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#WeAreStrongerThanMS: MS Myths and Facts

Oh, whoa is me...My alphabet has run its' course and now you are left with a bunch of unorganized gibberish that may actually make sense; Much like the disease that inhabits our body.

There are so many pseudo facts about multiple sclerosis floating around out there that  we could challenge el-president Trump on his quest to eliminate all those fake truths  he is always harping (oops...tweeting) about.

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Multiple Sclerosis Treatment
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease resulting from the body’s immune system essentially attacks myelin, the fatty substance that insulates the spinal cord, optic nerve, and the nerve fibers of the brain. Without this valuable insulation, nerves become damaged and scar tissue can form. The nerves of the body can no longer function as they are supposed to. This degenerative illness can result in loss of muscle control, fatigue, problems with memory and focus, vision problems, balance issues, numbness, tingling, pain, and trouble with basic body functions like bladder and bowel control. Most patients with MS experience attacks of the disease, referred to as relapses. Researchers and medical professionals do not know what causes multiple sclerosis, but environmental and genetic factors may contribute to the onset of the disease. There are many treatment options for MS as well.  Common treatment options include massage therapy, prescription injectable and auto-injectable medications, and oral prescription medications.  Because research on, and treatment options for multiple sclerosis change so rapidly, it is important that patients and their families stay up to date on the latest myths and facts surrounding the treatable disease.

Patients with multiple sclerosis have an average life span.
Many people assume that MS is a deadly disease, when in fact most people with the illness die from stroke, cancer, or heart disease, like the majority of the population. There are many treatments that reduce the symptoms of MS to improve quality of life., people do not  die from MS, although health issues related to multiple sclerosis can be instrumental in the dying process. Bottom line: MS is NOT fatal.

People with multiple sclerosis can still work.
While a work environment may bring some stress into the daily lives of those with MS, being unemployed can also be very stressful. Life without the stimulation of a job and interaction with others can be quite depressing, and is not necessary for those who have multiple sclerosis. I worked as long as it made sense and finally opted for early retirement with an extremely heavy heart. Mentally I was not ready for this life of blissful leisure (MAJOR SARCASM), but God has a plan for me. Although I no longer rise early and get all dolled-up for the day, I do continue to get up early and assume a routine. So, yes, I still work. I write (and sometimes get paid to do so).  I review books (and get paid my pittance for doing something I would do anyway). I am learning new skills and enjoying some I no longer had time for while putting in a full work week outside the home.

Genetics are to blame for the development of multiple sclerosis.
Genes play a role in the development of MS, but they are not completely to blame. While many patients have one or two family members with MS, researchers, doctors, and patients cannot rule out infectious agents and environmental factors. Although we read stories of siblings having MS and may actually know of this first hand, there is no scientific evidence that MS is a family issue. 

People who get MS are older.
Even though many diseases develop during the process of aging, patients of all ages can be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. This illness is most commonly diagnosed in patients between the ages of 20 and 50, and approximately 400,000 in the United States have been diagnosed with the disease. Uhhh...nope. Although I was not officially diagnosed until age 41, there were red flags earnestly waving before my 18th birthday. Of course, my parents and I had NO idea why.

Exercise is not good for people with MS.
Because exercise improves balance, endurance, and strength, it is recommended that patients with MS get physically active on a regular basis. Patients with multiple sclerosis need to make sure that they don’t become overheated, however, so frequent breaks are needed to keep cool. Yes, let's stay cool, but keep MOVING.  Early revelations of what is now officially MS, testified that excessive movement was NOT good for those afflicted with this best kept under the wraps condition. In fact just let it take is course and prepare yourself for the afterlife.

Multiple sclerosis cases are the same.
In recent years, MS has increased in our cultural awareness because there have been celebrities who have struggled with the disease. However, not all cases of MS are the same. The development of the disease is unpredictable and symptoms can vary greatly from person to person. We can all attest to this myth, so preaching to the choir is redundant. 

A person diagnosed with MS will need a wheelchair.
Two-thirds of those with MS are able to walk. While these patients often need crutches, a cane, or a walker, many do not require a wheelchair and may only use one to save energy when attending special events or traveling long distances. Probably one of the biggest fears some of us who are not already riding in our personal chariot face. But using a wheel chair does not mean it is the end of the rodeo. It just means that an alternative method of movement has been provided.

Women with multiple sclerosis can’t get pregnant.
While there are many reasons for women to not get pregnant, MS is not one of them. The majority of women who have MS and get pregnant go into remission during the third trimester. Studies have shown that women who get pregnant have less of a chance of developing MS.Ha, Ha, Ha...I was 40 when my first and only son was born. I enjoyed the best nine months of my life. I have never felt so phsyically, emotionally, and mentally fit. Disregrd the fact that I never yearned for children, God had a definte plan for me and I sincerely believe my son saved my life.

I know there is more wild and ridiculous gossip out there about MS, but these are some of the more popular tales. Of course, you can read more by clicking on one of the provided links.

What are some myths or odd facts you know about MS? Please share.

And do not forget to follow this blog for a chance to win a copy of I Have MS. What's Your Super Power? The deadline for this offer is March 31, but you can always assure your self a purchased copy by contacting me here or at I pay the postage and donate a portion of sales to NMSS.

Have a wonderful day,

P.S. Oh, in case you wee  concerned but my son...He has mono. Now, there's a condition I really do not know much about. He assures me, though, that he has not been kissing any hot chicks at school.😯
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