Friday, December 19, 2008

What are you thinking, Mr. President-Elect?

I find myself getting increasingly angry this holiday season. I'm angry that after a year of seeking medical assistance, BR is still in constant pain. I'm angry that Johnson & Johnson has chosen to kill the iBOT. I'm angry that a majority of Californians have chosen to put a "but not for them" amendment into the state constitution.

And now I'm angry that Mr. Obama has selected Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration.

For those not familiar with invocations, here's an example delivered by the Reverend Billy Graham at the inauguration of George H. W. Bush.

This invocation starts by recognizing that we are "one nation under God." It also references the president's duty "to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution".

I can't imagine Rick Warren delivering these words with any credibility.

From the Saddleback Church website:
Because membership in a church is an outgrowth of accepting the Lordship and leadership of Jesus in one's life, someone unwilling to repent of their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted at [sic] a member at Saddleback Church. That does not mean they cannot attend church - we hope they do! God's Word has the power to change our lives.
Does that sound like "one nation under God?" Even if you believe that homosexuality is "an enormous sin", Jesus himself said "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" as an admission that we are all sinners. To refuse church membership based on this one particular sin seems arbitrary at best, and downright hateful at worst. There are lots of sins listed in the Bible. Pride is one of the seven deadly sins. Yet Reverend Warren's bio page seems to list only things one might be proud of, and nothing that might make him appear to be a sinner. Pretty ironic -- by not disclosing his sins and painting an accurate picture of himself, he has unashamedly committed a sin. Must he now repent his prideful lifestyle, or risk being thrown out of his own church?

And how am I supposed to take him seriously when he talks about the president's obligation to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, when Reverend Warren worked tirelessly to remove a right from the California Constitution? Enough said.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The neurologist has given up

BR had another neurologist appointment on Monday. They had the results of the brain MRIs, which showed no change when compared to the MRIs done last March. Yet the reduced cognitive ability, significant weight loss, loss of manual dexterity, and visual distortions are all new symptoms since then. Research seems to indicate that MRIs are a poor indicator for PPMS disease progression, and BR seems to be a classic example.

So what now? The neurologist doesn't feel that any of the disease modifying drugs will be of any benefit. We are just going to treat the symptoms and try to make BR as comfortable as possible. That treatment will include Solu-medrol infusions every 3 months, with the hope of increased strength, weight stabilization, and higher energy levels.

Tori update

The oral surgery went well, and BR is recovering nicely. He wishes he'd had them removed years ago.

3am chicken salad

BR taught me how to make his chicken salad tonight. Unfortunately, we didn't get started until 9:30pm. After letting the flavors marry for a couple hours in the fridge, it makes a great late night snack!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Tori removal; MRI results

Now that the abscess is under control, the oral surgeon says BR's tori have to go. Day surgery is scheduled for Friday morning.

We also got the results from BR's latest MRI. Despite clinical progression, the MRIs show that the number and size of lesions on the brain are stable. This wasn't unexpected, as studies indicate that the later stages of MS are marked by spinal cord atrophy, and not brain lesion activity. We meet with the neurologist on Thursday to discuss next steps.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Turning back the attack

The antibiotics are working, and the BR's abscess is getting better. We have an appointment with an Endodontist Wednesday afternoon to try and figure out the cause.

Two lessons learned:

1. Infections really do make MS symptoms worse. Since starting the antibiotics, BR doesn't repeat his sentences nearly as much, and he has better control of his hands.

2. Antibiotics and stool softeners don't mix. Enough said.