Finding the positives of MS

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Finding the positives of MS

Postby TwistedHelix » Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:31 am

They call it "benefit finding", but I just think of it as looking on the bright side: I met my best friend while we were both in neurological rehab, (he had a terrible car-crash), and we were talking about it the other day -- I can't be glad that I have MS, but I know that, come that wonderful day when all this is over, I will be glad I had it. It's made me who and what I am, and changed my perspective on just about everything. Here is the link:

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does anyone else feel that having this disease has made them a better person?

Dom.
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Postby viper498 » Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:27 am

Dom,

It has definitely changed me for the better. I have looked at life in a different way since I was diagnosed. It really put my world in perspective. I don't sweat the small stuff anymore, and I treat people how I would like to be remembered (not that I am going to die) and treated. I take any opportunity I can to enjoy life, where as before I let work/financial stress consume me. I have also learned more than I ever have about the brain, and medicine. I also have learned that family and friends are the most important thing to me, and lastly I understand that I am not the only one in this world who is suffering. There are so many people who have it much worse than me, so I guess I am not as self-centered as I used to me.

Brock
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Postby gwa » Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:30 pm

Dom and Brock,

Much of the positive thoughts that the two of you have written are true for me also.

However, I believe that I would have become a better, friendlier and more thoughtful person anyway as I aged.

For me, this crappy disease has affected me more negatively and screwed my life much more than it has created any positives for me.

I think both of you need to get out more.

gwa :roll: :roll:
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Re: Finding the positives of MS

Postby Lyon » Sun Mar 18, 2007 2:28 pm

TwistedHelix wrote:come that wonderful day when all this is over, I will be glad I had it.
Hi Dom,
I saw that abstract on pubmed but even though I'm optomistic it seemed that was well past the line of nauseatingly optomistic and I didn't post it.

After seeing some of the thoughts you guys have written I'm glad you did post it, although as you insinuated, the lessons will be most valuable when looking back on the MS experience in hindsight.

Bob
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Postby viper498 » Sun Mar 18, 2007 6:10 pm

GWA,

With all due respect, I did have, and still DO have an active life. I get out plenty. Just becaue I have MS doesn't mean my life ceased to exist. I have so far been fortunate. It also doesn't mean that it couldn't instill some wisdom in me, and make me a more "aware" person. I'm sorry that you haven't had a good go at it. NO ONE wants MS. Its a Sh*t disease. I hate the fact that I have to worry about it, but, I don't let it consume me.

Bob,

I think the lessons are valuable regardless of whether they (??) cure MS or not. Of course everyone gets a different experience from MS, depending on age, severity, life situation, etc.. etc.., but if you can take away some positives to continue living your life as best you can then you will be better for it. Some people have it worse than other, and I am sure they are overwhelmed with bad feelings, I can't blame them, but I think I would try to find some positives.

Thats just me though.

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Postby Lyon » Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:05 pm

viper498 wrote: I think the lessons are valuable regardless of whether they (??) cure MS or not. Of course everyone gets a different experience from MS, depending on age, severity, life situation, etc.. etc.., but if you can take away some positives to continue living your life as best you can then you will be better for it. Some people have it worse than other, and I am sure they are overwhelmed with bad feelings, I can't blame them, but I think I would try to find some positives.
Hi Brock,
I'm not sure I could, but were I in your shoes I hope i could manage the same outlook.
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Postby viper498 » Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:03 pm

I would hope so too :).

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Postby gwa » Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:22 am

Brock,

I also have a very active life for a person that has had this disease for over three decades. My attitude has also been positive and will continue to be.

However, I will never be glad that I had MS when it is over. I have seen how the disease has affected my parents, my husband and my children. My mother died last year without seeing a cure for this disease, which was at the top of her wish list.

The stress on families who have members with this disease is tremendous and I can not see how it could be a positive experience for families either.

MS has not made me a better person because I was always sweet, kind and caring. :wink: :wink:

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Postby viper498 » Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:23 am

gwa,

That is true. Trust me, I am not glad I have MS, I am just saying that I think I have learned some things from it. It is still something we all will have to deal with, and will have a lot of emotional pain/suffering in doing so. It does negatively affect a lot of people around us. I can't deny any of that, but I think it has changed me in some good ways.

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Postby TwistedHelix » Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:03 am

Good answers, Brock, what I would have said if I was more eloquent. I'm not saying I've turned into Mother Theresa overnight, and some changes definitely are the wisdom of age, but the fact that a 'Benefit Finding Scale' exists at all suggests that some people are able to acknowledge the good bits in life. That doesn't mean to say that every second ought not be better, happier, and more fulfilled than it is, nor that I don't loathe everything about MS--after all, gwa, I can't get out; not at all. Ever, except in extreme circumstances. (Don't worry: I know it was just a turn of phrase 8) ). But I do feel I've learnt some things I might otherwise have missed. Mind you, I think that's enough learning for one lifetime...are you listening, scientists?

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Postby gwa » Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:54 am

Dom,

This says it all: "Mind you, I think that's enough learning for one lifetime".

I had thought that with all of your big medical words lately that you were getting too smart for me. You have just been concentrating too much on learning.

I still don't believe that you would ever be glad that you had MS when the "Cure" day sets you free.

It is like a prisoner released after 35 years when DNA determined he had been innocent all along. The last words I would expect from the guy would be, "I am glad I was arrested because I learned so much."

Sweet, smiling positive gwa here. :) :)
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Postby robbie » Mon Mar 19, 2007 12:20 pm

I have learned some things since ms like not to take anything for granted, don't sweat the small things, make every day count but now that things are much worse i won't get to live by any of those things, before the ms or even before it got really bad i think i was a better person, more focused, more comitted, ms gave me a better picture of what i needed to do but now that it has taken these things away and left me a bitter 41 year old man with many years of feeling this way to go.Is their positives in MS, maybe in the beginnig when u just need a kick in the ass to set u on the right path and if it stopped taking my body from me then yes it would be a possitive thing. I really think i needed that kick in the beginning but now i can't find anything possitive about Multiple Sclerosis, it's quite a disease!!
Had ms for over 19 years now.
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Postby TwistedHelix » Mon Mar 19, 2007 12:49 pm

Hi gwa,

My friend says he would not rewind history because of all the good things that have come from it, (including the things Brock said, meeting me, and finding who your true friends are), but that's not the same as saying he likes car crashes or wants another one. We can't roll back the lost years, and if we could I certainly wouldn't choose this life, but it's happened, it's all too real, and all you can do is roll with it IMO, and look for the flecks of gold.
Glad you're still smiling sweetly! :lol:

Sorry about the long words. Apparently, some people actually believe I understand them!
Dom.
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Postby Loobie » Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:42 pm

I cannot say it has made me a better person. Right now while I still have mobility and can work full time, it has made me a STRONGER person. There are days that, did I not have MS, I feel so dizzy and shitty that I wouldn't have even considered going to work. Then by the end of that day I'm usually feeling more positive about things for having "gutted it out".

I am also not dealing with any mobility issues. Some balance issues and gait issues have made me very scared and feeling very "close to the edge" of feeling like my mobility would be affected and I don't like it. I haven't really had to deal with the nasty stuff yet, so early on I would have to say that it has made me stronger, but I know I'm in for a fight with myself to keep my chin up if stuff starts getting worse. I am pinning so much hope on this Tovaxin trial, even though I know in my head not to but I can't help it. I want this shit to stop getting worse.

I have no idea how I'm going to handle it getting worse, but for now, it has made me take a scorching self inventory and make changes that really would have made my life better if I were healthy and made the same changes. But alas I am human and only make real changes when it's slapping me in the face.

I kind of think along the lines of how Richard Cohen put it in his book title. Mine is definitely a "reluctant memoir" of a story. I sure in the hell would not take this if I could go back and have a choice. Usually people really feel great when they do something that makes them stronger. It's not like that with me. Yes, I'm a stronger person, but no, I don't freakin' like it and struggle to call it positive, maybe necessary, but not positive. Dom, you have the constitution of a saint. I admire you very much for the help you provide all of us on this board and I wish my attitude were more like yours.

Lew
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Postby Lyon » Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:30 pm

Loobie wrote:Dom, you have the constitution of a saint. I admire you very much for the help you provide all of us on this board and I wish my attitude were more like yours.
Dom,
I don't even have MS, much less an EDSS of 9. My attitude goes down the crapper if I even have a bad day at work.

Is the secret behind your attitude something you can share with the rest of us?

Bob
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