Columns

A Pain in the Back, Part 1

First in a series. So this is what an earthquake feels like? Well, it wasn’t that dramatic, but it was the middle of the night, and I’d been abruptly awakened to find myself lying at a 45-degree angle. This took a bit of processing. The frame of our bed had broken!…

Relationships Can Thrive with MS

Relationships are a quagmire in and of themselves. Throw in a chronic, progressive disease, and you have yourself quite the ride. This ride has excitability, steady inclines, crescendos, fun and free times, steep ravines, and shake-ups. Inevitably, balance is restored. That pretty much sums up my marriage. Let me…

The Legacy I Hope to Leave Behind

Death. It will come to each of us; this is an indisputable truth. The recent deaths of Aretha Franklin and Sen. John McCain are the inspiration for this week’s column. As I watched and listened to the memorials and eulogies, the rich legacy they leave behind is…

Things to Know About Flu Shots if You Have MS

The start of flu season here in the United States is just a few weeks away. It’s time for my wife and me to get our flu shots, just as we have for as long as I can remember. My neurologist and our primary care physician both recommend the…

What Happened in Vegas

This past weekend was a busy one. My husband and I flew to Las Vegas on Saturday morning, saw a concert there Saturday night, and then flew home Sunday morning. Yep. We spent 24 hours in ol’ Sin City, U.S.A. and eight hours on a plane to get there…

Lymphedema: A Growing Problem?

Now, I’m all for complimentary comments on my columns, and in the combative world the internet has engendered, the stroppy ones, too. But it’s when you lot start writing to each other that I know I’ve hit something. Which is a good thing, however irrelevant I then feel. A…

Stem Cell Therapy and Circumvention Tourism

Medical tourism is a term describing when people seek medical care by traveling from home countries to somewhere else. It’s an area of commerce that has existed for centuries, as people in ancient Greece once traveled to far away islands to visit healing gods. Medical tourism continues today, and…

Ocrevus Predicted to Be a Billion-dollar Blockbuster

Ocrevus, a disease-modifying MS treatment that’s only been on the market a little less than 18 months, appears poised to be a cash cow for its maker, Genentech. The research firm Spherix Global Insights, which analyzes trends in the pharmaceutical industry, predicts that Ocrevus is “poised to…

I’m Too Busy to Think About MS

Well, it’s not a cure, but working hard sure takes my mind off MS. In fact, I’m so rushed off my feet (irony intended!) I’m not sure I have time to write this. But if I stop and ruminate, then my bedroom turns from a frenetic office into a…

Checking Out a Dating App for People with Health Problems

Does your MS limit your ability to find a date? (Courtesy of Lemonayde) Dating isn’t a concern of mine, since I turned 70 earlier this month and have been happily married for 42 years. But younger, single folks with MS regularly post concerns about starting relationships on various…

Reality Is My Favorite Season

Today, I tried to run. In my mind, I saw myself running with fluidity. I felt a weightless ability to lift, then cycle each knee and foot in perfect rotation. I felt my foot lift up and off the ground. My drop foot prevailed, and I fell. Other than injured pride…

The Dilemmas Facing Medical Cannabis Prescribers

Medical cannabis has created a dilemma for medical providers who care for people who might benefit from its use. I’ve been thinking more about this lately because my home state of Ohio will have legal medical marijuana dispensaries starting on Sept. 8. The law passed in 2016, and it…

Help Design a Mobility Scooter

I’ve been using a mobility scooter for about 10 years. I use it anytime I need to walk more than about half a city block. I throw it in the back of my SUV, I’ve taken it on planes and cruise ships (I’ve ridden it in 15 or 16…

H2Oh! Water Is a Brain Fuel

Aug. 1 was a busy day around our house. Backpacks needed to be loaded up, breakfasts consumed, pictures taken, and shoes tied tightly before the bus arrived. Yes, it was the first day of school. (I could talk about how ridiculous it is for kids to be going back to…

Feeling Adventurous with MS

I can describe myself with a myriad of words: kind, funny, smart, quirky, and stubborn, to name a few. So many words are descriptive of my persona; I almost felt safety among them. Almost. I have always preferred paved road to dirt; my place was to shine the already…

Deciding if Ocrevus Is Right When You’re Over 55

As a 61-year-old woman diagnosed in 2010 with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS), I was overjoyed when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the therapy Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) in March 2017. Because Ocrevus is the first treatment approved to possibly slow the progression of PPMS, the FDA’s green…

I’m Busy Doing Nothing

Everything takes so much damn time! I’m strangely working — or at least doing things I purport as work, such as this column. That’s no different than before MS; I still have the inclination to prevaricate or find something inconsequential to ruminate over, like the state of the Turkish…

Getting Out, Despite the Crowds

Last week, my husband and I attended an outdoor concert in a small venue that we used to regularly attend just a few years ago, before my MS affected my mobility. Our last concert there was two years ago, and although I was skeptical about going, the weather was perfect, and…