M.S. Awareness Week begins March 14th and I personally find this to be another amazing opportunity to educate more people about the effects of Multiple Sclerosis on not only the patients, but their family and friends as well. Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that can effect men or women, and people of all ethnicities. No one is without this diseases reach. For me, I find it to be alarming how many people know so little about M.S. Chances are, you know someone who is fighting this disease everyday.
Today, I would like to dispell some of the myths that I hear most often.
#1 - You're so young, how could this happen to you?
ANSWER- Well, like many auto-immune diseases, M.S. can effect people at any age. The most common people that are diagnosed are women between the ages of 30 and 40.
#2 - You look fine from the outside!
ANSWER- Thank goodness!! Actually, this is what bothers me the most sometimes. Yes, some people who are fighting M.S. have difficulty with their extremities and require the use of a walker, cane or even a wheelchair. However, those cases are not the most common. Many people have pretty average lives but their relapses and side effects can be quite daunting. Most M.S. patients deal with terrible fatigue, nerve pain, headaches and vision changes.
#3 - Will the shots cure you?
ANSWER - No, the shots will not cure me. Currently, there is no cure for Multiple Sclerosis. However, there are many amazing medications on the market that make relapses happen less frequently, and actually slow down the progression of the disease.
#4 - Why did you lose your vision? This lady I know just has problems with her foot going numb.
ANSWER - Since Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that effects the communication between your brain an your spinal cord, as well as develops lesions on your brain and deteriorates the mylein sheath, many body systems can be effected. I have met people with a varying level of problems.
#5 - Will you die from M.S.?
ANSWER - Not likely. It is more likely to die from many other natural causes than the actual effects of Multiple Sclerosis. M.S. most commonly effects the quality of your life the the length of it.
So... educate yourself and others. Get involved with M.S. Advocacy groups or activities in your community. Whether you donate a few dollars or walk a few mile... your support can make all the difference. So I dare everyone to "Join the Movement"!