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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 [...]

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 […]

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