I have had conversations with 5 people over the last two weeks, so I thought that I would expand upon one of my first posts.
What does Multiple Sclerosis do to someone? I will answer this in two ways…
- From the Mayo Clinic…“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system).
In MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body. Eventually, the disease can cause the nerves themselves to deteriorate or become permanently damaged.
Signs and symptoms of MS vary widely and depend on the amount of nerve damage and which nerves are affected. Some people with severe MS may lose the ability to walk independently or at all, while others may experience long periods of remission without any new symptoms.
There’s no cure for multiple sclerosis. However, treatments can help speed recovery from attacks, modify the course of the disease and manage symptoms.“
- The second is from me…”who knows from one day to the next.” This disease has a different effect on every person. I have at least had this disease since I was 20, but it could have been earlier. I was diagnosed when I was 33, and have been completely stable since we began treatment. When I tell people that mine has been stable, many times they look at me funny. They may know someone that has MS, and still walks although they have had relapses. When I say stable, it means that no new relapses (bringing new lesions), has occurred. This is, scientifically, a very positive sign. My phenomenal doctors tell me that you can usually tell how aggressive the disease will be in the first year on a treatment plan. Mine has been zero progression for three and a half years. I was told I was not the typical case, in that I had no cognitive or vision problems. We have found that my attacks focused themselves on my spinal cord, essentially giving me an injury similar to a mid-level spinal
cord injury. I actually had someone recently tell me that I am essentially a person with a SCI. I had never thought about it like that.
- What is the takeaway for me here? You can get bogged down in the medical terminology and prognosis, the what if this happens, and the what if this had not happened. That, to me, would be miserable. This is how I lived before. This is why I am being truthful when I say that this has been a wonderful thing with which God has blessed me. It is not always the most convenient, but God’s blessings are not always convenient.
1 Peter 5:10
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
I look forward to speaking about some specific challenges that I have with MS over the next few weeks, and how I have grown through each.
love you all,