Thursday, January 1, 2009

Carnival of MS Bloggers #26 - New Year's Edition

Welcome to the Carnival of MS Bloggers, a bi-weekly compendium of thoughts and experiences shared by those living with multiple sclerosis.
It Is a New Year. Welcome to 2009.



A choir of spirits, altos all
Singing a sweet serenade
Glassy and silver, humming, they fall
Darting, they quickly cascade

Crisp amber leaves, glossy gold
under billows of low cast sky
blowing in waves, muddy and cold
casting off drops as they fly

A melody risen of unknown birth
Musicians from mist gathered gray
Heaven sent fingers, playing the earth
Washing my troubles away

Shauna discusses exciting new technology - The Halifax Injector.
I get excited about ordinary things sometimes. An unexpected cup of coffee from a listener on his way to work, an unexpected e-mail from a high school friend, a pleasant note left under my apartment door from a neighbour.

And I get excited when I hear about innovations and developments that occur in my city. This week, the Halifax Injector was finally revealed to the public. A surgical tool, the "device can be programmed by a touch screen to deliver precise quantities of stem cells to very specific areas deep inside the brain".

Over the years, the use of stem cells in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease has increased. Remember when Muhammad Ali had a fetal cell transplant to try and control his PD? We've come a long way since then and the Halifax Injector is another positive step.

You may be wondering about the mention of PD on what is basically an MS blog. First, there is PD on my dad's side of the family, two aunts having suffered and died from it, and a grandfather and an uncle with PD like symptoms (though to the best of my knowledge, they were never diagnosed with it). My mother and I have watched my father over the years for any tell tale symptoms (and I'm happy to say we haven't observed any).

Secondly, this instrument will have applications for drug delivery. Imagine being able to put a drug precisely where it is needed instead of injecting into a leg muscle and waiting for the body's systems to process the drug, losing some efficacy to metabolism.

Thirdly, the Injector was developed by a team of students, doctors, and researchers in fields of engineering, physics, medicine, and computer science. What a combination of minds! One of the students was just beginning his education in a local Community College when he joined the team and I can only imagine the impact his involvement will have on his future job prospects as an electrical engineering technologist.

I know one of the doctors on the team and hope to talk to him in the new year about the implications of this device on other neurological conditions.

Stay tuned!

Toward a New Year's Resolution
Excerpts from Nadja's thought-provoking, must-read post

I have thought long and hard about what changes I would like to make in myself in the coming year. There are a few but I feel that if I really work hard on just one or two that many of the others may fall into place. One thing that MS has really shown me is that each day is a chance to reinvent oneself. Sometimes this is easier said than done and so I like the idea of looking toward the New Year as a clean slate where I can still change my life for the better.

This all leads to my actual resolution. My resolution is to work hard to not allow little things to make me so anxious and overwhelmed. In order to achieve this difficult goal, there are a few things I need to do....

I look at what I have listed and wonder if it is enough or if I need to find something more. I think that these things will hold me for the short term as I work on my resolution but in the long term, I will need to find other things to drive and entertain me. I will continue to seek answers within myself in the coming year even as I work toward my resolution.

This concludes the 26th edition of the Carnival.

The next Carnival of MS Bloggers will be hosted here on January 15, 2009. Please remember to submit a post (via email) from your blog of which you are particularly proud, or which you simply want to share, by noon on Monday, January 12, 2009.

Thank you.
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