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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 [...]

Wabi-Sabi: A Key to Life With Multiple Sclerosis?

To say that I’ve had a bit of time on my hands this past two weeks would be putting it lightly. Just about my only commute since before the New Year has been between my sickbed and the armchair in front of the fire. I’ve had a fair amount of time but energy for little [...]

How to Use Pre-MS Lessons to Tackle MS Challenges

All of us had a life before we were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Some of us were younger or older – with more or less experience – but we all had a life and we had all attained some level of proficiency at living. We had also all gained certain skills and attained some ‘tools’ [...]

MS and Fear: Maybe I’m Not as Strong as I Thought

Well, we’re a full week into 2015 and I’m just getting over a bug that sat me down on the 29th of December. I woke that morning with a “crinkly” feeling in my chest as if I were breathing around a crumple of aluminum foil in my lungs. Fever, night sweats (so profound I thought [...]

A Toast to MS Advances in 2015

I am always stuck on what to offer in my last blog of the year. I’m not the kind of guy to candy-coat our plight in life. We have a progressive disease with no cure. I’m also not one to bemoan our lot. We have proven to each other time and time again our resilience [...]

The Simple Gift of a Stress-Free Holiday

My sister-in-law landed in Dublin this morning after flying through nine time zones to spend Christmas with us. Caryn has gone up Dublin to collect her and they will be back in our little town tomorrow evening. I will have a warm fire, a pot of tea, and perhaps some freshly baked goodies (homemade or [...]

Navigating the Storm That Is Multiple Sclerosis

It’s the time of the year here in West Kerry of the cyclonic winter storms. That means that the cold, wet winds with change direction from all points of the compass as weather systems move over our part of the North Atlantic. Two years in and we are still living sans automobile, relying on foot [...]

Help with Balance for People Suffering from Multiple Sclerosis

Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) have trouble with balance and a fear of falling, which can have severe negative effects on their quality of life by keeping them away from social events, regular exercise and community activities. And, if they do get out, the fatigue and anxiety of walking can be very taxing. Now […]

Why Doesn’t Reality TV Reflect My Reality? Living With a Disability

At the gym today I was working with our trainer on a new adaptation of exercise. As I live in a small town where mostly “healthy” people go to the gym to work out, I have to pretty much adapt on my own. It’s not a bother, but it’s one of the times I miss [...]

Happy Holiday Fatigue: Making a List, Trimming It Down

‘Tis the season for a trip over the river and through the woods, making dozens of mince pies, wrapping silly stocking stuffers, addressing greeting cards, and so many other holiday traditions. Our third Christmas in our little town of West Kerry has us enjoying new holiday routines. Along with these annual habits comes a realization [...]

Chef Interrupted, My Book About Living With Multiple Sclerosis

Funny, really. After writing nearly 1,100 Life With MS blog posts over nearly 10 years, I’m finding it hard to put into words what I’d like to share today. I guess I’ll just blurt it out. My memoir — Chef Interrupted: Discovering Life’s Second Course in Ireland with Multiple Sclerosis — is being published on [...]

Patient-Driven MS Research: An Idea We Should All Get Behind

If there is one thing I hear and read more than anything else about MS research participation, it’s that we are frustrated when research doesn’t take place near us. I think many of us would like to participate in MS research, and some of us feel we have an obligation to participate. How can we [...]

Multiple Sclerosis on a Fine Irish Morning

Yesterday was one of those days you think of as mid-winter in the wilds of western Ireland. The clouds hovered low and vacillated between heron and pewter in shade. The wind was light but couldn’t decide on a direction. Though rain threatened all day long, only soft mist fell until the setting sun pulled it [...]

Hanging Out With Meredith Vieira on Google

Well, I’m going to add to my list of  things I never thought I’d do next week.  Along with Adrienne Boissy, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic and Sleeping With MS bloggers Brad and Robynn Mann, I’ll be a guest of Emmy Award-winning journalist and television host Meredith Vieira in a Google Hangout on Managing MS Together. We hope [...]

The Holiday Effect on MS: More Pain or More Gain?

I made the mistake of looking at a calendar today. Good grief! Before the month’s slide toward the New Year gets too steep, I thought we’d ask our monthly question about your multiple sclerosis symptoms: How’s your MS today? We use the LWM3S system whereby 10 is the worst your MS has been since diagnosis [...]

My Multiple Sclerosis ‘Elf on the Shelf’

Ah, it’s the time of year when we spend too much money on gifts people don’t need, too much time worrying about perfection, and too much effort just getting out of bed. It’s also a time for the warmth and glow of friends and family, a time of simplicity and grace. It’s the holiday season. [...]

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