Misconceptions and Stereotypes
When it comes to MS, people tend to have preconceived ideas and misconceptions. I sure did. When I was diagnosed, I was scared because I didn't know much about the disease. I thought, "That's it, game over." I assumed I'd end up in a wheelchair. I also thought MS was a disease for older people or women. But after doing some digging, talking to my doctor and learning all about MS (talk about a crash course!), I realized I was wrong. With the right diet, medication and exercise routine, living with MS is manageable.
At first, it was really frustrating because I didn't know anyone my age with the disease. But then I learned most people are diagnosed with MS between the ages of 20 and 50. I also found that most people with MS do not become significantly disabled. In fact, two-thirds remain able to walk. Most importantly, I realized that MS is not considered a fatal disease. The vast majority of people with MS live a normal lifespan.
Did you see my "man on the street" interviews? I wanted to do those because talking about MS is the first step toward crushing myths. The more people talk about MS, the easier it is for those of us living with MS to find others we can relate to — something I really needed when I was diagnosed. Helping to foster more dialogue about MS is important to me, so I invite everyone to join the conversation.