- Multiple Sclerosis is what they call an autoimmune disease. This means that the person immune system for some reason decided it is going to attack so part of the body that it shouldn’t attack. In MS the immune system decides it is going to attack the nerves of the CNS (central nervous system). They are not sure what triggers the immune system to think that part of the body is a invader and needs to be attacked.
- There are a lot of different symptoms that go along with this disease. I am going to list some of the most common ones: Fatigue, problems with walking, numbness, tingling, slurred speech, tremors, stiffness, problems with vision, cognition, speech, and elimination. Every person with MS has different symptoms.
- Anyone can get MS. Women are more like to get it than men and so are people with a lighter pigmentation to there skin. So Montel Williams who has MS is a real rarity. They think MS has a genetic link but they aren’t sure what it is. In my case there is no one in my family history of it. You usually get diagnosed between the ages of 20-50. I was a rarity and was diagnosed at age 16. Although younger patients are now getting diagnosed because doctors are starting to look for it at a younger ages.
- MS symptoms happen when the immune system attacks the myelin around the nerves. If you think of your nerves like a wire the myelin would be the protective covering around the wire. If the nerve underneath the myelin gets hurt that is what causes the symptoms and some times permanent disabilities.
- The body tries to repair the damage that is done but it is never the same the the nerve never really functions the same.
- MS is rarely fatal. Most of the time people with MS with get a common cold of the flu and that is what will end up taking their lives.
- There are several treatments out there that each do things differently. I am on one called Tysabri and it is the most expensive and most dangerous of the drugs. All of the current MS treatments are expensive and it makes it hard for people like me who have the disease to get the treatments that they need. There is always new treatments in the works and exciting things happening in research that hold so much hope for future generations.
- There is currently no cure for MS.
I began to get sick when I was in 10th grade. The first really symptom that I can remember is my left leg started to drag. It would just stop working at random times. I can remember in gym class that year we had to run the mile for a grade and I did my best but I was going to fail the class because I could run it fast enough because my leg was dragging. We went to the doctors and lets just say the only reason they did an MRI was because my grandma pushed for it. When that came back they called us in because they needed to talk to us. They said that there was what they call lesions on the brain. They show up as white spots on the brain. They told us that they needed to do a spinal tap to rule out MS.
Heat & MS
- Decreased cognitive function
- Numbness in the extremities
- Blurred vision, known as Uhthoff’s sign
I know that Invisible Illness week is over but I wanted to fill this out so that I can update my MS page.
1. The illness I live with is: Multiple Sclerosis
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: I believe it was 2000
3. But I had symptoms since: I was in elementary school
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Not getting upset if I can’t do everything I want to because I am having a bad day.
5. Most people assume: That I am just lazy because I don’t do much after work.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: Getting up when I have only had a few hours of sleep.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: I love everything in Discovery Health but they got rid of it because of the OWN network.
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My cellphone that keeps all of my appointments.
9. The hardest part about nights are: Being exhausted and not able to sleep.
10. Each day I take 5_ pills & vitamins. (No comments, please)
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: I wish I could afford to do acupuncture because I hear that it really does help people.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: I would want a visible one
13. Regarding working and career: It is hard for me to go to work everyday because of lack of sleep and not feeling well but I have to work so I can have insurance even though we all know that insurance companies don’t pay anything.
14. People would be surprised to know: That my hands are numb and I had to reteach my self to type.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: I can’t think of anything because I have had this disease so long.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: I have tried to not let the MS keep me from doing things. I do everything that I want to.
17. The commercials about my illness: I actually haven’t seen a commercial about MS.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: I miss not having energy.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: I don’t feel like I have given up much because I have had this disease so long now and was diagnosed so young that it is just a part of who I am.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Blogging and blog design
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: I am not sure what I would do. I can’t imagine life without MS.
22. My illness has taught me: To live everyday to the fullest because you never know what your last day is going to be.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: When they say they are sorry that I am sick.
24. But I love it when people: Take the time to learn about MS.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only option you have.”
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: To learn all you can about the condition because knowledge is power. I also tell them that they are in charge of their condition and if a doctor wants them to do something that they are not comfortable with they need to kind a new doctor.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is:
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was:
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: Because I want to raise awareness about MS and any other invisible illness. I know how hard it is for me to deal with people who don’t understand invisible illnesses.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Good because it means that people are reading my blog!