Angst on a Shoestring

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


MS, me and Teri Garr

On Monday, I was asked to give the intro for Teri Garr at her lecture. The first thing I thought was "Oh my God, Teri Garr!! Yes!" After I calmed down, I thought what the hell would I say? We do have someone here that helps to put together notes for the intro's, but I do want something that is on a more personal level.
Teri and I have more things in common then I had originally thought. She and I are both adoptive mothers, both on the same meds, and I sense like me, she has not "embraced" her disease. Most days, I'm ok, but then any day, I could be MS's bitch. What is MS (Multiple Sclerosis)?
Multiple sclerosis comes from the Latin word "multi" meaning "many," the Latin word "plus" meaning "fold," and the Greek word "sklerosis" meaning "hardness." Put the terms together and you have "many fold hardness." So multiple sclerosis refers to multiple hardenings in the brain and spine.
This is from the National MS Society's site:
MS is thought to be an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS consists of the brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves. Surrounding and protecting the nerve fibers of the CNS is a fatty tissue called myelin, which helps nerve fibers conduct electrical impulses.

In MS, myelin is lost in multiple areas, leaving scar tissue called sclerosis. These damaged areas are also known as plaques or lesions. Sometimes the nerve fiber itself is damaged or broken.

Myelin not only protects nerve fibers, but makes their job possible. When myelin or the nerve fiber is destroyed or damaged, the ability of the nerves to conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain is disrupted, and this produces the various symptoms of MS.
So what does that mean to me?
Walking like a drunken pirate. Slurred speech. Vertigo. Depression. Fatigue. Numbness. Pain.
And the list goes on. Sounds like fun, huh?
Teri came out about her MS in 2002 and she is now a champion in the cause.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
MS Lifelines, Sponsored By Rebif®


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