Just to get the Multiple Sclerosis lessons out of the way...
Posted Sep 12 2008 11:39am
Or, What Multiple Sclerosis (MS) IS and IS NOT:
One of the first thoughts a normal person may think of when they hear Multiple Sclerosis is there is no hope and it is all over.
Life is done. Throw in the cliches because I might as well be buried NOW. I mean run and get the shovel Mabel because my life is DONE!
However, those people are wrong, it takes forever to get diagnosed with MS and most people have it a long time before they KNOW they have. Somehow the knowing changes other people's perceptions and sometimes it even changes the person with the illness, but it doesn't have too. Think about all the other handicaps in the world that people decide are not going to keep them and the same applies to MS. As a matter of fact, since one in one-thousand people have MS in the United stated I am certain that each one of us knows someone with MS and doesn't even know it. In my high school graduating class there was almost 700 kids, 2 of us now have MS, that I know of.
The next thought that people entertain is that Multiple Sclerosis is a deadly disease. (Have you ever noticed the word DisEase? It makes others uncomfortable.) When people hear the words spoken their mind automatically thinks of Jerry's Kids and Muscular Dystrophy, wheelchairs and death. Unless of course they have personal experience with MS. Multiple Sclerosis by itself is normally not a fatal illness and people with the disease can expect to live a normal life span.
That's right Mabel, put the shovel away.
I do not plan on joining the worms today.
Bear in mind though that having one chronic illness does not preclude a person from getting another illness or disease, like Richard Pryor. Now there was a man who had MS and lived HARD, he died from living HARD with MS. Look at Montel Williams and like the man or not he lives well and is still working at a demanding job eight years later. Or what about Clint Black the country singer? Did you know he has MS too? Yep, takes one of the six approved disease modifying drugs and is still working just like Montel is and does.
Just like I do....three times a week.
Mabel, put the shovel away.
Thirdly people automatically assume that all individuals with MS will end up in a wheelchair. I have been asked when the wheelchair is coming. Can you imagine the class of some people?
That is like asking an older man if he needs Viagra yet.
The assumptions of others.
Anyway, most people with MS do not expect to end up in wheelchairs and those who are candidates for the drug therapy don't have the type of MS that leads to wheelchairs normally. Many people with MS may choice to use assistive devices to conserve energy for the things they want to do later. That is wise and not lazy.
Whoa Mabel, what did she just type? MS has different types?
The fourth myth about people with MS is that they shouldn't be parents as taken directly form this link: http://ms.about.com/od/dailylife/a/MythsAboutMS.htm. Seriously I am not making this stuff up. People really think this stuff out there. I am going to quote this section , just in case people are not taking the time to click threw the links, because I LOVED it:
"4) People with MS shouldn't ’t be parents. Pregnancy and child birth are safe for women with MS. Many women even find that symptoms are diminished during pregnancy. The risk of passing multiple sclerosis to future generations is very very small. Many families embrace the multicultural aspect of having a family member with a disability. The children often grow up to be more empathetic and accepting of diversity."
Did you catch that last line? Now, who does not want their kids to grow up more empathetic and accepting of diversity? What a great life skill for people to be imparting to the future of this country.
Another myth is that people with MS should not work. Now wait a minute...are there not laws about this in this country? Laws that protect people from discrimination based on things like an illness? Why are people so ignorant? Currently I am not working BUT it is by choice, so I can enjoy that thing I don't talk about anymore, not because of my stupid DisEase that I have and that Does NOT have me.
Umm.....I digressed a little.
Mabel, I said put the shovel away.
So, as I have clearly shown so far, MS is not a death sentence, not a total throw in the towel illness that kills someone the day they get told they have. I truly have a better chance of getting killed in a car accident than dieing from my MS.
I mean, for goodness sakes, I WALK FOUR MILES EVERY YEAR to help raise money to find a cure for this thing. Those of you have been reading this blog for m ore than a few month know that I do this because I start hitting people up for donations to support my team. Now that I have lived in this nameless little town, in this nowhere little place for almost four years I know enough people...