Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fast Fun Facts about MS

Two out of three people with MS are women.

Your odds of getting MS increase by four times just by virtue of being born north of the 40th parallel. Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world.

According to 2007 research, only 24% of people with MS are wheelchair bound, and usually 15 to 20 years past diagnosis.

I have been told that finding comfort in the statistics about my condition is a tad odd, but I do.

As most people don't get MS, I've already beaten the odds. So, the likelihood that I will get the worst and most severe forms of the disease are even less. I'm also really fortunate that I'm under 40, living in a country with socialized medicine and great amounts of research dollars, in a province with Pharmacare, in a city with one of the best MS clinics in North America, and can survive on federal income supports until I can find a new job later this year. I shudder to think what our lives would be like if we were living in the US with Joe full time in school and me getting forced out of a job with no insurance benefits.

Seriously, think about that. Our lives would completely suck in so many ways I haven't even been able to fully imagine how much that would suck.

Don't get me wrong, my life is sucking pretty hard right now, but I think that we've plumbed the depths of that suckage. Unless something goes radically wrong before June I think we've seen the worst of the disease for the next five years or more.

I am fortunate to be diagnosed in 2008. If I were diagnosed even in the year 2000 I would not have the opportunity to get the drug I am currently on. I've been reading some phase 3 drug trial information and there should be oral medications that work better than the injection drugs we have now available mass market before I turn 40. There's a lot of holistic research being done in BC regarding exercise, fatigue relief, cannabis, nutrition and the like. In May I find out if I can be considered for some of those research projects.

I've decided that if they can't find a cure in my lifetime I want to be a part of trying to find one for the next generation. I want a cure, and barring that I want a treatment that's like the insulin for MS. I want to be able to manage this, and I guess that's going to be a process.

The social worker at the MS clinic gave me a nutrition article telling me to eat lots of antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids and drink a glass of syrah, cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir a day.

As someone who loves bright fruit and berries, sushi and avocados, and red wine... eating for my health is going to be a real pain in the butt. ;)

I'm not really good at looking on the bright side of things, but I'm pretty good in a crisis. I'm not interested in becoming a motivational speaker or lying to people about what I'm really going through. I've always said that I am a realist not an optimist. I'm not supremely confident in my ability to want to live. That's the biggest one. I'm trying, but finding the will to live and actually do something with my life seems unlikely.

I'm not noble and things less than MS have destroyed my life to the point where no matter what I do my life will never recover. I have been brought to my knees by things far less than this disease and spent years in the abyss of depression, self-destruction and poverty.

Many people told me that the first year after diagnosis is really difficult but once you find your "new normal" you learn to deal better. That's probably true.

A year can change so many things.

1 comment:

  1. Found your blog on Lisa Emrich's Carnival. Sorry to welcome you to the group, but welcome anyway!