ALS Untangled: Re-Opening the X-Files
The X-files of multiple sclerosis
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I'm a firm believer in the concept, “If you don't know where you're going, how will you know when you get there?” That said, I've often changed a track line or two of my own volition in this life (as well as being fortuitously blown off course now and again).
I sat down this week to research a difficult topic for today's blog: death from MS. I know, I know…we've all been reassured ad nauseam that MS is not fatal. Okay, technically it's life that is the terminal condition. And while the disease that causes plaques on our brain and spinal cord does not technically cause death, complications of MS do (at a rate which surprised me, and we'll discuss that at another date).
I got blown off course.
When researching topics for our community, I strive to use diverse resources: public libraries, medical research journals and bulletins, National MS Society, MS Society of Canada (and the U.K. and Ireland for that matter) and, of course, the handy Internet. The latter is by far the easiest to access but, in my opinion, must be of the finest quality in order to be considered.
My friends, there are MS conspiracy theorists in the cyber world that rival the fervor of grassy knoll believers in the JFK assassination and Fox's Mulder of The X-Files.
I found everything from “cures” for MS to people stating that MS was not a real disease, but rather a “symptom” of a dangerous imbalance (I did love how many time this particular article referred to MS as a disease before and after it stated that it wasn't).
One thread I found looped round and round different disease groups with the same information, merely changing the name of the illness in order to sell cure-all books.
Are we such easy prey?
It isn't simply cons and hucksters that I found out there; real people with MS view this thing differently than I as well. They see a government-medical-pharma underworld that apparently has a cure for the disease in storage some place but are making too much money to let us get well.
Sitting in our balcony of rational superiority, you and I may scoff at such notions. There are those, however, who really cling to this stuff and, I must say, we've even seen a bubble or two of these ideas in our comments.
I do not discourage such thought processes; I just hope we all respect our prerogative to silently disagree (and enjoy the fact that no one will hear our snickering).
Look, I have MS; you have MS or perhaps someone close to you has it. We all acknowledge that. We dislike this disease. We tire of its relentless slog of progression. We wish there were a cure; we hope there will be one in our lifetime. Are we so willing to wish and hope that we allow our headings to drift or be completely altered by these tempests in our tea?
Do I wonder these things in joint company or is this merely more of Trevis' literary diarrhea? Have you ever allowed yourself to think such things? Do you still? The Internet is a big and wonderful place; it is also a little slimy sometimes. Makes me think we should heed our mother's old advice and not go in there without clean underpants.
Wishing you and your family the best of health.
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