Columns

Looking Back in Anger

Back in the day, I always wanted to be a columnist. That day was so long ago it was before sunrise. In my youthful naivety, I never thought about generating an idea a week. I also never considered it would be about my travails with an illness. Still,…

My Opportunity to Speak with ‘Big Pharma’

I was in Boston last week at the headquarters of Sanofi Genzyme. Yes, the big drug company. They brought together several people they consider to be “digital influencers” to pick their brains about what’s on the minds of people like you, who read what we write. Sanofi…

A Looming Crisis in MS Research and Care

Editor’s note: Patient columnist Laura Kolaczkowski attended the 31st annual Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers conference in New Orleans. We’re facing a major problem in the near future due to a shortage of researchers for multiple sclerosis, according to Jerry Wolinsky, MD, Bartels Family and Opal…

Living with MS: There’s a World Out There

One of the most dispiriting aspects of a chronic illness is that it traps you in your own world. Major events happen but these are filtered against the achievement of actually being able to get yourself to the bathroom. At the time of writing, we in the U.K.

CMSC Revises Recommendations for Gadolinium Use in MRIs

Editor’s note: Patient columnist Laura Kolaczkowski attended the 31st annual Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers conference in New Orleans. The information in this article was taken from an interview session with the physicians.   The use of gadolinium, which is the contrast agent often used during MRIs for multiple…

The Importance of Cultivating Your Circle

Support is a crucial component in fighting chronic illness and adversity. Our humanity connects us and we thrive on relationships. Support may come in the form of family, friends, social services, groups and countless other methods. I have been fortunate to have an abundance of support for which…

Jumping to Conclusions About a MS Treatment

Those of us with multiple sclerosis are always on the alert for new treatments. So, when a common, inexpensive and easy-to-administer drug recently appeared on the radar as a possible MS treatment, it wasn’t surprising that dozens of social media folks jumped to relay word of it. Their…

Transitioning from MS Patient to Cancer Caregiver

I am making the transition from multiple sclerosis patient to cancer caregiver. On May 11 my family’s world turned upside down when my husband of 41 years was diagnosed with advanced  pancreatic cancer. My caring husband, who has always loved and protected me, is now the one in…

One Man’s Playground is Another Man’s Horror

Multiple sclerosis has a way of messing with one’s head. Whether it’s emotional or psychiatric disorders, fatigue, brain fog, or physical problems, there’s a lot to wrestle with. And to effectively battle this disease requires you to be in a certain state of mind. Let me give…

Lemtrada II: My Right Foot (Hopefully)

Read John Connor’s previous column, “Lemtrada I: This Island Couch.” Apologies for the pic of my edema–riddled right foot. If I put whiskers on it, my big toe could do a damn fine impersonation of a seal. On the bright side, a month ago it was twice this…

An ‘MS House’ That Lets You Walk in My Shoes

(Photo by Andreea Antonovici) A few months ago, I wrote about a bicycle that mimics the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Now, I’ve discovered that there’s an “MS House” that allows a healthy person to experience some of what life is like for someone who lives with MS.

MS Burning Feet and Hands Could Be Erythromelalgia

Erythromelalgia is a rare and painful multiple sclerosis (MS) symptom that I (and others with MS) experience. Almost every night my feet have a tight, swollen feeling accompanied by a terribly hot, burning sensation. It is usually cool to the touch but can feel hot at certain…