It is now 3 days after "Liberation Day". Sunday afternoon 12:30 pm. February 28th, 2010.
Three days ago, Dr. Mohsin Saeed at Scripps Clinic opened my left jugular vein with angioplasty and my right jugular vein with angioplasty followed by a stent. The procedure is called by its inventor, Dr. Paolo Zamboni, The Liberation Procedure. It is a revolutionary treatment for an old, disabling disease -- Multiple Sclerosis. Until about 3 months ago, the only theory I knew about MS was that it was an autoimmune disease which attacked and destroyed myelin, the external coating around nerves. For unknown reasons, nerve conduction was slowed while plaques formed in the brain. It was always unclear why or when attacks would happen but they did and were difficult to control. Modern medicine responded with anti-inflammatory drugs and immune suppressants following the line of reasoning that if the disease was caused by an immune response, then stopping the immune response would stop the disease.
I was always leery of this approach because as a doc, I felt I needed my immune system to stay well in the face of my patients who carried diseases. In fact, I was quite proud of my ability to stay well in the face of wintertime time viruses, etc. So even though my life and body had deteriorated significantly over my ten or so years with MS, I kept my head buried in the sand in terms of using the pharmaceutical technologies available to me and my peers with this affliction.