After having multiple sclerosis for six years, I’ve decided there are five things “healthy” people might not understand about the disease, and it really drives me crazy.
So, I’ve compiled some common misconceptions and advice to help spread awareness among those who aren’t familiar with MS.
1. Remember, it is a fluctuating condition.
Last July, I ran a total of 51.5 miles! Does this mean I’m cured? Nope! Does it mean I’m faking my condition? Gosh, no, it was excruciating doing that much running. But I had to prove it to myself and show others it could be done if I put my mind to it.
But if I announce on social media my achievement of running 6 miles, it doesn’t mean I can go out for dinner with you that evening or drive you somewhere after I’ve been running. It also doesn’t necessarily mean I can do things with you the next day. Please don’t get annoyed at me for this; I’m just trying to live the best I can.
I love this column from the “MSunderstood Millennial,” Stephanie Towler, who interviewed her parents to see how much they knew about MS.
2. Please understand that I must make allowances.
If I choose to go out with you one night, please understand that I must take that day off to save energy. I also must take the next day off to recover.
If I turn you down and say I don’t have time to go out with you, it’s because one night for you actually means two days for me, and I have stuff to do, too.
3. Be mindful of what you say to me.
As someone with a chronic health condition, please note that I may find some things you say frustrating.
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