Archive for the ‘multiple sclerosis’ Category

Alamo Drafthouse to benefit Multiple Sclerosis Society

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

I certainly have made it no secret that I am one of approximately 400,000 Americans (2.5 million worldwide) diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society offers perhaps the best overall definition of the disease.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system (the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord). It is thought to be an autoimmune disorder. This means the immune system incorrectly attacks the person’s healthy tissue.

MS can cause blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, paralysis, and blindness and more. These problems may be permanent or may come and go.

Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, although individuals as young as 2 and as old as 75 have developed it. MS is not considered a fatal disease as the vast majority of people with it live a normal life-span. But they may struggle to live as productively as they desire, often facing increasing limitations.

The NMSS does far more than define MS. They provide news, education, and material support for MS sufferers (I received my first cane through them). The group spearheads research efforts, offering grants and the like. The non-profit organization relies completely on donations to fund their philanthropic endeavors. Along these lines, the MS sponsors several annual fundraising events, most notably the regional Walk MS and Bike MS.

The 150 mile two-day ride from Houston to Austin (the MS 150) has become a staple April cycling event with thousands of regional participants. The only downside to the riders is the contacting your friends to beg for money. Worthy cause or not, it sucks.

Tim League, founder of the extraordinary Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, came up with this unique solution.

This year I am riding the MS150 with a group of friends. All of us agreed that we hate cold-calling our friends for money. So instead of traditional fundraising, our team is raising money for MS by hosting an awesome evening with a movie, a 4 course French meal and plenty of wine.

Please join us on Saturday, April 3rd at my house for an outdoor screening of the modern cycling classic The Triplets of Belleville. Executive chef John Bullington will be preparing a four course French meal to compliment the film and we will not be stingy with the wine.

Tickets for this event are $90, and all proceeds will be donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Donating to charity has never been this tasty.

It’s that kind of creative thinking that placed the Alamo Drafthouse at #1 on Entertainment Weekly’s 2005 list of “10 Theaters doing it right.” And yet another reason that the Alamo Drafthouse is my favorite movie theater.

To order tickets or learn more about this event, visit the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

How I Started My Day

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

This morning began with my bi-annual MRI. For the uninformed, Magnetic Resonance Imaging takes amazingly detailed pictures of the body’s interior especially the soft tissue. Since I have multiple sclerosis and take the relatively new drug Tysabri, my doctor likes me to get a new brain scan every six months.

Basically, I am placed in a narrow tube and must remain motionless as this loud clanging noise moves around me. This device is a nightmare for claustrophobic people. The top wall of the tube is but two inches from my eyes and I can’t move my shoulders.

Thankfully, it is a relatively short procedure– about 45 minutes– and painless.

Below are some of the actual scans of my brain.


EYES! Complete with stalks! CREEPY!

Husband misdiagnosed as insane

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

This is one of the scariest things I’ve ever read. Talk about hitting close to home!

Husband misdiagnosed as insane
2007-07-03 07:03:25

A Quebec woman is looking for redress after her husband was misdiagnosed as being insane.
Turns out, he actually had multiple sclerosis.
Anatole Otis was 50-years-old when his health began to deteriorate 14 years ago.
A neurologist told him he was insane.
A T-Q-S news report says it wasn’t until 2004, 14 years after his initial diagnosis, that a second neurologist discovered the truth.
His wife, Carmen Plourde, believes appropriate medication would have slowed the disease’s progression.
Otis has been confined to a bed for several years.
The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada says the disease was difficult to diagnose as recent as the early 1990’s.
Still, the group is stunned a neurologist confused multiple sclerosis with a mental illness.