The BS of my MS

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis April 11, 2006. It was a fairly quick diagnosis and there are days/weeks I can mostly ignore it. For those days I can't, this blog documents my journey.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Tonight I went to a seminar on MS and the treatments that are coming in the future. On one hand, I thought it might be helpful to see the other faces of MS. That is, until I saw them. There were lots of people in wheelchairs and on scooters. The lady next to us had trouble talking and could barely pick up a spoon. Hopefully these people are that "bad" because they are the earlier faces--they went years without treatment. But I don't know for sure. There are lots of possibilities for the future--oral meds, a vaccine that tricks your body to thinking you don't have MS, etc. It was interesting.

I asked the doctor about a couple of things. One, I asked him if it was okay that I never had a spinal tap. Some people try to question my diagnosis because I haven't had one, but my MRI and symptoms were conclusive. The doctor at the seminar said that was perfectly acceptable. Also, today I received an email from a classmate about aspartame poisoning. The email was in Spanish, but I was able to understand it--plus I did a google search. However, there is no evidence suggesting there is a link or even a false association between MS and aspartame. The doctor confirmed this.

I get so tired of people who want to second guess this thing. It's one thing to be gullible, but it's another thing to be informed and trust the doctors who specialize in treating MS. For me, a constant stage of second guessing just leaves me in-between--never fully accepting or claiming this as my own. For me, I just want to move forward.

It's weird to hear MS called "a chronic debilitating disease." I have never thought of it like that; I don't want to think of it like that.

One interesting fact I heard tonight: Depression is three times more common in people with MS, even before they are ever diagnosed. Perhaps my bout with depression in January of 2005 was symptomatic of MS?


  • At 12:36 PM, Blogger Jaime said…

    Hi Heather,

    I just stumbled across your blog today and thought I would say hi. I noticed that you are newly diagnosed. I would like to point out a couple of things.

    Every person with MS is different. Just because that particular seminar happened to have a group of people who are in wheelchairs does not mean that is how your MS will progress. There are things that can be done; diet, exercise, medications, etc. Work with your doctors.

    The medication is there to help slow the progression of the illness but because there is still so much that is unknown, and because every person responds differently, medication may or may not work for you. It will be a trial and error type of situation, one that you should talk to your neurologist about.

    In regards to the does play a big role in MS. I have never experienced depression before I had MS. I was one of these people who were always able to work well under pressure and now I have some depression. Some of this I have read is because of the way the illness affects the brain and the other is because of the medications. Of the 4 leading MS meds (the CRABS as they are known) Copaxone is the only one that is not found to list depression as a side effect (however, anxiety is listed). The best thing is to try and keep a positive attitude and have a solid support system. Honestly it can be overwhelming at times, but if you can have family and friends to rely on and know that there is a group of people out here (MSer's just like you) who are here to support you then you will be just fine! If you need anything at all, please don't hesitate to let me know. You can reach me anytime by email: or through my blog

    I wish you the best. Please take care.


  • At 5:04 PM, Blogger Paul said…

    Thank you for writing your blog. I came across it while poking around on line and read through your posts.
    You inspired me to write about my experiences with MS, fatherhood, marriage, teaching and life in general.
    You can email me at: or
    I look forward to reading more from you.


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