Columns

A Quiet Week

I could be in a fancy restaurant in central London rather than sitting at home writing this. Don’t feel sorry for me, I chose to stay in. The Christmas month of December is very hard. Extreme partying is allied with extreme levels of work. In my game, they are as…

Worrying About the Dye Used in My MRIs

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety alert about gadolinium, the dye that’s injected when our doctors order a brain MRI “with and without” contrast. The dye provides the contrast that “lights up” areas of MS inflammation in the brain. But the FDA advisory is…

My Ocrevus Treatments: The Next Round Is Delayed

  By now, I had planned to give you an update on my current multiple sclerosis disease-modifying therapy Ocrevus (ocrelizumab). But one thing living with multiple sclerosis teaches us is to not count on plans always working out as we had hoped. Timing really is everything…

Feeling Good and My Jar of Happiness

“It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day and I’m feeling good.” As I am writing my column this song is playing in my head. I enjoy listening to Nina Simone because her voice is distinctive and telling. Her songs chant her feelings of despair and…

Diagnosing MS Faster and Better

As we all know, MS is difficult to diagnose. Put another way, it’s easy to misdiagnose. There’s no single diagnostic test for MS. Neurologists use their clinical examination, the patient’s medical history, and lab tests. They also rely on MRI imaging of the brain and sometimes of the…

We Are Streams that Sing

Wendell Berry, a novelist, poet, farmer and environmental activist, has written a number of superb books. Don’t believe me? Go read “Jayber Crow” and shoot me a message. I would love to discuss it with someone again! As a person who happens to have multiple sclerosis, I…

My Lemtrada Journey: A New Year’s Update

Happy new year to all. The start of the new year seems like a good time to assess what my journey has been like since my first round of Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) back in December 2016. The road has had bumps and hills and dips. But, overall, Lemtrada has…

Santa and His Helpers

The trouble with being a mythological supernatural being is that you begin to doubt your own existence. It was all “Marvel this” and “DC that” over kids’ toy choices these past few years. Dads tried to be above that sort of thing, but He knew how thrillingly pleased…

Young MSers Keeping Dreams Alive

This will be my final column for this year because of the Christmas and New Year holidays. Rather than ending 2017 with another 500 or so fascinating words from me, I’d like to leave you, instead, with this video. It was produced by a group of young Europeans…

A Year in Review with Progressive MS

  They say a near-death experience will invoke a montage of your life in a matter of seconds. Gratefully, I have not had the experience to find out if this is indeed a truism, but I recently experienced a mini-mélange of my own. I read the mail, more specifically the…

My Holiday Gift Wish

It’s that time of year when everyone is asking: What would you like for Christmas? Shopping for the perfect gift for me is a challenge because I’ve been around long enough to have most of the things I want or need. In fact, we have so much that at…

Free Your Fascia!

One of the most frustrating aspects of my MS is a frequent feeling of tightness and pain. The sensations may be in my arms, legs, or even in the trunk of my body in the form of the “MS hug.” Gabapentin helps to keep the pain…

Monkey See, Monkey Do: Helping Hands for People with MS

I was just monkeying around while on vacation a few weeks ago, amazed that the animals jumping between my wife and myself were actually listening to the commands of their owner. I knew that chimps and apes were smart, but seeing monkeys respond to commands was new to me.

The Greatest Gifts

Christmas is just around the corner, and that’s why many people are on the fruitless quest for Fingerlings or hocking an organ to buy the new iPhone. Both might be the “hot” presents of the season, but neither of them holds a candle to the great gifts we…

On the Road

It’s 4 a.m. and, unsurprisingly, I’m laying flat on my back. Yesterday, I had a whale of a time and now I feel like a beached one. I’m not in my own bed because I’m staying in a tres jolie bed-and-breakfast in Northern France. The trouble is the bed…

Using Biotin? It Could Impact Your Lab Results

Be careful if you’re using high-dose biotin (vitamin B7). The biotin in your blood could lead to some false readings when you have that blood tested. The level of concern about this is high enough to warrant a warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. High doses of biotin…

Energy Efficiency and MS

I am tired, like beyond tired. I make tired look scintillating, and as funny as that sounds, it is anything but when trying to live your life. My spoons are numbered, and by midday, I am usually through all of them. Before you deem me crazy, I am referencing…