What is to Blame?

I have been thinking a lot about something that was recently brought to my attention. I was asked, “What caused your MS? What or who is to blame for it?” So I was sitting there trying to come up with an appropriate answer, then my mind wandered and I thought… You know, this would be a great thing to write about.

It’s a really good question though, who is to blame for getting Multiple Sclerosis. Is it something I did? Am I the one to blame for getting it? Was I exposed to something by someone else that ‘triggered’ my Multiple Sclerosis onset? Or… was it something just in my body that is to blame? Did a certain food cause it? Did getting sick cause it? There are so many questions that we don’t have answers to, and this is one of them.

I think a really big thing that people need to be aware of is that we DON’T KNOW what caused us to get MS. Are there scientific theories for the cause of MS? Yes, there are. But none of those theories are 100% proven/accurate. So it’s just a big guessing game for the MS Community.

However, I don’t like to respond with just an “I don’t know” when I’m asked this question. I want to be able to give them SOME sort of an answer. I would like to have SOME sort of an answer, rather than nothing at all to explain it.

There are so many ‘unknown’ things in regards to MS and I just want to make that list shorter.

In the past, I’ve blamed myself. I felt like it was something I did, or something I exposed myself to, that triggered my MS onset. I still do blame myself at times; even if it isn’t the ‘logical’ thing to do.

I know that I’ve written things in the past that can relate to this specific topic, like… “Accepting the Unknown”, “It’s Not My Fault”, “Unanswered Questions” & “I Don’t Know". So as you can see, this topic is not only a frequent topic for myself, but judging by everyone else I’ve spoken to who has read those articles, it’s on their mind as well. Maybe even possibly on your mind, now that I brought it up.

I sit here and hear people talking about wanting a Cure for Multiple Sclerosis. I see campaigns to raise money for research, to find a Cure for MS… of course I want that! What person with MS wouldn’t? But I’m still sitting here wondering how researchers are going to find the Cure for MS, when the cause hasn’t even been determined…

When I think back to schooling, on the steps we had to follow in science class when beginning a experiment, I was taught to use a Problem-Solving Technique and one of the first steps was always “Identify the Cause”. How can you fix something, when you don’t know the cause of the problem? If something is wrong with your car, you take it to a mechanic. They find the ‘cause’ of the problem – then you discuss how to fix the problem aka “cure”.

Even if you have been to counseling before, they talk about finding the root of your issues… aka The Cause

Is anyone else on the same mindset that I am? Sadly, I do know that the word “Cure” in regards to Multiple Sclerosis is usually done in order to catch someone’s attention to raise funds… and it works. You don’t hear something like… Donate to the FIND THE CAUSE…. You hear “Donate to FIND THE CURE”

I guess I just wish that there were more studies being done to find the cause of MS – not just a cure, or Band-Aid. Now, don’t take that the wrong way… because I do want a cure, I do want studies to be done to find it… I guess I just feel like that if the Cause was found, that we would be closer to having a Cure…

I’m rambling on about this, I know… but I’m just very passionate about this topic… I even wrote an article, in regards to finding a Cure… it was more about calling people out on their misleading promotions, but you get the idea. In my article, “Calling Y’all Out” (yes I used the word y’all, I am a Texas girl after all…) Anyways, in that article I stated the following:

Ashley’s Definition of a CURE for Multiple Sclerosis: A medication and/or technique/procedure that stops any future demyelination to a patients Central Nervous System to happen EVER again. BUT this certain medication and/or technique/procedure ALSO corrects any and all damage done to patients Central Nervous System due to Multiple Sclerosis. How do you have a CURE for MS when there is not even a (for sure) CAUSE of MS?

What are y’alls thoughts on this matter? What are we supposed to blame for being diagnosed? I want an answer to that…

Wow, I didn’t realize I was going to go on and on so much in this article… but I’m glad that I at least got it off of my chest, for now anyway. Since March was MS Awareness Month – I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on the matter.


Ashley Ringstaff

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P.S. I did a video for MS Awareness 2015 – it’s more of an interview type video… but I answered a lot of questions that I’ve been asked over the years by individuals in the MS Field. You can check it out by clicking here or by visiting MSWorld’s MS Awareness Page.

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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 MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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