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How Searching for Silver Linings Can Help Ease Your Way

It’s frightening to feel sick most of the time. Frightening, scary, overwhelming, unnerving, and hellish. Whichever negative words you choose are the right ones to describe how it feels to live with MS. People with MS are snowflakes, and our emotions are quite often the same. After three-plus…

The Sun Shall Rise

I had the flu for several days, and it was disastrous. So, I did not write last week. I hope you missed the column as much as I missed writing it and hearing from you. Several of my friends have the flu as well. This is an awful…

What’s Hot and What’s Not Among MS Therapies?

The newest kids on the MS block, disease-modifying therapies (DMT) such as Genentech’s Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) and Sanofi Genzyme’s Lemtrada (alemtuzumab), are attracting a lot of interest these days. But, some DMTs that have been around for more than two decades are still being prescribed by a lot of neurologists.

What’s Going On?

Something is! I had to be carted off to the hospital in an ambulance on Thursday of last week. It was either an infection my home-visiting doctor couldn’t spot or the dreaded relapse. She couldn’t diagnose any illness. At the hospital, they used the words “atypical infection.” One of…

The Power of Resilience

After taking a tumble this week, I am reminded of the power of resilience. Dictionary.com defines resilience as: “1. the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity. 2. ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity,…

Having a Swell Time

The thing about becoming increasingly immobile is that your consumption of TV, radio, podcasts, books and, indeed, anything written goes up immeasurably. Luckily, one of the creative explosions in the recent years I’ve had MS is Scandi drama. I don’t know if it’s really penetrated the U.S. market, although…

Peeking Behind the Curtain at Medical Insurance Decisions

Several years ago, I tried to get my insurance company to approve a functional electronic stimulator (FES). It’s a durable medical device that significantly improved my left foot drop. My request was well-supported by documentation from my neurologist and the physical therapist who was evaluating me for…

Intimacy, Marriage, and Chronic Illness

Intimacy is defined as close familiarity and/or friendship. It can also describe an act. We have intimate relationships with the people in our lives. Those intimate relationships strengthen us as we travel the arduous path of chronic illness. This week is Valentine’s week, so I thought I’d discuss the…

Where Are the Handicapped Parking Spots?

It’s nice when a negative experience can be turned into one that’s positive. I think that’s the result for a wheelchair-using MS patient following a problem she had at the Mall of America a few days before the Super Bowl. For those not familiar with the Mall of America,…

Do Supplements Add Up?

It started with vitamin D. Little did I know I was starting a habit. I had my first sclerosis attack in 2006 and learned about it by having an appalling fall on a tennis court. That’s another story. I haven’t written about that yet, but I’m sure I will.

Good News for Tysabri Users Who Are JCV Positive

One of the many disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) that I’ve been on over the many years of my treatment for MS is Tysabri (natalizumab). It worked well, holding the progression of my MS at bay for the several years that I received the infusions. I’d probably still be on it…

Mercury Rising: Heat and MS

My favorite season is fall, which is almost tied with winter, then spring, and finally, summer. I love fall for being the beginning of the holiday season as well as for the change in temperature. Although, since moving to Southern California, it…

Carded at Costco

I was carded while at Costco with my son just before Christmas. Normally, I’m flattered when asked for ID, but this time was different. The request wasn’t from the cashier as my vodka rolled by, snug between the peppermint cocoa and persimmons. No, the request came from a police…

I Choose to Address Chronic Illness on My Terms

Who decides how we choose to chronicle our journey of illness? I have thought about this for the past few days. Many people believe that sharing the negative aspects of illness exacerbates fear and pessimism. The mindset is that if our words are inconsistent with hope and optimism, we…

Is It Time to Change Your MS Doctor?

The other day, as I cruised around various MS internet groups, I came across a lament that I’ve seen before. But this one, for some reason, jumped out at me. A woman with MS wrote that she was “fortunate” that her RRMS symptoms were relatively minor: fatigue, numbness in…