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)


Does your neurological condition bring you shame or spunk?

Maybe that sounds like a simple question, but apparently it is not. Sure, we know in our heads that a neurological condition is no cause for shame, but plenty of us still wrestle with this, at least from time to time.

Nearly three out of five individuals answering a fairly recent Neurology Now online poll admitted that they felt ashamed of having a neurological condition. Two out of five said they did not feel ashamed of it.


Maybe it’s not self-made shame. Sometimes it’s generated by others.

Despite remarkable medical advances and cultural acceptance of neurological conditions, a social stigma seems to exist with some folks, even if it’s not always intentional. Neurological conditions include Alzheimer’s Disease, Brain or Spinal Cord Injuries, Brain Tumors, Epilepsy, Huntington’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Spina Bifida, Stroke, and more. Some of the symptoms of these diseases and disorders can be downright daunting and quite uncomfortable. Even well-meaning people may grow awkward around folks with neurological disorders, fumbling for a way to assist or just relate to us.

As an individual living with one of these issues, fighting it with all I have, I want to shout across the entire internet to reach anyone with such a diagnosis:

“This is medical.

“Just because you may stumble, stutter, totter, struggle, lose coordination, bump into objects or other people, become momentarily confused, slur your speech, or even slip out of consciousness from your neurological disorder, this is not a question of shame. Stand your ground – even if you can no longer stand still or straight or strong.

“And may scientific research lead quickly to cures for neurological conditions.”

Can I get an “Amen”?

C’mon, MS warriors. Let’s get spunky about this to stomp out shame and stigma.

 Public domain artwork

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