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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

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“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...

Indoor Family Fun for Fatigue Days

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For many families, summer is all about the outdoors—bike rides, barbecues, lake days or trips to the park.   That’s great… if you have the energy for it...

Isolation During COVID-19: A Different Perspective

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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

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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!...

Dear Dad

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Dear Dad,   Telling you I have MS is the hardest thing I’ve had to do yet. Harder than telling you someone wanted to marry me, I was pregnant with the first grandchild or that a divorce was on the horizon. More difficult than I am moving away, I am changing jobs or I have fallen short of the dreams we dreamed together...

Not Just Surviving, but Thriving

Blog Summary

I have a tattoo of a fiery, colorful phoenix on my back. In the flames at the bottom of the tattoo is the title of Dr. Maya Angelou’s poem, “Still I Rise,” written in Arabic.  That phoenix’s self-destruction only to rise out of its ashes is symbolic of my life...

What I Wasn’t Told

Blog Summary

When I was diagnosed with MS, I was told a lot of things about how I should treat my condition from a medical standpoint—I was told what MS is. I researched MS and realized that my life was going to change.   But there were a lot of things that I wasn't told. They weren't intentionally hidden from me; because I honestly don't think these things are relevant from a medical standpoint. How MS would change me over the following 13 years couldn't have been anticipated by a doctor or internet story...

The Missing MS Face

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Last month, we celebrated World MS Day on May 30.   We stand "connected" with our MS family throughout the world by raising awareness for this disease. But this month, America is hurting and managing the impact racism is having on our country...