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My MS Is Not Your MS, or Is It?

The exact experience each of us has with multiple sclerosis is as different as anything I can imagine. At the same time, many of us have very similar experiences. How unusual, when you think about it, that we can experience every moment of the day differently with MS, but not a blog post goes by [...]

Guinness Cured My Multiple Sclerosis — Sort Of

Guinness cured my MS. Not really, but I did feel better than I had in years during the winter of 2005-2006. That’s the period I write about in Chef Interrupted when I was living in a small town on the Irish coast… and I drank a fair good bit of the black stuff. I had [...]

How to Live a Passionate Life With MS

I was honored to participate in a Google Hangout with Meredith Vieira last December. We talked during that event (which you can watch here) about managing life with MS and the support systems some of us find helpful. It was great fun and, I thought, an informative half hour. (You can watch that hangout here.) Now, I’ve [...]

Living in the Mindfield That Is MS

After a whirlwind two weeks in the Pacific Northwest to launch my new book, Chef Interrupted, I am back home with my pack and trying to adjust to the time zone and enjoying a slower pace. While in Seattle, I had the opportunity to spend some time with a film crew from the local NBC [...]

At Multiple Sclerosis Poker Night, All Bets Are Off

There have been a lot of bright, shiny moments in my life. For a good long time after my diagnosis with multiple sclerosis it seemed that those sparkles of life were no longer in my cards, but they did come back. Last night I experienced great warmth and pride when I visited Poker Night, the National [...]

Multiple Sclerosis and the Expectation Game

“Why don’t they understand?!” I hear many of us say over and over when it comes to family and friends and their expectations of us and our abilities. Some close to us expect that we can and will do all of the wonderful things we used to, with not a step lost because of MS. [...]

Your Life With MS: We Want to Hear Your Stories

As we’ve seen in many of your wonderful comments, we all have a story to tell about living with multiple sclerosis. We all walk through our lives with MS in unique ways, not unlike the disease itself. On that subject, I have a couple of announcements: Google Hangout With Meredith Vieira: Follow Your Life Passions [...]

MS Awareness Week: Test Your MS Smarts

To begin MS Awareness Week, I say it’s time to sharpen our pencils and break out the anti-anxiety meds: MS Quiz time. Last week, the National MS Society emailed a link to a 7-question MS quiz.  Though there are only seven questions, some of them are a bit tricky!  Might I suggest you take the quiz? [...]

Food and MS: Cause or Effect?

A new, rather small study has me wondering even more about the cause-and-effect aspects of multiple sclerosis research findings. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore tested a small number of women, 27 with MS and 30 without. They started out studying vitamin D in relation to MS. What they found was that not only did the [...]

‘MS Energy’: A Surprising Boost From a Traumatic Diagnosis

While I have heard and read of people who say “MS saved my life” or “MS made me a better person” or “MS gave me the chance to…” I think we all know I believe that any good that comes from a diagnosis with MS comes from within the people we already are. That said, [...]

Clearing the Deadwood to Make Way for New Grass

Yesterday was an absolutely stunning day here in west Kerry. Not that it was particularly warm, but the bright blue sky stretched all the way down to the mountains where winter hazel began to show a hint of spring green. When the sun came out from behind the fluffy, bleached clouds, the February chill cracked [...]

Multiple Sclerosis Icebergs: What’s Going on in 90 Percent That Lies Beneath?

At a meeting a few months ago, someone referred to multiple sclerosis as an “iceberg disease.” I jotted down a note to help me remember to write a blog about that idea. In shuffling through a file this week I ran across that note and I thought about it for a while. Many analogies of [...]

Time to Wash Your Cloudy ‘Windows’?

I’ve written in our pages before about the importance of a good window. On days when it is difficult to get out into the world, at least we can look upon it through a good window. But today I noted that my windows needed to be washed which, of course, got me thinking about the [...]

Dreams Can Come True, Even With MS

Hope without a plan is just a dream. I first coined that phrase when I was helping to introduce the Fast Forward initiative in 2007. What I was trying to get across was that the idea of hoping for something without working toward that goal was no better than simply dreaming about it. Ten years [...]

Pinning the Tail on the MS Donkey

For some, a multiple sclerosis diagnosis is a systematic ticking of boxes as a series of “odd” things start happening.  For others, there’s  a fight to convince the medical profession that there is something wrong.  Still others – myself included – are diagnosed swiftly during the onset of a major exacerbation. Everything changes with the words, [...]

MS Symptom Thesaurus: Dysarthrias, or Speech Problems

It’s been a while since our last MS Symptom Thesaurus post.  Between the flu, the holidays, and life in general, I’ve been off my schedule.  Well, we’re back this month. This time, we’ll talk about how multiple sclerosis can and does affect people’s speech. The medical term for MS speech muck-ups is dysarthrias, conditions in [...]

Look at Your Shoes: They Can Tell Your MS Story

Who needs timed walking assessments or Hollywood-inspired motion-sensor tests?  If I want to know how my gait is effected by MS, all I have to do is look at my shoes. I bought a pair of shoes nearly three years ago and I love them – perhaps too much.  I wear them most days for [...]

What Happens When Governments Say MS Drugs Are Too Pricey?

I’m stuck on this one. In recent days, the UK’s National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has decided not to widen use of beta-interferon for MS, and the Irish  National Centre for Pharmaeconomics (NCPE) has refused to pay for the oral MS drug Tecfidera. Interesting as well (and I’m not sure exactly how to think of this [...]

How’s Your MS Today? Post-Flu, I’m Feeling Better

Time flies when you have a chronic illness! That doesn’t seem right, but I just realized that this month marks the year eight of us asking the monthly question, “How’s your MS today?”  How can it be?  Then I realized that we are soon to mark the end of our ninth year of the Life [...]

The Kindnesses We Can Do for Ourselves

We’ve just finished the “it’s better to give than receive” season. Many of us have made New Year’s resolutions that have us living some part of life with long teeth. And we’re only weeks away from the liturgical season — Lent — where many will give up something dear to them for six weeks of [...]

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