The door slides open. I imagine the sound track it should be making, and in walks Dr M. I am so thankful he's my doctor. Of all the neurologists I've worked with he is the most agreeable, accessible, and from what I can tell knowledgeable. He never rolls his eyes when I tell him I've read something on the internet. He takes my concerns or even just opinions seriously. And he is very willing to meet me where I'm at and work with me from there.
Today I'm really excited because I have been reading some new things I want to discuss. First he pulls up the MRI scans and we go over those noting any new areas of concern and checking on the old ones. A new one in the brain stem seems to correlate with the swallowing issue I started having a few months ago. He explains the other areas of interest as we go up the brain stem and out the top of my head. I had tried really hard to hold super still, and also to keep my eyes shut so my eyeballs would not be rolling around. I can't remember if I did a good job or not. I was too caught up in my research and wanting to share it with him. He finishes with the pictures and I start right in.
"So I was doing some research and came across the work of Dr Prineas, the Australian pathologist. In reading them it seemed to raise the question of MS being an autoimmune disease, or at least challenge the current way we think about MS."
"Well, its is pretty well established that the damage comes from the bodies own doing. All the working therapies out there are predicated on that and they seem to work."
"But not for everyone. If interferons really work, why don't they work for everyone?"
He sat and thought.
"Dr. Prineas' studies seem to point to damage occurring BEFORE the immune system kicks into gear. Meaning it comes from somewhere else. Could it be that axonal damage comes from the macrophages death possiby due to a misstep in a protein to estrogen conversion. And their death results in myelin loss and the T cells and B cells just show up to do a mop up job? And that by the time we see any activity it is always the immune system caught with the smoking gun. This might explain the gender inequity and why it is far more common in women than men."
He sits back and closes his eyes. Dazzled by my research capabilities I'm thinking. He opens them, then goes to his computer and starts pulling up files. He mumbles something about lymphocites and some other little guy. I just watch him work. He seems to be in his own little world and I don't want to interrupt him or ask questions. I catch something like 'how can this be, in a few months, she has discovered what we have not deduced in a life time of work?'
"I have heard of Dr Prineas, and his work is interesting. You bring up some fascinating points. But we'd need Dr. Prineas to answer some questions.What is he up to right now?"
He clicks on a little tab and a live camera feed pops up.
"There he is" Dr M exclaims. "It looks like he's going somewhere with that suitcase. Where is he going?" He seems to be talking to himself so I just listen.
"What's that in his hand? Maybe a ticket. I'll zoom in. And enhance. And gotcha. Its not a ticket. Its a map with a route marked. Looks like he going to San Francisco. But why? What is in San Francisco?"
He pauses, his chin resting in his hand. He jumps forward again.
"He dropped something. Let's take a look at that." Once again he zooms in. It appears to be a letter. From his daughter.
"Looks like he's going to visit family. Maybe we can intercept him at the airport. Can you take a trip to San Francisco? I think you should explain your hypothesis in person. I think the puzzle pieces are all there and Dr Prineas will be able to help put them all together. We can set up a meeting at the French Laundry. This may be the discovery of the century. I think we'll need a good bottle of red and something tasty to celebrate it."
I tell him no, I can't go to San Francisco tonight. I have more research to do. And I am making tacos for dinner. But he needs to go. He can conference me in and I'll have a power point presentation to show both the doctors by dinner time.
He congratulates me, thanks me, then gathers his papers and laptop and rushes out the door. And I think what a fitting end that little swooshy noise would have been.
OK. So we've been watching 24 lately and I decided to borrow a few tricks I picked up. Especially Shane's favorite. The Zoom in and Enhance method. But some of this was true. When I get the final debriefing from Dr M- who first has to be debreifed by the radiologist- I'll sort the fact from fiction, if I can, and lay it all out next post.