Written by on August 21st, 2012 – 4 Comments

Recently there has been a flurry of information being conveyed to the general public about the disease Multiple Sclerosis. Part of the reason this information has been given to the general public is because a relatively high profile celebrity has been diagnosed with MS. A lot of people will know that I am of course referring to Jack Osborne. He is the same age as I am, a mere 26 years old and we both have MS. People are shocked, that this disease has hit such a young individual as Jack is. They don’t understand how it happened, they want to know specifics. Unfortunately as we all know in the MS world the specifics are complicated.

I applaud Jack for his courage and bravery in disclosing his illness to the public. Most of us are keenly aware of how difficult sharing our diagnosis can be. Personally it took me years to be able to speak open and freely about my diagnosis. I commend Jack for being able to speak freely in a relatively short amount of time.

While I am thrilled that there will be more attention drawn to the disease, treatments and research, I have noticed I am getting difficult questions from people about MS. I am not just getting questions, but I am being asked about certain misconceptions the general public has with the disease. The misconception I find most infuriating is that individuals with MS are going to die simply because they have the disease. I cannot say, yell, speak or scream loud enough that to say that this is not the truth. Yes, MS can cause complications that can result in death, but having MS is not a death sentence! Feel free to spread the word that we are not on death row with our diagnosis! I know I am here to stay!

Like I am sure many of you do, I get defensive when MS is bantered about in conversations. I immediately want to educate and inform about MS. There are giant misconceptions, or just a lack of understanding as to what MS is and does. If I can change just one persons impression of MS, I have succeeded in my goal. Information is a powerful thing to arm ourselves with. It has certainly helped me with my adversary! I hope to keep on informing and education. Little by little we will get the word out! Until then, arm up my friends for the war of misconceptions rages on and awaits a victor!

4 Responses

  1. Kat says:

    I agree. I was terrified to tell people of my diagnosis, because I didn’t want to get fired. Then I realised that information and education are my best weapons for fighting misconceptions. And I feel lucky that I”m in a position to stand up and say something.
    Thank you for your blog posts!

  2. Loribelle says:

    I am so glad you are in a position to stand up and say something. It is my sincere hope that eventually we will all feel safe enough to voice our feelings about MS or that we have MS. I appreciate your kind words Kat!

  3. Christina-Rose says:

    I’m thrilled to have read this and that you had taken notice to the misconceptions and inaccurate information being thrown out in the media and other news outlets. I was at the grocery store a few weeks back and fell victim to reading the magazine headlines at the check-out, extremely offended by one that read ”I will not let my son die”. quoted by Sharon Osbourne. It’s important that people start getting educated on MS and I’m in hopes that now it’s receiving more public attention, it will. The disease has undergone, evidently, many mis-representations and distortions, however, I’m confident that the right information will and continue to be spread by individuals who care to educate those who are willing to understand the disease for what it really is. Thanks for posting!

  4. Tracey says:

    I agree with the above but I’ve also had the opposite reaction—“my neighbour has MS and she’s fine so you are fine too”. This is a hard one to take as well because “hidden” symptoms of MS are difficult to manage too—the outside world just doesn’t get to see how tiring it is to manage these ones. The attitude that MS is a “piece of cake” and doesn’t interfere with life because others on the outside cannot see has been a hard one for me and I’ve experienced this one more than the other so far…..