Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The inevitable case … of the multiple sclerosis worst case scenario


I got a call the other day from a woman who appeared to headed to a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Her doctor had said it was a possibility, and just hearing those two words–-multiple sclerosis–-sent her down the path that many of us have trodden: Multiple Sclerosis Worst Case Scenario (MSWCS). 

Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. MSWCS is a common affliction of those newly diagnosed or in limbo. Your brain immediately fires up the WCS lobe and now the worst things that MS can do to you are not only a possibility, but practically a given. In a wheelchair. With no bowel or bladder control. Blind. Deaf. Can’t swallow. Can’t talk. An absent brain. And you are so numb you can only feel your nose, which itches all the time. But you can’t scratch it because you can’t move your arms. Oh yeah, and your health insurance got cancelled, your family put you in a budget nursing home, and your dog was adopted by a Mr. Vick. 

When these thoughts weave their way into your mind, you have to tell your brain to SHUT THE HELL UP. Sure, MS can do all of the above. But why dwell on it? MSWCS is quite unlikely. Stats show that many people with MS can and do live relatively normal lives. Yes, you’ll have to make changes. No, it won’t be easy. Focus on what can you do today and worry about tomorrow, well, tomorrow. And with the advances in MS research, odds are good that there will be some powerful treatments (potentially even fixes) coming in the not-too-distant future. So banish all MSWCS thoughts … use your brain for more important matters, like a good sudoku puzzle.

Originally posted March 24th, 2008

5 comments:

Penguin said...

Thank you!!! Spot on in describing the dramas that are running through my fevered mind at the moment. I'm seeing mobility scooters everywhere...

Dave Bexfield said...

Penguin—Glad to help! I wish someone had warned me about all those thoughts when I was diagnosed...

Anonymous said...

:) Most days of the week I think of myself as fortunate to be fit and active enough to treat running as a priority and enjoy my dog's lack of an off switch to help me tell the difference between "don't feel like it" and can't....every once in a while the tiredness turns to dark thoughts about fighting it for the rest of my life....not easy for people to understand the mental impact of this, I've realised. Keep plodding on is the only option :) Love your website, a welcome change to all the advice to take it easy!

Dave Bexfield said...

Anon—I appreciate the nice comments about ActiveMSers. I would say take it easy, but you know that's not me. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you! This is a message I have give myself again and again, and any reinforcement helps