MS portrayal on TV (totally trivial)

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MS portrayal on TV (totally trivial)

Postby flora68 » Sun Jan 09, 2005 8:51 pm

Has anyone else been watching "The West Wing" lately? (It's on Wednesday nights on NBC)

One of the main characters, "President Bartlett" (the President of the USA, no less) has had RRMS for several years, and the MS aspect has recently become more central. The last few episodes have portrayed a pretty sudden transition from fairly stable RRMS to, as of last month, serious SPMS.

Anyway, I just wondered if anyone else has been following the series lately. If so, what did you think?
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Postby OddDuck » Mon Jan 10, 2005 5:08 am

Hi, flora!

Yes, I've followed that show now for years.

Actually, I thought that they have depicted MS very accurately. It all depends on where it strikes next.

My first neuro made that clear to me, also. He described MS (I think because he didn't want me to be in denial or anything) pretty much how it happened on the show. One minute you could be fine, the next, you never know. You could still have RRMS, though, and have an exacerbation that happens to hit the wrong spot in the brain, and almost overnight be in the shape that the character on the show was. (Of course, they might have said on the show itself, he has now become SPMS.)

But the total honest truth is, that was pretty much me all last year. The way his character is. I stopped in my tracks, even, and stared at the tv! I thought "he's walking and acting like me ALL last year!!" In one show he described the "no balance" thing. No matter how hard he tried, it was just plain "lost". Yep, I thought...........that was me to a "t". Now they think I don't have MS at all? hmmmmmmmmmm.................

Maybe my PCP saw that show, also, and hence that is why HE still calls what I have MS, too.

The NMSS described it that way in their MS Walk pamphlet last year, too. You could be fine going to bed one night, but wake up and not be able to walk. That was pretty much how it happened to me, also. Fine one minute, can't walk the next. That quickly. I swear!

I asked my first neuro about that, as a matter of fact. There was not much that was "gradual" about how that happened to me. He explained that that was how MS was. If it hit the wrong spot (with me it was somewhere in the worst part of my brain, the cerebellum somewhere - he found it via evoked potentials), that would simply do it! I wasn't a happy camper, I can tell you. I even think my attitude was a lot like "President Bartlett's". Kind of stunned, and yet really quite angry.

Yep.............if anybody is curious to know how I looked and acted all last year and how suddenly it happened, watch that show! That's the "shocking" part about my recovery, and about how quickly it happened. What if suddenly on that show, over a matter of 2-3 weeks, that character suddenly goes from the shape he is in as you see him now, to walking into a room like nothing at all happened? Welcome to my co-workers' world! Some, I'm sure, think I faked the whole thing! I only wish that were true. It was not a fun thing to go through. And I pray every day that it doesn't happen to me that way again and these drugs I'm on can continue to hold it off. No matter WHAT you want to call what I have!

Deb
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