multiple sclerosis in Takayama

I had the most delightful pantomimed “discussion” with a young MD in a Takayama hospital the first year we went to Japan. I had picked up the flu, most likely on the plane given I later found my specific symptoms to be similar to what was circulating in the area I reside, but I ended up in the hospital in Japan. I had called my MD stateside when I began to have bizarre symptoms, and he advised me to go the nearest hospital to have my lungs x-rayed—immediately. Clearly he was being very cautious given my history. With me, caution is a good thing. read more


Whenever I read an article about multiple sclerosis (MS) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA), I want to know where the person is in the disease. It helps me to understand their perspective. With that in mind, I was diagnosed with MS in 1991 although I had my first symptoms in 1980. I needed a wheelchair intermittently for a short time in the early 90s but then walked for many years without assistance. I’ve walked with a cane for about the past decade, and I require my wheelchair when we travel as I tire easily and want to do LOTS while we are vacationing. 🙂  I, however, am still able to take the long walks we have taken since first traveling to Japan in 2007. I have foot drop on my left side; I obtained a WalkAide approximately 1.5 years ago. His name is Oscar after Oscar Goldman of the Six Million Dollar Man. Oscar changed my life by allowing me much greater independence. I’ve been on methylprednisolone, prednisone, and Betaseron for MS. I am approved for BG-12 or Tecfidera but never started for reasons which will become apparent in future posts. I went on Betaseron before it was approved by the FDA as the first drug for MS and injected until June 2013. That’s over 20 years if anyone is counting. My body looks like an over-used pin cushion.  I used oral prednisone for RA the first 6 months post-diagnosis, August 2012. I am currently pharmaceutical-free and take only the supplements prescribed by my functional medicine MD. Ah, but that’s a lie. I take Frovatriptan for migraines which seem to be linked to hormones. read more