Columns

My MS Is Getting to Be a Pain, Literally

For most of the 36 years since I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis I’ve not been bothered by pain. Just lucky, I guess. Until last month. Suddenly, I’ve developed pain in both hips and I don’t know why. The pain is most intense when I first put my feet on…

Why It’s Important to Observe Your Diagnosis Anniversary

On March 27, 2013, my primary care physician called me about MRI results from the day before. He and the radiologist concurred; they had found evidence of brain lesions consistent with multiple sclerosis. Following protocol, he sent me to the best specialist in Seattle to confirm diagnosis. His was a preliminary diagnosis. In the…

Serenity Now: Relaxation Techniques for MS, Part Two

My last column “Serenity Now: Relaxation Techniques for MS, Part One” offered some quick and easy suggestions on how to relax in times of stress. This column is a continuation of that series. Movement, massage and applied pressure to the correct areas have many benefits. Massaging certain areas of…

Using Tattoo Art to Make a Statement About MS

There won’t be a lot of my words in this column but there will be lot of pictures. The column is devoted to some very personal multiple sclerosis art: Tattoos. Most of these “tats” contain an orange ribbon, the symbol for MS awareness. Some, as you’ll see, are a…

Benign MS: Is It Real or a Myth?

What is benign MS? Does it even exist? Certainly it is not one of the types of the disease often listed as making up the multiple sclerosis family. It is a term that is surrounded by controversy,…

How Well Will MS and Jet Lag Play Together?

Diligent research and planning have left me confident in my ability to enjoy upcoming travels, while managing  MS and health concerns. Decisions have been made regarding luggage, medications, airport travel, car rental, and accommodations. I know whether to expect sun or snow, cobblestone or freeways, and have been practicing…

My Fight Song for Multiple Sclerosis

Most of us have heard Rachel Platten’s Fight Song. It became an anthem for many people who struggle with illness and adversity. Fight Song has become one of my favorite odes. As a writer, I love to listen to the words of song lyrics. The music is…

A Mountain to Climb with MS – in My Living Room

So, I’m lying on the floor taking in the stippled ceiling we’ve never changed in the past 19 years. My son,  also 19, is now at university. That’s how I can be so exact on the age of my relationship with the hideously slathered ceiling. We moved in one month…

Serenity Now: Relaxation Techniques for MS, Part One

Relaxation and serenity are both attainable with the correct calming techniques. When overwhelmed by stress, the skills that have been gained and practiced become second nature to be summoned as needed. The combination of stress and multiple sclerosis can wreak havoc in the body. It can lead to a…

MS Awareness Month: Which Ribbon Are We Again?

March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month. That means we need to make the most of these four weeks to raise some money for research, and raise awareness about the disease and the 2.5 million people in the world currently living with it. What’s the best way…

Alexa, Tell Me About MS

Alexa, Amazon’s little voice-activated information box, has just received a multiple sclerosis infusion. As part of MS Awareness Month, fifty facts about MS have been loaded into Alexa’s memory. If a user says “Alexa, start MS Awareness” the system will respond with a random MS fact. (And a short…

MS and the Fear of Missing Out

A couple of weeks ago I had a curious encounter with the friend of a friend. I live in a small town. In some ways we’re all at least neighbors. Huddled in a small group at the local grocery store, we were chatting about our experiences with the…

Is Your Doctor’s Business Interfering With Your Treatment?

One of my favorite movie lines appears in “Jerry Maguire.” Sports-agent Maguire is trying to convince one of his football-player clients to stay with him and the client keeps insisting: “Show me the money.” I got to thinking of that line the other evening, while reading a Facebook post…

An MS Exacerbation — Did I Just Blow a Fuse?

When describing a multiple sclerosis exacerbation (also called a relapse, attack, or flare-up), comparing it to a home’s circuit panel is a good analogy to use. When a fuse blows on the circuit board the power is interrupted. During an MS attack, the myelin sheath that covers nerve axons…

Columnist’s Novel About MS Recalls Her Memories of Grandmother

Editor’s note: Our IBD columnist, Judy Walters, will have a new book out Tuesday in which the central character has multiple sclerosis. Here, she remembers how MS affected her own family during her childhood. I was only 10 when my grandmother died, but I remember so much about her. I remember…

MS Advocates Hope Better Data Will Mean Better Care

The practice of collecting data about how we MS patients go about living our lives, and then using that data to improve our patient care, seems to be gathering steam. In the European Union a project called Real World Evidence Data, or RWE, is working outside of the…