In Portland 2013: The Beauty of Privacy

On The Road, Redux

Where is this? God knows. He doesn't seem to live here either...120*+ in Southwestern AZ.
Where is this? God knows. He doesn't seem to live here either...120*+ in Southwestern AZ. | Source


I have not written anything in about four months. The above picture, selected on the day of my leaving to Portland on my usual Summer sojourn there to escape the heat, is, in retrospect, apt. The caption says it all: the sadness, the difficulty in moviing forward, of pretending each day was somehow meaningful in a life stopped suddenly.

Was it a Flare?

One important thing about MS which we must always remember, which modulates our understanding of the disease, is that it is different for every patient. Way different. In the ER I would see an MS sufferer, a 20 year old student,whose 'flare' was depression at seeing a flat, gray wasteland spread out before his face: flat, gray. Not at all what went along with the brewski lifestyle of an ASU Sophomore. Another similar Lost Soul had become drunk, had debated the important points of Life with the local constabulary and was brought in with his own attendant for my evaluation en route to a night on the taxpayer's dime in the local hoosegow.

UCSD Graduation

Celebration after her Graduation. There are advantages to unusual height...note the coffee stain on my chinos from trying to drink with my right hand.
Celebration after her Graduation. There are advantages to unusual height...note the coffee stain on my chinos from trying to drink with my right hand. | Source

Another Picture

On the way North. Doing what I do best.
On the way North. Doing what I do best. | Source

Life Review after a Flare

Three years ago, I wrote a series of blogs outlining how someone could, should deal with MS while trying to continue backpacking. They were honest efforts and dealt with the disease in it's earlier stages. Now, fully ten years after the diagnosis and twenty since the first overt symptoms, I am facing some of the later signs of this disease. The inability to continue this blog as I'd wanted speaks against an ability to write as a new profession, a new direction in my life. But. The flare seems over and life has moved on as it will. My titibation is worse, though my driving is unaffected and my weight loss, begun seriously a year ago, continues. I am now within twenty pounds of my initial goal, 205 pounds, at which point my BMI ( body-mass index) should be 27 or so and my type II diabetes should seriously wane. My morning glucose is 150-160 now, down from 300 once upon a time. My goal there is 95 but there the BMI will have to be <25. My pants started at size 46 and now I can fit into a 40, though I do like 'em loose and wear 42s preferentially. I do need a belt with them.

Thankfully, I have continued a regimen of education, reading, mental/physical training. I play chess against my computer. I also solve sudoku (this is a bore but it works on order of investigation and attention to detail. 'Attention, Attention, Attention means Attention' says the Zen koan). Go is a great game. I have a series of memory drills, also on the computer and I work on the simpler piano pieces from many years ago. While I try to remyelinate injured brain areas, these games and drills establish new neural networks. Oh, I forgot. Yoga, crosswords and the recumbent bicycle pretty much fill in the remainder of my day. I swim in the summer when the pool is over 50*.

Please remember, this bloggette has been assembled piecemeal and its' flow is jarring. Mea maxima culpa. I'll try not to repeat the mistake.

Tucson in the Early Spring

In Tucson, seeing friends in the early Spring 2013.
In Tucson, seeing friends in the early Spring 2013. | Source

Another Flare: a Comment

I have been 'out of service' for some months and I see that nobody has read any of my old blogs for a while. I have to assume that my following is totally gone and that I am starting over.

I really find myself at a very interesting point; when I started this, I was still walking three miles each day with a saguaro internal rib as a walking stick. Now I am using the electric cart in Safeway to navigate about and ambulate only with Canadian crutches. I had purchased ergonomic trekking poles from Black Diamond and loved them but I can't use them anymore.

But enough of all that. Ernest Hemingway once said that losing all his original writing when the steamer trunk it was in was inadvertently dropped into the ocean was, in retrospect, the best thing that ever happened to him, even if it caused his divorce of his first wife. So I have to look at this forced vacation from work, the loss of my posse, in terms of the need now to recommence.

Glad to say, my latest MRI got a few weeks ago, showed no apparent progression of disease.(The only fly in this brave ointment is that an MRI of something as astonishingly complex on a microscopic level as a brain is somewhat like a satellite picture of the Earth. Small changes don't show up well. Now, the Larry Lightbulbs in the crowd will immediately point to the many fallacies in what I say. Quite correct of course but I have always been a lumper not a splitter and see discrete points in life as Bell Curves which speak toward themes or tendencies rather than concrete placements. No black and white in my life...

Final Words: see you later.

It is a mistake to draw lines in the sand and poke holes in the air with your finger (see 'Shane') and make public declarations of Undying Resolution. I will do my best to regain the five of so readers I lost and have a good time doing it.

Another Interesting Hub Not Published For Unclear Reasons

This hub is about two years old, yet has not been available for perusal Perhaps it might be seen and read now. I hope so.

More by this Author

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  • In Portland, 2012

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  • How I Make Coffee: My Coffee and My MS

    I've been drinking coffee since I was ten. The best of 'acquired tastes', I look forward to it and I drink a good slug each morning. MS has affected my relationship with my Primary Methyl Xanthine.


patricka 2 years ago

Did your mother address your college mail to Thomas A-1 Vetto, Sackett Hall?

Johng118 2 years ago

Valuable information. Lucky me I found your site by accident, and I am shocked why this accident did not happened earlier! I bookmarked it. dgecedcddecf

Thomas Vetto, MD profile image

Thomas Vetto, MD 15 months ago from Scottsdale, AZe Author

1) Yes, I lived in 244-c Sackett Hall for about 3 years. Where were you, Patrick?

2) John, MS makes fools of us all. I am now trying to restart this blog and move through the mental sludge of my 'medical challenge' and produce something worth reading several times a month. Wish me luck!

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