MS Snowflake
By Ashley Ringstaff—December 11, 2013

You’re probably wondering what in the world the title to this blog means… Well let me explain.

I’ve found that I try and explain to others that every individual with Multiple Sclerosis may have the same illness, but that doesn’t mean that we all deal with MS in the same way.

So I’ve found that I refer to MS patients as snowflakes… While we are all the same thing (diagnosed with MS) not one of us is the exact same.

Even if we have relations in dealing with the same exact symptoms, the symptoms can affect us in different ways. So here is an example…

I deal with spasticity… it happens a lot in my back and my upper limbs. Someone else with MS can also deal with spasticity as well, but in his or her legs. Or we could experience spasticity in the exact same places… but to a different severity, I guess you could say.

I know some people who don’t need medication for their spasticity, some need a muscle relaxer, others need something like a baclofen pump… or maybe even Botox injections.

So, does that make any sense? I wanted to share this comparison with other MSers when we have people try and compare us to someone else with MS…

I seem to have people compare my MS with famous people with MS… cause they are all doing “amazing”… but I really don’t think that they go to events when they are having an MS “moment”… but that’s just my opinion.

We are also different when it comes to our “MS Triggers”, meaning… things that make our MS symptoms worse. So, while I do horrible with the heat but the cold weather doesn’t bother me, it can be the exact opposite for others.

This is also true when it comes to DMD’s (Disease Modifying Drugs)… what works for some of us, doesn’t’ work for the other. Either we don’t tolerate the treatment well, have an allergic reaction, or it just doesn’t slow progression (at all).

I just don’t understand that we are all affected differently… I have not seen or spoken to anyone with MS that has an MRI that will mirror mine. All of my lesions are in my brain, where others have them throughout their spinal cord. Even if there is someone with just brain lesions like me, we are going to be identical on number and placement and “size” of lesions…

There is just so much to factor in with multiple sclerosis and each patient… location, home life, gender, etc. That list could go on for FAR too long… but you get the idea.

So, all of you with MS that are reading this… Know that you are unique and an “MS Snowflake”! I might have to make shirts out of that…

XoXo

Ashley Ringstaff

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About Ashley Ringstaff

Ashley was diagnosed with MS August 2010. She is a mother of two little boys and an MS advocate for MSWorld.org & embracing life for what it is and making the most of every day.

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