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Taking MS One Day at a Time

It’s now the beginning of September, and I realize that we didn’t have our monthly check-in in August. Between my wife, Caryn’s, injury at the beginning of the month, and my cognitive adventures brought on by an infection, the month simply got past me. As for trying to rate my own multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms on our Life With Multiple [...]

Oh, to Sand and Refinish My Myelin Sheaths

The house in which we live is about 10 years old. It’s not particularly “Irish” in its design, nor is it “American.” The floor plan is open and easy to maneuver, so even on my more difficult days I can make it from point A to point B without too much trouble. Though there are [...]

Minor Injury Leads to Major MS Relapse

“If you prick us, do we not bleed?” asks Shylock in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. To which I reply, “Yes… and then get an infection, and then all hell breaks loose!” On Saturday, August 15, I was readying a bag of rubbish for the bin man and in doing so cut my finger on a [...]

Got a Minute? Take a 60-Second Break From MS

When someone from the press asks you if you’ve got 60 seconds, you either run away from, or run toward, the questioner. I actually thought that the editor of Corca Dhuibhne Beo (West & Mid Kerry Live) wanted to chat with me about something related to our town’s upcoming food festival or something when he [...]

When ‘Invisible’ MS Symptoms Become Visible

While I’m officially diagnosed with the secondary-progressive form of multiple sclerosis, I still have times that feel a lot like relapses: when new symptoms creep in or old ones suddenly make themselves more pronounced. Pins-and-needles can go from annoying prickle to painful bee stings, fatigue can progress from mind-numbing to soul-crushing, or my speech pattern [...]

Aging Gracefully With MS: It Starts With New Glasses

I’m off on Friday to collect new spectacles. Two pairs of new spectacles! My first pair of corrective lenses came in junior high school; I was farsighted. After a number of years I no longer needed glasses, but by the time my twenties were ending, I was wearing glasses to correct both nearsightedness and a slight [...]

MS on the Web: How to Find the People and Information You Really Need

This past weekend, we had the great pleasure of hosting an old friend and his wife. They were in for a bit of hiking and seeing the sights. We enjoyed some good food, and it was a great chance to catch up. I’m paying for the energy expended, but it was worth the effort. This old friend [...]

Can’t vs. Cannot: Defining Your Limits With MS

I sit here after the coldest July in over two decades in my little town and look out my window at a damned wet start to August. It wouldn’t be so bad — I have the dogs, a fireplace, and the makings for endless pots of tea, after all — if it weren’t for the [...]

Taking Care of My Caregiver Reminds Me of MS Lessons Learned

There are lessons about living with MS that we’re all aware we’ve learned. This past week, I realized there were a few I’d learned and then forgotten. My wife, Caryn, has taken up the sport of surfing. She’s a beginner but is fearless and driven to get better with every lesson and every wave. She gets out [...]

Taking Advantage of the Good Days (or Good Moments) With MS

We haven’t had much of a summer in my little corner of the North Atlantic. Though many parts of America are scorching this year, and many areas of Europe are sweltering, I think we’ve only broken the 60 degrees F mark once… and I was on a train to Dublin that day. The past couple of weeks have [...]

Why the Americans With Disabilities Act Wouldn’t Pass Today

By now, most of us will have heard one news piece or another about the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Twenty-five years doesn’t seem that long ago, really. In fact, I remember writing a blog on the 20th anniversary of the bill’s signing into law. I guess we’ve been at this a [...]

What’s Popping Our of Your Multiple Sclerosis Clown Car?

Coulrophobia is the term for an abnormal or morbid fear of clowns. Though some of my dear friends have been clowns, I also know people who are completely creeped out by them. As the ringmaster of our individual three-ring circus of life, we all know what it’s like to try to keep the show running [...]

MS Dilemma: My Body’s Depressed, But I’m Not

Once a month for the past nine years, we’ve put out the question, “How’s your MS today?” Each time, we’ve taken advantage of this space to check in with ourselves, check out what others are experiencing, and check off our list of MS symptoms that are better, worse, or the same as the previous month. [...]

Ballroom Dance for Multiple Sclerosis? Why Not?

Shall we dance? Preliminary results of a recent study presented at the annual meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers in May indicate that “…ballroom dance can be a fun, social form of physical activity for people with MS that can result in improved motor performance, gait, endurance, and cognition.” Ballroom-style dancing has previously [...]

What a New Brain Discovery May Mean for MS

When headline news broke of the “brain-immune system missing link” in the form of a peer-reviewed letter in the journal Nature last month, the first stop for many with MS was to check to see if the promising stories were true. Not only were the reports of a newly-discovered lymphatic system connection in the brain true, they had [...]

Speed Bumps Along the Multiple Sclerosis Road

Living with multiple sclerosis and attempting to look ahead in life can sometimes feel like staring at an unfamiliar, winding road, mostly obscured by a foul mist of dragon’s breath. Often, therefore, we choose to look into the rearview mirror instead to try to gauge our life with MS thus far. At diagnosis, we try [...]

MS and Heat Sensitivity: I Thought I Knew What to Do

It’s always nice to come home after being away for a few weeks.  It was particularly pleasant to return home to an 85°F temperature change. On a recent leg of my book release tour, the hottest day while I was in South Carolina was 103°F  with humidity closer than a hoarder’s cupboard. By the end of nearly two [...]

Appointment Amnesia: Why You Forget Everything Your Doctor Says

In a continuation of the ongoing posts we call the MS Symptom Thesaurus, which we first stumbled upon tongue in cheek, I thought we’d address something that isn’t exclusive to multiple sclerosis. Generally, this “symptom” gets better as we progress from that diagnosing appointment. The problem is that as MS progresses, our cognitive function can [...]

How’s Your MS Today? I’m Beating the Heat in Florida

Time for that monthly check-in: How’s your MS today? Me, I landed in the Tampa Bay area of Florida this week, and WOW! I had forgotten what heat and humidity can do to a body. We’ve talked about what heat can do to people with MS before. I’ve also written about coping options to keep cool. Well, this [...]

Unsolicited MS Advice? Thanks, But No Thanks

As a consultant in the food world I always adhered to the adage, “Free advice is taken at face value.” That is to say that people respect and respond to an “opinion” much more when they’re paying top dollar (or Euro) for the advice. Those of us living with a chronic illness need to consider the source [...]

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