Author Archives: Ed Tobias

3 Things I Discovered at My 50th College Reunion

My wife and I recently returned from a long weekend in upstate New York, where we attended my college reunion. It was a biggie — my 50th — and had been delayed a year due to COVID-19. The sun was shining, and it felt like spring for the three days…

Are Generic and Brand-name Pills Created Equal?

I take a bunch of pills every day. Most of them are generics. I’ve used baclofen to treat my leg spasticity, oxybutynin for my bladder, and modafinil to fight fatigue. There’s also atorvastatin to keep my cholesterol in check, and levothyroxine to do the same for my…

Assessing My Pain, From Zero to 10

Lately, I’ve been thinking about pain — specifically, how to count my pain. When I was lying on a treatment table while my physical therapist Richard manipulated my shoulder, he asked me to rate my pain, on a scale from one to 10. I’m sure many of you…

MS Paralympian Aims for a Bull’s-eye

Lia Coryell says she wanted to die. According to The New York Times, after fighting COVID-19 last winter, Coryell 56, was hit with heart and kidney failure, pneumonia, and shingles. This was in addition to living with progressive multiple sclerosis. “I’ve had to fight this really dark demon that…

With MS, a New Pair of Shoes Makes a Big Difference

I wish I could walk a mile in my shoes, but even with a new pair, that’s not going to happen. My MS limits me to about 100 steps while using two canes and a functional electrical stimulation device strapped under my left knee. Because walking is so difficult,…

Do People With MS Need a 3rd Vaccine Shot?

Now that a third COVID-19 vaccine shot has been approved in the U.S. for immunocompromised people, and vaccine boosters are expected to be available to the general public sometime after Sept. 20, Walgreens and CVS have lost no time in offering the additional shot to those who qualify.

Getting Something Off My Chest

May I vent, please? In the five years that I’ve been writing this column, I don’t think I’ve ever used it to get something off my chest. But I need to today. It’s about an experience I had at a restaurant the other night. My wife and I went…

Could BTK Inhibitors Be the Next Big MS Treatment?

Is orelabrutinib one of the next big MS therapies? Biogen is betting at least $125 million that it is. Orelabrutinib is an experimental oral BTK inhibitor (BTKi). BTKi’s are designed to selectively block an enzyme that’s important for the activation of B-cells and microglia. Some of those immune cells…

It’s Not a Crime to Ask for Help When You Need It

“Do you need help?” The question came from a 30-something woman after I’d finished loading some cartons into the back of my SUV. I automatically replied, “No thanks, all done.” But lifting and loading isn’t an easy job for me. My upper body strength is good, but my legs are…

Using Cannabis to Treat Your MS? A Word of Caution

People with MS who are using cannabis take heed: A research letter published in May in JAMA Network Open reports that calls to poison control centers about people intentionally or inadvertently using plant-based or processed cannabis products have been increasing over the past several years. Public health officials are…

Don’t Let MS Stop You From Grandparenting

My grandson, John, turned 5 in May, and my granddaughter, Hayden, turned 7 in June. I love being their Poppy, but I wish their Poppy didn’t have MS. I was diagnosed with MS in 1980, just over a year after our son, Geoff, was born. He and our grandkids have…

Dancing Doodle

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