As someone who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) at the age of 24, I found the article about Janice Dean, the FOX meteorologist with multiple sclerosis (“Weathering the Storm,” December 2014/January 2015, http://bit.ly/NNJaniceDean), upsetting. I was initially diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS but have now transitioned to secondary-progressive MS (SPMS), which means my disease is progressing steadily. I do not even qualify for disease-modifying therapy anymore because of my progression.
I believe featuring articles about people who have such mild cases of the disease only hurts the public impression and awareness of MS as a whole. Dean was using glatiramer acetate (Copaxone) and is currently not on any therapy at all. This gives the impression that MS is a “manageable” condition. That is not my experience. I am 34 and unable to work full time. I have experienced severe symptoms that cause pain and impair my vision, walking, and overall ability to function.
This article makes people like me, as well as other patients, feel that we have failed, when in reality we are doing the best we can with the restrictions the disease has put on us. Not everyone is as lucky as Janice Dean. Please keep that in mind when featuring articles about MS.
Des Moines, IA