Thursday, July 8, 2010

MS – A Curve Ball

Traci saw Dr. Duncan on Friday about the occasional, bothersome numbness in her hands. She had thought little of the symptoms, but her mother had made an appointment just to check it out. “Multiple sclerosis?” Traci said to her mother, who had taken the call from the doctor. “I’ve heard of it, but what is it?”

“It’s a disease of the central nervous system, honey, attacking the brain and spinal cord. They don’t know the cause, and they don’t know the cure. Depending on the locality of the disease it can produce…disabilities.” Jackie could no longer hold back the tears. “Disabilities? What disabilities?” Traci had demanded, suddenly feeling very afraid. “Mom, what’s wrong with me? What’s going to happen to me?” It took Traci’s mother several minutes to get through the explanation, interrupted by moments of tears shared with her daughter. Jackie tried to encourage her – and herself – by stating that the symptoms can come and go, disappearing for months or years at a time. But unless a cure was found or God miraculously intervened, Traci might eventually lose the use of her legs, arms, speech, or other physical abilities. Jackie admitted that MS can eventually be fatal.

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