Celebrities with MS
We see celebrities with MS now and the public at large has had these images of celebrities with MS painting a false narrative in most cases. Most don't show the struggles we all face daily. Some show no struggle at all. No signs of MS only how active and positive they are.
They hide the ugly side of MS
This is problematic for the ones suffering daily. They hide the ugly side of MS for several reasons I'm sure. The same as we all did in the beginning. Fear of losing jobs. Fear of being seen while they are in pain. Maybe their MS hasn't progressed that far yet? They want to share a positive message and show how well they are handling MS. No one wants to be seen as less than what they were before MS. Their celebrity friends rally around them and most don't even see the whole picture.
I personally don't know the struggles or severity of any of their cases. I only have my opinions and so does the rest of the world. That's dangerous and in some cases lessons the severity of the disease. It is progressive over time. There is no cure. It advances at different speeds in all of us. I fully understand how important it is to stay positive and try to keep moving. Selma Blair has been the most open about her MS but you have to follow her on Instagram to see images of her in bed and struggling that she shares. I could be wrong but I have seen no other celebrity share anything close to that.
Painting an unrealistic picture
Television segments paint a picture of people having MS and say how courageous we are. They talk about how positive we are. Commercials for MS meds show people hiking and doing amazing things. That's painting a picture that is very unrealistic for a lot of cases with MS. I know that there are a few out there that can do amazing things with RRMS and I'm guessing their MS is in a remission period. A period where they are showing no signs of MS physically but we don't know what is going on inside.
I know for a fact that I felt really great in my third or fourth year with MS and was doing all kinds of things. I felt physically pretty good but inside my brain damage was still creeping up on me. I went in for a routine MRI and had new brain lesions and was advised to switch medications even though I felt ok. MS is a tricky disease and a lot of misconceptions are out there I think because it's just not talked about enough. Celebrities have a platform to do this but it's a double-edged sword for them. It could destroy their careers in more ways than one.
We need to know we're not alone
Montel hid his completely for a while out of necessity. He has been an advocate for MS awareness since he went public with his story. I don't know anything about Jack Osbourne and his struggles. He seems fine now but that's just around the cameras for all I know. Other celebrities have come out announcing that they have MS but I rarely see anything about how they are really doing. Everyone deserves privacy and that privacy should be respected. This is the part that kind of sticks me. The television audience only knows what they see. They have never seen a case of MS that has done damage to the point of no hope. I don't want to be a bummer but those cases of MS are out there. MS chat groups are filled with them. We do need positive stories to keep us going but we need to know we are not alone in our darkest days. We are a tight-knit group of people and feel and form an instant bond with others that have MS. We joke, We cry, we celebrate each other's victories and pick each other up when we fall. We need each other because no one else understands us.
TV can't capture all the different stories of MS
So don't dismiss a celebrity with MS if they seem fine. Sure they have access to tools and treatments most of us can't afford but they have worked to put themselves in a financial situation like that. Some people say that they get special treatment because of their celebrity. It makes some of my friends really upset that can't even afford their meds to see companies throwing free help to wealthy celebrities but are they really? Does it matter if it's true or not? I don't think so. I think the problem is the cost of mobility tools. The cost of medications. The cost of care and the cost of understanding MS. All MS stories are different and one segment on television could never explain us all. Only we can share each other's story.
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