Saturday, July 18, 2015

Now, On A More Serious Note

So I wrote  this after reading the umpteenth article on the latest MS research. They haven't changed much in the past I don't even know how many years. And I thought I'd give it a go. If if you want to try one yourself, it's really easy. Lead in with a catchy promise. (Don't worry, you won't have to deliver anything really substantial or actionable. Or you can even drop the bomb that the research has already proved fruitless if you like, in the last paragraph. Just string them along as for as many paragraphs as you can). Then you have a brief  bit describing the antagonist of your choosing and say how many people are dealing with the chosen malady and the current state of what can/cannot be done for those people. Next, what/how a new discovery was made and the possible implications it might have on future treatments, patients, stock prices etc. Occasionally the entire article can be written/sponsored by a drug company and is really just a long glossy ad. With models.

I do not hold anything against the drug companies, the researchers, or the doctors dealing prescribing the drugs. We're all doing the best we can and have families to feed. I know this is easy for me to say when I am not using my researchers or risking my reputation or entire business on exploring new frontiers of medicine. I'm just asked to risk various parts of my already limping along body and sometimes my life, if I choose to take the offered pills, with no guarantee they will help. Yes, decades of having never-to-be-realized promises dangled in your face can make one a bit cynical so I put it to good use and at least got some entertainment. If anyone wants to take a stab at it and get their satire on I'd be delighted to read your version. Email me or leave a link in the comments.

Sorry to read like a drug ad, but the serious note will have to wait until next time as the baby is up.
At least she delivers as promised.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Ha Ha No!

 "Ha, Ha, NO!"
Which in Malachi speak, means whatever you are laughing at is definitely not funny.
Which I thought was a pretty clever use of language, coming from a kid who will readily wear a garbage can on his head, just for ha, ha. Or maybe it was to cover up the fact he was not wearing pants, which in my opinion makes this picture double ha, ha.
It has been unusually hot, not warm, here so diapers are pretty much optional for the babies these days.
The options being 'do I leave my diaper here? Or there?'
It makes for  fun treasure hunts, but it also discourages diaper rashes so we're not too concerned about it.
I had already declared it a big-kid-pool-free summer this year (with two toddlers I was not going to add any stress to our days)  and the heat did not cause me to relent.  Our last pool finally bit the dust so setting it up was not even an option. I did feel sorry for the kids. They were hot and crabby all day and every day. So being the thoughtful parent I am, I didn't do anything about it. Until they started playing what sounded to me it like the Spanish Inquisition all day long. So when the cousins came to visit I ventured out in the heat to get them a slip-n-slide.  Three different stores. No luck. Ordering one wouldn't come until after the weekend. Not wanting to face the kids empty-handed, I stopped by the hardware store and bought a $10, clear tarp. I considered black, to keep the water warmer, but thought it might be too much of a blot on the weed-infested landscape and Shane might actually notice it. Its on the other side of the yard, and so far so good. First we had to figure out a way to secure the corners with bags of extra mulch, of course. The hardware store only had metal steaks, and being the kind of parent who prefers to avoid emergency room visits at all costs, I passed, and we just used what we had.

It worked out pretty well. Until they started complaining about bruises from the hard, dry ground under the tarp. Its been unseasonably warm and dry for awhile. So it was REALLY hard.

 "Really, Mom? You think  a piece of plastic and some cold water will buy you a peaceful cup of coffee?"

So it was off the  dollar section for some air mattresses to cushion  their rides,

And some baby shampoo to add some speed. The shampoo had the added bonus of making everyone smell great and allowed us to skip bathtime. I think all together it added up to several hours of no fights,  plus quiet time in the house for the non-sliders. I am also hoping to get the extra bonus of the tarp acting as a magnifier and frying the bacon out of the weed bed underneath. I'll move it every couple days to spread the death but avoid the unwanted smell of decay that can accompany it. Making the entire yard unusable. Because, as Shane says, just like a trip to the grocery store with Muffin,  that would be 'none fun'.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

More New Research

Researchers Discover novel new ingredient in your daily cup of coffee might just maybe offer hope to millions of MS sufferers. 

A night janitor at  UST, University for Sciency Things, may have stumbled (quite literally) upon a  stunning discovery which may lead to new  treatments for patients with MS. Or not. But which will definitely lead to a fresh coat of paint in the biology lab. Sources report the janitor, Ken,  had the happy accident of tripping over a cord while vacuuming  and holding his thermos of black coffee, sending his drink splashing across the wall and across the papers of the head researcher's desk. The next morning Head Researcher, a tea lover himself, read the reports and concluded coffee may offer a benefit to people with MS and should definitely be looked into.

MS is a degenerative disease of the nervous system. No one knows exactly why or how the fatty myelin in brains and spinal cords of MS patients degenerates leading to nerve damage and various funky feelings and symptoms ranging from inappropriate laughter to inappropriate blog topics . And lots of other inappropriate things. MS affects many million people world-wide. You probably know someone who has it. Great Aunt Matilda didn't wear that cooling vest and sweet leg brace just to make a fashion statement.  Uncle Vern? Did he seem a little unsteady and slow at the last family reunion? Oh wait. Never mind. He  really was sauced. Moving on. The point is there are lots of events, fundraisers, and maybe even some orange(for MS)  t-shirts out there. So this article (and the 50-almost-exactly-the-same ones with no useful information to follow)  are important to all of us.

Researchers say it is too early to say for sure why/if caffeine could benefit  MS patients, and are quick to discourage anyone from self medicating.

" We really do not want to see people just going off all willy-nilly and  start chugging this stuff on their own.  Random, placebo-effect controlled trials with blind-folded doctors will begin  in about 10 years and in another 10 we should have some foggy idea of what may, or may not, be the back  end  of a rat.  It's really hard to tell when they have those soft pointy noses and those long pointy tails and you can't see a bleepin' thing. We realize a lot of patients, rats, and doctors and  will not be around by then and we are sincerely sorry. We are doing everything we can to minimize loss of life. Our new protocols, including making sure ALL the windows are closed, should result in keeping more doctors for the next phase. There is a  'dead rat quota' each trial must reach before we can start offing actual patients, and we are all about killing things by the book. Until then we encourage everyone to stay on their neurologist-recommended drug of choice," says Pharma4All spokesman Si De'fect.

(Disclaimer: Pharma4All is sponsoring the trial and will attempt to patent caffeine and stop all future research should it be proven to be helpful. If they are unable to get the patent granted they will drop all research into the  new area and focus on their current  therapy product lines, the inject able  Lumps4You, their new oral medication Nausea4Ever, and the still in the pipeline Itsnota2mer, which is up for FDA approval next fall.)

The research and trial findings  will first need to be peer reviewed. Si explains this is a very important step in new drug research.

"We feel it is  essential we all tell the same story. In order for this to happen, we will need to spend a  large amount of time reviewing the script over larger amounts of red wine and steak at a remote and exotic location. Most likely Tahiti."

"Last year a separate company, LimpBGone, made the realization that having legs did NOT, in fact,  increase, or decrease, your chances of developing MS. But it was not until they were all cozy together in the Swiss Alps, putting on skis, during peer review time, that they were able to notice they ALL had legs. And so did the MS patients in their trial. So you can see how crucial to the research process these trips are."

 Si also explained that though it was initially looked  on as a setback, the findings have undoubtedly lead to new trials, therapies, and at least forestalled any new research and money being wasted on such a 'dim witted' hypothesis. Most likely the 'eureka moment'  only  resulted in another trip to the hotel spa and a cold drink for the researchers. Which was not a bad outcome for many of the patients waiting for trial results.

"It could have been a lot worse. Had the research been  released prematurely, we might have had people traveling to far off places to get their lower limbs hacked off, without their doctors  approval or oversight, in a desperate attempt to lower their odds of landing in a wheelchair due to MS."

Thankfully, UST researchers are responsibly keeping quiet about their coffee  research until they know for sure what they don't know. At which point, a coin toss will determine whether or not the results should be released or if a trip to the Serengeti  would be fun first.