Columns

Recovering the Parts That MS Stole From Me

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that is the great puzzle.” — “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” by Lewis Carrol Jan. 9 was my 31st birthday. I remember looking outside, watching the low January sun glisten on the frosty ground as its orange haze thawed the earth. I liken this…

This Week, MS Takes a Back Seat

The vagaries of multiple sclerosis are always present, but this week, my waking hours have been consumed by something far more important. I say waking hours, but we have to discount much of that time, because I’m put to bed at the early hour of 10 p.m. and spend several…

Aquatic Therapy for Chronic Back Pain

Multiple sclerosis (MS) has gotten to be a real pain in the back. In the past couple years, I’ve developed pain in a few areas of my body, especially my butt and back. Last winter, I tried physical therapy, but relief lasted only a short while. So, I think I’ll…

It’s No Puzzle: Play Is Good for Your Brain

I don’t know why, but for some reason, two people in my family decided to get me puzzles for Christmas this year. Granted, one is a rad picture of 30 or so classic book covers, and the other is covered in cats. But still, it’s weird. When I returned home…

As Omicron Spreads, I’m Keeping My Head Down

I’m pretty sure that wherever you are, you’re responding the same as we all are to the ravages of the latest Bond villain, that dastardly omicron variant of the coronavirus! OK, pipe down, Kiwis. The whole world knows the extreme lengths you’ve gone to avoid a massive COVID-19 outbreak. If…

More Answers About COVID-19 Vaccines and MS

A little over a year ago, I wrote about whether people with multiple sclerosis (MS) should get a COVID-19 vaccine. I was anxious to be vaccinated as soon as I could, but I was also concerned about how the vaccines would affect someone with MS. Would the side effects…

Feeling Overwhelmed? Wander Under the Stars

If you read my last column, you know that my Thanksgiving was eventful, to say the least. Well, it looks like Christmas is shaping up to be another banger. My father-in-law is back in the hospital, still trying to kick the infections that have knocked him flat recently. We…

Santa Is Not Comin’ to Town!

This is the fifth year I’m writing a Christmastime missive about how my MS journey as Santa is going since the disease mortally attacked my immune system. The trouble was that it took doctors ages to work out my diagnosis. Being Santa Claus, no MRI machine…

Sun-seeking Finds Support in New Study

I’m back in Florida for the next several months, having left cloudy, windy, chilly Maryland for the Gulf Coast. It’s been sunny and in the low 80s for the past few days, and my multiple sclerosis (MS) is feeling just fine. A lot of people with MS avoid the heat,…

Learning to Embrace My ‘Hot Wheels’

As I glance over at the lonesome wheelchair skulking in the shadows of my living room, I recall its arrival like it was yesterday, though it’s been more than four years. My husband, and then carer, had paraded it through the house as if it were a savior, there to…

An Interview With My Primary Carer

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. My wife, Jane, who’s also my primary MS carer, went away for a few days last week, and with absence making the heart grow fonder and all that, I thought I’d strike — if she came back! Fortunately, she did,…

I’m Back on the MS ‘Bladder Coaster’

I thought I finally had this bladder thing licked. After years of urinary urgency and frequency, I’d been doing much better. I was sleeping at least seven hours a night without having to go to the bathroom, and bathroom trips were less frequent in the daytime, too. When traveling…

Do What You Can Do (And No More)

I don’t know about you, but last week passed in a blur. I typically enjoy Thanksgiving, but this year, things were a little wonky. My husband’s grandfather passed away a month or so ago, so we weren’t about to ask his grandmother to prepare anything. My mother-in-law and I decided…

There’s a New Primary Carer in Town

Well, there’s a new carer at home, actually, but town sounds so much cooler. Like an old-time Western sheriff! My dear wife, Jane, has taken a few days off to attend an ayurvedic yoga retreat, so I’m without the care of She Who Really Must Be Obeyed. (I’ve…

My Lemtrada Treatment, 5 Years Later

It was five years ago, Dec. 5, 2016, that I scootered into the office of Dr. Heidi Crayton, my neurologist, and plopped into a soft, brown leather recliner. Day 1 of Round 1 of my Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) infusions was about to begin. I’d prepped for this day: two days…

I’m Climbing the Hills of Adversity, Just Not in Heels

“Shoes are the quickest way for women to achieve instant metamorphosis.” — Manolo Blahnik As the holidays approach, I’m reminded to be thankful for what I have. I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) at 26 years old, and when I became paralyzed, I thought I’d never…

MS and Fertility: Conflicts of the Heart and Mind

“Rock bottom is the end of what wasn’t true enough. Begin again and build something Truer.” — Glennon Doyle The first of our four pregnancy losses were our twin daughters in 2013, which happened nearly halfway through my pregnancy. Three years later, the first symptoms appeared that would eventually would…

Can Focusing on the Epstein-Barr Virus Help Researchers Fight MS?

There are continuing signals that the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a fuel that can spark a multiple sclerosis (MS) fire. EBV is a herpes virus that causes infectious mononucleosis, more commonly known as mono. Sometimes called the “kissing disease” because the virus that causes it is easily spread through saliva,…

I’m Sleeping Better These Days, but Why?

I had a great night’s sleep the other night. I fell asleep quickly and slept straight through the night for nearly seven hours. When I got up in the morning, I felt refreshed, which is exceedingly rare these days. Plus, it even happened a few more times in the past…

Dancing Doodle

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