Saturday, September 29, 2007


On Tuesday while I was waiting after work for my bus to arrive a guy came up to me and struck up a conversation. I wouldn't wish multiple sclerosis on my worst enemy, but I kind of hope this guy has it.

No, I'm not being nasty. Read on.

He started talking to me because he saw that I was using a walker and, since some day he may be doing the same, he had some questions about how it was working out. He has been experiencing fairly rapid deteriation in the muscles that are used in walking - thus the curiousity about the walker. His doctors have presented rapid-onset MS as a possible explanation.

But this is just a better-case scenario. Of course his symptoms may just be transient. A temporary glitch in our imperfect universe. That is the best-case scenario. So, if we perchance don't have that best case, what other possibilities are there?

One possibility, as I've mentioned, is MS. Another possibility put forward by his doctors is ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Most folks today are probably more familiar with Stephen Hawking as someone with ALS.

From my perspective as someone with MS it seems vastly preferable to ALS. Both can be debilitating to be sure. There is one big difference though - folks can have MS for years The average life expectancy of someone with ALS is 3-5 years after onset of the disease. Of course this is just expectancy. Individual results may vary.

Even still, seems like a pretty major 'Sword of Damocles'-type thing.

Yes, MS sucks. I wouldn't, as I said, wish it on my worst enemy. I can't imagine a perspective where it is not a better possibility than ALS.

At least I don't feel like I have an expiration date.

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