Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy
 viral disease brain Risk of developing infection identified
 potential side effect, treatment disease modifying drugs natalizumab
 a common infection completely normally under control
 immune system, causing no problems. immune system weakened
 virus can reactivate cause serious potentially fatal
 inflammation and damage to the brain progressive
 multifocal leukoencephalopathy
 damages nerves, some weakness
 visual problems impaired
 speech and cognitive
 problems

The text of this found poem is taken from the Multiple Sclerosis Trust Website (MSTrust). It is a description of Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). This is a personal topic for me because my mother died from the debilitating disease of the brain. PML is a condition that affects the brain in random ways. Each patient has a different experience along the path to an almost certain death. I wanted to capture the progression of the disease and regression of person afflicted with it. When creating this poem I focused primarily on two elements, word choice and the structure to convey a declining terminal path. To start the words in this poem have negative connotations “problems”, “weakened”, and “damage”. I also wanted to remove expectation of recovery or promise return to a normal life. PML has a survival rate of less than 1% over 1 year. It would have been helpful for some of my family to be able to relay the weight of the situation my Mom was in. Some people took any slight improvement as a sign that she was going to get better. The structure of this poem highlights the path of this disease. There are a few ups and downs through the progression, but your cognitive function begins to slip away, to an eventual death. I tried to represent this by beginning with longer lines, representing the better and higher functioning days. And as with the disease stealing cognitive function, in my Mom’s case her ability to talk, each line has fewer and fewer words. Adding strange breaks also illustrates the trouble my mother had communicating. Like what can happen stroke victims, my Mom had aphasia, an inability to say the correct words. This found poem represents my efforts to deal with my mother’s death, through the negative and harsh words, I wanted to convey the cruelty of this disease, and using the structure I worked to reveal the path to an ultimate terminal. When dealing with a sick parent or loved one, it is important to have hope. It is possible for people to recover and they may get better. But we are often blinded by hope, and only hear what we want. Doctors will often give a grave prognosis, with a tiny glimmer of hope, and we response so there’s a chance. Relying on this chance has a heavy cost to be paid in the form of disbelief and crushed spirits.

Rivers

We all live our lives as rivers, the banks keeping us on track, always flowing the same way. But can a river change? Absolutely, they can be dammed or redirected. But more importantly, the river can change course on its own, slowly eroding one bank and adding to the other. You can see this in rivers all over, they create small isolated Ox bow lakes, that are now disconnected from the main river. So when asked if people change, yes, yes they can change, but it takes time and diligence, slowly building good habits, eroding old ones, until the old is not longer part of the new streamlined you.

Tres Generaciones Birthday Cake

Thank you Tina for a fantastic birthday cake, for my Double 21 Birthday party.  And thanks to the Happy Cake baker for building such a delicious gluten free cake, and Cup Cake shots.

Chocolate Cake, with Tequila cream frosting.

Cake
On the left Gluten free cake, on the right Tres Generaciones Anejo
Salt block Tuna

We made salt block grilled tuna today. 
First we had to season it, which meant slowly heating to 500 degrees. 
  
 

Then the tuna went on, just a quick seer on the outside. Cooked very rare. 
Thanks Sarit & Gilad. 

Radio Rehab – Now with sound

Over the last few years I have had a dream of converting an old broken radio into a bluetooth enabled system.

So far I have purchased:

I have now started to put all of these parts together.  Right now it has just been cobbled together on the kitchen table.  It will eventually need to be moved into the Old radio case.

Items that still need to be selected include a small set of speakers and possibly some switches.

To put it all together I had to do a little bit of soldering.

Amplifier
Amplifier
IMG_6638
12v to 5v Converter
Bluetooth adapter with the case removed
Power to Bluetooth adapter
IMG_6642
Powered on bluetooth adapter
IMG_6643
Connecting Power from Amplifier to the 12v input of the converter
IMG_6646
Everything put together

 

 

 

Jimmy’s Photoshoot

I decided it was time to get an updated Profile shot for LinkedIn, so I asked Heath to take a few pictures of me.  The results are far better than I expected they would be.  Thanks Heath, www.quietcrow.org

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