Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Friends informed my dear wife that Stephen Hawkings was diagnosed with ALS in 1953. And you may have noticed that he is still ticking.

I woke up this morning thinking about drinking olive oil (I did) and lifting weights and using creatine. I went to the GNC store and got some creatine, and also a protein drink. I don't want the protein drink to put off my appetite for real food, so I think I am going to drink it only after dinner. My goal is to gain weight and muscle mass. Sure, I know that if the nerves leading to the muscles die, the muscles will be useless. But the idea is to build up the muscles so that they are more capable of performing the task they are ordered to do, if the signals get weaker. Like, uh, having more demonstrators to crash the gates even if the megaphone of the People's Leader runs out of batteries. There are currently three clinical trials looking into the effect of creatine in ALS. I don't want to be in these trials because (a) I might get the placebo and (b) I would be able to tell if I got the placebo, because for a few weeks back in the early 1990s I took creatine while lifting weights. They probably ask you that when you apply for the trial, and screen you out. Back then when I tried it, it did help me add muscle mass. I stopped taking it fairly soon though because I felt that it might be making me aggressive. Or at least, kinda wired. I don't know what the dosage being used in the trials is, but the bottle I purchased at GNC tells you to take 5 caplets of 700 mg each. I started today with 1 caplet.

I plan to join the YMCA or a gym tomorrow, so I can start lifting weights for the first time in about 7 years. You may think that the creatine inauguration puts the cart before the horse but (a) don't forget the psychological effect of thinking you are doing something and (b) it's my body to poison as I see fit, so you shag off. ("Is he already getting aggressive?"). Ironically, just this summer I got rid of my last free weights, thinking that I would never lift again.

The appointment with the ALS experts is scheduled for January 28. And I am going to see a xxxxxxxxxxxx in early February about a possible problem with my xxxxxx. For those of you who don't know, a xxxxxxxxxxxx is a kind of doctor who specializes in problems with the xxxx and environs. For example, if you have xxxxxxxxxx.

In other good news, the digital camcorder has arrived. In the great male tradition, I figured out how to use it and play back the images without reading a single bit of the instructions. OK, maybe this speaks more to the user interface skills of Sony corporation than to my innate techie prowess. Next I am going to try to transfer those images to my wife' computer, edit them, and burn hem to a CD. Then comes the real purpose of this: to use the digicam as an A2D converter, and finally edit my videos of my kids before my son is five. All this comes at a cost: the pollution of the environment..

(Yes, I use a Mac, Cateye, so get off my frigging back! ("Is he already getting aggressive?"))

In the category of really wonderful news, I went for a run with my wife today. And then we had lunch together. Some nice Indian food. It has been too long since I had a chance to spend unharried one-on-one time with her. I am thinking of dating her more often.

I had an IM conversation with my very cool boss, and he is not pressuring me but also understandably wants to know whether the doc will declare me disabled, and whether or when I want to kick in use of my accrued vacation time, and whether or when to go on disability. I called the neurologist to see What Is Done, because I frankly don't know, never having been in this situation before. I mean, I suppose I could work, and perform my job in my usual exemplary and sexy manner. But I need to get my act together on the diet and exercise, not to mention research. And being in a commute for two hours a day and sitting there at a desk worrying about other peoples' problems while my body quickly deteriorates due to lack of attention, just does not make sense. It could kill me. But then, this is America, where in some cracks you can get stuck in, they expect you to spend every dime you have before they will help you, and be dying before you get a Band Aid. Fortunately I am not stuck in one of those tracks. But I wouldn't be surprised to catch a whiff of that at some point. I can't really waste time or Chi thinking about it, be that as it may, I have to take care of me right now. Let Draccus be Draccus, if so he may wish. I will be Bambi.

To refine or perhaps correct my previous stated stance towards this diagnosis: I hope the further tests show it to be wrong, but even if it turns out to be correct ... the idea of me dying or wasting away to nothing is what I call "the Script." Rest assured I do not intend to follow the Script. My goal is to embarrass the Script.
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