Apr 242013
 

Multiple Sclerosis and Northern Latitudes-
Multiple Sclerosis and Northern Latitudes; My Experience- I’m back again at the IV clinic tonight for dose 3 of 4 to help get the mild attack I’ve been experiencing under control. I’m missing a hockey game on TV, but the time gives me a chance to write another post.

I’ve decided to give anyone reading this website some insight into my background and tie it together with one of the aspects of this disease that interests me- the geographical distribution of the disease and the relationship of Multiple Sclerosis to vitamin D (links to more on both topics can be found in the column to the right of the page).

I’m now 36 years old and I have lived my entire life in Western Canada. I started my life in Gibbons, Alberta which is a small town located about 45 minutes northeast of Edmonton. I don’t have the exact latitude off hand as I’m typing this on my phone, but the greater Edmonton area is not quite at the centre of Alberta. During the winter, it was usually dark shortly after I was home from school. My birthday is on October 7th and I can distinctly remember that the snow would usually show up a few weeks later.

Just prior to my 7th birthday, our family moved to Prince George, British Columbia. From a latitude perspective, the small city was a little bit further north than Edmonton. Prince George was mountainous, compared to the prairie from which we came, and I can remember Halloweens in this area were spent in snow pants.

Just prior to my 10th birthday we moved to McLennan, Alberta which is about a 4 hour drive north of Edmonton right at the intersection of middle and nowhere. However, I do have fond memories of my time there. My Dad built me a backyard rink and I can remember spending my evenings shooting pucks by the light of the Northern Lights. I also remember walking to and from the school bus in the dark.

Just prior to my 12th birthday we headed back to Edmonton and then to Kamloops, British Columbia for my 13th birthday. Kamloops was the furthest south I had ever lived. Warm, sunny, mountainous, and wonderful.

I returned to Edmonton when I was 20 and have been here ever since.

The reason this interests me is I remember reading a paper regarding vitamin D levels, puberty, and MS (if I can find it, I’ll add it to this post). Since vitamin D is primarily absorbed through exposure to sun and I wasn’t living in sunny areas during the onset of my puberty, I’ve always wondered if this could have been one of the key factors of my development of Multiple Sclerosis. Of course I’ll never know for sure, but I’ll always wonder.

I have no regrets or unresolved issues towards my Dad’s profession which caused all the moves- how could anyone have known? In addition, this could just be a silly theory. Also, we could have just lived in Edmonton the whole time anyway and it’s likely the MS would have still developed.

The drip bag is almost done and I want to catch the remainder if the hockey game, so I’ll talk to you later.

Until next time,

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Sean
I am a 40 year old husband and father who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007. MS doesn't own me, I own it. I have run three half marathons and four ultra-marathons since my diagnosis and completed the Leduc to Camrose MS Bike tour five times. I've also run the first day of the Bike Tour twice ( The Really Long Run to End MS) . I can be reached anytime via email at sean"AT"ownmultiplesclerosis"DOT"com. Be well.

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