Tuesday, July 3, 2007

First post - some background

For my first post, I should probably give a little bit of a history of myself and my experiences with MS. I'm a scientist doing research in the areas of photonics and information assurance. I currently work for HRL Laboratories. I got my bachelor's degree in physics from BYU and my master's degree in electrical engineering from Caltech.

I was diagnosed with MS in the year 2004 (Age 30) after the left side of my face went numb for a short time. I have had problems with pain in my digits and wrists for a long time and took multiple tests for arthritis (which were all negative.) After diagnosis, I was prescribed Copaxone. I give myself an injection each morning after my shower. At first I was terrified of needles but since that time, I have grown calloused and can give myself a shot without even blinking now.

After diagnosis, I could finally explain why I felt suddenly very tired sometimes and also why, at times, my hands hurt so much. I felt empowered and spent quite a bit of time on the web learning all that I could about MS. Since that time, learning about MS has basically stagnated along with the progression of my MS. In the past two months, I have felt it's effects more than in the past and probably as a result have decided to renew my education of MS and look into some other alternatives that may help me increase my health quality.

I plan to use this blog as a mechanism to help me track my learning about MS and also progress (or lack thereof) as I try different things to reduce it's impact on my life. I have heard "rumors" that changing my diet, exercising more, and trying some alternative medicines may be in my best interest and so I'm using this blog as my journal to keep track of resources and events.

Most recently, I have heard of a drug called Naltrexone that was approved by the FDA in 1984 in 50mg doses for helping heroin and opium addicts recover. I hope to be able to convince my neurologist at Kaiser Permanente to give it a try.

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