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The Past and Future of MRI in MS

Blog Summary

Most people who have been diagnosed with MS have had at least one MRI scan done of their brain. Having a scan can be a strange experience, but it’s the best tool doctors have for helping to confirm or rule out an MS diagnosis, and for tracking what MS is doing silently, even if there are no physical signs.   At the 2018 American Academy of Neurology meeting in Los Angeles, I was able to attend the lecture of this year’s winner of the John Dystel Prize for MS Research, Dr. Frederik Barkhof. He pioneered the use of MRI to improve the ability to diagnose MS, and to monitor MS and detect whether a treatment is having any benefits against the lesions—those white spots or black spots that show up on the scans...

Dealing with Literal Loneliness

Blog Summary

Being diagnosed with MS at any age is never fun, but when you’re a young person diagnosed with MS, it seems to change more in your mind than just myelin!   I was diagnosed at just 22 years old. When I came out of the hospital after my diagnosis, I had to confront what seemed like a new life...

The Heart of Service

Blog Summary

I often divide my life with MS into two parts: BC (Before Chair) and AD (After Disability). I was diagnosed with MS in 1988, the beginning of BC. At the time, I think I was in denial. I dealt with problems as they came up, and I pushed it to the back of my mind. It wasn’t until 1993 when I had a particularly bad exacerbation that AD began. That’s when I went into a wheelchair...

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...

What I Wish...

Blog Summary

MS symptoms vary from person to person. Even more, symptoms are often invisible. Because of this, it can be difficult to describe your symptoms or get someone to relate to your experience. For MS Awareness Week (March 11-17), we asked you, “what do you wish people knew about MS?" Here’s what you said...

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...

Care That's Personalized for You

Blog Summary

Receiving a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis can be frightening. I know firsthand—I was diagnosed in 2013 shortly after I turned 29. I worried about my future and mourned for my past.   The disease comes in several forms with many manifestations. Much like our varied symptoms, people living with MS embark on different journeys. But while our individual experiences may be unique, there are similar underlying needs and conversations that must be had...

My Story Goes on

Blog Summary

Stunned is hardly the word for how I felt … Shocked, devastated … those are the feelings I remember. At age 45, I had finally achieved some professional success, having just been named partner in a large law firm. It had been a struggle because for 20 years I had been experiencing odd physical sensations, fatigue and inability to concentrate.   In my personal life, I had two young children, had recently remarried, and had welcomed two stepchildren. What had been a happy new life for all of us suddenly became a very confusing, painful time. Full of many questions and concerns, and none of us had any answers...

5 Minutes

Blog Summary

The day before, a professional triathlete gave me this advice: “You must keep moving. You cannot stop.” I had just completed 11.9 miles of the Pikes Peak Ascent (PPA), a half marathon that ranges from an elevation of 6,300 feet in Manitou Springs, CO to the 14,115 feet summit of Pikes Peak, and reached the Cirque Aid Station. The freezing point temperature I had expected and planned for by this altitude was instead about 70 Fahrenheit. I had been ahead of schedule, but now I risked exceeding the maximum allowed time of 6.5 hours. And I really needed to stop...

Talking to My Children about MS

Blog Summary

Even if the sun was shining and the day was warm, I’d cringe whenever I’d drive by the park with my sons. Because I knew my 6 year old would ask to stop.   And I knew I’d have to say no...

Not ______ Enough

Blog Summary

I will never forget the first time I felt “less than.” I was onstage and in costume, ready to perform for the very first time at the local Greek festival. Our dance troupe director was welcoming the audience and explaining the origin of our opening number. The girl standing next to me in line started to ask the dancers in the immediate area “how much Greek” they were. She went down the line...