Picture of the Day: An artist's conception (well, my conception) of what my brain might look like after all these dye injections. (Okay. It's lame. It's like I'm not even trying anymore. I know I know I know. I haven't been on many picture-taking excursions lately. Okay?)
Currently Reading: The Hours, Michael Cunningham; Apple Confidential, Owen W. Linzmayer; Absence Makes The Heart, Lynne Tillman. I think I've wrestled The Pushcart Prize 2001 to a draw for the moment.
Currently Listening To: Radiohead, Amnesiac; the Rushmore soundtrack; my "Buffy The Musical" CD.
Attack of Glowing Neon Brain Girl.
As a follow-up to the last entry, I heard back from my neurologist in record time. It scared me a little bit when I picked up my phone at work and Fran, the nurse-practitioner, was on the other end. Generally, getting test results from my neurologist's office is something like getting that very last popcorn hull out of your teeth -- strenuous and ultimately unrewarding. I've been trained to think that doctors don't actually call you unless something bad's afoot.
But the news was good: No new lesions. "Nothing's changed," said Fran. "That's what you want. Especially when you're doing the injections."
So. I guess I don't need any more proof that the Copaxone is doing what it's supposed to do. There's always going to be the nagging doubt: Maybe you're just in remission anyway and the injections have nothing to do with it. But somehow I don't believe that. I was getting slammed with exacerbations at the rate of about one every three months or so back in the first half of 2000. I haven't had any major complications since I started the shots in October 2000. (Once again, I knock on that faux-wood desk finish. Knock, knock, knock. I'm really not trying to tempt Fate, that temperamental bitch.) In any event it's good news, and I'll take it. There seems to be so little good news to be had these days.
On one of the MS-related sites I frequent, I read that the effect of the gadolinium dye injections, which make lesions stand out more prominently in contrasting MRI scans, can last for two weeks or more. Ever since I read that I've been walking around picturing my brain as this merry little glow-in-the-dark blob in my head. Maybe the spots twinkle, like Christmas tree lights. And to think Halloween's already over. Damn.
I'd probably do better to wonder just what effect these repeated dye injections are having on my body. But I'm still trying to not be preoccupied with Anthrax Anthrax Anthrax GERMS at the moment; I can only deal with so many disturbing possibilities at one time.
Talking about Christmas lights and seeing my first Christmas decorations at a local shopping center made me realize that the Christmas season seems amazingly low-key this year so far. It's only been in the last week or so that I've noticed honest-to-God Christmas commercials on TV. And I'm only just starting to see decorations pop up here and there. It's as if 9/11 knocked everyone completely off schedule. By now, I'm pretty sure that in any other year I'd already have encountered full blown Christmas shopping-mall pandemonium, with stores jammed up with rows and rows of those hellish mechanical Santas that jiggle and bounce and play "Jingle Bell Rock" until your head is filled with visions of bashing in the heads of your fellow shoppers with big blunt objects. Ho ho ho! (Um ... or is that just me?)
I love this season, and every year I feel like I make a mental note that I'm going to do a lot more walking outside during fall, and a lot more enjoying the weather and the lights and the smells of burning wood off in the air, and every year the weeks just seem to go by that much faster. I can't believe that Christmas is already only a little bit over a month away. I've already lost October and November is slipping by so fast.
(Have you done YOUR shopping yet?)