The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) recognizes March as Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, so I would like to share some valuable information about this illness with y’all. Many of you already have a decent amount of knowledge on this illness because either you are living with it or know someone who is, so some of this information you are already aware of! Preliminary results from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society reported nearly 1 million people in the United States live with Multiple Sclerosis and 2.3 million worldwide. This seems like a massive amount of people living with this illness worldwide with no cure, yet. I would ask why, with so many fundraisers to find a cure for this illness, why there has not been one found yet, but I think it is pretty obvious what the reason is. You might disagree with me and that is okay, but the drug companies would lose so much money if a cure was released and the greed takes control with that! I might be wrong about this and it is just hard to find a cure for a debilitating illness, but it would be really great if there could be as it would help so many worldwide.
Multiple Sclerosis is a very unpredictable and sometimes debilitating disease of the central nervous system. This disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body. MS is typically diagnosed between the ages of 20-50 and diagnosed 2-3 times more often in women than men. Symptoms do range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis and the severity of symptoms differs drastically between each person.
In 1868 the famous neurologist, Jean-Martin Charcot, lectured on features of Multiple Sclerosis and actually gave it the name. Jean-Martin Charcot was a French scientist, instructor and physician who was the claimed founder of modern neurology. Throughout the 1800’s and 1900’s many other therapists/physicians tried without any success in the treatment of MS. These therapists/physicians created and tested what to me sounds like some very dangerous treatments. One of these dangerous ideas was something called Deadly Nightshade. Deadly Nightshade was a plant with poisonous fruit, arsenic, mercury and injection of malaria parasites. This sounds more like a death sentence than a treatment for the illness.
It was not until 1951 when steroids started being used to treat relapses in MS patients. Steroids are used to reduce the severity and duration of the relapse. They do not have long-term effects on the disease, but are just used as a short-term fix like a band-aid that just assists the issue. For those of you that have been on steroids, you already know they are not any fun at all. I know when I have been on steroids they make me extremely irritable, exhausted and I have literally no appetite. I think normally steroids increase appetites, but they do the exact opposite for me. I guess I am a little abnormal! Even though steroids have some horrible side effects, they do seem to make the relapse a little shorter.
The first drug that was proven to be effective for a long-term treatment of Multiple Sclerosis was approved in 1993. Since 1993, there have been 15 long-term treatments approved for MS. The 15 approved disease modifying medications include injection, infusion and oral. These disease modifying medications are meant to slow the progression of the disease and delay any disability, but unfortunately is not a cure.
In all honesty, I had no idea that this illness had been around since the 1800’s. When I was first diagnosed, I knew hardly anything about the disease. I only knew one person that had MS and granted she was older than me, but she was disabled. I had this overwhelming fear that I would end up in a wheelchair like her. But, it has been almost 18 years and I am still walking just fine. I do experience terrible amounts of pain, numbness and tingling, but at least I have not lost my ability to walk and look like I am perfectly fine. During the times my pain is extremely high is when my motto is “Fake it til you make it!”
For those of you that have been following my blog, you already know I tried numerous different disease modifying medications until I found the one that has been working well for me. I guess back in 1993 when the medications were being released there were far fewer choices for a person to choose from, which must have made things a little easier. Now with so many to choose from you must do your research and test for yourself what works. It is okay to start a medication and find it does not work well with your body chemistry and switch to something else. It is however very important to find one that will work for you so you can have a little better control of the disease. There are a couple of websites that I would encourage y’all to check out as it has a lot of important information about MS, https://www.nationalmssociety.org/ and https://mymsaa.org/ .
I hope y’all have had an amazing weekend. The weather sure has changed here in the south towards more of a spring like time. It is crazy considering it is technically still winter until March 20th, but I can not complain. It was so warm in February which does make me a little worry about what summer is going to be like. I mean seriously, it was 80 at the end of February, so what are the temperatures going to be in July?
Thank y’all for stopping by my site today. I hope the information I have given was valuable and interesting. I spent a lot of time researching Multiple Sclerosis when I was first diagnosed, but over the past few days I did a little more reading and what I discovered was so interesting. I hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday and I hope you are prepared for the new week to start. Truthfully, I am never completely prepared for a new week because the weekend is so short, I always feel like I did not get anything accomplished, if only the weekends were longer! I look forward to any comments you may have about this post today and I will respond to you as quickly as I can! As always I am sending y’all lots of love and comfort!