David Scaffidi


In Italy, MS is the name of a brand of a cigarette.

In Italy, cigarettes were and still are, basically, a sate monopoly. The name MS stands for 'Monopoli di Stato:" State Monopolies.

In the States, there are many more meanings for MS. It could stand for Mississippi, or Magnolia State. It could also signify manuscript, like this one, here. It may indicate a title, a miss. Or it may very well be; Masters in Science.

Or it could just simply mean: Multiple Sclerosis.

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1. When I have a long day, sometimes I get dizzy--that's when the
collapsible cane is good.

2. When my legs are weak my thick canes are better--I have three.

3. When my legs are too weak and I feel dizzy and nauseous, my crutches are best.

4. My fingers get so tangled at times; I can barely hold a pen.

5. Worst is when the invisible symptoms act up and I can't think.

6. Just as bad is when I am fatigued and can't do much of
anything. Fatigue does not mean tired, but it feels as if I should be.

7. Then there are the meds. These are worse than the disease itself,
as is often said.

8. Interferon is horrific in many ways, and I don't care what the
docs say, I've been on some form of it for over ten years.
I'm still not used to it.

9. The illness really starts to suck when they give the steroids.
Can't say how many times I got those.

10. And I'm not sure if the bouts of depression I feel are just
the downswings of my bipolarity, or my meds,
or the disease itself.

David Scaffidi is a dual citizen of the United States and the European Union and lives in both New York City and Florence, Italy. He was a researcher of epilepsy at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published in Neurosurgery, Electroencephalography, Epilepsia, Society For Neurosciences Abstracts and other journals. Scaffidi received the diagnosis of relapsing remitting Multiple Sclerosis in Baltimore, Maryland and was a patient at the NIH for twelve years. After a diagnosis of hypertension, he writes about strategies for overcoming any chronic illness.