Friday, June 30, 2006

Music and the MS Monster

Can music soothe the savage beast? Even when the beast is MS? The June 2006 Journal of Advanced Nursing says music can enhance the effects of pain medications. The study involved a small group of volunteers, some of whom listened to music. Results showed that the music groups experienced less pain and depression than the control group.

Music Therapy may also alleviate anxiety, cognitive problems, and walking difficulties. The type of music did not change the benefits, so turn on the radio and enjoy the music!

For more information, visit the American Music Therapy Association.

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Thursday, June 29, 2006


Marijuana. This week medical marijuana is making the news.

Maybe because of the June 28 Senate vote. It was defeated, but the general population seems to want it passed and Senate support is now stronger than ever.

Maybe because of the June 26 launch of C-Ice in the UK. C-Ice is a drink with hemp-blossom syrup or sweet cannabis tea. C-Ice is now in 25 European countries and is being tested specifically for MS leg pain and spasms.

Maybe because of the June 23 announcement that the National MS Society is funding an ongoing study of the effects of marijuana on spasticity in MS. The University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research lost funding before the study was completed and NMSS filled the need.

Marijuana. It just won't go away. Maybe there's a good reason.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Enriching our Daily Lives

The mission of the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is to enrich the quality of life for MSers. The mission continues to promote a greater understanding of MS and the needs and challenges of MSers.

When I was first diagnosed, my nephew Jeff introduced me to MSAA with a subscription to the MSAA Motivator their quarterly magazine. Thank you, Jeff.

The MSAA has programs and services to further the mission, working to break down barriers and build hope. The services include equipment distribution, home modification, MRI funding and public awareness. Regional offices sponsor classes in such exciting areas as therapeutic services, massage therapy, self defense and hippotherapy.

It's free to join as an information member or as a client member if you are an MSer or family member. Take a look.

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Looking for a Job?

We disabled face obstacles in addition to those of the able-bodied. Where are we to turn? Hire Disability Solutions has a new partner and it’s really a monster!

All of the tools available to job seekers on are now available on These two on-line employment counselors have joined together in a co-branded career resource section. MSers and people with other disabilities can now use Monster’s job search tools, career content and resume posting capabilities on the revamped HireDS.

Get your resume ready and good luck!

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Renting a car? Rent a scooter, too

Avis is the first rental car company to offer mobility scooters for disabled travelers.

Customers can have a scooter waiting in the trunk of their rental car in Las Vegas and Orlando. Thank you Avis for making traveling easier. It's clear that you really do try harder!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Vitamin D and MS

I take a lot of calcium to help with my osteoporosis, but calcium alone may not be enough. Vitamin D allows the calcium to be absorbed into the blood, so I also take that.

Now I see some research that says Vitamin D and MS may be a beneficial match.

Four small studies suggest that Vitamin D may decrease MS exacerbations. These studies were performed on a small number of participants, but the results sound promising.

I can't wait until I hear more.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Call your Senator

Medicare covers mobility devices for use only inside the home, disregarding a wheeler's need to go to the doctor's office, to the store, to church or anywhere else outside the home. This severely restricts the independence of the disabled.

This week Senator Bingaman (D-NM) and Senator Santorum (R-PA) plan to introduce legislation to fix Medicare’s “in the home” restriction on mobility devices. Ask your senator to co-sponsor the bill so we can all participate in our communities inside and outside of our homes.

Your senator’s web site gives contact information to help email, fax, write or call. Or you can call toll-free to the capitol switchboard at 1-877-224-0041.
Read the National MS Society’s position.

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Surfing for MS

Just because I have MS doesn’t mean I can’t surf. My surfing is limited to the Internet, but it is informative and fun. Here are three MS sites I would like to share.

The MS-Tai Chi experience is explored in a blog that reaches out to MSers who practice tai chi.
Joel Gottlieb has been studying tai chi for thirteen years and uses it to manage his own MS. It is more than a personal journal. Take a look.

This is MS offers so much information you will want to visit more than once.

The Top Page has lists and links to articles on various topics categorized by the most read, best rated, most commented and more. These lists might help you decide what to read first.

The Survey page has past surveys and articles with the surveys. While you are visiting, take a survey and compare your answer to many others who took the same survey. There are several surveys that give insight into the MS community.

If you register (for free) you will receive emails when the site is updated.

James S.Huggins' Refrigerator Door is as advertised. Like many people's, this refrigerator door is decorated with snippets giving insight to James' life and interests as a writer and speaker. The site is not exclusively dedicated to MS, but there is a wealth of MS information.

James has many links, including his reason for this MS section of his site. In addition to medical, general information, and research links, it includes some personal stories, book reviews and recommendations.

But don’t stop here. Continue to look around the site. He has a page of Hugginisms, quotes he created or likes enough to repeat often; a tribute to the U-2 spy plane; a nice selection of humor, quotes and motivating vignettes; and more . . and even more.

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

What can one person do?

Sylvia Lawry's brother was diagnosed with MS and she did not know how to help him or what to say or what was going to happen or even what MS was. She put an ad in the paper to find someone who had been cured so her brother could also be cured. She received many responses, but they were MSers who wanted to know if someone had a cure.

As a result of finding no help, Sylvia founded the US National MS Society. She later founded the Multiple Sclerosis International Foundation, an umbrella for MS societies and the international research community. That foundation created the Sylvia Lawry Centre for Multiple Sclerosis Research the year she died, 2001.

Because her brother had MS, she created a network for research and to provide information and support for MSers. She helped her brother and she continues to help the rest of the 2.5 million MSers around the world.

One of these days, when another woman like Sylvia places an ad for a cure, she will receive many responses -- with a cure developed because Sylvia wanted to help. Thank you, Sylvia.

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Face of MS

The first day of MS Awareness Week the National MS Society with help from Clear Channel Communications launched a new website illustrating the changing face of MS. It began with 60 faces representing the National MS Society's 60 years.

If you haven't visited the site since the beginning, it's time for another visit. There are so many faces, each with a story. Some of the stories are pretty remarkable -- some are remarkably ordinary. These are MSers, families, caretakers, people in the public eye, in public service, in retirement, as students, MSers like you and me. Click on the picture to see and sometimes to hear the story.

Every story counts. Add yours.

come face to face with MS

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Is MS a New Disease?

Sometimes when I read MS articles on the Internet I don’t see any new information. I still read just in case there’s something new or something I don’t remember. Wikipedia which bills itself as the “free encyclopedia” introduces the MS section with a brief – very brief – article that reads a little differently.

Under the article is a list of specific topics. Tonight I read the History section. When I first learned about this dreaded disease, I didn’t think it had much history. Well it wasn’t even recognized as a disease until 1868. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t exist before the 19th Century.

Some possible MSers are Saint Lidwina of Schiedam, an illegitimate grandson of King George III, and a British writer who wrote The Journal of a Disappointed Man.

To read something new, click here.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Tysabri Approved!

February 26 I wrote about a scheduled FDA review of Biogen Idec/Elan’s Tysabri for possible return to market. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today has approved the return to market of Tysabri®. Hopefully, it will be available by July.

See more about the Tysabri approval at the National MS Society web site

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