Many of us living with Multiple Sclerosis and Neuromyelitis Optic (NMO) are likely to experience optic neuritis at some point, making it necessary for us to see a neuro-opthomologist. I thought I would take this opportunity to share what happens during a neuro-opthomology appointment.
Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine that focuses on the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the eye. Most people with visual issues see an opthomologist on a yearly basis. Generally speaking, an opthomologist is an expert in medical and surgical eye problems and will perform standard tests to evaluate the health of your eyes and if needed, prescribe glasses or contact lenses to correct your vision.
Neuro-ophthalmology is the sub-specialty of both neurology and ophthalmology focusing on visual problems that are related to the nervous system, so those of us living with MS or NMO are usually referred to a neuro-opthomologist through our clinic when we develop optic neuritis. A neuro-opthomologist’s skill set is very specific and they have a number of specialized tests allowing them to recognize even subtle changes to the optic nerve so they are better able to diagnose optic neuritis and other neurological conditions that can affect vision.
So I haven’t been blogging in awhile and I must apologize for that. I think partially because I have been slightly putting MS on the back burner. That’s not to say that I’m ignoring it, or not taking care of myself, it’s just that I’ve worked hard to be where I am, and now although I have daily symptoms I’m the best I’ve been for awhile and so am just putting less emphasis on the MS thing and more just trying to live my life. I hope that makes sense!
Well one of my perhaps biggest struggles I have living with MS is with juggling it and employment. As many of you may know I am trained as a teacher, but after 5 years teaching I was let go due to “low numbers”. So once again I was on the job hunt. I was offered a few interviews for fly-in reserve schools up in Northern Ontario, but I figured there was too much risk involved in that if I can’t easily see a doctor or get medication if I need it. I considered supplying but it makes me nervous to not have steady income or benefits for an indefinite period of time.
This topic is as simple as it suggests, what’s your favorite season? When does your body feel the best?
I LOVE FALL !!! Yes I love summer, but unless I’m laying by a pool with quick access to cool my body off – I prefer a temperature where my body doesn’t over heat.
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We are giving away free F.U.MS t-shirts donated by Aaron Solowoniuk of the band Billy Talent! Email Someone Like Me at email@example.com to be entered into the draw!
Anybody that knows me, also knows that I am a HUGE fan of TEDTalks. If you don’t know what TED is, it’s an international organization dedicated to spreading ideas and innovation around Technology, Education and Design (see what they did there?).
One of favourite recent talks is one by comedian and disability advocate Stella Young. In her talk, Stella talks about experiences she’s had in her life that have led her to see that in today’s society, disability is being objectified as a form of what she calls “inspiration porn”.
Being in post-secondary can be a very stressful time – so trying to figure out to manoeuver one’s MS diagnosis at the same time can make it even more difficult, especially if a flare-up hits at an inopportune time.
Luckily there are many services available to post-secondary students available at universities but at times it can be difficult to try to figure out where and how to get said services.
On September 20th, the Multiple Sclerosis Society is hosting an event titled “How will they know what I need? Accessing disability services post-secondary” at York University. Students with MS and their families are invited to participate as different services are talked about by staff.
I’ll also be speaking at it briefly about my experience in post-secondary with disability services and navigating the system.
I invite you all to this orientation and lunch. I’d love to see you all there.
Register for the event here: http://mssociety.ca/toronto/events.htm#postdisablility
(Kits Beach, Vancouver, BC, Canada)
So a few months ago, you may have read my post about Taryn Lencoe’s 12 hour solo ocean marathon swim for MS. My husband has known Taryn’s dad since he was a kid (he was my husband’s swim coach) and we had crossed paths at Vancouver Open Water Swim (VOWSA) events, but the day I interviewed Taryn to write the post was the first time we’d met.
Taryn is a beautiful woman-she is warm and funny and has a gentle, thoughtful spirit that belies the fierce competitive streak that lies beneath. When I met her, I just wanted to hug her and by the time we’d finished talking, I did just that. You can’t help but like her instantly. (more…)
We all know that at times, with MS, it can feel like we are weighed down by it. Sometimes the simple things become more difficult and time consuming. So when can we feel completely free? When do we feel thoroughly uninhibited and free? Can we? The answers are different for everyone and I certainly can’t speak to anyone else’s answers but I can give you mine. For me, I do think I can be uninhibited and free. I feel utterly free in the water. Water is the equalizer for me!
I pose a question to you … WHEN do you like to be reached out to? How often? Do you prefer someone of the same sex? Does age matter? What are your main concerns? It seems like ages ago that I had all these same questions but I was on the other side of the line … I felt like I had no one to talk to.
I am part of a newly diagnosed group, and our volunteer role is to reach out to newly diagnosed individuals. Often I find myself wondering; am I pushy? Am I neglecting? Am I over bearing? Am I scary? A million questions float through my head.
I often find that the volunteer who has had MS for 10 years now is often as nervous as the newly diagnosed patient. Will I be good enough? Will I be able to answer all the questions? Will I come off like I am a pro at this? How can I show that I too was once unsure of the future, and that I still get scared when I have a relapse.
So newly diagnosed … what do you prefer when you meet someone who is more experienced with MS? And what do you HATE?
THANKS IN ADVANCE!
Like it or not, most, if not all of us with MS or NMO are on daily medication. Understanding how to use that medication properly to get the optimum benefit from it and avoid the risks of drug interactions is important. That’s where your pharmacist can help.
Recently, I switched pharmacies from one I had been using for 23 years to one closer to home. (I stayed with the same company, just chose a different location.) It took me awhile to make this decision because I had a history with my former pharmacy-the staff all knew me by name and the pharmacist understood my extensive drug allergies. I had always received good service from them.
The reason for the change was that the store was located right in the middle of a very large and drawn out construction project (the extension of our sky train line) and getting in and out of the area was becoming more and more difficult. The other issue was that the pharmacy staff were having their hours cut in some misguided attempted by the powers-that-be to save money, which meant I’d often spend upwards of a half an hour standing in line waiting to pick up or drop off my prescriptions. My time is valuable and between the commute and the wait times, it just got to be too onerous. I finally decided to make the switch. (more…)