Please click here to order your copy of Worth the Ride: My Journey with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. All proceeds go to Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD)

Thursday, December 25, 2008


What began as a frustrating afternoon at the movies -- no accessible parking spaces, long lines, and an automated ticket kiosk that didn't work -- proved extremely worthwhile, as "Frost/Nixon" did not disappoint. The film, which portrayed the extensive 1977 television interviews by British journalist Sir David Frost of disgraced former U.S. president Richard M. Nixon.

Not having lived through the Nixon presidency and Watergate scandal, my opinions are formed mostly from textbooks. While "Frost/Nixon" reinforced a number of my beliefs, it also challenged some of them. I could relate to Frost's situation, as depicted in the movie. I'm no famous TV personality, but whether I'm arranging nursing care, handling medical issues or coordinating publication of my book, I know what it's like to put your time, your money, or your reputation on the line and assuring those around you that everything's going to be okay, all the while having serious doubts yourself.

All in all, it was a thought-provoking, entertaining film. It was definitely worth all of the aggravation of getting into the theater!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cousins, Part Deux

Frigid temperatures and guys with DMD whose hands can't drive their wheelchairs when it's cold outside are a bit like oil and water: they don't mix. So normally you wouldn't find me out in 17 degree weather. But when it's to break bread, or in this case, rice and noodles, with rarely seen family members, I'll happily freeze my seated ass off.

That's right, tonight marked the second annual cousins' gathering. Instead of Italian, we went for Chinese this year. Regardless of the change of venue, a good time was had by all (we were missing one cousin, who is in Australia, where it's summer). Then before I knew it, it was time to say goodbye and head out into the cold. Until next year...

Monday, December 08, 2008


As I've mentioned before, changing my feeding tube is something that could ordinarily be done at home, but due to some issues (see here and here) with the tube going into the wrong place, I've been having it done at the hospital, where proper placement can be confirmed by x-ray.

Today, for the first time in almost five years, I had my nurse change the tube at home in my own bed and it was a success! Sure, I had my doubts until we flushed the new tube with some water. When that didn't hurt and I felt the water enter my stomach, I knew we were in good shape. I felt some tenderness in the area near the tube, no doubt because the old tube didn't come out easily.

But I was relieved the tube change was successful. I had my nurse roll me on my side and I went back to sleep. It may have been early, but I already knew it was going to be a good day!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Dream Team

For the fifth time in six years, I addressed second-year medical students at the University of Pennsylvania today. Here I am with some of the usual suspects, part of the "dream team" from the pulmonary department at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. In back (from left) are Dr. Jason Caboot, who is making his second appearance on Winheld's World, and Dr. Hank Mayer, who took care of me when I was hospitalized for my tracheotomy in 2002. Next to me is my friend Pat Hilferty, a fellow DMD'er who also addressed the students.

As always, it was something of a whirlwind tour, as I spoke to four classes in the course of an hour, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It helped that, despite staying up late last night, my voice was very strong today. But what helped even more was that the students asked excellent questions, both medical and social. As a speaker, this showed me that they were interested, but as a patient, it showed me that these future doctors will soon join the ranks of medical professionals who "get it." After all, any good doctor, in my opinion, must ask good questions.

Of course, as those who know me will attest, even if you don't ask me questions, chances are I'll think of something to say. My legs may not work, but my mouth does!