The Chinese New Year celebration has begun in earnest. Although the official date this year is February 3rd, the staff here at the hospital is down to a skeleton crew. The halls are all decorated and fireworks are going throughout the day and night.
The Chinese New Year is the biggest celebration of the year here. Think Christmas, New Years and 4th of July all at once but over a two week period. It lasts 15 days -- and is the point at which the Chinese Zodiac changes. We are moving into the year of the Rabbit. Obviously viewed as a very lucky time. Even the weather here is cooperating. The last several weeks have been cold (mid-20s) and overcast with mixed snow and rain. Today the temp got to 50 and it was sunny -- I went out for a two hour walk, it was quite lovely. The weather for the rest of the week gets warmer each day by 5 degrees until we hit 70 on Sunday! Really looking forward to soaking up a lot of sun and spring air.
Tomorrow the hospital is serving us all lunch up on the top floor. I've decided to wait on the food post until after tomorrow. I'm sure there will be many interesting items to sample.
Feeling pretty good. Was on the edge of a cold for about 3 days, spent a lot of time just resting in the room and watching some of the movies I brought with me. Watching The Wire again, such a great show. The writer, David Simon has had a new project going on New Orleans. Looking forward to that as well. This man was a Baltimore Sun news reporter for several years and really knows how to tell a story from several angles.
Have also been reading up on some of the interesting theories being forwarded by the PALS community over at the ALS.NET forums. The forums are part of the ALS TDI group, *the* cutting edge research lab on ALS. The research being done there is centered around utilizing the recently developed mouse model for familial and sporadic ALS to test already available drugs and measure their effectiveness in slowing symptoms.
But it's the forums where people living with and fighting ALS are watching closely and doing amazing parallel research. There are several members who are highly skilled biologists and brain chemistry wizards who are keeping the folks at TDI on their toes and pushing the research envelope. If you or someone you know is dealing with ALS it is a great resource. Lots of sharing of information on individuals use of supplements and off-label drug therapies. It reminds of me of the long hours spent on Compuserve back in the day when I was first learning programming. I'm not able to contribute yet, but I'm reading and learning as fast as I can.
I also came across a patent that was filled and awarded for a TCM concoction developed for ALS called BuNaoGao. Its results have recently been released as a 5 year peer reviewed study. The patent can be found via Google patent search and all of the herbs and amounts are listed. Between that and the herbs used here at this hospital I feel confident that I now have the best data on what is most effective from a TCM approach.
The next step is to combine that information with what is available at the ALS TDI forums and find the best combination of east and west. I plan to share that research as part of a soon to be announced but currently super secret project. :)
Another week or so of teasing and I'll let you in on all of it.