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X’s and O’s

Whether it’s…
Dinner rolls and stuffing, it’s still bread;
Forks and spoons it’s still cutlery;
Motrin and Aleve they’re still pain relievers;
An apartment and a house, they are still homes;
Or.. A Camaro and a Hummer, they are still vehicles.

One sneezes and another coughs, both could have a cold;
Two individuals have cancerous cells – one in their breast, the other in their prostate. It’s cancer;
A bank gets robbed and a purse is snatched – it’s theft.

It’s all relative

The intention of the aforementioned examples is to show that in spite of their differences, they are all relative to a bottom line. It’s like X’s and O’s –
different characters, but of one particular thing.. the game of Tic Tac Toe.

I overheard someone talking about two men that she knew to have MS. One was bedridden and the other, no visible symptoms at all. This person was dubious that the men truly shareď the same condition since Mr. No Visible Symptom seemed ‘fine’ and didn’t ‘have it like’ Mr. Bedridden.

The importance of awareness

Initially, I was appalled, but that emotion was short lived. One word came to mind: Awareness. This is why we sponsor events, create MS sites, blog, etc. – to bring awareness to a complex disease that many don’t understand. I’ll be the first to raise my hand. When diagnosed, I didn’t know much about MS other than it was a chronic condition. I educated myself right away.

By the way, as for that private conversation, I didn’t engage because I didn’t want to be seen as an eavesdropper and deemed rude. BUT.. if I’d chosen to throw caution to the wind and placed myself in their conversation, I would have shared this short lesson on X’s and O’s as it relates to MS..

MS greatly varies from person to person

MS symptoms and it’s course greatly varies from person to person, and from time to time, within the same individual. For instance, one person might experience chronic fatigue, another might have severe vision problems, and some may develop attention and memory issues. There are people afflicted with MS that can have temporary or permanent partial or complete paralysis at some point. There are some who require assistive devices and others who don’t. In addition, there are three types of MS:

Relapse Remitting – Attacks, also called relapses or exacerbations, of new or increasing neurologic symptoms occur and are followed by periods of partial or complete recovery (remissions).

Secondary Progressive – The relapses and remissions that used to come and go change into symptoms that steadily get worse..

Primary Progressive – This particular form of MS is less common than the others. It is progressive from the start with no relapses or remissions.

And just like that, that person and her audience would have been made aware that in spite of the differences in what the two men ‘looked like’ healthwise, the bottom line is that they both still have MS.

It’s still MS

Just like X’s and O’s are different, they still make up Tic Tac Toe. And no matter the differences in types, symptoms, or severity, it’s still Multiple Sclerosis.

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.


  • ericawilson
    2 years ago

    Ms. Scott,
    I love your insight on this unpredictable, often cruel disease. Each time I have read one of your submissions, I have felt uplifted and ready to take on another day. Thank you so much! God Bless you!

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    2 years ago

    Hi grammee3! How very complimentary, but most important, I am so happy that you find my articles uplifting.. I invite you to keep reading, there’s more to come! Thanks so much for your comment! God bless you!

  • ericawilson
    2 years ago

    Yay! Looking forward to more reading!

  • SweetSunshine
    2 years ago

    Hi Everyone
    My Sister and I have a mutual friend going back through Elementary School to today, she and my sister have a closer relationship as they are both a year older than I. Our friend was Dx with MS 20 years ago, and myself 10 years sense my Dx and assured me I had most definitely been fighting this disease several years prior.
    Our Friend doesn’t talk about her MS with my sister, simply because they don’t share that in common, with her and I we do discuss our Dx and support each other as much as we can. My Sister insists that our friend is much better at dealing with MS than I am, and that she feels my “Alleged” Symptoms are strangely enough Nothing our mutual friend deals with. I have discussed this with our friend and she graciously explained to me that when my sister brings the subject up in conversation that she addresses the comments like this- everyone has different symptoms with MS and because I may not share mine with you certainly does not mean that your sisters Symptoms don’t exist. And than she changes the subject.
    I know it’s not always easy to listen to someone talk about tough issues, however the fact that I don’t normally share my Pain or other Symptoms with my sister is just out of pride, trying to just “ Fit In “ like I had before MS, I strive to keep my personal appearance up and my attitude Happy. And there are days I may fail in my own expectations but I don’t quit trying. And a little more compassion would be so very welcome.

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    2 years ago

    Hi SweetSunshine!
    I like your friend’s response to your sister..short, practical and accurate. I also like your attitude about keeping your appearance up and mood happy and can appreciate that there are days when it doesn’t quite work, but you don’t stop trying. Kudos to you! When you need compassion and you’re not getting it from ‘home’, just remember we’really all here for you and we get it. Take care and never stop fighting!
    Best, Dianne
    P.S. Thanks so much for commenting!

  • SweetSunshine
    2 years ago

    That’s Our Mutual Friend and my sister have a CLOSER Relationship NOT CLOSET
    I Swear Spell Check changed the word, and It didn’t allow me to Edit the word.

  • Kelly McNamara moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi @SweetSunshine. I updated your comment so it says ‘closer’. Thanks for being a part of our community! – Kelly, Team Member

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