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With MS, Ordinary Acts Become Feats Worth Celebrating

We don’t get to see the “beautiful game” of hurling much in West Kerry; this is Gaelic football country. The two games are not dissimilar in their rules, finesse, and skill required — and they can be equally confusing and brutal to the first-time observer. Each team’s supporters are staunch in their conviction to club and county. […]

Progress and Progression: When MS and Modern Life Intersect

There is a field at the end of our lane, just a few dozen yards beyond our cottage. I should say there was a field. This rough patch of ground has been owned by a builder friend of ours for a number of years. While the economy was in the tank, there wasn’t even thought of […]

Turning 50 With MS: A Time to Look Forward and Back

When I was 30 years old and living in Ithaca, NY, I had what felt like an epiphany. While walking past a renowned Buddhist monastery after a haircut one day, I was struck by the thought that I would not live to see 50. I perceived this not as a reasoned assessment based on the […]

No More Hiding My MS: A Friend’s Honesty Sets Me Free

My wife, Caryn, knows my struggles with multiple sclerosis (MS) better than anyone, save perhaps for my dog Sadie. Caryn can spot a rough patch rising in the way I move or speak or even react to a conversation. Many times, she keeps these observations to herself, but she can always recall when things started […]

Spasticity: Another Symptom of My New MS Normal

My wife, Caryn, was the first to notice one of the things that seems to be part of my new normal as I recover from my last MS “thing”: She asked me a couple of times about my left hand as I was doing (or trying to do) something that did not involve that appendage. While I […]

Tripping and Falling: My New Normal With MS

I’m more than a month on from my latest multiple sclerosis setback and trying to settle into yet another new normal. A recent meeting with my MS specialist confirmed that my disease has, indeed, progressed since my appointment last spring. Along with increased spasticity in my left arm and hand, expanded vision issues, and more pronounced speech issues, […]

The Importance of Having a Support Network When You Live With MS

First, thank you all for your kind messages of support as I try to find my literal and figurative balance again. Your comments on the blog and social media, along with emails, have been heartening. This little episode I’m going through, and your reaching out in solidarity, has reminded me of the importance of having […]

I’ve Been Deluding Myself About My MS: It’s Worse Than I Thought

Many of you who have been following this blog for a few years or have read my book, Chef Interrupted, will know that I use the mantra “control is an illusion” fairly often. What I’ve come to know is that we can only control our reactions and our responses; everything else is pretty much out […]

MS Stem Cell Therapy: What Would YOU Like to Know?

The past couple of weeks have seen the Life With Multiple Sclerosis inbox and social media pages loaded with people sharing “news” of the latest MS stem cell research out of Canada. I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences. Headlines like “MS Cured,” “Researchers Stop Multiple Sclerosis,” and “Reversing MS Using Stem Cells” […]

You’re the Expert: How’s Your MS Today?

It was over two years ago that we started the Life with Multiple Sclerosis Self-Evaluation Scale (LWM3S). In short, it’s a simple 1-10 scale whereby: 1 = The best my symptoms have felt since my diagnosis with MS 10 = The worst my symptoms have felt since my diagnosis with MS This is, obviously, a […]

Having to Prove You’re Sick … Again and Again

For many of us, the multiple sclerosis diagnosis process was (or perhaps still is) a long, drawn-out, trying time. MS is often called a “diagnosis by elimination,” meaning that many other conditions must usually be ruled out before MS is finally settled upon. This can make for numerous batteries of tests, years of misdiagnosis, and […]

Intermittent Fasting Improves MS Symptoms

The fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) has been all the rage for weight loss — most notably in the form of the 5:2 diet plan — in the past few years. Now it appears that this approach of restricting calories intermittently may also improve symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). A new study out of the University of Southern […]

The MS Community: We’re Global Now

It’s been a couple of weeks since World MS Day 2016, and I’m just now getting around to telling you how I spent the day (and the next few after it). Czech Republic On the day itself, my wife, Caryn, and I boarded a flight from Dublin to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. […]

‘Man Flu’ Plus MS Have Me at Death’s Door

My current bout with a recurring sinus infection is making me feel like a knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing troglodyte. It’s a simple and relatively insignificant infection; a “healthy” person would just pack a few extra tissues and get on with his day. I, on the other hand, feel like I’m a walking (well, stumbling), talking poster child for […]

Single Genetic Mutation Causes Rare Type of MS

I’ve had multiple sclerosis (MS) long enough to remember a few MS-isms that are now considered defunct. Pain, for example, was not considered an MS symptom when I was diagnosed. Now there are several types of pain recognized as associated with multiple sclerosis. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society even says, “Pain syndromes are common in […]

In Memory of Those Lost to the Battle With Multiple Sclerosis

It always bothers me a bit when I am thanked for my service in the U.S. Coast Guard on the occasion of Memorial Day. While I appreciate the sentiment, it’s Veterans Day when we celebrate and appreciate all who have served their country in the military services. Memorial Day, on the other hand, is the […]

World MS Day 2016: What It Really Means to Be Stronger Than MS

Since the moment we first grabbed at the spoon in our mother’s hand to try to feed ourselves, life has been about gaining and then maintaining a level of independence. We stood, then walked, then finally lived on our own terms. Now, my multiple sclerosis (MS) sometimes makes me feel like a toddler again, with […]

MS Changes Everything, but Everything Was Going to Change Anyway

In 1970, our sleepy little town on the edge of the North Atlantic had not a single restaurant, and no tourists to feed anyway. Today, we are Ireland’s No. 1 “foodie town,” and we can feel more like a tourist town with a farming and fishing problem than the other way around. That change came about […]

How My ‘Sick’ Friends Help Me Get On With Life

I have a lot of sick friends — and I’m talking about their wonderfully off-center, mildly deranged, caustic senses of humor. Many of those “sick” friends are also ill. I’m off this afternoon to have a cuppa with an acquaintance from our town who, since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) this past winter, has […]

How Do You Describe Your MS Eye Problems?

A few years ago, I wrote a cheeky little blog listing the 12 things I’d learned from a dozen years of living with MS. In it, I quipped that “someone should write a symptom thesaurus for MS.” Well, the response was strong and we began our monthly MS Symptom Thesaurus blog three years ago this […]

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