Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Consider These Issues…

Symbol of Confusion
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
…because I can’t decide on just one topic this week.

Quote of the week

Agree or disagree?

“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.” Marcel Pagnol

Many people suffering from progressive diseases would disagree, but more on this quote later…

WEGO Health Activist Awards

WEGO sponsors health activist awards to honor leaders who make a real difference in healthcare through their online efforts. One or more of you was kind enough to nominate me this year for “Best in Show Blog.” Thank you. Please look over all the award categories and nominate your favorite online health activists.

Update on Intrathecal Methotrexate

As I explained here, I now believe that intrathecal methotrexate is having a significant, positive effect on my disease progression. I’m not getting better, but I’m getting worse more slowly or not at all (for the moment).

This week I had my sixth spinal infusion of methotrexate. It went horribly. The doctor spent a long time poking and prodding before he found the spot. I don’t blame him. I seem to be anatomically challenged in this regard. But most importantly, I suffered no post-lumbar puncture headache, and I am no worse off for the harrowing experience. It’s a small price to pay.

Update on Christmas Cards

I recently spent an entire post describing how I would still send out traditional Christmas cards this year. The very next day I received such a lovely, online Christmas card that I was swayed. So I sent out about half of my cards this year as the online variety. Check out this website. I think it’s amazing.

images (1)Subjects I May Blog about in 2013

I’ve been percolating on a few ideas for blog posts next year.
  • Self-driving cars: This technology is advancing rapidly. Why do I care? Because if I can own a self driving car, I’ll be essentially back in the solo driving business, as will many disabled people.
  • Euthanasia: I’ve long been a believer that it is an individual’s right to die according to their own wishes. As a person with a condition which could at some point render life unbearable, this issue is particularly relevant for me, and I wish to advocate for others who feel the same way. Don’t worry, I’m very far from pulling the trigger, so to speak, myself. This is a potentially touchy subject, so I want to have some research complete before I launch my advocacy efforts.
  • Disabled travel: Kim and I have a winter vacation planned in Jamaica this year. You can be sure that I’ll write several posts about the trip, and share photos as well.
  • Continued updates on intrathecal methotrexate.
  • My neighborhood overhaul: Throughout the summer of 2012 my entire neighborhood was refurbished. We have new street tops, sidewalks, and attractive landscaping. Wheelchair accessibility wasn’t bad, but now it is even better. At some point I will make a “Neighborhood Excursion” video and share it with you. I may have missed the weather window for this year, so look for a video in the spring.
  • Another video blog: My first video blog last year, My Pet Peeves, was well received. These Vlogs are a lot of work to produce, so I haven’t attempted one since, but I hope to in 2013. Any suggestions for the subject matter?
  • Continued updates on Save the iBot: Unless something changes in the next 12 months, 2013 will be the last year that the iBot is supported for service and parts. But stay tuned, because I haven’t given up yet, and neither has America’s Huey 091 Foundation.
  • Memories: From time to time I will ask that you indulge me as I write about certain memories of mine that may be unrelated to multiple sclerosis or disability altogether.
  • Recycled posts: The most dedicated readers among you may have noticed that several of my posts this year were updated versions of posts from previous years. I reserve the right to do that because I usually improve the post from its original, and let’s face it, some weeks I just don’t have time or energy to come up with original material.
Thoughts on Violence

For those of you who cite the Sandy Hook school slayings as further confirmation of the moral decline of our society, or as further evidence that violence in our modern world is getting worse by the day, I have some good news for you. Recent events notwithstanding, the overall level of violence in the world is declining, and has been for a long time, despite what our 24/7 media outlets would have us think.

This long-term trend towards less worldwide violence is expounded upon in some detail by Steven Pinker in his outstanding book The Better Angels of Our Nature. If you don’t want to tackle this 832 page behemoth, but you’d still like to hear the basic arguments, then I suggest you watch this TED video.

By no means am I trying to downplay the horror of what happened at Sandy Hook or other well known mass-murders. The world is still a violent and scary place, and we need to continue to advocate for social change that deters events like this from happening. But just know that, in the big picture, we live in the most peaceful time that mankind has ever known.

This is where I think Marcel Pagnol’s quote hits the mark.

“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.”
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  1. The Christmas Card site you mentioned requires Flash. Just curious, did you find an app for that for your ipad or did you resort to using a PC?

  2. Ps, happy holidays!

  3. I've been subscribing to Jacquie Lawson since '04, and I love those cards!
    Looking forward to the '13 posts.
    As a former teacher, then principal, I took the news of the Sandy Hook tragedy badly -- thinking non-stop of the horror. Perhaps your thoughts are correct, but any violence is too much.

  4. Wow, too much to chew on a final exam of essay questions.

    Really sorry about the pain going through your last office treatment. Wonder if there is a relation between finding the exact right spot and no headache later..

    Great news! All your blog readers have reserved rooms next to you and Kim in Jamaica!!! Alternatively, you should at least bring us all doggie bags. Why not splurge and let yourselves fly first-class this time?

    Looking forward to the next video....maybe, since it is difficult to do, Zach could help next time he's there?


  5. anonymous,

    I still spend 90% of my computing time on my Windows laptop, with a second large monitor. I never even tried this on my iPad mini until you mentioned it.

    Happy Holidays to you as well!


    Agreed. Any violence is too much.


    If I won the lottery, the big one not those measly million dollar state ones, I would take my 10 most frequent commenters on a trip to the Caribbean and we would have a blast! You would definitely make the cut :-)