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My MS Column in Review: The Topics that Resonated with Readers

My MS Column in Review: The Topics that Resonated with Readers

Faith of the Mustard Seed

At the beginning of each year, I reflect on the one that has just passed. In this column, I’m looking back on my multiple sclerosis (MS) columns from 2018, at some of the most popular topics, and how they affect those of us with MS.

My column’s year began and ended with the subject of grief and its effect on MS. I dealt with the importance of being aware of the impact of grieving on anxiety, stress, depression, and self-care.

My MS symptoms worsen while grieving, so my objective when dealing with loss is to avoid becoming consumed with sadness. I need to eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. However, I admit that I am not always successful with that.

Remaining positive is a huge challenge in life with MS. I have noticed that there is a direct correlation between my thoughts and moods effects on my symptoms. Positivity can cause a chain reaction; the more positive and happy I am, the stronger I become in my fight with MS.

One way I keep positive is by setting up accessible adventures. I wrote about one adventure last year: my trip to the beach using an accessible wheelchair. The experience was amazing and lifted my spirits.

Want to learn more about the latest research in MS? Ask your questions in our research forum.

Identifying triggers to MS symptoms was a column of interest to many readers. The effects of heat and humidity and the benefits of drinking enough water were relatable topics with the MS community. Other popular columns were about my journey to my primary progressive MS (PPMS) diagnosis and my experience of living with PPMS.

I devoted two columns to gadolinium (one of the contrasting agents used in specific MRIs). I wrote about how the agent was found in my body tissue sometime after I’d had an MRI. This discovery came about through testing at a naturopathic physician‘s office. I also wrote about two debilitating conditions that can arise from using gadolinium.

Other column topics have dealt with information I’ve gained from my neurologist. One involved the use of the newer MS treatment Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) by those of us who are over 55 years old. My neurologist believes that because our immune systems weaken as we age, the medication may not work well for us. I think the decision to try a particular medication is an individual one to be made by the patient in consultation with his or her doctor.

These are just a few of my column topics from last year. If you would like me to research and write about specific topics this year, please comment below or get in touch through the Multiple Sclerosis News Today forums.


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

Debi is a retired admissions and marketing director residing in Oregon. She is a mother of three grown children and has three grandchildren. She was diagnosed with PPMS in 2010. With her column, “Faith of the Mustard Seed,” she hopes to help and inspire others who are also dealing with MS.
Debi is a retired admissions and marketing director residing in Oregon. She is a mother of three grown children and has three grandchildren. She was diagnosed with PPMS in 2010. With her column, “Faith of the Mustard Seed,” she hopes to help and inspire others who are also dealing with MS.
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  1. Robby Teer says:

    Keep them fingers moving for is Miss Debi! Please remember, there are those of us out there who RELY on you…. Happy New Year, and I pray this one’s better than the last one for you, as well as myself and all the others out there FIGHTING this. I believe that God doesn’t put more on us than we can handle. While we may feel PLAGUED by having MS, I tend to think we are the few who are BLESSED to have it, because WE CAN HANDLE IT!! Let’s KEEP ON KEEPING ON!! I have MS. MS DOES NOT and WILL NOT HAVE “ME”!!!

    • Debi Wilson says:

      Happy new year and thank-you,Robby!
      I appreciate your kinds comments and I agree with all you said. Cheers to 2019, I feel it will be a great year, especially for those of us with MS!🙂

  2. Rosalyn says:

    I am so appreciative of MS News Today. My husband of 29 years has PPMS, and after 5 years he required a wheelchair. I have read many websites in an attempt to find the best treatment and support for him but this is my favorite. You expose us to information I have not easily found elsewhere and it is never overwhelming or tedious to read.
    Thank you for your data collection and informative, easy to use website.

    • Debi Wilson says:

      Happy new year Rosalyn, Thank-you for your kind comments! I’m glad you enjoy our site! You can look forward reading more informative articles from our talented staff in the coming year.We are here for you!

  3. Makiia says:

    I want to thank you as well. I struggle with this alone besides my 2 daughter’s. But you hit home. U mentioned being able to deal with this when you are happy and I do too. Glad to know I’m not alone there. And I now have ppms and I’m 37. I have no spouse but it can be very emotional with all we take on. But thank you bc my heart and soul tells me we have to be special to deal with this disease. I may be all over the place but you touched it all. I am now on ocrevus. It is now my last option. Please let me know how you feel about this medication. This yr will be my second run. Was on tysabri for 8 yrs. It took me down. So I am praying that this will really help. If nothing else… I am covered and favored by the most high. Lol…just gotta keep telling myself that. 😊

    • Debi Wilson says:

      Happy new year, Makiia! Thank-you so much for your words of encouragement! Yes, I agree we are special, it takes a lot to live with MS. Not everyone could do it. I Know God gives me strength. And I notice from many of the comments I receive, that is true for many others as well.
      About Ocrevus, I have read that a lot of people are optimistic that ocrevus is helping them. Many even say they feel better on it.But, some report they feel worse. Since each case is so different only you and your doctor will know what is best for you. Best to you Debi

    • Tim Johnson says:

      I am praying for you & that your Ocrevus treatment is successful! I also am going to get my first Ocrevus Infusion January 15th. Last year i had 4 infusions of Retuxin which is very similar to Ocrevus. Results were fantastic for me! I have no new leasions & improved cognitive function! So with the Blessing of The Lord Jesus I wish you the best! Timothy Johnson Indianapolis, IN

  4. Jennifer Bodurtha says:

    Hi Debi, I have had MS for 31 years and most of the time you couldn’t really tell. But you can now. Have fallen a couple of times. Could you please write about the value of Vitamin D? The cure, I believe, will include Vitamin D and maybe other supplements. Take care and Happy New Year!!

    • Debi Wilson says:

      Hi Jennifer,Happy New Year! I’m sorry to hear about your falls, I know how scary that can be!
      I will write about Vitamin D and other supplements that help MS! I agree with you on their importance,thank-you for the suggestion! Best to you, Debi

  5. Romain says:

    I’m following your writings for a couple of month and I have to admit that they helped me to “unterstant” (at lest some times) the behaviour of this – sorry – my bitch. I recently did a Cortisone push (5 * 1 g) and I felt surprisingly well. My spasm’s got less severe and I once managed to walk properly. In order to get to a better mood, I used some Cannabis (still not perfectly legal in my country).
    Unfortunately this night was horrible, spasms, tremor, a left leg who’s unwilling to do what I’m telling it to do.
    Yes I hate “my bitch” cause I was happy before I met her.
    Ok, there are ups and downs – nearby perfect days, but sometimes the bitch strokes back.
    I don’t were you actually living in the States, anyhow it’s far away.
    But, trust me, if we keep the right mood, if we remain attentive, we may be able to get rid of the bitch. Maybe not by swallowing all these “wonderful” new drugs (do they really help us?), but exploring other – alternative –
    Anyhow Debi, your (we) are not alone and there is even (at leat) one guy (far away) who’s deeply convinced that will get out of this mess.

  6. Cyndi says:

    Just want to add my thx and express my sincere appreciation to you for your “presence” in my MS world. Tackling MS is a team effort and having your shared thoughts, support and experiences as expressed in your column make my team so much stronger. Thank you.

  7. Helen Barry says:

    Debbie, I find the information very valuable and supportive. I was diagnosed some 30+ years ago & now at 79 have mobility challenges but can walk with aids. Always thought MS was just that & not aware of types. I am sustained by my deep Christian faith. Helen

  8. Kevin Keplinger says:

    Dear Debi,
    I see that you sadly didn’t mention HSCT, which is the most effective treatment for all forms of MS. Those of us in the HSCT community made great strides in our advocating for HSCT & informing MS & other AI patients about it. Were doing everything we can to make “2019 the year of HSCT”!!
    Best wishes & “Happy New Year”, Kevin

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