Saturday, October 11, 2008

Who Are People With MS?

Today Mom and I attended a NMSS Meeting/Symposium at the Hilton downtown. It was a great event with an excellent turnout of MSers, their family and friends. Lots of assisting devices: canes, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs and scooters. And lots of MSers who "look as good" as I do, in other words you can't tell they have MS just by looking at them. 

I recently filmed a short video clip for the NMSS which will play on their website when people donate to future WalkMS and BikeMS events. Several people participated in the filming, most of us living with the disease, and all of us living with very different levels of disability/disease. Yet seeing each of our clips, you realize the similarities. We all live with the uncertainty that tomorrow will bring. Will it bring a relapse? Will my regular symptoms be worse? New symptoms?? No one knows. One young man talked about balance problems and how handrails had become his close friends. :-) I look around and everywhere people are nodding their heads in agreement. 

As different as MS symptoms and its people can be, in many ways we are exactly the same. We are people with families and friends and dreams about how we want our lives to be. Alot of us are having to tweak those dreams a bit, but we still intend on living out as many of them as possible! Read on...this was something sent to me by a friend in my MS Women's Group.

Warning: contains wonderful sarcasm!! :-)

Who Are People With MS?
We are your parents, your children, your brothers and sisters. 
We are the person down the street.

We are that lady or fellow who may walk a little "funny" at the gr
ocery store. 
We are the people that you "tsk, tsk" over because we might "look too good" to use a handicapped space.

We are your peers.
We are human beings.
We are the faces of Multiple Sclerosis.

A face that is nearly every ethnicity; that comes from nearly every country, that does not discriminate by social standing, class, finances, educational background, language or religion.

We are both able to walk unassisted or we may have to use canes, walkers and/or wheelchairs. We jog and swim and partake in sports; we are housebound, we use scooters; we need respirators. We are everything in between and are at every level of physical ability. 

Of course we "look so good" while we are doing it. 
We hear that phrase every day of our lives. Sometimes that phrase is meant as a compliment and sometimes it is meant to hurt or meant to shame us into doing something of which we may not be currently capable.

We may be able to do that something tomorrow though, or maybe next week. 
Multiple Sclerosis is like that. We are like that.

We are visually impaired and we are not. 
Some of us are hearing impaired, yet all of us occasionally have people talk louder to us.
Of course we do. 
Thank you very much. 
We are, in fact, the very best looking people in the handicapped community. We have secret pageants every year to decide which one of our members is the best looking. Billy Crystal emcees, as his character Fernando: "and you look MAHVELOUS my dear, absolutely MAHVELOUS."
That is us.

We are brave. We are fragile. 
We want to live and we want to end it all. 
We look for support and we want to stand alone. 
We are every person. 
We are the people with Multiple Sclerosis. 
And we are People, Just Like You....

~Author Unknown

No comments: