Columns

Having My Own ‘Long Bad Friday’

In truth, my long, bad Friday started on Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m., although it seems wrong in the middle of a black, midwinter night to still call it afternoon. Still, if you live in Alaska, summer nights never even start! (OK, I’ll stop musing about the vagaries of Earth’s…

MS Hiker Laces Up Her Boots for Appalachian Trail

Reservations at a base lodge have been made, and a starting date is circled on her calendar. MS hiker April Hester is ready to start up the Appalachian Trail in the eastern U.S. It’s always an uphill hike for April, even when the trail is flat. She was diagnosed with…

The Trials and Tribulations of MS Medications

“Hey, man, I’m alive. I’m taking each day and night at a time/ I’m feeling like a Monday but someday I’ll be Saturday night.” — Bon Jovi Multiple sclerosis (MS) medications can generally be separated into two categories: disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) and those that help to manage symptoms. While…

Art for Our Sake

One of the great things about living in Atlanta is that there is always something new and exciting going on in town. Sure, we have our fair share of sporting events, but on any given night, you can attend a live concert, or see a show or stand-up performance. There…

The World According to MS Ennui

Move along, move along. Nothing to read here. What a great start to a column! Last week, my worries about MS lifted as I was consumed by a glitch in my computer software. I’m pleased to report that I’ve found a whole series of admittedly fiddly workarounds. I’m even…

An Epstein-Barr Virus Primer for MS Patients

You may have heard about the research that’s just been published about the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and multiple sclerosis (MS). The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health study reports that being infected by EBV raises the risk of developing MS by 32 times. This isn’t a small or…

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…

Questions to Ask Your Doctor If You’re Newly Diagnosed

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We consulted some of our community contributors at MS News Today and came up with 12 questions people should consider asking their doctors after an MS diagnosis.

Check it out by clicking here.

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