Multiple Sclerosis: Finding Hope Through Research

Hope.

A word full of meaning. A heavy-weighing word too.

Today, as people with multiple sclerosis, we’re lucky we’re living in a time where a lot is changing in the MS-research and healthcare field. Progress is made at regular intervals, and as patients, we live in hope in what might be deciding moments in our life with multiple sclerosis.

In 1981, the first MRI scan image of an affected MS-brain was created, showing a clear disease image. Since then, neurologists have been able to diagnose the illness easier and faster.

In 2013, with the right type of adaptations in nutrition, holistic or standard treatments and lifestyle changes, we’re looking at healthier and better outcomes in disease progression. If or when other disciplines are added to our healthcare team, like a neuropsychologist, occupational therapist, primary care doctor, physiotherapist, dedicated MS nurse and of course a good neurologist, our illness now has a better chance of progressing slowly.

Hundreds of studies have taken place between 1981 and today and some continue to run and others have been successful and/or completed with or without results. Knowing this, gives a lot of hope to people desperate for a cure, and if not, for relief of very painful and chronic symptoms.

As much as people with multiple sclerosis live in hope, we also crave understanding and forgiveness. Understanding because too many people still have the wrong idea about MS. Forgiveness, for cancelling dinner dates or cinema visits. Forgiveness for not sounding OK when we’re slurring words and when we forget what was just said. Forgiveness for not always looking perky. Forgiveness for having been a liability at work.

While we want forgiveness for many things, we don’t want to feel guilty about it, or be made to feel guilty. We simply are who we are. The same person we used to be. A few scratches here and there and definitely a better outlook on life.

MS has not only made me hope for a future with less chronic pain and fatigue, it has given me the opportunity to slow down, to regroup and to let go of old grievances. I learned that showing that hope is not an idle, simplistic idea of the future, but a realistic view on what the next few years will be like.

How? Uncertainty is slowly turning into certainty, into hope that, before this decade is over, we will be presented with new or improved research results, with an even better outlook on disease progression.

Life with multiple sclerosis is no longer a reverie, a fool’s paradise where optimism is wrong and hope short-lived.

Or like Albert Camus once wisely said, “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.”

Are you hopeful about the future of MS research? Share with us on Facebook.

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Jamie Tripp Utitus
Written by
Jamie Tripp Utitus
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