Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is not contagious and the exact cause has yet to be identified, so MS Awareness Month is not about prevention. For many people with MS, MS Awareness Month is all about perception.
The individual symptoms of MS are many, and most are invisible to the casual observer. That can complicate matters at home, at work, and in social situations. It's what makes some people with MS feel so isolated and misunderstood.
There's a lot of medical information about symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of MS. Not so much when it comes to actually learning to live with it. I've found that many frustrations with MS can be alleviated by simply learning that someone understands.
My takeaways for this year's Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month are these:
- If you have a friend or family member with MS, remind yourself about that invisible symptom thing. Your eyes may deceive you. You don't have to coddle anyone, but the benefit of the doubt will be appreciated.
- The cane. The wheelchair. The handicapped parking placard. The nap. Often, these are not choices. They are necessities.
- If you have MS, you most assuredly are not alone. Take comfort in the fact that there are many of us who understand.
No More Secs! may strike a chord if you’ve got multiple sclerosis, or love someone who does. Still, it is only my story, not your story, and certainly not THE story of MS. Oh, and it’s not all about MS either. Really. That’s because life marches on whether we feel up to it or not. Mine sure did and, whether or not I’m ready, it keeps on marching. At its heart, this is a love story. Romantic love. Love of family. Love of life. If you take a leap of faith and give No More Secs! a read, it is my sincere hope you come away from it on a positive note.
"I wish that all my friends and family could read this book, so that they can see that I'm not 'faking.' To me it's a very 'lonely' disease, for most of family members and friends just don't get it." [snippet from my mailbox]
"I want to thank you so much for putting your heart and soul into your book. I can’t stop reading it. [Now] I do not feel so alone with this disease or think I have gone crazy with some things that come along with MS." [snippet from my mailbox]
"The book should be read by all medical professionals and patients dealing with life changing medical conditions. I was very moved by her book and have encouraged all of my co-workers to read it." [Tricia, RN, in an Amazon review]
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