MS: How I Have Handled It

Updated on April 12, 2018

Home, sweet Home

A Summer view of Portland from the Katz Esplanade
A Summer view of Portland from the Katz Esplanade | Source

How I Am, ten years out

All life is a work in progress. So also with me, over twelve years out from my diagnosis and ten years since retiring from active practice of Medicine. I'm sure I could have continued to practice for a few more years but Something told me I was at an End and that it would be wiser - and safer- to end the game a bit early while at the top of my game. I was able to retire in good style; I had been closing out my financial business for a while, I'd finished with the few legal hassles that followed me through my practice of Medicine from the very beginning. I'd had that uncomfortable feeling of standing by the Hudson River with my feet encased in concrete, with Mugsy and Joey telling me I was a good Doctor but it was 'just business'. I, like many doctors I knew, was royally sick of the legal end of the Profession.

I have been a Student most of my life. I am used to daily hours of reading, moving through most hours of the day, with active review of Topics in general medicine, pharmacology, Emergency Medicine, pediatrics, epidemiology , other core topics in General Medicine and a now-burgeoning interest in Alternative Medicine.

Yet Another New Life

in what seems another Devine Intervention, my dear wife decided that she liked Portland, Oregon, my home town. I suspect, too, that I was wearing on her nerves and so, within an Augenblick, we had a long-tern lease of a central downtown loft with requisite basic furniture and access to this city's fine light rail system. Now, every morning, I get up, enjoy morning coffee or tea, write the day's letters, blogs and so forth, perform my daily ablutions, and so set out by Noon fully ready for the day's adventures.

Portland, Oregon 2017 as I know it

A view of the trees up 10th Avenue
A view of the trees up 10th Avenue | Source

Is it MS Fatigue or am I bored?

it's easy to get up. I always wake with the dawn, as the sky lightens and, I am told, as my my brain delivers the days' dopamine to my bloodstream. I simply cannot get back to sleep; it is useless to try. My bed is warm with sheets and a duvet doing their job. I have a three-quarters-length Eddie Bauer cover which helps keep the heat in.

i have never been a restless sleeper. Once settled, I don't turn much, though I should, every twenty minutes or so, to keep the blood from pooling. But. I may fall asleep reading with my Kindle on my belly and I wake with it unmoved on my mid-abdomen. I obviously hadn't been turning much. Since I don't turn much and since such turning is a survival necessity, this may explain why I sleep six hours at the outside each night.

Morning Routine

I always start the morning with coffee. Being in Phoenix as I write, I have a nice selection of coffees, teas and Stevia products available at hand. Nora, who doesn't drink coffee, has provided me with a nice water-boiler, similar to what I have in Portland. I have learned to drink Instant coffee. I never used to but I've found this is so much easier and the result is quite satisfactory. I like Community Coffee; since it is a Louisiana brand, I can get coffee with Chicory, even as an Instant. I find I like this and it's hepatic tonic effects are real. So,my first act in the morning is to heat water and prepare a morning cup of coffee. I also drink Tea in the morning and I prepare a potful the same time I make my Coffee. This latter is usually several liters and will provide a day's occasional drink.


Morning survey of the Yard
Morning survey of the Yard | Source

Ennui or Another flare?

i have not added to this blog note in at least 6 months. I was chugging along in fine style and too typically of me, awoke one day to a dead mind. I had no overt sign of fatigue; I woke at my usual early time and seemed to pop out of bed sans problems. When sitting down to write, I faced an absence of the 'get-moving juice' I was used to feeling. 'Oh, I know what's happening', I told myself,' I'm short of dopamine!' I took a tablet of Modafinil, my go-to dopamine re-uptake antagonist, and did feel more centered and alert. The colors in my sky were more vibrant, deeper. But. I still had nothing to say. This state lasted until a week or more ago, when a global dissatisfaction had me searching around until, this morning, I realized the problem was my blogging inactivity. So, I am better and will do my best for awhile to contribute weekly or so to the corpus herein viewed. Boy, I'd like to make a few Sheckles at this.

A Few Comments on our National Scene

i guess I'm an Independant politically but I claim membership with the Republican Party, simply because it works better at the polls and seems, in my mind at least, to validate my vote and keep me from 'wailing impotently in the darkness'. My family, my mom''s family, had been FDR democrats from the Depression. I have evolved as someone who will cast an eye over a list of candidates and try to select the least openly-venal fellow, male or female, to select as my Choice. As I age, I find this process calms my soul and guarantees a feeling of having done 'the best I could'. Then to dinner and a satisfied evening's entertainment at home.

In 2016, I found myself flummoxed when looking at the candidates. I was sure Trump was a bafoon, someone better seen on a Sunday in the Zoo with the Kids. Hillary was a continuation of the Clinton Embarrassment I had hoped was gone forever. My dad was all for Clinton, the first time he'd strayed from the GOP ever. He was in regular and close contact with his family, my sib's and camp-followers and pushed the Cause for reasons unclear to me. My son actually made up my mind for me. He was all for the Donald.

i did finally vote for Trump and in retrospect am glad I did. As I write, he has cleaned up his cabinet. I expect good things but We Will See.

The Problem with Politics

i am in an electric wheelchair. My left leg is limited as to its'action. My right hand similarly; I have embarrassing problems with writing and have begun writing any journal with my left hand a typing my blog with whatever fingers are working that day. In this situation, I find myself self-immersed in the vagaries of american politics. It saddens me. No one seems trustworthy.

I've been reading a lot of Roman history, the biographic writings of Tacitis and others. After reviewing the exploits of the early emperors, I found myself wanting to wash my hands, get away, do something else. So also after a few hours of closely following the nonsense actions of the Congress, the President, all the Foreign Players. It's amazing to me, how a day or two of abstinence from TV clears my mind, my soul. Being myself, being who I am, I read a lot, always have a pile of books I'm working on. At times like this, I read for long periods and immerse my self in tales and in non-fiction pieces of interest. And I write for my blog.

Some Last Thoughts

Why has my life moved along this very strange track? Who knows? In a past blog, I suggested that Almighty God had suggested that 'I was bored' and needed something to 'wake me up.' Hence, the last ten and the next forty years. It certainly has gotten my attention. American politics are, in the paraphrased writing of a book whose name and author I've forgotten, 'the main spectator sport of the whole country.' I'm a part of it, trying to enjoy the 'bread and circuses' easily available over the airwaves, dealing with the subconscious grubby-hand feeling which comes with a daily participation.

I'm told that the unconscious semi-sick feeling coming from too-close contact with the real world eventually fades. I will try to live with this, watch what happens with us and work on my blog.


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