Columns

When in Doubt, Make a Mixtape

Spring is here, a time we’d normally be out and about getting some sun and recharging our souls after a long winter. I certainly look forward to working in the yard, hiking, having outdoor picnics, and taking the occasional road trip. But this isn’t a typical year, is…

Slipping Over the Event Horizon Into SPMS

Isn’t it just like me to start my column with a physics analogy that is already confusing? Please stick with me, as all will be revealed. My point is that if a black hole is big enough, you might slip through its event horizon without even noticing. There would…

This New Tool Can Help You Choose Which DMT to Use

Sometimes it seems as if people with MS are asked to flip a coin to make what’s arguably the most important decision about their treatment: which disease-modifying therapy (DMT) to use. More than 20 DMTs are approved in the U.S., similar to what’s available in the rest of the…

Addressing Some Misconceptions About Hypnotherapy

After speaking about hypnotherapy recently with a few people I know, I realized that many of them didn’t know that hypnosis can be used to manage stress and anxiety. One person remarked, “What do I need to say to get you to quack like a duck?” Well, it’s not like…

You’ve Got to Hide Your MS Away

In honor of MS Awareness Week, observed in the U.K. April 19–25, the MS Society released results of a survey about the barriers that keep multiple sclerosis patients from sharing their health status. Multiple Sclerosis News Today‘s Mary Chapman reported that a whacking one-third have stayed silent about their diagnosis.

What Do the Oscars and Our COVID-19 Response Have in Common?

What could the Academy Awards and COVID-19 possibly have in common for people with disabilities? Stay tuned, and I’ll tell you. First, the Academy Awards. The documentary “Crip Camp,” about a summer camp for young adults with disabilities, was up for an Oscar. Its co-director and co-star, Jim LeBrecht,…

To Love Living Things, and to Let Them Go

In her poem “In Blackwater Woods,” Mary Oliver concludes with 10 breathtaking lines: “To live in this world/ you must be able/ to do three things:/ to love what is mortal;/ to hold it/ against your bones knowing/ your own life depends on it;/ and, when the time comes…

My Own ‘Left Hand of Darkness’

I was listening to a BBC podcast recently titled “The Sinister Hand,” about the history of left-handers. It seems that in medieval times, left-handedness was associated with sorcery. (What wasn’t?) It was only relatively recently that left-handed children were no longer forced to write right-handed — sometimes even…

Let’s Treat Older MS Patients With More Respect

As comic Rodney Dangerfield might have said, older people with MS “just don’t get no respect.” By older, I mean those of us who are 55 and up. By respect, I mean from researchers and some neurologists. So, as I approach my 73rd birthday, I have to tip my cap…

The Value of Looking Ahead

Next week, I will be celebrating my second “quarantine birthday,” which is both amazing and sad. I honestly had no idea we’d still be dealing with COVID-19 for more than a year, and what a strange and perplexing time it has been. I think the thing that has hit me…

An Upbeat MS Column for You Lucky People

The trouble with a degenerative disease is that things only get worse. In the long-gone days of my youth, I somehow wrangled myself into being an arts critic. Wizened journalists imparted the lore that a bad show was much easier to write than a rave. Satirical barbs are far more…

My MS Likes It Hot, and Florida’s Just the Place

Many people with MS avoid Florida. I crave it. My wife and I finally returned here in early March, escaping dreary, rainy, and windy Maryland after we received our COVID-19 vaccines. Since we arrived, the weather has been wonderful, with few clouds and temperatures warm enough for swimming outdoors. Swimming,…

Can You Care Too Much? Er, Maybe!

One of the conditions of being released from the hospital a couple of weeks ago was that I had carers come to my home four times a day for six weeks. I realized it was for the best of intentions, but it still felt, albeit deep down, that these…

An Update on My Lemtrada Journey, 3 Years After Round 2

Where has the time gone? It’s been three years since I completed my second round of Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) infusions. So, it’s time to take another look at where this journey has taken me. Lemtrada is a monoclonal antibody treatment that wipes out rogue B- and T-cells in the…

Dancing Doodle

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