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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...
 

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?...

My Memorable MS Mentorship in the Midwest

Blog Summary

In a few months, I will be an MD graduate. It’s amazing how fast time flies by. Looking back at my last four years of medical school, I am nothing but amazed at the experiences I’ve had. Yes, it was tough, but eventually I learned to enjoy the great experiences that come with studying medicine. I became my own advocate for my education. Neurology is my interest, so when I heard about a mentorship offered by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. My close relative lives with multiple sclerosis, and this mentorship meant a lot to me on a personal level. I wanted to find out more about the neurological disease that affects almost a million people in the United States and what advances were being made in the field to find a cure...

Career vs. MS

Blog Summary

I had huge plans for when I left university. I was going to start my new career as an illustrator! I had big dreams of everyone owning something with one of my designs on it. I managed to find an agent to represent me at major trade shows, and I even had a book deal while I was still at university! I was so excited. All I needed to do was to finish university.   But life never quite goes as you expect it to go, does it?...

A Back to School Prayer for Families

Blog Summary

May I have enough energy this year—parents need so much energy to navigate the demands of the school year, without pesky MS fatigue slowing them down.   So, may my fatigue not keep me from my children’s school activities, sporting events and dance recitals. May the hot weather not keep me from game days, or track and field days. May my medical appointments not conflict with those activities or events...

Myths and Realities of the ADA

Blog Summary

The Internet is indeed a mixed blessing. The good news is that there’s an amazing amount of information out there. The bad news is that there’s an amazing amount of information out there. As an individual with multiple sclerosis, I have of course surfed the web, looking for answers. Once I learned how to separate the truthful and credible information from the wacky and even dangerous stuff, I learned a great deal...

MS Transparency: How Open Should I Be?

Blog Summary

Do I walk over and explain to the dude in the garage—the one who’s been giving me the stink eye ever since I pulled into a disabled parking spot—that, while I appear to be healthy, I actually have MS?   Do I tell my students what’s going on when I’m pressing my icy drink against my neck to cool me off while I’m teaching inside an overheated classroom, fretting about whether my MS heat sensitivity will flare up?...  

Not How it's Always Been

Blog Summary

At work, have you ever asked why something is the way it is, and you’re told: “I don’t know… that’s just how it’s always been done.” Even just typing that, I start to break into a cold sweat...

MS, Climate Change and Kiribati

Blog Summary

The date was October 24, 2007. It was my second year at the University of Pittsburg’s Anthropology Ph.D. program when MS hit. Within minutes of arriving at the school’s Halloween festival, I lost my vision, ability to talk and walk. Rushed to the hospital, I was diagnosed with MS and placed on a disease-modifying therapy, Avonex, within hours.​..

It's Time

Blog Summary

Have you ever had a moment where you realize, “it’s time?” Time to make a change and let go of the past? When I was 10 years old, I had my first job delivering newspapers...

Turning Adversity into Opportunity

Blog Summary

When you’re faced with an adverse situation, there are three ways to look at it: a problem, a challenge or an opportunity. A problem is something that festers—it negatively affects your life. A challenge is a struggle that you must overcome. Now, looking at those two options, it would seem there’s nothing but gloom and doom when you’re faced with a troubling news. But there is another way to look at it...