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Wearing a Mask Is About Compassion

Blog Summary

Wearing a mask has been a point of contention for many people.   But by wearing a mask, I feel I'm being compassionate to others, and by them wearing a mask, I feel they're being compassionate to me...

COVID-19: Is It Safe for Me to Go Back to School?

Blog Summary

As the steep incline in the number of U.S. COVID-19 cases wallpapers cable news, officials at the big city-university where I teach are, like many higher ed administrators, trying to figure out how to safely resume in-person instruction in the fall. Participating in Zoom faculty meetings, I’ve heard plans about how socially-distanced and face-mask-clad faculty, staff and students could make this work, as officials create COVID-19 testing guidelines...  

Back to Square One

Blog Summary

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”    Anyone who has seen the classic Godfather trilogy remembers this iconic line from Michael Corleone in the final chapter of the saga. Unfortunately, this was the one good line in a pretty disappointing movie. Or, at least we can all agree that the third one wasn’t as good as the first two. Another thing we certainly can agree on is that 2020 feels like we are all in a bad movie. And, as a person living with multiple sclerosis in this bad movie, I can totally relate to Michael Corleone’s line...

Isolation During COVID-19: A Different Perspective

Blog Summary

My isolation started before COVID-19, and I don’t think I understood how isolated I had become until the pandemic, when I have oddly felt more at ease.    You see, I have primary progressive multiple sclerosis and, as of last summer, after major emergency surgery, the added limitation of an unexpected ostomy bag. A double whammy. And I am over 65. Even without COVID-19, my life had slowly become smaller and smaller, and it got harder and harder for me to do the things that I love and that define me..

Essential Work

Blog Summary

I never knew that the phone would be my armor. When COVID-19 precautions started, I was convinced that the clinic I worked at would close. I didn’t understand how being a private practice veterinarian in Maryland could be essential.    Then I thought about it: I give vaccines to prevent fatal diseases; I treat everything from upset tummies to grotesque wounds; I manage chronic illnesses. I save lives. I end suffering. How could I have thought that my work was not essential?...

Advocating... Virtually

Blog Summary

I was invited to join the National MS Society for California State Action Day at the end of March in Sacramento. We would be meeting face to face with our representatives to share our stories of living with multiple sclerosis. I was thrilled! I was going to leave late Sunday night and be back late Monday night after spending the day in Sacramento for a quick overnight trip. My husband would get the kids to and from school. My parents would watch them while he was at work. I was going to have to figure out how to do a Lyft/Uber ride from the airport to the hotel. It was all worked out, and I was so excited!...

MS Treatment in a Time of Coronavirus

Blog Summary

I hadn’t left my house in weeks. Out of an abundance of caution, I had self-quarantined before it became mandatory by my state. Usually, I would have had my “Infusion Day bag” with me: phone charger, sweater and lunch. But this time, my infusion would be different than the last five times...

Getting My Infusion

Blog Summary

When I realized that my Ocrevus infusion was scheduled shortly after the COVID-19 outbreak and initial uproar (scheduled for mid-April), I began to panic. Since I work in a hospital and am around germs constantly, I was not so much worried about being in the hospital to receive my medicine… I was mainly worried about not being able to get it at all. With almost all elective procedures being put on hold, I was terrified that they would stop outpatient infusions completely. Therefore, I decided to call my neurologist and propose that we move up my infusion a few weeks to get it in and over with before things get worse from a virus standpoint. He agreed with that proposal and helped speed up my prior-authorization approval, and I was able to get my infusion about two weeks early...

Answering Your COVID-19 Questions: Part 2

Blog Summary

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is working with experts across the world to learn more about COVID-19 and how it impacts people living with multiple sclerosis. The latest findings include MS therapies being studied as possible COVID-19 treatments, the role of inflammation in severe cases and the risk of complications from COVID-19...

Zooming Together

Blog Summary

This is boring! Humans were not meant to stay inside all day, every day. But the current pandemic has driven us to this universal isolation, and we are feeling its consequences. It can be much worse for those of us with MS, for several reasons. Depression is often a neurological symptom of our disease, as are mobility and vision problems. These can often make us afraid to venture outdoors, even in a pandemic-free environment, and now we don’t have a choice...