Multiple sclerosis is often a misunderstood diagnosis. Many people are unaware of the complexities of the disease, and those with an MS diagnosis frequently become advocates, whether they realize it or not. The resilience of those with an MS diagnosis never ceases to amaze me. Not only do they have to learn about the disease and all its intricacies, but they often must educate those around them about it as well. I wish people knew that those with an MS diagnosis are truly courageous, and every journey is unique.
The unpredictable nature of this disease can disrupt a person’s well-being in so many ways. It can be difficult to explain “invisible” symptoms to family, friends, and coworkers, but it can be even harder to request accommodations for them. While some symptoms are easily seen, others, like fatigue, pain, cognitive difficulties, and emotional impact, are not as simple to explain or understand. While someone with this diagnosis may cancel plans or trips with little notice, many people may not truly understand the reasons why. There is so much that someone with MS may be struggling with. Setting boundaries and advocating for ourselves can be challenging, but sharing information about MS and encouraging questions may help. Communication and creating an open and honest environment may lead to mutual understanding. Give people an opportunity to get to know you and your story.
Sharing your experience living with MS takes courage. It can be a powerful way to bring awareness to the multifaceted challenges of those living with this condition and empower others to share their unique selves. An MS diagnosis does not define a person, and everyone’s experience is unique and valid.