As Lightly Crunchy pointed out, May is MS Awareness Month. I perhaps should have known this but I and my family are still new to this. Our daughter/sister/niece/cousin/fiance was diagnosed a year ago. I wrote an essay, which I might share at some point, titled “A Helper, A Dreamer and a Radiant Beamer”. It is about my three daughters and Jamie is the Radiant Beamer, and Jamie has MS. We don’t know where this road will take us and unknowns make us fearful and we push them aside.
Jamie is facing this bravely though we know of the fear and the anxiety that lies beneath. I am also still trying to find my way – I want to wave my Mother’s Wand and make it all go away … I should be able to, but I can’t. MS has already affected our family relationships – I do think we are closer, newly aware of the fragility of our lives and dreams, and more actively supportive of each other.
Treatment includes a daily injection, which for some is painful. Research is getting closer to an oral treatment. For some reason we in Canada have one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world and it is the most common neurological disease affecting young adults in Canada. Every day, three more people in Canada are diagnosed with MS. To learn more about MS or to donate I have found these sites:
On May 30, acknowledge World MS Day.
The Canadian campaign has several events planned for May:
- On May 10-12, buy a carnation to support the MS Carnation Campaign.
- Get an oil change at Mr. Lube on May 12, and $5 will be donated to the MS Society.
- On May 30, Niagara Falls will be lit red to commemorate World MS Day.
- Cities across the country will be hosting MS walks – check your local chapter
Have you ever had your leg fall asleep? Then you are familiar with that “pins and needles” feeling. It usually passes once circulation is restored to the leg. Now imagine having that “pins and needles” feeling in both legs constantly.
Have you ever had your picture taken and accidentally looked at the flashbulb as the flash went off? Then you are familiar with that “burned out” spot in your eyes. It usually clears up in a fairly short period of time. Now imagine having that burned out spot grow larger and larger until it covers your entire visual field. Then imagine that spot staying with you for months.
Have you ever stood up too quickly and felt dizzy, disoriented? Maybe the room spins? Then you are familiar with vertigo or lightheadedness. It usually passes within a few minutes. Now imagine having that vertigo all day and all night.
Have you ever over-exercised, maybe too much hard work in the garden or too many weekend-sports games, and felt shin splints or sore muscles the next day or two? Then you are familiar with the discomfort of really tight and sore muscles, or “spasticity.” It usually passes in a few days and is relieved with aspirin and BenGay. Now imagine having spasticity in your legs constantly regardless of your physical activity.
Have you ever pulled an “all-nighter,” maybe driving all night or staying up to watch a game that runs into triple overtime or to study for finals? Have you felt really tired the next day, a little weak and unable to think clearly and no amount of coffee will help you? Then you are familiar with fatigue. It usually passes after a day or two of catching up on sleep. Now imagine having that type of fatigue constantly.
Have you ever had a little too much to drink? Maybe had some parts of your body go numb? Maybe been a little dizzy? Maybe a little uncoordinated, tripping over things and not being able to hold your glass very well? Maybe your speech got slurred? Maybe you couldn’t see or think straight? It usually passes when you sober up. Now imagine being like that all the time, without the pleasure of a glass of wine.
If you can imagine all of these things, then you can imagine what it feels like to have just a few of the symptoms of MS. What I described are only some of the symptoms that I have experienced, and I have not experienced the worst that MS has to offer a victim. Can you imagine even worse symptoms?
Now, can you imagine a day when we won’t need to have this conversation? Can you imagine a day when there is cure for MS? Can you imagine a day when there is treatment to reverse the damage that MS has already done? I can. That’s what gives me hope.
See also: |
All Things Boys