Columns

A Beacon of Hope Amid MS-Related Pain

Do you have pain? Although prone to subjectivity, I am certain the majority of you silently said yes. I did. I hesitated to write this, as pain, from the definition of it to the management of it, is idiosyncratic. Rather than draw hard and fast lines, I prefer to…

Ocrevus Q&A, Part 2

Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series on readers’ comments about Ocrevus (ocrelizumab). Read part one here. Last week, I responded to a few comments on columns regarding my personal experience with Ocrevus (ocrelizumab). Here are more reader comments and my answers.

Show Your Immune System Some Love

This weekend, as I turned back the clocks, searched for my Happy Light, and stared in dismay at the first snowfall of the season, I was reminded that it is the time to give my immune system some extra love. Autumn and winter ― with their requisite cold and…

Thinking About Stopping Your MS Treatments?

Have you ever thought about stopping whatever MS treatment you’re using? I have. So has John Corboy. Corboy’s not an MS patient. Rather, he’s a researcher at the University of Colorado’s medical school. And he’s studying whether older patients, if they haven’t had a relapse for several…

The Weekend

The weekend should have started on Friday. My sister-in-law is over from France and there was the first gathering of the clan in a local hostelry. I took the sensible option of staying in as there was an even bigger do at our place on Saturday night. My…

Dealing with Disaster While Dealing with MS

Are you ready for a disaster? Wildfires in the wine country of Northern California exploded so quickly that survivors say they didn’t know they were threatened until flames were nearly at their doors. Hurricane Harvey forced more than 9,000 people into Houston’s main evacuation shelter. It…

Don’t Miss Out on Life

I love photographs and have them strewn about and framed throughout the house. From grandchildren and goldens, holidays and travels, each holds a cherished memory. I am happiest taking photos and have cultivated somewhat of a hobby doing so. As I have gotten older, I have (gratefully) discarded the…

Ocrevus Q&A, Part 1

Editor’s Note: First in a two-part series on readers’ comments about Ocrevus (ocrelizumab). I switched disease-modifying therapies and began treatment with Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) in June. I previously wrote about my reasons for switching, my experiences with the first two doses, and more recently, about any…

On the Other Hand: Leaning Left With MS

Some months ago my wife and I went out for dinner at our favorite sushi place. As is frequently the custom at sushi restaurants, the table setting included chopsticks. No forks. I’ll be painfully honest here: We are both woefully unskilled at using…

Invisible Illness Awareness: The Struggle Continues

Last week was Invisible Illness Awareness Week, which ran from Oct 14-20. Awareness weeks are designed to bring attention to certain conditions, issues and situations. They are directed at creating consciousness and disseminating information. Sadly, invisible illness is a subject that needs much more attention. Those of…

MS Relapses May Be Significantly Under-Reported. Duh.

This comes as no surprise to me and probably not to you. MS patients may not always contact their healthcare providers when they’re having a relapse. This information comes via a pair of surveys that were released at the recent ECTRIMS-ACTRIMS conference in Paris. In the first,…

Life’s Curveballs

Life is full of curveballs, with a mix of sliders, split-fingered fastballs, and sinkers thrown in. And, it is the curveballs that can be the hardest to take. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the major “curveballs” thrown into my life; I didn’t see it coming and it…

Meowmaste: Finding a Spark Inside Myself

“We don’t say the ‘D word’ here,” our instructor said. “Just for tonight, let’s all get into downward-facing cat.” The yoga pose wasn’t one I was comfortable in, but then again, so much about yoga makes me uncomfortable — the clothes, the breathy pseudo-spirituality, the jargon, the way…

Finding Support When Living with MS

Last Saturday, I received a FaceTime call from my father who was attending my cousin’s wedding reception. Both he and my mom traveled out of state to attend it, as did the majority of my large extended family. The happy clamor of boisterous chatter made it almost impossible…

Friendships and MS

Maintaining friendships can be challenging for those with a chronic illness. It may be difficult for friends to understand the changes that take place because of MS. Some changes are quite sudden and visible, others sneak in slowly. Increased fatigue or pain, I find, are most difficult for friends…

When You Read About MS Treatments, Read Past the Headline

There’s been some internet buzz recently about the possibility of an over-the-counter allergy drug that helps to repair the myelin that MS damages. The drug is clemastine fumarate, and I suspect that some of that buzz may have been generated by headlines found on Twitter and…

The Blowout

It was one of those mornings the day after, when I was moving like a zombie before they became ubiquitous. The night before had been my 30th birthday ― I was now an old bloke. About 20 of us had gathered in an uber-cool West End London restaurant, drank…

Opening People’s Eyes to Our Invisible MS

Those of us who have MS know that our disease can be invisible. We don’t always stumble when we walk. We don’t always use some sort of an assistive device that would alert people to our illness. So what we often get from those who don’t know better are those…

New Video Series Features ‘It Takes a Team’

There’s a difference between being lucky and being blessed. I learned that difference in 1992, after giving birth to our son. Once the doctors counted 10 toes, 10 fingers and we heard the baby’s first cry, I remarked to my husband how lucky we were.