Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Journal: Neurologist visit, and Segseat

Yesterday morning, I woke up, threw on some clothes, and raced over to the clinic. I'd forgotten to set an alarm, and it's been a long time since I managed to get out of the house so quickly (no shower, no shave, no coffee, no stretching, no letting out and feeding dogs, etc.). I made it with a couple minutes to spare, so in the waiting room I opened up an issue of the MS Society's magazine Inside MS. I think there was a time when I got it in the mail, but at the time I was put off by the images of smiling people in wheelchairs. "Soon, you'll be one of us," they seemed to be saying, cheerfully. "We're saving a little red scooter just for you." This time, though, I found myself flipping through the little ads near the back for MS-related products and services: cooling vests, lap pools, lifts, etc. One caught my eye: a seat for use with the Segway.

Back when the Segway was introduced, it seemed to have a lot of potential as a mobility aid. At the time, walking was getting more difficult for me, and I imagined rolling around on a Segway as a way to extend my range. But as it got difficult just to stand in one place for any length of time, the Segway seemed a lot less appealing, and it drifted out of my daydreams. Seeing the ad for the Segseat has it back in again.

The Segseat is a nifty little gizmo that allows you to sit on a little bike-type seat while operating your Segway. It seems pretty well designed: it mounts on the post that the 'handlebars' are attached to, and it slides back and forth so as you change the angle of the Segway, your butt remains in approximately the same position. You can flip it up and out of the way if it's not in use. It's a little hard to describe, but there's a video at the web site. Problem is, it adds another 750 clams to the $5,000 price tag of a Segway, so it's unlikely to appear outside my
daydreams any time soon. But it would really be lovely to go for a 'walk' that takes me more than a few hundred yards from home base. Here's the fantasy: heading out to a state park with wife and dogs on a crisp October day, and wandering into the woods (on a very well-groomed trail) a mile away from the parking lot. That would be dreamy, almost like the good old days.

Not much new at the neuro: let's not try Novantrone yet, let's see if we can find a way to get good pain relief and get a brain MRI just to see if there are any active lesions. Observed by a young intern who sat quietly through the whole visit until neuro mentioned something to do with fMRI, and which point she lit up and starting talking about this research and that research, prompting the neuro to get a little exasperated and cut her off. It was somehow very appealing to see someone have a little geek-gasm about neuroscience. Makes one a little more hopeful about the prospects for a cure someday.

1 comment:

mdmhvonpa said...

A Segway ... I forget how many THOUSANDS of dollars those cost.