Columns

‘He’s Fallen in the Water!’

Any British comedy aficionados among you will know “He’s fallen in the water” is the most famous of all the innumerable catchphrases of “The Goon Show.” That show was the root of Monty Python and every bit of the new wave of comedy that swept through our country.

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…

Are You Prepared for a Fall?

I sit amid the flood of carpet stain remover. My left leg is elongated as my right leg is at a jackknife. The cool of the fluid penetrates my sweats. Shock dissipates into pain. I try to move, but pain sears down toward my tailbone. I sit in the dark…

Finding Comfort in Unlikely Places: TV Medical Dramas

I have a weird secret. I’m sure it’s not the norm for someone with a chronic illness to enjoy this as much as I do, but it always occupies my free time: I love medical dramas. They leave me enthralled with their technical and medical jargon, and their portrayal of…

Down and Out in London Town

Last month, my brother-in-law finally managed to return to Thailand and his lovely wife. He’d been trapped in the U.K. for over a year due to COVID-19. Thailand has quite rightly imposed a Kafkaesque set of rules about entering the country on an extended immigrant visa. Luckily, we had…

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…

I Am Proud of the Disability I Once Feared

I feared becoming disabled more than I feared multiple sclerosis. At the time of my diagnosis, I was moving about well enough. My mobility changed as my disease progressed. My severe foot drop, unsteady gait, and change in speech were impossible to ignore. My prejudice toward the disabled was…

Lockdown Blues: Well That Was a Close Shave!

Last year, winter never quite arrived, and spring kept springing up before being crushed down again. We imperceptibly melded into summer. Then the autumn leaves hung on, and hung on some more. But these days, would Mr. Sinatra have to get his lyricist to do a rewrite? Some of…

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…

Will Football Help Me Get Through a Tough Week?

Right, I actually have to start writing my column early this week because of the football schedule. For you Americans, that’s soccer, y’all. The biggest, most popular game in the world! The UEFA European Football Championship, or the Euros, is on. It’s the 2020 competition, but it’s being held…

Sativex Study Reports Positive Results in People With MS

Could a cannabis spray be just what the doctor ordered to treat our MS symptoms? I’m talking about Sativex (nabiximols), which has been developed as a treatment for moderate and severe MS spasticity. Sativex combines THC, the chef intoxicant in marijuana, with CBD, marijuana’s nonpsychoactive component. It’s sprayed…

I’ve Nothing Awful to Write About My MS This Week

Many of you will remember doing jankers (detention) in school. Well, those of you who easily identified with “The Breakfast Club” will. If you never did one, let me educate you! A teacher’s favorite devilish ruse was telling us to write about being in an enclosed white space.

Was It Vertigo That Sent Me Tumbling the Other Day?

In the four decades I’ve lived with MS, I’d never before experienced a serious case of vertigo. I’ve occasionally felt a little spacey. In fact, mild dizziness while traveling home from a business convention is one of the things that led to my MS diagnosis in 1980. But vertigo is…

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