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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. [...]

Thankful Even Without a Thanksgiving Holiday

When Caryn and I moved to the wilds of West Kerry, we had neither intention nor desire to be a part of an expat community. I have lived in other parts of the world where I welcomed the comfort of fellow dislocated countrymen. We wanted to live with and as the Irish on this journey. [...]

MS Lesson No. 1: Control Is an Illusion, so Go for Broke

Today marks the two-year anniversary of the day we said goodbye to the vast majority of our friends and family in America. The party we threw was the culmination of about three months of farewell lunches, dinners, and weekends away. By the time we actually got out of Seattle, Caryn and I were knackered and [...]

MS International: 9 Years of Blogging, 4 Blogs, 3 Nations

It’s hard for me to believe that our first Life With MS Blog posted nearly nine years ago. A Yank’s Life with MS (for the MS Society of the UK) is more than three years old, and  The Unspeakable Bits from a Life with MS (for the National MS Society) leaves the terrible twos next month. Where [...]

How’s Your MS Today? I’ve Got Nerve Pain and Fatigue

After writing these “How’s your MS today” posts for a good many years (goodness, are we really sneaking up on a nine-year anniversary?), there comes a time each month when I start to wonder.  I take stock of how things are on one particular day, or maybe over a week.  I think about the previous [...]

Now, About This New MS Drug: Lemtrada

It doesn’t seem like that long ago – and in the scheme of pharmaceutical development it really hasn’t been – that we had the ABC drugs for multiple sclerosis treatment and that was it.  With the backdoor approval of the latest MS disease-modifying therapy, Lemtrada (alemtuzumab), people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis now have 11 medication choices. [...]

If We Can Land a Spacecraft on a Comet, Why Can’t We Cure MS?

As our planet turned on its axis, orbited our star, and spun around our galactic center this week, a man-made probe called Philae landed on a comet nearly 311 million miles from my desk.  The moment of awe and wonder was not lost on me, but I will also admit to a moment on the slope [...]

Want to Give Back? Take This New MS Survey

The longer we live with MS, the more we have to give back to our community.  That said, the longer I live with multiple sclerosis, the harder it seems to remember the time before MS.  A new survey on MS posted by Everyday Health made me bounce back and forth from my early teen years [...]

Letter to the MS Editor: What Say Ye?

Well, my week’s holiday is over. I’m still in America after a family wedding and on my way to New York City. I had intended to post all last week, but travel, jet lag, planned and unplanned gatherings — I just had to make the call: no blogs last week. Now it’s off to the city, [...]

MS Symptom Thesaurus: The MS Hug

It’s been a while since we opened the MS Symptom Thesaurus. This concept sprung from our 12 lessons blog in early 2013. In it, you have shared words and descriptions that have helped an uncountable number of people trying to explain their symptoms. Today, we open the pages to “The MS Hug.” Official MS sites [...]

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