On January 24, in my post entitled "Ruler," I plotted the trend in my grip strength metric data. The data, despite daily fluctuation, conforms well to a downward slope that would hit zero about 950 days after diagnosis for the left hand, and 1300 days for the right.
Since I went to see Dr. Quack on January 18, I have been taking 100 mg of minocycline twice a day, and I have resumed doing my metrics, which I had abandoned.
The data now appear to support a straight line, a leveling off. They go up and down on a daily basis, but (to my eye at least) the trend appears to be flat.
Minocycline is not a beta-Lactam antibiotic, so, if it is helping me, it would not appear to be due to the enhanced glutamate transport protein mechanism described in the January 6, 2005 article in "Nature." A leveling off associated with minocycline (if there has been one) would seem to support the notion that I have Lyme, not classic ALS.
Yes, I know there's not much data since January 18, and yes, this might have happened regardless of the minocycline (John, I think, has mentioned that people with ALS may experience plateaus).
If we look at similarly short periods in the data prior to 1/18/06, however, we can find places where there were other apparent levelings that look a lot like this recent data.
But I like what I think I see in the data.
Yesterday I went and bought another cell phone, a used one, for $86. I sat down on the bench to test it, then put it into my new pants (the very ones I fouled the day I killed the old cell phone), and stood up to go to my car. That must be when it fell out and landed quietly on the bench. By evening, whoever had picked it up had presumedly removed the chip, because my my calls to the phone went directly to voicemail with no ringing.
Left grip is 20 pounds (20, 19, 19), right grip is 66 pounds (65, 66, 66).