Tomorrow is World MS Day, highlighting the need for more research, better medication and spreading awareness of what MS is and what it does to people who have it.
I often think that MS is a “lonely” illness. Because a lot of symptoms are misunderstood and/or not taken seriously by people who don’t have multiple sclerosis, MSers have to educate people in their environment about it. That doesn’t always go easily, and it often takes months if not years before some people finally realize that MS is a serious condition…
“Lonely” because very often people around you simply do not know what it feels like to have maddening eye pains, or extreme fatigue. This is not because those people are not ranked high on the IQ ladder, but because some symptoms are difficult to explain and rarely felt by people around you.
“Lonely” because sometimes, you wished you could switch bodies with someone more able-bodied for a day. Even when you are not in a wheelchair, some days you wished you could run up hills and not be part of the MS-world.
“Lonely” because not everyone in your environment will understand that you are still the same person; you might show a couple of cracks, nuts and bolts more than before but inside, you are still you.
And “lonely” because, when the day ends and you get ready to rest your weakened body, you just wished there was a guardian angel by your side to whisper that no matter what, everything will be OK.
So unless MS remains a relatively unknown illness, MSers will find it hard to find real peace within themselves, within the medical world and with everyone around them. Not because MS is so demanding on your body, but because we want people to understand and to be aware of what we go through every day. Until then, we hope. We pray. We find shelter in other MSers, friends and family. And we crave a cure. Every second of every day.
For all my MS-friends and family wherever they are, I carry you with me in my heart. Because of you, I am stronger.
For more info on World MS day, go to www.worldmsday.org
© Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2012. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.