My Experience With the Progression of Multiple Sclerosis
And so we pretend. We trick you. We lie. With the best intentions. We’re not convinced that we truly have multiple sclerosis, yet. And we don’t want to make you feel bad or anything like that.
So what if we have to hold on to the rail when we walk up or down the stairs? We’ll laugh, we’ll say ‘don’t mind me, you go ahead, old age is getting to me,’ haha. And you’ll think that we are so funny, old age indeed, goodness she/he’s a scream isn’t she/he. Haha.
We’re not telling you. Even when we do know that we truly do have this thing they call MS. We’re not letting you think there’s something wrong with us. Why is that? I can tell you. It’s because of the way society treats the disabled and infirm. Get yourself a serious medical condition and see for yourself. Go on. More than a small percentage of people who receive a diagnosis of a progressive disease will keep it to themselves, only sharing with their closest confidantes - purely through fear of being treated as less worthy, or even mentally deficient.
People suddenly see you differently, and see you as Mrs or Mr Stupid. MrHesGotaDiseaseIDontKnowAnythingAboutButHeCantBeRightInTheHead. Maybe that's a bit harsh, not everybody treats us that way. Sad thing is, some do. And believe me it is infuriating.
But that's a story for another day, for now know that this is true and does actually happen more often than most of us would like to think.
And so, if and when we can / because we can, we hide it.
We become masters of deception. If you're not super-close family, we won't tell you, if we can get away with keeping schtum we will - MS is shared on a strictly 'need to know' basis. I did it for 16 years. If you are new to your MS diagnosis, consider that a challenge … how long will you hide it for? And p.s., you’ll be okay, honest. I know it looks bad from where you are right now, but from where I am I’ve learnt that it can be okay, even though this all may sound otherwise (just trust me, it’s okay).
And thenmy legs gave me away. Can’t hide the fact that I walk slow and often with a limp, no hiding now. Dammit.
Seems to happen suddenly to most of us, too, this progression.