Unsolicited Advice

I was diagnosed with MS in 2007. It was around this time that a crop of MS experts was born. One day, as I struggled along going into work with my walker, a Professor asked me why did I have ‘that thing’. I explained that I have MS to which she responded with a pat on my back as she told me, rather confidently, to just lose weight and I’d be ok. As if anyone with MS could simply diet for a cure. Once, I was advised of the ‘study’ that showed a correlation between MS and meat so maybe I could cut that out of my diet in part or whole. I’d be remiss if I left out the time a long lost friend and I were catching up and after discussing my MS, he asked if I was in a relationship and after finding out I wasn’t, he diagnosed that I probably just needed some ‘good sex’ to get better because after all, “everyone can benefit from that”. In other words, fellow MS’rs, get it on to get MS gone. Honorable mention goes to the advice not to ‘claim’ my diagnosis. I suppose to not acknowledge the MS will negate the need for a walker or wheelchair, pain and symptom medicated management, erase the brain and spinal sclerosis, repair the damaged myelin, etc. I could go on with additional ‘advice’, but for the sake of time, I’ll move on.

My intent is not to portray myself in anyway as cynical, bitter or anything of the like. I certainly appreciate any ‘help’ rendered when in good taste and from a good place. However, pardon me should you find my response to be more perfunctory than ‘real’ or my smile to appear ‘fixed’ as I feign interest at said or similar comments. After 9 years and counting, though just about accustomed to it, at times this unsolicited advice admittedly takes a toll on my psyche. There are some responses I think of saying such as:

“With all due respect…
I find that hard to believe
That’s just ridiculous
Thanks, but no thanks
Are you serious?
Oh yeah? Wonder why my SPECIALIST never mentioned that”

For the record, I would never utter those types of responses because in the grand scheme of things, I know that the comments aren’t facetious. It’s just important to be cognizant of how one might receive what is told to them especially in matters that can be deemed sensitive.

I do, however, appreciate words of encouragement, questions to understand, expressions of kindness and pleasantries, etc. as these are the types of things that warm my heart and provide much needed support for me as I deal with this MonSter.

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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