Friday, September 10, 2010

What I know about MS.

The fact is I know very little about MS.  I have only experienced it through others.  This is what I have learned:

Multiple Sclerosis means multiple "scars".  It is an auto-immune disease, which means at some point, for some reason, the immune system was turned on...but it failed to turn off.  In simple terms, this means the body begins to attack itself.  In the case of MS, it is the brain that is under attack.  MS attacks the nervous system and all it connects into:  brain and spinal cord included. Scars form on the nerves, effectively destroying the area of the brain that the body attacked.  If you are lucky,  it will hit lesser areas that the brain can effectively repair or send those functions to different locations in the brain to compensate for the loss.

If you are unlucky, memory centers are hit, spatial and equilibrium nodes or nerve centers that communicate organ functions.

The fact is you can live a long life with MS, the question lies in what kind of life.

As a friend put it, "MS is all in your head".

MS research correlates with Aging, Parkinson's, Cerebral Palsy, Alzheimer's.  It is all about keeping us sane.  Keeping us from losing our minds.

This is what I know about MS:
MS causes a young mother to cry in anger and frustration that she cannot do everything for her baby.  It makes a young husband strain under the weight of a burden he can't lift from his wife. 

It is a middle aged father who sits in his home office, depressed, escaping into his computer, while his sons play football in the front yard.  The summer before, he was the family quarterback.

It is one of the most talented people I have ever met in my life, doubting herself.  Doubting what she can have in life, doubting what she is allowed in life.  20 years ago, I would have never thought doubt was in her essence...but MS has forced itself into her core.

It is an athlete coaching from a wheelchair.

It is a young woman forced to contact a father that abandoned her, spoke to her only once at age 16, because doctors desperately need her medical history to slow the assault.

MS is fixable, it is curable.  We just have to find the way.

Multiple Sclerosis Society  
Please spread the word, please help the work.

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