I have been hit by optic neuritis a handful of times in the last six years. Decades of relative visual stability after a rocky start to my MS journey had lulled me into the silly assumption that I had won the battle and beaten back the neurological invader.
Those with debilitating illnesses, hardly just MS, fight the battle for self-esteem. Our physical failures challenge our ability to get by each day. That chisels away our pride at who we are and what we do, no matter the arena
Only 20 patients had been tapped for this spectacular opportunity. My stem cell infusion took place in New York City on a recent frigid winter day, inaugurating the study. I knew a long, thin needle would be inserted into my spinal column and the cells released. I was ready.
Being disabled comes with some serious challenges. But we have the choice of allowing those challenges to keep us stuck at home or we can say hey, this makes me appreciate life so much more and I am going to LIVE IT!
The month of March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, an effort to help expand knowledge, support and understanding about the disease. I wrote this short piece to educate others about what it feels like to live with MS and a disability.
Anyone struggling with a chronic condition, especially one invisible to others, faces that vexing question. What do we tell prospective employers, what do we owe them -- at the same time protecting ourselves. There is no easy answer.
It has always fascinated me that creativity and positive thinking are often born out of limitation. When there is adversity, it seems, we humans have all the greater incentive to work out ingenious ways to overcome obstacles, protect ourselves from harm, and chart new territory.
When I lament that I no longer can hike or climb or throw or even walk, sometimes I am able to look at my grown children and appreciate what I gave them as they grew into their success. I was there for them. My old man would be proud.
In both instances, the laboratory mice's immune cells created fewer inflammatory molecules, principally one referred to as interleukin 17, or IL-17, which is powerfully related to multiple sclerosis and quite destructive to nerve cells.