Exercise

I climbed a mountain (yes, really)

I didn’t blog about MS in 2016 because, well, MS bores me. I’d like to forget about it. Still, as 2017 is now well and truly underway, I have a few updates to add to this online record of mine.

My MS was stable in 2016

Symptoms remain and yes, some days were a write off. But my third year with MS was better than the first two. Win.

But side effects from MS medications were a nightmare

There is a difference between MS symptoms and side effects. And for me, 2016 was the year of side effects. Actually the middle six months of 2016 were a clusterf*#k full of side effects.

One year into treatment, Gilenya (my first MS medication) turned on me. Four months later (after one skin cancer scare, one trip to the emergency with suspected liver damage, complete skin breakdown and an all over body drug rash all chalked up to the drug) my neurologist and I decided to switch.

Switching MS medications is… unpleasant. But in this case, necessary.

I switched to Tecfidera, another oral drug which comes with a host of new side effects. But almost three months in, I am over the worst (or perhaps I am just over the embarrassment of flushing bright red for hours each day).

And in late 2016 I climbed a mountain

I am not a hiker, but my partner Jay loves it. Camelback Mountain in Phoenix Arizona is his favourite hike. So, in December 2016 (Phoenix is a desert: no hiking for me with MS there in spring or summer) Jay helped me reach the top.

It took me more than twice the time he normally takes to do the entire hike just to reach the summit (it ascends 1,280 ft, from 1,424 ft above sea level to 2,704 ft), and then of course I had to get down. But it was worth it.

He also filmed me doing it. He’s the best.

And as for blogging in 2017…

I’m hoping to be well, with nothing to record. So hopefully there will be nothing.

The Progress in MS Research Public Lectures

MS research is controversial

Medical research is controversial. And medical research into Multiple Sclerosis tends to be more controversial than most. The stakes are high. Plenty of people gave positive feedback on my last post, and a handful gave what I am going to describe euphemistically as ‘constructive criticism’.

So I am going to let the experts speak for themselves.

Progress in MS Research Public Lecture

The 2015 Progress in MS Research Conference held in Melbourne in October 2015. MS Research Australia has released four public lectures covering the highlights of the conference.

Current and emerging treatment for MS in Australia: An update

Impact of social experience on adult myelin repair

Physical activity and exercise: A lifespan approach to maintain health

Progress in MS Research Conference: Latest news and developments

All lectures can be watched at MS Research Australia.