Today is World MS Trend Day. It’s a great campaign to raise awareness about MS. so please pass it on, especially if you are on Twitter.
I’ve been thinking about what it means to raise awareness about various chronic conditions, illnesses, etc. It’s not enough to just make people aware that these diseases exist. What we need to do is educate people about them and how they impact our lives.
I knew about MS from the time I was in my early teens. For a short period of time I had an uncle with it (my aunt married him for a few years before things got really bad). All I knew was that it made it hard for him to walk and he had to do things more slowly than healthy people do. Eventually, many years later, he ended up in full time care and passed away. I don’t even know if the MS was what caused his death. More recently, I also have an acquaintance who is in full time care with it. Those were my primary points of reference when I received my diagnosis. In hindsight, that’s not much to go on!
So, what can I tell you about MS? Well, here are some things that I wish I knew before and that I think would be helpful for the general population to be aware of: Continue reading
Diplopia. Ever heard of this word before? Me neither – at least not until I ended up with it. It’s more commonly referred to as double vision. This is the latest of my MS relapses. It’s been a killer hot, dry summer here. And like most people with MS, I have heat intolerance (also called Uhthoff’s Phenomena – there’s another fun new name to learn!). What that means is that my body doesn’t regulate its own temperature properly. So when it gets hot, my system becomes overly stressed, causing nausea, weakness, “pseudo-exacerbation” (which is a fancy term that just means existing symptoms feel worse for a while), and sometimes even new relapses.
Suddenly, about seven weeks ago, we were on our way to church when I noticed that everything looked very strange. Every item in my view outside of the car was slightly out of focus, similar to viewing a 3-D graphic, but without the 3-D glasses. Continue reading
I realize it’s been some time since I updated the series on the Jehovah’s Witnesses. But don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten about it. Being a particularly hot summer, my brain fog has been especially bad, which prevents me from putting in the long periods of time and attention needed to construct longer and more complicated posts. But it’s still on my mind and I do plan to continue with the next section in the near future.
In the meantime, I wanted to touch on the general issue of cults, and particularly the tremendous grip they have on their victims. People who are born and raised in cults are especially entrenched because they’ve been saturated in cult life from their very earliest memories. Individuals who are drawn in as adults may not be quite as deeply indoctrinated, but are still very attached to their new found sense of community and security.
Now, when I talk about cults, I’m not talking about the occult in particular. I’m referring to religious groups that claim to be “true Christianity” while rejecting orthodox historic Christian doctrine and replacing it with any number of “new” teachings. Continue reading