Everyone Has MS

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On the day of my diagnosis my Neurologist told me that there are hundreds of people living in our city who have MS – and you’d never know by looking at them. Everyday we must walk past several fellow MSers and not even know it. This actually made me feel a little brighter until, that is, I started imagining scenes from ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’… You never know who may have been invaded by the MS aliens. “Watch out! They get you while you’re sleeping!”… Seriously though, in those early days I couldn’t help but wonder what ailment afflicted every disabled person I saw. I began to convince myself that any young person with a stick or chair must have MS too; surely no other condition even existed?! Should I approach them? Should I ask? I wondered. Don’t worry, I didn’t. But even now I can’t help thinking that the remotest limp or stumble from a passer-by must = MS.

Percentage-wise MS figures are pretty low. Around 110,000 people have it in the UK, with 164 in every 100,000 diagnosed with the condition in England – That’s a measly 0.164%, if my calculations are correct (and they might not be, maths was never my thing). There is a reason why I mention these numbers. You see, I seem to be surrounded by other MSers; everywhere I go I feel as though I encounter more and more. OK, so you’d expect to find a high prevalence of MS in an MS Centre, and of course you’re gonna meet some more if you mingle in MS support groups like I occasionally do – but what about your workplace? (2 of us, that I know of) Or the playground during the school run? There are 4 of us that I am so far aware of, and that’s only counting people I’ve managed to speak to – how many more must there be lurking around waiting to be discovered? In fact, I’m thinking about starting a club called The Club For Parents With MS Whose Children Attend This Tiny Village School – Based on the stats so far, I’m sure there would be enough demand for it. Three of us have a child in the same flippin’ class! That’s 12.5% of the class who have a parent with MS, which is way way way above the national average.

You may be wondering how on Earth I know that these parents have MS… Well, with the first of my discoveries it really was a simple case of innocently chatting and then a sudden realisation, at which point we merrily high fived each other using our sticks. I’ll admit that another of the parents involved a bit more quizzing on my part, you see she was using a wheelchair and I noticed the hand controls in her car – a perfect excuse to get talking! But honestly, what were the chances that she actually DID have MS?!

MS has got to be one of the most common of uncommon conditions.

9 thoughts on “Everyone Has MS

  1. Evry time I mention to someone that I have MS, they say they know at least one person who also has it. I find it mildly reassuring, though I don’t know why!

    Love your blogs BTW! Entertaining and sensible.

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    1. Thank you and yes, most people seem to know someone who has MS! P.S. I’ve never been called sensible before, haha

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  2. Funnily enough I don’t know anyone else with MS outside my MS support group. Is it sad that a good proportion of my social life is now made up with friends from our local MS Society ?

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    1. Not at all sad! Some of my closest friends are those I’ve met through having MS – they are the ones who really ‘get’ it and that’s invaluable support that no one else is in a position to give!

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  3. Hi, I find your blog very inspiring. I don’t have MS, my 27 year old son does. He was diagnosed at 24 but I feel had it since a child. My uncle had MS too. Also one of my best friend’s daughter has it, she’s only 23 – it was horrible that we’ve both got children with this illness but we are able to support each other in a way that other friends just don’t understand. X

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment, it’s really encouraging for me to know that family of those with MS can feel supported by my blog – that’s one of my aims in writing it! My own mum finds it very difficult to see what I go through, sometimes I think it is harder for the parents! I’m glad you have someone to offer mutual support to – that is soooo important. x

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      1. I think it’s hard being a mum, we don’t want to see our children struggle. I know I feel guilty at times that I’ve passed it on to him through family genes but we’ll probably never know for sure. I find your blog so inspiring. My son has just moved out to a whole different county and started a new job. Seems to have given him a kick start to actually ‘living’. X

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  4. To put thing in perspective, that’s one in 600 people across the UK. That seemed a lot to me until I realised that was about the same amount as card-carrying members of the Liberal Democrats.

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