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Man Up vs. Open Up

Blog Summary

As a young boy growing up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, I heard this phase a lot. You have to “man up” and don’t show your feelings or emotions. Showing your emotions/feelings was a sign of a weak man. This all changed when I had to come around and man up about my multiple sclerosis diagnosis with my children and wife of seven years. You see, I was a single parent for a long time, so I thought I had to be a tough disciplinarian, without showing my feelings or emotions. Remember, this was part of my DNA...

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...

“Drawing” in the Rain

Blog Summary

Now that I’m retired, there are so many things I want to do. Among them is learning how to draw. I am fascinated by the ability to create portraits, landscapes, bowls of fruit and so much more from a humble charcoal pencil, and I’ve always wanted to learn how to do that. I signed up for a drawing class, put on by a local recreation department. It was raining ferociously on that first day as I got out of my car and approached the building in my walker. It was pretty obvious from a distance that the main entrance had stairs in the front, and I assumed there was another, accessible entrance. But as I got closer, I realized that the stairs were the only way into the building. The door was also closed, and there was no sign or anything else saying what to do if you had questions or problems...

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...

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...

MS Allies

Blog Summary

“What can I do to help” is a phrase I often hear. Usually, the offer of help comes right after I tell someone that I live with MS, or sometimes comes after the person has learned of a close friend or family member living with MS and reach out to me to ask what steps to take next.   I have an answer...

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...

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...

MS vs. Menzies

Blog Summary

Menzies. That time of the month. Aunt Flo’s visit, whatever you want to call it. For some reason, talking about this seems to be a taboo subject.   It affects half of the population every month, so why do we not talk about it more?..

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...