Monday, November 18, 2013

MS Explained in Layman's Terms

So what the heck is MS? We hear about it often in the news and with celebrities like Jack Osbourne, Montel Williams, Nascar driver Trevor Bayne, and even country music star Clay Walker. But what is it, and is it deadly? 

I'm going to give you the 'layman's term' for it, not a bunch of crazy, confusing crap about Myelin. (I've always hated science, I barely passed my Geology class in college, why do rocks have Cleavage?) 

It's an auto-immune disease which means your body is attacking itself. Your immune system is literally eating away the stuff (myelin) around your spinal chord. This create lesions on the spin, neck, and in the brain. Once you get hot, stressed, or over-exert yourself, BAM you get to really feel MS. 

It's messes with your nerves in the weirdest ways, you have crazy things that twitch, usually during the most important times, job interviews, client meetings, sleeping. You literally just watch your eyelid, arm, toe, finger, whatever it might be go to town. 

MS is not a cookie cutter disease, it treats each person completely different. The most common symptom is optic neuritis - which is when your optic nerve is affected and makes your vision blurry or even worse, you could lose vision. 

Most things go back to normal after a period of time...this could last a week or several months. 

So here's a list of the most common symptoms MS patients have.
  • Numbness & Tingling 
  • Vision Problems 
  • Bladder/Bowel Inconsistencies 
  • Depression/Anxiety 
  • Muscle Weakness 
  • Balance Issues - We are stumblers, I run into things constantly and wobble back and forth with no apparent reason. AND I cannot close my eyes during a standing prayer, I will begin to fall over - Can I get an Amen?
  • Fatigue 
  • Cognitive Issues

There are many different things associated with it and if something starts happening to me, I always blame it on my MS. I mean who the heck knows, I could grow a duck's beak tomorrow and I would certainly blame it on my MS.