Okay, so there is probably something else that I should mention around here. Despite being pregnant, MS doesn’t stand for morning sickness around here.
I have r/r MS. The kind like the Pres has on West Wing. Oddly enough that explanation that most people relate to. Not that I bring it up to people that much. I sort of live my life like those people on the blood sugar monitor commercials. “I’m a mother, a wife, I have a career, I live a full life and oh by the way if it comes up for some reason– I’ve got MS.”
But when it does come up the West Wing has certainly effected people’s perceptions and expectations. It’s funny what a fictional TV character can do. The whole country now has an example to think of when they hear those two letters. Back when I was first diagnosed, years before Jeb Bartlett when public, when I told someone they would get this wild look like they thought I was going to fall down at any minute – now they just nod and take it in slowly.
So knowing that the character is such an example to the masses of what MS is, I’m always wary when I see a preview that shows the Pres having an MS related issue. I understand that they’ve got to beef up the situation for dramatic effect because believe me a normal exacerbation would not be gripping must see TV. And truthfully there have been times when they’ve pushed the limits for dramatic flare. Every MS patient in the country must have cringed when several years ago a tearful Stockard Channing claimed a simple cold could be a death blow. I still can’t believe that one made it past the technical advisors.
So knowing this week they intended to have the poor fellow suffer a full blown exacerbation for the first time I was, well, less than enthusiastic about how my disease was about to be portrayed on national television. In fact, it took me three days to get in the mood to watch it on the TIVO. But now that I have, I’ll give them a little more credit. Yes they used a little dramatic license – he never would have gone that far into it without the steroid infusion. But they did show that a full blown exacerbation is just something to be monitored and managed and it does not really interrupt your life too much. Heck, I worked (and once vacationed) straight through every one I’ve ever had. Biggest problem I ever dealt with was the nurse not planting the IV needle in a place that would allow me to type. And in this post 9/11 world I now need a doctors note to fly around with it in my arm like I’ve had to do a couple of times.
So for now I remain grateful to Ol’ Jeb. First – for not getting overly dramatic and for staying real and secondly – for reminding me that I really should bring the MS thing up here in the blog. I tend to back burner it so much that I neglect to share it with people.
I’m not adverse to people knowing and I’m perfectly willing to discuss it with anyone.
So that’s my thing, I’ve got MS. Just thought you should know.