April 20, 2008

monday quiz: MS edition

emma kivisild is a writer and artist living in vancouver, and she guest stars this week in our monday quiz. take it away emma:

i have MS, a chronic illness that is notoriously variable, difficult to diagnose, hard to assess treatments for, etc. in addition, any MS patient can tell you about weird things that happen to them ("internal tingling," is one i have heard of) that they think might be, must be, related to their condition, but physicians tell them there is no reason why they should be MS related, ergo they are not. fact is, the things are still happening. what are they? the only thing to do is to go to other people with MS and ask them if they have experienced these weird things. we are all bodies of anecdotal evidence. as reliable as a short story anthology.

and then, everyone has a different constellation of symptoms, plus the symptoms come and go for most of us. why?

what i am getting at is this:

people with MS are ripe targets for almost any regimen or cure. there is always someone it worked for. there is no way to tell if that was what worked.

in the 15 or so years since my diagnosis, I have come across a few "miracle" cures.

which of the following is NOT a cure for MS?
snake venom
bee stings administered at acupuncture points
super blue-green algae
a strict paleolithic hunter/gatherer diet
removal of all dental fillings
massive doses of vitamin D
moxibustion candles
hyperbaric oxygen chamber
marijuana
cognac
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thank you, emma, for a great quiz. so many symptoms, so many choices!

check out emma's
book two ends of sleep, a novel that describes the "difficulty of a life lived between waking and dozing" - a life lived with MS. and read her piece in body breakdowns, "a collection of true tales about brushes with mortality and the medical establishment."

finally, emma recommends this link at health watcher as a good source of information about the myths and misinformation behind MS "cures" and such.

april 28: emma posted the answer to this quiz along with an explanation of why she chose a certain substance as the only thing not suggested as an MS cure. you'll find it in the comments section.

April 18, 2008

bottoms up! drink to your health.

i have a cold right now and can't really think too clearly. perhaps all i need to do is rely on some old-time remedies. i'll enter the way-back machine, arrive at 1897, and look to the british medical journal for advice:


like many ads today, this one doesn't say why the "medical faculty" is endorsing this product, but just having that stamp of approval solidifies the message that this whiskey is good for your health. i bet it would ease my sore throat better than a stupid warm water and salt gargle!

i'll stay in the late 1800's and follow up my shot of seven year old whiskey with a bubbly glass of coca cola. i don't know about you, but a cold makes my head hurt and my brain very foggy. i'm tired and slow and i guess all i really need is a coke:


this may have been when coke had that special "extra ingredient," i'm not sure. all i know is that it must taste better than this hot lemon juice, ginger, garlic and cayenne drink i have in front of me!

now, if i could only find the year that "pink pills for pale people" were made...

April 6, 2008

monday quiz: don't worry, be happy edition

today, we have another guest for our quiz: i bring you the story of my best friend jackal who, for most of his life, has suffered through cycles of severe depression. if you experience serious depression, you've probably been on the receiving end of many suggestions of how to get well or get over it. depression is very complicated and tenacious, but that hasn't stopped people from giving jackal many helpful hints for easily getting rid of his depression forever.
can you pick out the depression curing advice jackal has NOT received?
use a flotation tank daily
accept jesus as your lord and personal saviour
it's all in your mind - just relax and let it go
buy a soft dog and pet it every day
eat for your blood type
lithum is recommended but take prozac instead
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which one of the six remedies has not been recommended to jackal? the answer is now in the comments section! you can vote before checking, if you like.