Monday, February 15, 2010

Defining "advanced"

In the most recent issue of the National MS Society magazine, there was a call for readers to rename a portion of the magazine that is currently called "Advanced MS." I noted that this section is always geared around people who use wheelchairs or scooters. But does that define advanced? How does one define that?

I use a wheelchair - people assume I have secondary progressive MS, but no, I get attacks and each one makes my legs a bit worse. But my mind still works and my eyes still work, which is not always the case for people with MS. So I still work, and I don't just work for a paycheck - I am constantly searching for work where I am passionate. Many people with MS don't work - does that mean their MS is "advanced?" Maybe not... maybe it just affects their life differently. Clearly, advanced doesn't seem right. Maybe advanced is how we look at things.

We were in church considering the difference between humble and miserable. The difference, I thought, was that someone who is humble is gracious. Someone who is miserable can't get to gracious - they are stuck. Maybe this is similar in some way. Maybe advanced MS can be a state of mind.

I'm thinking that I have been humble, and I have been really miserable, and someone pulls me out of the miserable, I think, more toward the humble (of course, I know I can be more humble - definitely room for growth there!). I hope that somehow that happens with the concept toward advanced MS. I hope, no matter what my physical condition and what others say, that in my mind my MS is never "advanced." Smiling...

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