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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...  

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...

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...

Constant Reminder

Blog Summary

Day and night, on good days and bad, it’s always there. Watching. Waiting.   I’m talking, of course, about my multiple sclerosis DMT injection...

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...

Choosing the Appropriate Disease-Modifying Protocol

Blog Summary

No one can completely predict the severity of an individual’s clinical course of MS. That said, there are clues your neurologist, or a neurologically trained healthcare provider, can use that may suggest a milder or more severe disease course.   Clues include the nature of changes on central nervous system MRIs, the number of relapses occurring over the past several years, the nature of the relapses, the sites of tissue injury, and most importantly, the degree of neurologic recovery from the relapses. These clues are essential in choosing the proper disease-modifying therapy...

Questions to Ask Your Neurologist About Your MS

Blog Summary

You’ve just been diagnosed with MS. You’ve heard about the disease (“OMG, I’m going to be in a wheelchair”). You’ve heard something about the medications that are now available for MS, but know little about them. You’ve seen other people with MS, but how does their course relate to yours? What can you do to prevent disability? These and many other questions crowd in on you, and it all seems overwhelming. You need to spend more time with your neurologist or nurse specialist, but don’t know where to start. Hopefully the following questions to ask will be a guide for you...

Got Chi?

Blog Summary

I never saw it coming. Not in a million years. Acupuncture? Needles all over my body? There was no amount of money you could pay me to do that...  

Life on MS Treatment

Blog Summary

Starting treatment for multiple sclerosis can be scary and life-changing on many levels.   It’s not just the inconvenience of having to fit a new medication into your schedule. It’s also the fear of side effects—not to mention the fear that comes when you find out your disease is progressing.

Precision Medicine in MS – What Will it Take?

Blog Summary

I’ve just come back from an exciting meeting in Dallas hosted by ACTRIMS (Americas Committee for the Treatment and Research in MS).  The focus was precision medicine. It’s the idea of using a person’s genetic background, environment, lifestyle and other factors to develop a customized approach to treat MS.   More than 1200 clinicians, young investigators and seasoned researchers gathered to consider what precision medicine would look like for people with MS, and the challenges and opportunities in getting closer to precision medicine. If you’re interested, you can browse the summaries of the presentations here...