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It Could Be Worse

It Could Be Worse

Have you ever been told in regards to your MS, “Oh, well it could be worse!” Yeah, I know it could be worse… but it could also be better. When I get told that it could be worse by someone that is saying it to be rude, and not supportive, it really upsets me. For once, don’t compare my illness and life to someone else’s illness/life. Are there things out there worse than MS, yes there are. But that doesn’t make what I’m going through any better. I still have to wake up everyday with this disease; I still have to fight the unknown.

Someone once told me, “At least you don’t have cancer.” And their right, at least I don’t have cancer… but then again, if I did have cancer and not MS, at least I would KNOW more about what’s going on as well as the doctors. I don’t think people understand that while MS does not kill you, there is also no cure and no one knows what causes it. So this is something that I have to live with FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

Now don’t take what I’m saying the wrong way either. I’m not sitting here saying that MS is worse than cancer, etc. I’m saying that every illness out there is bad in its own way. There is no comparison from one to the other, because if they were comparable, we would have the same prognosis, etc. But that’s not how it goes.

I mean let’s not point fingers here and play the blame game. Because I did not ASK for this… I didn’t want this… I still don’t want it, but I have it and I’m learning to live with it. Even now that it’s been years since my diagnosis, I don’t think I will every fully come to terms with my diagnosis because I don’t know what’s coming… when it’s coming… etc. I could be in a flare tomorrow (knock on wood), that’s why I don’t think I will every fully come to terms with it, because it’s not like I know 100% that I will be the way I am now, for the rest of my life.

Now, in all honesty, I’m not sitting here trying to upset anyone else with any other illness, MS or anything else, I’m just venting about how I feel when what I call ‘outsiders’ give their opinion/thoughts to be in a very rude/disrespectful manner. Does MS shorten my life span, most likely no, but maybe there are some of us out there with MS, where we wish we didn’t have to fight this battle for the rest of our lives. Have something that gives us this long to live with it, and then we pass away. Very controversial, I know, that’s why I’m not going in depth about it… but what about those people with MS that were diagnosed a while back when no medicine available… and are completely bed-ridden. Knowing they can’t come back from where they are. I wouldn’t want to live my life like that, I can tell you that much.

I’m also not stating the above because I would be miserable living like that, but I have two young kids, a husband, supportive family and friends… I wouldn’t want to be like that for them. I wouldn’t want to put them through that. Am I making any sense?

So those of you who have heard, “Oh it could be worse.” If someone says that to you again, ignore him or her, or tell him or her, “yeah it could be… but it could also be better.” Now if they’re thick headed and don’t like to listen and they’re always ‘right’…. There is no sense in arguing with a brick wall, let me just say that. 😉

Sorry for the gloomy article and venting, but I was told this not too long ago, and I just really needed to get my thoughts out there and the feedback from the MS Community, that has been told something similar.

Anyways! I hope everyone is well and thanks for reading!


Ashley Ringstaff

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • meissie47
    3 years ago

    So glad to see this.Im in the third wk of a flare(Vertigo / dizziness / nausea)right now but I don’t look like it because I’m not falling or walking like a drunk person. But trust me it’s there. I opted not to do the steroids this time.

    Friends text and call to see how I am and it’s so hard to know what to say. Especially when you hear over the phone…”you sound good”….ughhh. ..what am I supposed to sound like?

    Or. …”you look good girl!”

    I know it’s meant to make me feel better but what I hear is….”what do you mean you don’t feel well? don’t sound like it…you don’t look like it.

    It’s hard not knowing what each day is going to bring…hence the sudden bout of dizziness for the past 3wks.

  • thumper
    3 years ago

    I read your article on” It Could Be Worse” and Understand How Frustrating and Insensitive comments can be. However some patients who are Bedridden Accept and Manipulate Technology so well it makes me Ashamed to Complain! Whatever our situation is with this Disease, We must Encourage eachother and not make Anyone in whatever stage they are in feel Helpless or Worthless. If I have’nt learned anything from this Diagnosis its been realizing the Multitude of Stengths people have that they Never would of Imagined.

  • Catgirl66
    3 years ago

    Whenever some disrespectful person goes “there” with me, I nod as if in complete agreement & say “yes, I give thanks every day that I don’t have ALS, because while I’ll have MS until I die, at least it won’t kill me!”
    This has actually never failed to shut up someone who’s trying to call me out for being a whiner, a faker, lazy, etc. Great article, as always

  • Azjackie
    3 years ago

    You make complete sense! I agree infinitely we did not ask for this. I think everyone with an identified incurable disease feels the same.

    I am told I am in denial when I fall and get up by myself. Because I deny help, I am in denial? When I fall, I typically stay down taking a physical inventory, then when I am ready to get up I want to by myself. I will not always have someone around willing or able to help. I have to figure it out for myself. That is not denial it is reality.

    I am glad for your article. Thank You. You have to get out your thoughts rather than bottle them. There is no better place than where people completely understand.

  • Redd
    3 years ago

    I haven’t had anyone in a long time say something like that to me. Probably because I am no longer working and don’t get out much. I do however have this thought in my head, don’t you hate it when your own mind turns on you too. Thank you for writing about this. I too hate this disease though who doesn’t. I am now 51 and have technically had this since 1989 when my first presenting issue reared its ugly head. It sure wears you down. Anyway thanks again.

  • lipasi
    3 years ago

    Amen sister! My husband has PPMS and my heart is breaking. He was diagnosed 16 years ago and it really sucks to be him. Sometimes it sucks to be me too. I love the analogy, you are so right, with cancer or many other illnesses you know what you are dealing with. Every day is something new and not in a good way with MS. My prayers are with you honey, hang in there. Remember it could always be worse (sorry I had to do it haha). A sense of humor is soooooo important.

  • @masbrautigam
    3 years ago

    Mmmm how weird I had this conversation yesterday and I find it a difficult and sensitive one.I have been told this often,and it upsets me too. it’s almost like it’s not bad enough.Probably because we don’t die from it,unless complications.But I wouldn’t want cancer either. Yes they know what and how to treat but as I was told yesterday the fear of it spreading or coming back afte 5 yrs.It is a delicate thing but I still hate it when get told at least it’s not cancer.As you said,like it’s not so bad.
    Mascha 🙂

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