Monday, April 20, 2015

I’m Starting a New Treatment – Biotin

For the last year I’ve not even attempted to treat my primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS). I had no ideas. I have one now.

A couple of months ago, I learned of a pilot study with high doses of a drug called Biotin, also known as vitamin H. Twenty-three secondary progressive and primary progressive MS patients were given up to 600 mg per day of Biotin. 92% of them showed clinical improvement.

I shared the article with my neurologist. I told him I wanted to try this drug immediately, rather than wait for all the trials to be completed and permits to be granted. I don't have that luxury. He agreed to help me. Biotin is available as an over-the-counter supplement sold in tablet sizes up to 10 mg. But I wanted to take three, 100 mg doses per day. My neurologist located a compounding pharmacy that could custom manufacture the 100 mg tablets for me. I was most pleased.

Then I received a call from the pharmacy, and they told me that my cost would be $440 per month, and there would be no insurance coverage, because this is technically an over-the-counter drug. I was most displeased.

I went to the internet and found that I could get a 120 count bottle of 10 mg tablets for $8.83 per bottle at Walmart.com. I would have to take ten pills, three times per day, which is an inconvenience. However, my monthly cost would be about $90, instead of $440 – well worth the trouble. I checked back with my neurologist, and he didn’t see any problem. So, today I placed an order to Walmart for ten bottles of biotin, a one month’s supply, and I can’t wait to start. The shipment is due Wednesday.

If this drug eventually gets FDA approval for PPMS, and becomes available as a prescription, and I find that it works for me, I would get that product through my insurance and only have to take three pills a day instead of thirty.

With slow, progressive diseases like mine, it can take up to a year to determine if a new treatment helps or not, so I will need to be patient.

Later today, after I ordered the pills, I learned that a placebo controlled, phase III trial of the same drug, this time employing 154 progressive MS patients, also met with success. The details will be presented next week at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting. Articles can be found here and here.

I have to be realistic. No drug has ever worked for PPMS. This one probably won’t either. But there is a chance, and acting on that possibility feels good. Wish me luck.

How ironic would it be if an over-the-counter drug I obtain from Walmart works for primary progressive multiple sclerosis, not some $6000 per month designer drug with horrible side effects and the occasional fatality?


Note: Thanks to Alex at the Facebook page Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis – PPMS and Stu at MS Views and News for links to the Biotin articles. Thanks also to my friend Al who found me a full copy of the pilot trial report.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I Found an Old Email

Thank you in advance for indulging me on this off-topic post. I thought some you might enjoy it.

In the summer of 2000, Kim and I decided to quit our jobs in northern Maine and move to the more populous southern Maine coast. Kim started her new job at Cape Elizabeth Middle School in late August, but I still hadn’t found suitable employment, so I continued on as a contractor at my former employer. I worked mostly from my house, where Amy, Zach, and I still lived. Kim drove home every weekend. In mid-October I could stand it no more, and everyone agreed that the kids would move to southern Maine with Kim, and start school in Cape Elizabeth. I would commute down there on weekends.

I had been told I had possible multiple sclerosis by a physician’s assistant, but a neurologist overruled him, although he couldn't offer an alternative diagnosis. So I knew MS was in the realm of possibilities, but I doubted that I actually had it.

I often sent Kim email updates during the week, and I decided to have a little fun with this one. The note is from Friday, October 20, the kids' last day of school in Lincoln. We would move them to southern Maine on Saturday. Here it is, poor punctuation and grammar on full display.



Friday, October 20, 2000 8:15:10 AM

Kim,

Here are the morning news updates:

Zach Sturgeon to Spend His Last Night at Friend’s House

In an unexpected move, the mother of one of Zach’s best friends, Lisa French, contacted Zach’s Dad about Zach going to Bangor tonight and spending the night at John French’s house. In an interview Zach’s dad said, “What the hell, it’s his last night. We can probably pack better with him gone anyway.” Statements issued from the Sturgeon house indicate that the French’s will pick up Zach at around 5:00 PM, and drop him off at about 10:00 AM. When asked about the impending move, Zach repeated an oft used phrase during this campaign, “I just can’t wait to meet all those new friends.”

In related news…

Amy Sturgeon to Have Some Girl Named Melissa Spend the Night Tonight

As a counter move to the above story, young Amy Sturgeon coerced her helpless dad into letting her have a friend over tonight. After all, it was only “fair”, she said. When asked how he expected his wife to respond Mr. Sturgeon replied, “Given Amy’s track record of making huge messes when she has friends over, on the surface this may appear to be a poor decision. However given the overwhelming emotion of a last day at school, I think this was the best thing for everyone involved, and I’m sure my lovely wife will support me on this one.”

And then this one…

Pixie to Go South – Children Rejoice

Sources close to the Sturgeon’s indicate that Mr. Sturgeon told his children this morning that the much loved family feline “Pixie” will indeed be making the trip south this weekend. The news was greeted by the children with much hub bub. When asked about the timing of the news, Mr. Sturgeon explained, “the ride to school this morning was a little emotional for everyone. Not on the surface mind you, but you could sense its presence. So, as I dropped Amy off for her last day I decided to give her a little boost to start what is bound to be a very difficult day for her.”

Sturgeon Having Difficulty Getting His Work Done

Is the world renowned former Assistant Superintendent finally washed up? Some people think so. “You can’t even get 40 hours per week in!”, said some guy that looks in the Sturgeon’s windows all day and writes down everything he does. “If he tries to charge the company for 40 hours I’ll tell them the truth, and Sturgeon will finally suffer the public humiliation that he deserves.” When interviewed, Sturgeon replied, “I’ve often sensed this person peering in my windows. I’ll turn suddenly around and only catch his shadow – but I know he’s there. I’ve been so busy with this move and everything, that I’m having a little trouble getting my work done. But if that guy continues to watch me next week he’ll see a whole different person. Hell, I may work 41 hours next week!”

Love ya,

Mitch







Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Persistence and Creativity

As I’ve become more disabled, we’ve had to invent new ways to accomplish even the simplest tasks. Kim and I have developed processes for me to brush my teeth, shave, and eat various foods. We’ve also figured out ways for her to help me shower, get dressed, and get into and out of bed. The list goes on. Because my condition is not stable, we often have to tweak our processes, or throw them out completely in favor of new ones. Our secret to success? We practice persistence and cultivate creativity, and we often apply alliteration (obviously optional).


Sometimes we simply can’t come up with a good solution, and that’s when we call in the expert – my occupational therapist, Maren. Once in a while she has the magic answer, such as, “Oh, they make a gizmo for that. Let’s google it.” But more often than not we just start brainstorming, and she’s really good at that. She has a collection of materials in her car, duct tape included, which we have used to build prototype assistive devices many times. We are persistent, because most ideas are bad ones, and it sometimes takes many tries to find a good one. We are creative, because some of the best ideas sound crazy at first, but make perfect sense in the end.

Lately, due to spasticity, my feet have been falling off my foot pedals a lot, and I’ve had trouble getting them back on. Earlier today I had an idea. If I could raise my wheelchair up high enough, I could put my feet down on my bed, and then tug on my pant legs to get my feet onto the wheelchair’s foot pedals. I tried it, but it didn’t work. The bed was too high, and the blankets held too tightly to the soles of my shoes. I was disappointed, but only for a moment.

I noticed a footstool at the end of the bed. It’s there so our dog Phoebe can jump up onto the mattress. After getting the okay from Phoebe, I tried the same process with her footstool as I had with our bed. It worked! I was quite pleased with myself.

Persistence and creativity, essential tools for everyone, but especially the disabled.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Hardest Thing about Having MS

I was interviewed earlier today by a health marketing company. Don’t look for a magazine article about me, though. These folks are conducting research on primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) by speaking with patients. The marketing company paid me for my time with a $75 gift certificate from Amazon.com. I must remember to buy something fun with that money, not just put it in the pot and have it pay for my next order of printer ink.

The interviewer asked lots of questions, but the only one that stumped me was, “What would you say has been the hardest thing about having MS?” So many good choices – which one to pick? I fumbled and stumbled and didn’t give a very good answer. But after thinking about it for a while, I know what I should have said.

For me, the hardest thing about having MS is that my future has been stolen. I received my diagnosis four days after my thirty-eighth birthday. My life was pretty sweet at the time. I had an amazing wife, two beautiful children, a career on the upswing, all the man-toys I wanted, and so much more. Even with that success, I felt that my best days were still ahead of me. I no longer feel that way.

Quick disclaimer – I know this isn’t terminal cancer, ALS, or Alzheimer’s. Those diseases don’t only steal your future, they stomp all over it. But PPMS is no lightweight.

I always had big plans of where I wanted to be in five, ten, or twenty years. I wasn’t na├»ve. I understood that these plans would probably never play out exactly the way I imagined them, but my vision for the future was optimistic, and rightfully so. Chasing these dreams was a big part of what motivated me to get out of bed each day.

I still plan for the future, but only in terms of months, because I can’t imagine what life will be like years from now. How much longer will I function like I currently do? Will I always be able to live at home? Will I remain a contented person forever?  I can’t know. I mostly try not to think about it.

Being the glass-half-full kind of guy that I am, the fact that MS has stolen my future does have one benefit. I now live more in the present than I used to, one day at a time and all that jazz. This is a good thing.

Today is full of challenges, but I’m meeting them. It’s tomorrow that scares me.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to deal with because of MS (or some other challenge)? Do you feel MS (or anything else) has stolen your future?


Note: If you have PPMS and you would like to take part in this research, let me know.

Monday, March 23, 2015

My MS Radar and Other Intuitive Devices

Kim and I attended a wedding in Massachusetts last summer. Throughout the ceremony and at the reception, I noticed a lady in her thirties using forearm crutches. My MS radar came on, and I grew confident.

I encountered her when we were both leaving, and I asked, “MS?”

“Yup.”

Score! We enjoyed a long conversation where we compared notes about how we’ve dealt with the disease. I gave her an iBot demonstration and told her about my blog. Good stuff.

Fast-forward to this past Friday night. Kim and I participated in happy hour at the Snow Squall, as we often do. I saw a lady work her way through the crowd using forearm crutches. As Kim and I ate our meal, I stole glances at her to try to figure out if she had MS. I couldn’t decide. There was something about her that made me think she might not, but then again…

As we prepared to leave, I took a chance. “Excuse me for interrupting, but I was admiring your forearm crutches. I have a pair just like those. I’m curious if you have the same condition that I have.”

“Oh, you’re not interrupting. What condition do you have?”

“Multiple sclerosis. And you?”

“I have nerve damage from radiation treatment that I received forty years ago.”

I wasn’t embarrassed. She was a sweet lady, and Kim and I spoke with her for ten minutes before we left. Because I’m so obviously disabled, I get a pass on what would normally have been a social faux pas.

The next day, I said to Kim, “There was something about that lady at the Snow Squall last night that made me unsure if she had MS, even before we spoke to her, but I can’t put my finger on it.”

“I know what you mean. I think she looked too…healthy.”

“That’s it!”

Progressive MS kicks your ass in a variety of ways. By the time you have visible walking problems, you’re no longer as perky, energetic, or healthy looking as this woman was.

One setback won’t discourage me from approaching people in the future who I think may have MS. There’s such a huge upside if I’m right. Meeting new MS friends is always rewarding.

Not only am I proficient at guessing if someone has MS. I also have strong gaydar. I can tell if a person is straight or gay almost immediately. I know, it shouldn't matter, and it doesn't. It's just the way my brain works. Incidentally, I'm a big supporter of gay rights, and I have lots of gay friends and readers.

We used to own a Ford Explorer. The mileage got high, and the maintenance bills piled up, so we decided to sell it. I advertised on Craigslist and divulged the known problems.

I received an email from Jessie, and she wanted to come look at the vehicle the next day.

There was a light, steady rain falling when Jessie knocked on the door. I invited her in. She was medium height, stocky build, short haircut. She asked me detailed questions about the vehicle. This woman knew way more about cars than I did. My gaydar started twitching, but I was far from certain.

Jessie seemed trustworthy, so I handed the keys to her so she could take the Explorer for a drive. Being in a wheelchair, I couldn’t exactly accompany her. She drove around for about ten minutes, returned, and crawled underneath the vehicle for quite some time. She didn't mind the rain. The brake fluid was low, so she went to the local NAPA Auto Parts store, bought some fluid, topped off the reservoir, and crawled back under to see if there were any leaks in the brake lines.

Satisfied, she came in the house to start the negotiations. We went back and forth a little bit and agreed on a price. The vehicle was registered in both my name and Kim’s, so we needed Kim’s signature, but she was at work.


Jessie said, “Well, my partner will be picking me up in a few minutes. I can take the paperwork to Kim at her school so she can sign it.”

Ding, ding, ding. The word “partner” was all my gaydar needed to hear. I am so good, I thought to myself. I just see things other people don’t.

It so happened that there was a gay-rights referendum on the ballot that year in Maine, and the election was only a few weeks off. I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to get a perspective on the issue from a member of the LGBT community.

“I’m curious to know, how excited are you about the gay-rights referendum? If it passes, will it make a big difference in your life?”

“I don’t know what you’re implying, but for your information I’ve been married to my husband for twelve years and we have two children.”

“But, but,” I stammered. “You said partner…”

“My BUSINESS partner. My business partner is coming to pick me up in ten minutes.”

It served me right for stereotyping. I backtracked and apologized and tried to extract my foot from my mouth. Jessie let me off the hook and we continued with the transaction. I called Kim to explain that the buyer would be arriving shortly with paperwork to sign.

I added, “Don’t ask her if she’s a lesbian. I already did, and she’s not.”

“You didn’t.”

“Oh yeah I did.”

You know what else I bet I'm good at? Guessing if women are pregnant. I'm going to try that next.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Top 10 Reasons You Don’t Read My Blog

I’ve always said I couldn’t own a restaurant, because if people didn’t show up in droves for every meal I would take it personally. It turns out that having a blog is just as bad. If large numbers of people don’t visit each day I wonder what's wrong with me. So, in my typical self-absorbed manner, I’ve come up with the top 10 reasons you don’t read my blog.

Reason #10 I am an egotistical narcissist, and this post proves it – I certainly do write about myself more than anything else. I like to think it’s because I’m dealing with my challenges well, and I want to share these experiences with folks who might benefit from them. But maybe I really am an egotistical narcissist, and my motivation behind this entire post is to fish for compliments. You see right through me.

Reason #9 You didn’t know this blog existed – There are roughly 7 billion people on the planet. Only a few hundred, or maybe a thousand people even know this blog exists. So roughly 6,999,999,000 people have the most common reason of all for not reading my blog.

Reason #8 You forget to read it – I hear this a lot. If you are only being polite, then the real reason you don’t read it is probably somewhere else in this list. If you are being sincere, I have solutions. The easiest is to have each new post emailed to you. There is a box on the top right-hand corner of my homepage where it says “enter your email address.” Then you push the subscribe button. You’ll receive a confirmation email that you need to respond to in order to finish the subscription process.

Reason #7 I make you sad – I don’t sugarcoat my situation, and some people are saddened to read about my life. They want to spend their time with happier thoughts. I get that.

Reason #6 I show you the future – For readers who have MS, you may think you’re looking in a crystal ball, and you don’t like what you see. I get that too. But remember, most of you will never deteriorate to the point I already have, thankfully (there I go, pulling a #7 again).

Reason #5 You are annoyed by how well I’m coping – I think this is a reason that some people, with MS or with any other difficulties, are not inclined to read this blog. No matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to cope with your problems as well as I do with mine, and you don’t need me to constantly remind you of that. This is a tough one.

Reason #4 You don’t have all the advantages I have, so you can’t identify with me – Maybe you don’t have a great support system, a loving spouse, or financial stability. “Of course he’s content,” you say to yourself. “He should try to walk in my shoes.” Yup, I understand where you’re coming from with that, even though I can’t walk in your shoes.

Reason #3 I think I’m funny, but I’m not – You probably have a more highly refined sense of humor than I do. That’s unfortunate.

Reason #2 My writing is not that interesting – I get that, especially some weeks, like maybe this week, and last week, and the week before. But three weeks ago? Come on! That was some good shit.

And the #1 reason you don’t read my blog is that it’s no fun for you – If you find that reading my posts is a chore, then maybe you just need to let me go. To extend the restaurant analogy from the opening paragraph – you can walk right by my door and go to the blog down the street. I won’t even see you. That’s what I often do with both restaurants and blogs.

So tell me, what’s your reason for not reading this blog? Wait. Crap. Never mind. My bad.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I am Reluctantly Writing About the Weather

I don’t give a damn about other people’s weather, and here I am writing about mine. At least I have an angle – the wheelchair angle.

My life is so different in winter as compared to summer. In warm weather the area I can independently navigate is large. It starts with the wooden deck and
brick patio in my own backyard. Then, in my immediate neighborhood I have bars, restaurants, stores, banks, the post office, City Hall, my doctor’s office, several parks, oceanfront vistas, and more. If I jump on the Greenbelt Pathway, I can be at Bug Light Park in twenty minutes, with sweeping views of downtown Portland, Casco Bay, and lighthouses. If I go in the other direction and cross the bridge to Portland, I have Maine’s largest city at my disposal. Finally, if I take the bus (and I have a bus station about a block away) I gain access to all of the greater Portland region.

In the winter, I lose almost all of this, at least independent access to it. The double-headed monster of cold and snow drives me indoors. I'll occasionally have somebody bundle me up so I can head out to one of the lunch places closest to me. That’s it. Otherwise I wait for Kim to give me a ride somewhere interesting, or I stay in my home, which is a wonderful home.

You can imagine how much I look forward to spring weather. My world opens up. This year it will take a little longer than usual because of the heavy snowfall we experienced. The snow banks are just starting to shrink.

Because of my book project, I’ve had something to keep me occupied indoors all winter. But I’m ready to venture out. No, the word ready doesn’t do justice. What word…what word?

I know: I’m aching to venture out.

My redneck friends would say: I’m hankering to get out.

My literary friends would say: I have a longing, nay a hunger, to venture forth.

My engineering friends would say: The addition of an outside option would bring me greater utility, so I desire that change in state.

My California friends would say: Dude, why do you live in Maine, in the winter, in a wheelchair?

Some Pictures

The ocean at the end of our street has been frozen for weeks.



Nick took this picture during a storm at my beloved Bug Light Park.



Amy took these pictures from the comfort of Nick's truck (smart girl).


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Talk to Old People

When I set out to write this book about my mother and me, I interviewed a lot of people who knew her back in the day. With very few exceptions, these folks are now old people*, and I don’t think they mind me describing them as such.

I accomplished what I set out to do in these interviews. I gained greater insight into what my mother was like before I came along and when I was too young to remember. But these encounters gave me more than just material for my book. I was able to reconnect with folks who were so prominent in my childhood. If not for this project, I wouldn’t have had an excuse to contact many of these people. These conversations were fun, informative, meaningful, and even therapeutic both for them and me.

So, my message in this blog post is to find any pretense to talk to old people, formally or informally. Consider recording the conversations where you ask them to remember details from long ago. If not, you’ll forget what they said, and it will be lost forever.

One more thing – if you have any stories about my mother that you haven’t already shared with me, please shoot me an email and we can correspond, Skype, text, telephone, or meet at a bar and have a drink about it.

*Old People: anyone ten years older than whatever age I am at the time.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Say Hello to Kim

In February I had annual checkups with my primary care physician and my neurologist, two doctors I’ve seen for almost fifteen years now. Both are wonderful individuals who I enjoy spending time with. It’s a good thing I do, because there’s very little to discuss on the medical front these days. I'm not finding fault with them. Such is the state of affairs with primary progressive multiple sclerosis, a disease that has no treatments.

For example, my primary care physician exam went something like this:
“How is your MS doing? Everything fairly stable?”
“I wouldn’t say that. I’m still getting worse, but at about the same rate as always.”
“Have you and your neurologist come up with anything new to try?”
“No. Just treating the symptoms.”
“Do you have any other health issues you’d like to discuss?”
“Not really.”
“Well, your bloodwork and your vitals all look good. I’ll go ahead and refill your prescriptions for another year. How is the family?”
I filled her in on my family, asked about hers, and she updated me. She then gave me a brief physical exam (take some deep breaths, stick out your tongue and say “ah”, etc.).
“Is there anything else, Mitch?”
“Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I now have my medical marijuana card. I’m experimenting mostly with insomnia at this point, but I haven’t had much luck.”
“I understand they have lots of different strains, so maybe you can go back and find something that does work for you.”
“That’s the plan.”
“When should I schedule you in next? We did nine months this time.”
“Let's schedule me out for one year from now?”
“A year? Really?”
“Yeah, I’ll be in to see you before that if anything comes up. Plus, I have an entire team at my disposal – a neurologist, a urologist, an occupational therapist, and a physical therapist,” I explained, and we both laughed.
“Okay. It was great catching up with you. Say hello to Kim.”

A couple of weeks later I had a routine checkup with my neurologist. It went something like this:
“So how is everything going?”
“Still getting worse, but at about the same pace. I really notice the deterioration at mealtime. It’s becoming harder and harder to get food from my plate to my mouth.”
“Mitch, I know you do as much or more research as I do on MS treatments. Anything out there look promising to you?”
“Not in the short term. Lots of activity on the stem cell front, but it seems to be focused on patients with active lesions, which I don’t have. Do you seen anything interesting?”
“Afraid not. Only for relapsing remitting MS. How is your spasticity?” (This term refers to stiffness and spasms, mostly in my legs.)
“Well, I’m up to 80 milligrams a day of baclofen.”
“At some point, down the road, you may need a baclofen pump to get enough medicine into your system.”
“Yup. I see one in my future.”
“Okay, anything else to discuss?”
“One more thing. I am now a licensed medical marijuana user. I’m trying it out for insomnia first, but without much luck. I’m still toying with it though.”
“Good for you. As you know, I’m not a big fan of the pharmaceutical sleep aids. So, how’s the family?”
I filled him in on my family, asked about his, and he updated me.
“How about I schedule you in again in nine months?”
“Sounds good.”
“Say hello to Kim.”

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I’m Writing a Book

It’s the secret project I referred to in a previous blog post.

In fact, I’ve been writing this book for over a year now, and I still have a long way to go. I’m almost afraid to finish because I doubt I’ll ever find another project I’m as passionate about as this one.

I completed my first draft in December. The process of filling up blank pages is over, and the work of revising – of crafting and molding the story into something readers will enjoy – has begun.

It’s no small feat to transform an engineer into a writer, so I’ve not been shy about getting help. I’ve solicited advice from amateur and professional writers. I’ve taken online courses and attended writing workshops. There are so many blogs and magazines and books about the art of writing books, and I’ve read a lot of them. Perhaps most importantly, I spend time with a talented group of authors at the Portland Writers Group, where we critique one another’s material.

One day I’ll have to let this book leave the nest and see if it can fly. If no publishing houses show an interest, I’ll gladly self-publish. I dream of having a New York Times bestseller, but I’ll be thrilled if just a few people read the book and tell me it was worth their time, and it helped them in some way.

What’s the book about? I’m glad you asked. Here’s a brief synopsis:
Paralysis can strike without warning – one moment you’re a dynamic and independent person and the next, a quadriplegic. That’s what happened to my late mother when she crushed her cervical spinal cord at the age of 35. But sometimes paralysis chips away at your movements, a tiny bit every day, until you become locked inside the useless shell of a body. That’s what has been happening to me since the age of 38, when an aggressive form of MS began to ravage my cervical spinal cord – at an eerily similar location to my mother’s injury. Although we followed different paths, we ended up at the same place. 
In a straightforward, irreverent, and hopefully inspirational manner, I tell the story of a mother and son’s mutual suffering and shared resilience. I revisit a childhood growing up with my extraordinary mother then take the reader on a journey through more than a decade of my adult life spent battling primary progressive MS. 
My mother prepared me for challenges we could never have imagined I would face. And through the writing process I grew closer to her by finding new meaning in the legacy she left behind.
What’s the title of the book? I have no idea. I thought about using the title of this blog, something like:

Enjoying the Ride: the Story of…

But now I’m not so sure. Maybe I need a title that is fresh and new. Either way, it must convey the theme that I presented in the synopsis, above.

If you have any title ideas, please send them to me at email@enjoyingtheride.com. How many times in your life do you get your name listed in the acknowledgments of a published book, with the potential for circulation in the triple digits? And for the person who provides the best title idea, Kim and I will treat you to a lobster dinner on our patio this summer, if you can make it to South Portland, Maine. If not, I’ll ship you some lobsters.

As you know, my blog posts draw heavily from my personal experiences, and working on this book for an hour or two a day has become a huge part of my life. I’d like to occasionally share the journey with you instead of hiding it from you.

And I’m serious about the book title. I’ve got nothing.

Note, 5 hours after posting: I'm getting a lot of support for the title Enjoying the Ride, but I would still need a subtitle, Enjoying the Ride: something