Living with M.S.

"Living with M.S. is sort of like training for a long race. The harder you try, and the longer you keep at it, the stronger you become.
Eventually, looking back, you may be amazed at the power you possessed, even when you had no idea it was within your reach." (Linda Ann Nickerson)


Don't argue with me about my disease

Everybody’s an expert, when it comes to medical stuff. Or so it seems. And it is often less than helpful, even if it is offered with altruism.

Multiple sclerosis is no exception to that rule.

In fact, this may be more true with MS than with lots of other medical conditions.

Maybe it’s because MS looks so different in each individual. The symptoms can come and go without warning. And not everyone with MS experiences the same manifestations. In fact, MS has been called a Snowflake Disease, simply because it looks so different in each person who has it. MS affects the central nervous system, so it can show up in all kinds of ways in human experience.

Perhaps it’s because modern science hasn’t really pinned down the cause of MS. So everybody has a theory.

For whatever reason, it seems everyone has an opinion about how a person should live and cope and even cure himself or herself of MS. With perhaps the best of intentions, people spout popular wisdom, rumors, and theories about multiple sclerosis.

Plenty seem to believe they can come up with a cause … or even a cure.

Seriously, aren’t the top medical experts still wrestling with such issues?

How many of these have you heard?

“You should exercise more.”
“Don’t drink sugar-free soda.”
“Eliminate preservatives in your diet.”
“You just need to get more rest.”
“Stick with raw foods.”
“Take lots of vitamin ____.”
“Are you sure it’s not all in your head?”
“You shouldn’t ______________.”
“Cut the stress in your life, and you’ll feel better.”
“Try ________.”
“Tell your doctor to prescribe _______________.”
“Did you fall on your head or something?”
“Maybe you’re just imagining things.”
“But you could __________ yesterday.”
“Keep going. You’ll feel better before you know it.”

Maybe it’s not worth engaging in such discussions.

Even when folks are well-meaning, it sometimes feels like arguing with idiots.

This brings to mind a silly (but perhaps somehow savvy) cartoon video that's been making the rounds on social networking lately. Take a look at "Don't Argue with Idiots."

OK, I'm not saying people actually ARE idiots, just because they lob inane simple solutions at MSers. They probably don't know how else to respond to such a crazy and nearly undefinable disease. But that certainly doesn't mean all that advice is worth considering. Research counts. Experience may be worth even more.

Hey, if you live with MS, that makes you pretty much an expert. At least, you possess a whole lot more information than anyone tossing pat answers your way.

Adapted from Fighting Jesters
Public domain artwork – vintage drawing

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1 comment:

  1. Hi, im am a mother of a wounderful daughter with ms. I need you advice. daughter has children that thinks she is useing ms for any excuce for everthing..and are mean to her..of course no in front of can i make these kids, relize how much they are hurting their own mother.....I'm sure that someone is going thought this too...thank you. L


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