Columns

Cue Me In

I have every single malady associated with MS. I’m absolutely positive. Because whenever I find out about a new one, or a new study that says we don’t sleep well, or we twitch or tremble, or suffer from this deficiency or that, I’ve got it.

MSParis2017 Will Look at New MS Diagnosis Criteria, and a Lot More

The year’s largest gathering of multiple sclerosis “minds” starts on Oct. 25 in Paris. More than 8,000 neurologists, researchers and others who specialize in treating and curing MS will be attending MSParis2017. It’s a joint meeting of the European and the Americas Committee for Research in Multiple Sclerosis…

Life’s Too Short

Both of my sons — and, if I’m being honest, my husband — love Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. Yes, that horrid stuff that comes in a blue box, the kind that you make with a packet of powdered cheese, milk and butter. Whenever I put some on the table…

Everything in the Garden Is Now Rosy

  About 10 years ago, in the days before my MS, I had a whole raft of self-imposed jobs. As a new age man, one of these was doing the washing. Yes, this combated the usual bloke’s role in a heterosexual household, but to counter this, I was very…

Specialty Pharmaceuticals Mean Specialty Prices

If you have MS, you’ve probably used a specialty drug. My first was Avonex, which I began to use about 1998. Several others followed. There’s no formal definition of a specialty drug, but these therapies have several things in common. First, they’re expensive. According to the vice president in…

Did You Wash Your Hands?

I’ve been at a conference the last few days where scholars from around the world are discussing health literacy. It’s a subject much more complicated than just wondering at what level a person might read, or if they can read at all. It’s also a discipline rooted in…

MS and Employment: Asking for Reasonable Accommodations

For those of us in the workforce, our MS can sometimes make a workday challenging. The Americans with Disabilities Act allows for an employee to request reasonable accommodations from their employer. Included in the act are three broad accommodation categories. One focuses on the hiring process, and…

The Chosen Ones

We are familiar with the “why me” moments? I reference this often because it is a recurring subject in the lives of people with chronic illness. As a little girl I’d ask my parents why my heart is sick, and as an adult, I still ask why have I…

I Don’t Know What It’s Called, But I Like It

It looks like a dog’s leash, but it isn’t. I put in “dog’s lead” and “disabled apparatus” into my first Google search and fittingly was taken down into a rabbit’s warren of equipment for psychically challenged dogs. Who knew? It’s a nifty bit of kit for moving your leg…

Therapy That Just Might Beat MS Fatigue

I’ve had a cold for two weeks. So, I’ve been more tired than usual. Too tired, in fact, to write the column that was supposed to post last Tuesday. (I apologize to all of you who wait, with bated breath, for the appearance of the MS Wire each…

Canine Companionship and Multiple Sclerosis

I am an avid dog lover and very involved in volunteering with the golden retriever rescue here in Southern California. On any given day, you will find my 8-year-old rescue, Abby, here along with two to three other happy golden retrievers. I may have  rescued Abby physically, but there…

Discovering MS Research

When talking about MS research, we tend to focus on drug development because improved therapies, and even the cure for MS, will come from pharmaceuticals. But what do we know about other MS research that doesn’t involve taking a pill or enduring an injection? I’m talking about those…

Combating Muscle Weakness Associated with MS

Sometimes walking, even with an assistance device, can be very challenging because of the extreme muscle weakness that I experience. The slow, off-balanced gait that has been my constant companion for many years prior to my 2010 multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis is definitely on the decline. Accepting the…

One Day at a Time

I was going to write about something else, then my MS got in the way. Intellectually, I know MS is very up-and-down, but often when the down hits, I think the worst has happened. I went to my exercise class this week and struggled. Got home and recovered.

She Has MS and She’s Planning to Hike 500 Miles

April Hester has MS. She was diagnosed in 1996, just after she turned 20 years old. Like many of us, April has balance and fatigue issues. Her legs can become tired, her foot sometimes drops and she falls a lot. But unlike many of us, April and her…

Being a Caregiver with MS

I pride myself on never lending power to my limitations, but when I became the primary caretaker for my husband after he underwent hip replacement surgery, my limitations were reached. Ten days later, I am slowly emerging as a somewhat functioning individual. As with most challenges, I tend…

A Look Inside MS Marketplace Projections

Do you ever stop and ponder the value of MS drugs? I’m not talking about if they work and the ways they improve our lives. I’m thinking of the COST of them and what their pricing means to investors. I get several market analysis reports on the pharmaceutical industry,…

New Video Series Aims to Lift the MS Community

When you’re living with multiple sclerosis, it’s important to surround yourself with a community of people who give you the kind of support and understanding you need. When I was diagnosed in 1986, there was no internet to help me find a community,…

Test-Walking the New Bioness L300 Go

I’ve been using a Bioness L300 for just over five years to counter my foot drop. Without the L300 strapped to my left leg, it’s difficult for me to walk more than 25 or 30 steps, even with two canes. The L300 is a functional electronic…

Calming the Cranky Beast That’s Irritability

Irritability can strike anyone at anytime, and pain, illness, depression — or just having a bad day — can all lead to feelings of anxiety and irritability. To those of us with multiple sclerosis (MS), being irritable can come from all of those causes, plus a whole lot more.

MS and Retirement

And so the good news is that if you have MS, then you can get an enhanced annuity in the United Kingdom. That is a higher payment for the rest of your life than if you were well. That’s because our illness may reduce life expectancy. A recent survey…