Columns

Do Doctors Discriminate Against People With Disabilities?

“I Am Not The Doctor For You” is the title of a shocking new study published earlier this month in the journal Health Affairs. It reports that a number of doctors acknowledged being uncomfortable with treating people with a disability. The study was conceived of by Lisa Iezzoni,…

Time for COVID-19 Boosters and Seasonal Flu Shots

It’s the time of the season. Every year around this time, I get a seasonal flu shot. I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember, certainly all of my adult life. But this year is a little different. There are now three flu vaccines preferentially recommended…

How I’m Managing the Challenges of Study With MS Fatigue

Just like a surgeon’s prize hand or a ballerina’s plié, my mind has been my most valued asset. That’s been true all my life, through realizing my passion for science, achieving my undergraduate degree in biomedical science, and even keeping myself sane during the dark days of paralysis following…

How Did I End Up in a ’60s Cold War Spy Thriller?

The constant light in my cell burned through my eyelids all night. Every night for days now. Prostrate on my back, I couldn’t even turn over to get away from it. Why me? I knew nothing. Wasn’t part of any organization. Had no power. Couldn’t influence anyone. How did I…

The Smog of Tax Returns: An MS Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, children, there was a very grumpy bear who kept a low-level, incessant growl going all day. And often, well into the night, too. If his family were lucky, this would only last about a week, but usually it would last a lot longer. He was snappy…

My Wife Says I Should Follow My Own (MS) Advice

I have to be honest: I haven’t always been honest. I don’t always practice what I preach. My wife called me out on that as we watched an interview I did recently about multiple sclerosis on Montel Williams’ podcast. “You should follow your own advice,” she told me.

All Quiet on the MS Front — Well, Nearly

Note: The second half of this column details digestive symptoms that may make readers uncomfortable.  In the five years that I’ve written this “irreverent journey with multiple sclerosis (MS),” quoting from my very own bio at the foot of this column, I think I’ve only covered this “quiet”…

An Interpretation of My MS Dreams: What Freud Might Say

I studied psychology in college, but haven’t thought much about Sigmund Freud since then. I did the other night, though. I had a couple of puzzling dreams. Thinking about them after I woke up and putting a little of that college psychology to work, the puzzle became less puzzling. I…

Is Life a Form of Physical Therapy for PPMS?

I guess the short answer to the headline’s question is “It depends.” After my primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) diagnosis in March 2021, when I was 58, I had many questions that could be collected into the five W’s: who, what, when, where, and why. I’ll throw in…