Every one of us has a prejudice about something. Some people don’t like certain people. Some people hate vegetables. Some people are anti-religion. All of us have certain things we group into a category and decide to dislike the whole bunch because of it.
As I get older, I am getting more and more tolerant of things. For example, I used to have favorite music and dislike all the rest. As I have listened to a wider range of music, I find I like a little something in all those varieties. I have learned to try more types of food, entertainment, movies and other things. Variety is the spice of life, so they say, and we miss out on a lot of enjoyment and learning experiences when we shut our minds to only one thing in each category of life.
I think a lot of people dislike reading about diseases and such out of fear. When you tell someone you have MS (or any disease or illness), they nod, make a quick comment, and walk away from you. Most of us don’t volunteer that information, but when it comes up, we are sometimes shunned.
The first thing most of us want to say is “It’s not catching!” You cannot be exposed to MS and a few days, months or years, develop it. The same is true with cancer, diabetes, ALS and other diseases. Our prejudices of “disease” have carried us into a world where we are afraid of everything and unable to learn about them and maybe help someone going through one of them.
The news is constantly full of ways to avoid getting sick, what to do if you do, and all the treatments available to help you. Every one of those treatments always comes with a long list of possible side effects, some of which are deadly.
The world has become a place where polls, lists and graphs are a way of life. The problem with that is, everything does not always fit into the same category all the time. What is right one day, is often wrong the next. The positive or negative effects of coffee, milk, eggs, etc are a good example of that. One day they are the best thing in the world for you, the next, they will cause you all kinds of problems.
I guess my point is that MS has so many different faces that it cannot be put into any certain category as far as symptoms are concerned. Some people have walking problems; some cannot walk at all. Some people have cognitive problems; others cannot talk. Some people are so fatigued they cannot put their clothes on without having to rest, while others work full time but are constantly worn out and stay on large doses of drugs. Some people are in constant pain, while others have no pain at all. And to make it even harder to understand, each of these things can change on a day to day basis.
I love watching movies and reading books. Mostly mysteries, but I try different kinds and sometimes are surprised at how well the choice turns out. I am not a fan of the latest fad of vampire movies that is so popular, but for people that love them, I think it is great. Although I don’t care for them, if you come to my house and you smell something odd, don’t be alarmed. I wear a garlic necklace just in case I’m wrong about these things!