Columns

My Lemtrada Coaster Has Been Rolling

About two weeks ago I wrote about my roller-coaster ride being pretty smooth since my first round of Lemtrada infusions ended in early December. Well, the loops are now looping. Month two post-infusion began with a good lab report, but also with an appearance of the up-down fatigue monster.

Join Me and Advocate for MS

One of my sisters called to let me know that CNN was doing live coverage of the Women’s March that was taking place in all 50 U.S. states, as well as many other countries. While we talked, one of the speakers came on and observed that the issues facing…

Indeed, Laughter is the Best Medicine

“Laughter is the best medicine.” We may never know where this quote originated, but it’s a good one. The benefits of a loud, robust belly laugh are many! According to many internet sites laughter has great short-term effects. When you laugh, it doesn’t just lift you mentally,…

Pills, Shots or Infusions for Your MS?

Oral multiple sclerosis meds appear, more and more, to be the first choice of patients who are just beginning to receive an MS treatment. A recent report by the independent marketing research firm Spherix Global Insights shows that oral disease-modifying therapies captured a significantly higher…

‘It Could Be Worse:’ A Teachable Moment

Have you ever had someone tell you “it could be worse?” They are making a valiant effort to comfort and console you. However, there is not much consolation in the words. They almost sound a bit insensitive. I have been told this several times. I think many people…

Fighting MS on Our Own Terms: Vive La Resistance!

There’s one thing you need to know about my family — we’re weird. We laugh at inopportune times. We can go entire days just speaking to one another in movie quotes. Sarcasm is a love language to my clan. And we can make just about anything — and I…

Bicycle is Designed to Mimic the Symptoms of MS

Want to know what living with MS feels like? Take a ride on this bike. Those of us who have MS know that our disease has lots of symptoms. There are the legs that feel like they have 20-pound weights on them … balance that can have you…

MS Society Award Nominations: We All Are Stars

Nominations are being sought for individuals and groups for the U.K.’s MS Society Awards 2017. Organizers say the awards will recognize the stars of the MS community and their contributions during 2016. While not wishing to denigrate…

MS in the Information Age, Part 1: Be Discerning

Serving as co-administrator for a large MS forum has shown me that, while we live in a world of easy access to information, we may not always be prepared to understand and interpret it. While I’m not a medical doctor, I do work in the healthcare field and have…

Grief, Self-preservation and Multiple Sclerosis

Grief can weaken our immune system, elevate our blood pressure, and affect our overall health. During a loss, especially one of the magnitude of a loved one, self-preservation is not always a top priority. For those of us with multiple sclerosis, the mental anguish that is grief can exacerbate our already…

Like the ADA, the ABLE Act Has Significant Potential

When the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law in 1990, there seemingly were as many opponents as there were proponents. All these years later, the standards and expectations of that landmark legislation have become second-nature in mainstream America. Concerns about costs and consequences were replaced…

MS Drug Treatment Costs Start the Year Headed Up

I don’t think this will surprise you. Multiple sclerosis drugs, some of the most expensive drugs there are, are getting even more expensive. Drug industry analyst Eric Schmidt, quoted in the Boston Business Journal, reported that Biogen began the new year by upping the price of Tecfidera,…

MS PATHS: Be Aware of the Info You Share

Would you open your bank account and write a blank check to just anyone requesting something of value from you? Of course not. So, why would we do that with our healthcare information? I was recently sent an informed consent form from the MS clinic where I am treated,…

Speak Up, Truthfully, About ‘Unseen’ But Real MS Symptoms

  When thinking about multiple sclerosis (MS), it’s important to remember there are four distinct types of the disease. Most of you well know this, so I’ll just mention them here: relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS); secondary progressive MS; primary progressive MS, and clinically isolated syndrome. (Anyone needing or wishing more information…

Lemtrada for My MS: First Month Report

It’s been a month since I completed my first round of Lemtrada infusions, so it’s time to bring everyone up to date on how things are going. I was told to expect a roller coaster of side effects. I’m pleased to say that, at least so far, it’s…

Are You In or Out of the MS Closet?

An MS patient who reads my column sent a personal message last week. It began: “Sorry about the secrecy. I’m in the closet! Seriously, I haven’t told many people about my RRMS diagnosis, for many reasons. I really don’t want my kids knowing. … I want to spare them that…

Planning to Succeed in the New Year

Now that 2016 is thankfully behind us, it’s time to start a new year — fresh, rested, and ready to kick butt and chew bubble gum. That being said, rest in peace David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glen Frey, Prince, Nancy Reagan, George Kennedy, Gary Shandling, Anton Yelchin, Gene…

Forget About Resolutions and Remember to Focus

I’m already tired of hearing about New Year’s resolutions. If you’re like me, you find that for those who spend their social media time listing goals in earnest, there’s a smidgen of luxury to their actions. After all, most of these goal-making champions are not chronically ill. They don’t have to think…

Phoebe’s HSCT Story: Back home (Last in a Series)

Phoebe Scopes was the first international patient to receive Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) therapy for multiple sclerosis in Moscow. In this fourth, and last, part of her story, we join Phoebe on her return home to the London. Ian: What is your post-HSCT MS state from getting home…

Dancing Doodle

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