Girl on the Swing

Image by eslfuntaiwan from Pixabay

In the sleepy noon sun, I am a little girl about to ride a swing. I tuck some stray carroty hairs, shaking with sunlight and diesel fumes, behind my ear. I wear only one boot, but I will use it skilfully as an instrument to control my speed. I stretch it out to the gravel, and like a lathe, it sands it and slows me.

I am in a field on the outskirts of the carnival. The distant crowds are noisy and confusing, and howling from a light shrill wind. You have made us separate again, mum, and let the…


The one question parents of train-obsessed children should ask

boy in black-and-white fantasy steam train
boy in black-and-white fantasy steam train
Image by Willgard Krause from Pixabay

To be honest, it was embarrassing. His first words were ‘Choo Choo’. Then, they were his only words.

Choo for yes. Choo for no.

Choo for happy, sad, don’t know, and I love you.

For two years, ‘Choo Choo’ was not the signal of an engine coming ‘round the bend. ‘Choo choo’ was the signal of a problem.

Trains, Trains, Trains. What is Wrong With My Child?

Is this familiar to you? If so, you may well ask yourself what the heck is wrong with ma boy?

Look at him!

Lying flat on his stomach. Pushing a train along a wooden track with his finger. Gazing lovingly into its…


After 22 years of multiple sclerosis, these simple things have completely stopped any flare ups.

Photo by Fuu J on Unsplash

1. I stopped drinking cow’s milk

To be honest, I didn’t think it would make much difference.

Drinking only two coffees each morning, and sometimes in a bowl of cereal at night, why would it matter?

Anyway, I took the OMS advice and switched from cow to soy.

The difference has been huge! No MS attacks for seven years.

That’s been enough time to heal any lesions on my brain and spinal cord so that I no longer have any parasthesia. There is no buzzing in my fingers when I tip my head forward anymore. I feel fantastic. I even started running again.

I overwhelmingly credit…


ballet dancers on stage merge in slow shutter effect
ballet dancers on stage merge in slow shutter effect
Photo by Ahmad Odeh on Unsplash

When I drive along the freeway and into heavy Sydney traffic, there are two things I need.

First, air conditioning. I need to stay cool to stay calm. The second thing I need is classical music. The relaxing, Baroque kind, or piano sequences. And then I breathe slowly. Everything in the world moves at a different pace — the pace of an elegant French film.

All cultures around the world use music. If you love classical music, you’ll understand why it’s a key part of life, ritual, and enjoyment.

Classical music helps us make physical improvements

Jennifer Powell, A health writer with multiple sclerosis describes music…


Quite a few years ago, I had an MS attack and needed a cane when I got out of hospital. I was devastated.

My friend Bronski, however, thought that was so cool.

“How is that cool?” I demanded

“It’s sexy,” she said.

“It’s not sexy!”

“Yeah, Melody Gardot,” she stated. “It is!”

Melody Gardot is a sexy jazz singer — to whom I bear no resemblance — who uses a walking cane because of an injury.

Hm. I thought about it.

I suppose I had the choice. Feel like a young invalid. Or feel sexy to someone.

Why not…


They say when you have multiple sclerosis you can’t go running. .

forest in the sunrise
forest in the sunrise
Photo by Galyna_Andrushko on Envato Elements

Each morning, a bit after sunrise, I take a jog through the bush near my house. It’s beautiful. The light fans out through the trees. Tendrils of mist hang in the air because we are at an altitude and it’s winter.

Jogging is an unremarkable practice that I suppose a lot of people do every morning. For me, it’s a profound blessing. I have had multiple sclerosis for 22 years. I couldn’t run for a long time.

As a kid, I liked running. Our street that curved around a disused quarry that had an active train line running through and…


As impressive as it looks on the outside is equal to how uncomfortable it is on the inside

feet stick out of MRI machine
feet stick out of MRI machine
Photo by Wavebreakmedia on Envato Elements

When you book an MRI appointment, you are asked a lot of questions. Many of them start with the words “Do you have…”

“Do you have a pacemaker?”

No.

“Do you have any shrapnel in your body?”

No.

“Do you have any bullet wounds?”

So far, so good.

“Do you have any metal dental fillings? Mercury, stainless steel, titanium, gold?”

Just the cheap ceramic ones.

“Do you have any metal fragments in either eye?”

No.

“Do you have a hearing aid?”

No.

“Cochlear implants?”

No.

“Neurostimulator?”

No.

“Heart stents?”

No.

More and more.

My better half listens to me on…


I moved from ‘How much can I earn?’ to ‘How little do I need?’

Photo by flotsam, Envato Elements

Like many couples, my partner and I like to think of our life together as a magic carpet ride. We float just above the earth and watch and experience a panoply of unfurling places, people, and adventures.

The Magic Carpet

That’s not to say we passively waft with the breeze and end up wherever we end up. In fact, we have the rudder and direct the flight path of that carpet with earnestness, as well as lightness.

It’s just our way of thinking about life with a sense of adventure. …


Selfie of me. I’ve had MS since 1998.
Selfie of me. I’ve had MS since 1998.
Author Photo

My name is Danielle. I’m 44 years old. I have had multiple sclerosis (MS) since 1998.

MS is an autoimmune disease. The name is a description of the symptoms: ‘hardening of the tissue’ or multiple scars. The causes are not yet understood and there is no known cure.

When an episode of multiple sclerosis occurs, something triggers an immune response from the central nervous system. For reasons not well understood, the target of that immune response is myelin, which is the fatty insulation that surrounds our nerves to protect them. The effect of the scarred myelin is known as de-myelination…


Photo by Orcearo | Envato Elements

Clad in a tablecloth and fitted with a face cage and helicopter headphones, I am strapped to some vinyl upholstery and remotely rolled into the tube.

The Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine (MRI) is a two-million-dollar deep scanner that has the look and presence of a unit more at home in NASA than a Nowra shopfront. As impressive as it looks on the outside is equally proportionate to how uncomfortable it is on the inside.

The ceiling is a couple of centimetres above my face. If it were glass, my breath would be fogging it. Eyes prised shut, I engage in…

Sassica Thorn

Freelance writer. Composer of short fiction. Novelist.

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