Columns

Why I Still Snowboard With a Disability

Gravity is my friend. Even if I’m tired, gravity will pull my snowboard and me down the mountain. I like to ride alone because I need to listen to music, which I only play in one ear so I can hear my surroundings. During the offseason, I build music…

How Pets Can Benefit People With Disabilities

Sometimes in life, the easiest decisions make the greatest impact. It probably wasn’t reasonable for a new couple to get a dog together, but that’s exactly how Marmaduke came into our lives. A wild idea led to an internet search, and as luck would have it, we were able to…

Redefining What’s Possible Through Paralympic Sports

Like many Canadians, I grew up watching curling, a beloved national sport that helped make the long prairie winters more tolerable. I’d watch with my grandparents and cheer for the teams that made it to the Olympics. Curling transfixed me with its elegant combination of skill, athleticism, and drama.

Steroids: A Necessary Evil With NMO

As someone with neuromyelitis optica (NMO), I am no stranger to steroids. Like most NMO patients, I have a love-hate relationship with them. I jokingly refer to them as “the devil’s Tic Tacs” because of the potential side effects, many of which can be quite serious. On the flip side,…

In the Blink of an Eye, My Vision Was Threatened

When I was misdiagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), and five years later, properly diagnosed with neuromyelitis optica (NMO), I was told that a hallmark symptom of each disease was optic neuritis. This occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the optic nerve, causing inflammation, which can lead to…

How I Manage My Healthcare Team

As a rare disease patient with neuromyelitis optica and comorbidities, my medical care is complicated. I have an extensive healthcare team that includes: a family doctor a neurologist and neuro nurses a rheumatologist three pharmacists a home infusion nurse an immunologist three endocrinologists a physiatrist a gastroenterologist…