis". He seemed a bit cocky to me now looking back on that day. I was determined to prove him wrong. But, after the THIRD opinion, six long years, and a resigned attitude, I'm finally at a place where I can say, "Yeah, maybe I do have MS".

I doubt my MS is going to send me any flowers or even a card today. Frankly, I'll feel very fortunate to hear nothing from It at all. I doubt anyone else I know will acknowledge this life-changing anniversary either. I mean, seriously...what DO you say to someone on this type of anniversary?

"Wow. Congratulations. You got screwed."

"Happy...I mean CRAPPY anniversary."

"Gee, I'm sorry for your loss?"

"You don't LOOK like you've had MS for six years."

"I'm amazed you two are still together."

"Wow. You're not dead/crippled/contorted/handicapped yet?"

And I'm sure there are a host of other "quality" greetings out there highly appropriate for an MS diagnosis anniversary...as a matter of fact, why don't YOU share some of the better ones you've heard, CHEESE readers? Go ahead...make my day...I'm popping the bubbly now... :-)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Passover, Easter, Spring...

I've been nursing a cold for the past three days and I am hoping this, too, shall pass(over)...I feel pretty much like a pile of self-loathing, nose-dripping, exhausted caca. In the meantime, I'll share with you one of my most favorite I'll-smoke-a-turd-in-hell pictures for the holiday season:Happy whatever it is you choose to celebrate!

**sniffle, sniffle, cough, cough**

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Public Service Announcement:...

I received the following email from a fellow MSer and found it noteworthy of a post all unto its own...check it out:

Hi "Brain Cheese,"


I found your blog and thank you for sharing your MS experience and
letting others know that they are not alone. I also have MS (now on Copaxone) and I qualify as a bit of a slow walker and I also a heat adverse. This certainly impacted my trip to Cambodia and Thailand a few months ago (honeymoon) hot and a lot of walking.

I was thinking that it would
be great if there was a space on the web that would allow us disabled travelers and our families to share best practices. So, I started a wiki that we all can write to and share ideas and tips to make our travel easier.

What I need to do now is to spread the word and it would be great if
you could mention the wiki in your blog and maybe use the wiki yourself... the more we share the better we travel.

The wiki:
The Global Idea

Best,

Jakob

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

My Bad...

I'm sorry, but I just can't tolerate looking at my GoogleReader and seeing over 100 posts by all y'all to your blogs...posts I have neglected reading for well over a month now.

I'm sorry. I can't take it anymore. I'm calling a "do over". I must appease my Obsessive/Compulsive nature now and dig my way out of this deep blog hole I have fallen into...and the only foreseeable and reasonable plan I can formulate to do so, is to hit the *DELETE* button on my GoogleReader, erasing from my current consciousness, all the (I'm sure) lovely posts my fellow MS bloggers have written in the past few weeks.

I'm sorry...my bad. I can't keep up. I want to, I just can't these days.

**Sulking back to my dog house now**