MS & I

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

the challenge...

Ok so I honestly don't know one person that has not done the ALS ice bucket challenge. I can’t believe what social media has done to bring awareness to millions across the world! But it also makes me wonder if people even know what ALS is. I'm sure most people know that it is fatal dieses, you end up in a wheel chair or that you end up not being able to talk. 

In my ice bucket challenge video I mention that I was tested for ASL. I was absolutely terrified when they told me it was a possibility that ALS could be the reason why I was struggling with the simple task of walking. 

So... as all of you know I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) and not Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS AKA Lou Gehrig’s disease) so my point of this post is to not only inform people of what ALS is but how it is related to my disease MS.

The official type of MS that I was diagnosed with is called progressive relapsing MS (PRMS) the least common of the four disease courses, it is characterized by steadily progressing disease from the beginning and occasional exacerbations along the way. People with this form of MS may or may not experience some recovery following these attacks; the disease continues to progress without remissions. Unfortunately ALS does not have "remissions" at all. I am lucky enough to be able to enjoy life to a certain extent. ALS is very progressive and fatal. My MS is progressive, but not fatal.

Both diseases attack and destroy the body, affecting muscle and nerve function. For that reason, they share many of the same symptoms, especially in early stages. Initial symptoms include:
       Muscle weakness and stiffness
       Loss of coordination and muscle control
       Difficulty moving limbs

Though both diseases appear to have much in common during the earliest stages, the progression, treatments, and prognoses for ALS and MS are very different. However, in both cases treatment paves the path toward a healthier, more fulfilling life as long as possible.

As of today because of the “ice bucket challenge” $110.5 million has been raised! What does this money do for the
ALS association? The money raised not only go towards research of the disease to find a cure, but also allows financial support to those suffering with the disease and provides vital benefits.

I am so thankful for associations like this. For example my current monthly medication is about $5100 a month, but because of money that is raised through foundations I pay just $10. So I know the ice bucket was all sorts of fun, but what it really comes down to is raising money for those who have to suffer everyday and want nothing but to live a “normal” life. You never realize just how lucky you are until the simple things in your life are taken away.

If you have done the ice bucket challenge I now challenge you to DONATE! I don’t care if it’s a $1, it still makes a difference.