Now-and-then we hear that someone “died from MS.” I recently heard it from a woman with whom I was talking on a manufacturer’s product hot-line. It was just chit-chat and of course, I did not challenge her statement but realize it is pervasive.
Hearing people do not die from MS is a relief but it understandably tends to downplay the seriousness of the disease.
Although it is a relief to know the truth about it NOT causing death, the impact is, in fact, unimaginably negative. The vast majority of people have no idea what MS is and does to a person. Too often, those who know it does not cause death believe it is “easily manageable” and curable. The answers are “sometimes” and “no.”
Few realize its potential for debilitating cognitive and physical outcomes. It is equally important to understand MS can have an impact that ranges from profound to hardly any impact at all. Not everyone with MS suffers from a disabling effect. However, MS generally DOES impact quality of life.
I “think” no doctor ever tells a patient they could die from MS. Conversely they do not imply it could not cause a complication from which they could die. [See “MS Connection” blog entry Death from Complications.]
Overall, the perception of MS falls into the realm of “well, you look good!” Appearances can be deceiving.
Yes, MS often changes what we can and cannot do but “all is not lost.” It is incumbent on us to exploit the things we CAN DO and not limit ourselves unnecessarily. Case-in-point are the possibilities presented by Can Do MS (formerly the Jimmy Huega Center for Multiple Sclerosis.) Its stated purpose: “promoting the culture and belief that everyone living with MS has the power to live full lives.”