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Is This MS?

Blog Summary

There was one thing to always look forward to on sick days when I was a child, other than staying home from school. It was watching The Price is Right. A box of Kleenex, some cough medicine, plain toast and that beloved game show were sick day staples. I’m not even sure why I enjoyed the show so much as a kid—I had no real sense of money and the numbers that the contestants shouted out just seemed arbitrary. I’d still play along, though...

You Are Not Alone: MS and Incontinence

Blog Summary

Because MS affects the central nervous system, it’s difficult to predict what symptoms each person will have. MS can cause complications with vision, muscle control, balance and other basic functions. One of the most common, and to be honest, often embarrassing symptoms is incontinence...

“Because She’s Sick”

Blog Summary

Have you ever experienced someone else’s ignorance or intolerance about your MS? Have you ever had someone make you feel different or isolated from the rest of the world? Well you are not! You have MS but MS does not have you; never let someone feel like less than you are. This is my wake-up call and message to those who feel this disease defines who we are:...

MS & Movement

Blog Summary

One of the things I love about attending the Annual Meeting of the Consortium of MS Centers is how many studies focus on pinpointing problems in the daily lives of people with MS and how to find solutions. This is the point of rehabilitation–to restore or maintain function as much as possible. One problem that is being investigated is sedentary behavior, also called “sitting time.” Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and colleagues around the country administered a physical activity questionnaire to more than 6,000 people with MS...

This Side of Hope

Blog Summary

My mom has lived with MS since her 20s. She was diagnosed before I was born, so MS has always been something that is a “normal” part of my life. Through the years, MS has thrown her some curveballs, but my mom has always found a way to adapt. She’d put on a smile and learn a new way of doing something she loved and wasn’t willing to give up. She is strong and resilient, and this has impacted me in the most extraordinary way.

Mom Duty: Fatigue Edition

Blog Summary

The story is always the same.   Mom goes away for the weekend—either for a getaway with friends, or maybe to attend a conference. The trip itself is great. Mom comes home and all is well. She is just fine, thanks. Even rejuvenated...

Bringing Us Closer

Blog Summary

Living with MS can sometimes feel like you’re stranded on an island by yourself. People who don’t have MS might not fully understand what you’re going through, and others living with MS may have symptoms and experiences entirely different from yours. To make the MS world smaller, this year’s World MS Day (May 30) theme is “bringing us closer.” It’s about building connections and sharing stories to unify us in our collective stand against MS. Connect with the researchers, students and nurses who are at the forefront of finding a cure to bring us closer to a world free of MS. Meet two of our researchers and learn how their work is #BringingUsCloser to a cure...

A Journey of Hope

Blog Summary

It was a beautiful summer day. I was riding my bike and my wife, Kathy, was walking. When we met back at our starting point, she said to me, “I’m walking like I had a stroke.” I put the bike aside, stood behind her and asked her to show me what she meant. For the next six and a half years, we pursued an answer for Kathy’s “drop foot” and other worsening symptoms. Countless doctor visits, tests, and poking and prodding. Sometimes we were presented with what it wasn’t, and other times with what it could be. But, nothing ever definitive...

Family Vacation

Blog Summary

Growing up, I sometimes got a little bummed that I was born five days before Christmas. It felt like my birthday, compared to my brothers, was rushed and forgotten. I was never in school around my friends because it was already winter break. Often, we’d be on the road driving to see family on my big day. Then there’s the inevitable “combo” birthday presents wrapped in Santa Claus paper while “Jingle Bells” plays in the background. Having “Happy Birthday” sung to me kind of felt like an afterthought...

Thinking About Emotional Wellness

Blog Summary

Last week, I attended the American Academy of Neurology meeting in Los Angeles. There were several studies presented on aspects of emotional health, and it got me thinking about how important it is to remember that our emotional health can affect many aspects of living with MS. Research has shown that anxiety and depression can occur as MS symptoms, not just as reactions to having the disease. One poster presentation I saw was by Canadian researchers, who generally do a pretty good job tracking people with MS because of their unified health systems and electronic records. They reported that anxiety (and diabetes) could have a negative impact on a person’s cognition. The researchers commented that it’s possible that treating diabetes or anxiety could improve cognitive problems for people with MS.