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Multiple Sclerosis Guide: Dos and Don’s
Do you know that MS is part of me, but not who I am.
I am a person with a lot of interesting things about me. I also have MS. Try not to ignore or overemphasize my MS when interacting with me.
Do you know that MS is different for everyone.
MS is not a single, specific disease, but a collection of unpredictable symptoms that affect everyone differently and differ individually over time.
Do you know that while MS cannot be cured, it can be treated.
Although MS is chronic, treatments are available that can control symptoms, reduce flare-ups, and slow the progression of the disease.
Don’t assume I’m lazy.
Fatigue is a common symptom of MS. It is also one of the most challenging and most misunderstood. Please understand that I am not lazy and that more sleep does not help when I am tired.
Don’t assume that I can’t work due to my MS.
I can still work if I choose MS. With milder forms, it is possible to carry out everyday activities without requiring little medical care. 25% of people with MS still work 20 years after diagnosis.
Don’t be overly cautious because I have MS.
I can still do many things with MS. I also know my limits. Please don’t patronize me and don’t feel sorry for me. If you want to know more, ask me. Open communication can help avoid misunderstandings.
Do you know that women with MS can have children.
Women with MS can have children. MS does not increase the risk of infertility, miscarriage, birth defects or work problems.
Do you know that MS is not contagious.
MS is not contagious or inherited directly. Studies suggest that some genetic and environmental factors increase the risk of developing MS.
Do you know that you can get MS at any age.
Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50. However, small children, adolescents and the elderly can also develop MS.
Don’t assume that I can’t live a full and active life with MS.
MS is not a deadly disease. Most people with MS have a normal or almost normal life expectancy.
Don’t assume that I need a wheelchair because of my MS.
Although MS is a potentially disabling disease, most people do not need a walking aid or wheelchair to get around. Even if they do, they can still be productive and happy.
Don’t assume we know what causes MS.
The cause of MS is unknown. We know that the myelin sheath – the sheath around the nerve fibers in the central nervous system – is affected.
We would like to thank you very much for your invaluable contribution to this MS etiquette guide for Barbara Stensland (Twitter) who writes the fantastic Stumble into apartments Blog about their experiences with MS and Abigail Budd (Twitter) who wrote brilliantly about life with MS at Inbound communication.
Please help dispel some of the myths and raise awareness by sharing our MS Etiquette Guide. For more information on MS, see http://www.ms-uk.org or www.mssociety.org.uk/. If you have any questions or would like to speak to our team of experts about life insurance for multiple sclerosis, call us on 01275 404268 or request a quote.
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