Friday, August 20, 2010

School and Learnin' Stuff

The summer is beginning to wind down and the kids are getting ready for back to school. Me, too. I start at the community college September 7th now that everything is settled. I finally got confirmation of funding this week and am doing the last few things required of me by the government. It has been a long drawn out process with a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth (mostly on my part, but I'm sure a little bit on theirs, too).

The gig at the radio station didn't work out as was becoming quite apparent in my last two weeks there. I gave them my notice after they hired someone else. Just as well, to be honest, as these folks were not to be trusted. There was such a culture of defeat in that office, with folks working for just above minimum wage, and the lack of communication between departments, I'm surprised they are still in business. They do have the worst reputation in the business and now I know why.

So this week, I have been "supervising" the installation of new windows on the first floor. The building is keeping me busy.

The Wookie and I went to his step sister's wedding two weeks ago. It was absolutely wonderful, in a spectacular location, and the bride and groom were just gorgeous and beaming. The two of them will make a great tag team, as both are med students with an interest in global health issues and a penchant for travel. I have said that I suspect the new Mrs. Doc will one day head the WHO (I don't know Mr. Doc as well, but imagine he'll be right up there with her). And the Wookie's half sister, who was the maid of honour, did her job perfectly, looking like a million bucks at the same time. I'm not sure what the maid of honour's plans are for the future, as she has had an interest in criminology in the recent past, but I haven't spoken with her about it for a while. (I will probably refer to her as Miss CSI until informed otherwise)

The bugs are alive and well in the neighbourhood. I have found a good number of creepy crawlies around, sometimes taking them inside for a photo shoot, then back to the wilds of the garden. A chartreuse crab spider has taken up residence in a tall white flower that smells like lily of the valley. I discovered it by accident as I leaned over to smell the newly opened blossoms and it insolently reared up on two sets of back legs with the two sets of front legs raised in an offensive position. OK, it was really defensive, but these spiders are so small, I laugh every time they do this, and imagine it's an act of bravado rather than instinct (like they could really fight off a predator as large as myself - confidence is everything I guess).

On the CCSVI front, my former boss is scheduled to go to Mexico for the treatment. The Nova Scotia government, taking a cue from other provinces has said it's interested in partly funding clinical trials if the federal government steps in. The Wookie and I are at a slight disagreement over this recent announcement, but it's more about semantics. The message I got was that the province is interested in clinical trials of the procedure, whereas he got the message that the government is interested in research in the broad sense. I do not want to see trials of the procedure until it's been demonstrated that a clear and defined link exists between CCSVI and MS.

That opinion will make me unpopular with all the folks who are demanding government action. Even Dr. Zamboni has been telling folks to wait for more research before going for the procedure. But as I have explained to people ad nauseum, if I thought there was anything to this treatment I would have had it already. I will not rely on anecdotal evidence to dictate medical treatment of any condition I may have and I cannot support others in seeking out this treatment. I do not wish anyone any harm and hope that they can gain some relief.

Here's a question to ponder: how many people are disabled by the thought of MS? There are some folks out there, who, when given the diagnosis of a chronic disabling condition, sit down and give up. Over time, depression leads to inactivity, which leads to fatigue, which leads to disability. They essentially give up on life in general and allow others to look after them. This topic has been on my mind for a while. I have met folks over the years who love to play the "poor me" card. I'd love to know how many of those folks are going for the "liberation" treatment instead of living a healthy lifestyle (that includes movement).

CCSVI may be a red herring. Or it may be the key to it all. Whatever it turns out to be, further research is on the agenda. I'm just sad that folks are so desperate they are jumping on this bandwagon like the "vaccines cause autism" lobby did. Even in the face of scientific evidence to the contrary, that group continued to believe what they believed. I'm afraid that this is what may happen to the believers in this group.



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Lisa said...

I just thought I'd step up and say that I agree with you about CCVSI! (Did I get those initials right?!) lol I too have MS and I think more research needs to be done. I'm in a hopeful, sit back and watch mode. :-)