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How do you react when friends and family compare MS to other health conditions?

  1. sometimes I'm just shocked at the comment and don't have words to say. Not having words to say is sometimes a good thing for me because I tend to fly of the hand. I do get this comment quiet often Nd it irritates me to no endj. I'm sorry for those with cancer and other illnesses, but I'm tired of seeing and hearing about cancer especially. If MS was talked about as much as cancer then maybe people wouldn't make such comments. BTW my bff of 30+ years passed of cancer, so I hope no one see's my comment as ....OK lost the of what I was saying. Ugh! Well, I hope you know what I mean. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Rahael!!! The comparison can be so frustrating! Each person’s experience is unique regardless of the condition! – Kelly, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

    2. I've had MS for over 30 years. When first diagnosed I would get very upset by the insensitivity of so many people. It took me a while to realize that there are, and will always be people whose lack of awareness and whose inability to tune into the debilitating symptoms, handicaps and trauma of MS, is just 'who they are'. And how sad that is and what does it say? What becomes evident is that whether someone they know has MS, or cancer, or ALS, or lupus, or Parkinson's or the myriad of chronic health issues that afflict many of us, they can't see or feel past their own hangnail. What I learned was that when I got stressed out by the lack of response from the significant number of jerks out there, or even disappointed by the lack of understanding from the many who care about me, that stress would exacerbate all my symptoms. So I learned to look at them differently. I amended my expectations with greater insight; I became more perceptive; better balanced. On so many levels I have allowed myself to approach their insensitivity; and handle my physical, mental, emotional distress in a better way. So - are there still jerks out there? YES! Do they still get to me? Sometimes!. But not as often; and definitely with less anger and disgust. Bottom line ..... In my mind, heart and spirit, I'm in a better place.

  2. Thanks for commenting, Rahael!!! The comparison can be so frustrating! Each person's experience is unique regardless of the condition! - Kelly, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

    1. Oh, I hear you. I think when people say this they are minimizing the diagnosis. That immediately alerts me that they have no understanding of what MS is, and how devastating it can be. I’m not going to give them the benefit of the doubt, as you so generously have done. For a long time, the untrained eye could not tell that anything was wrong with me. They couldn’t “see” the bouts of optic neuritis, the depression (which I believe is caused by the disease; not a reaction to it), and they couldn’t “see” how tired I would get. Once I had to start using a rollator, NOW the world knows that something is up. I guess this is why there’s still a need for MS Awareness Month. Great post, Ashley.

      1. Actually, some cancers have a fairly good 'cure' rate.
        I once had a friend with ALS who asked me what was the difference between ALS and MS because at that point, we were both stumbling around in similar fashion. Oh, dear Jane, I told her, MS is chronic, ALS is fatal. Which is why I'm still around and she isn't. And I do thank the heavens that I've only got MS. I'm grateful it isn't ALS or some other fatal condition.

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