What is MS? - Printable Version
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What is MS? - red1030 - 07-22-2008 11:33 PM
A lot of you have said that you do not know what MS is, well I donâ€™t know if I can truly explain it since most scientist and absolutely most doctors do not know what it is. As stated by its name, Multiple Sclerosis is just that. There is a number of plague or sclerosis all along a personâ€™s nervous system from the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral pathways.
On the outside of a nervous pathway is a protective layer called myelin that maintains the temperature of the pathway. When this temperature is eaten on by our bodyâ€™s good bugs, the myelin is scared creating sclerosis or scabs as we would say. Since it is our own bodyâ€™s good bugs that creates and scars the brain, spinal cord, peripheral pathways...thus making it an autoimmune disease.
The nervous system starts with the brain and sends messages from the brain through a personâ€™s spinal cord to peripheral nerves. The peripheral nerves are scattered through our body. I see them as pathways in our body. The nervous system is our communication system that allows our body organs, muscles, heart, lungs and brain to communicate. Without this channel of pathways we would not be able to walk due to our muscles would not know how to move forward or backwards. Consequently, symptoms can range from the brain functions such as cognitive losses, to having a heart attackâ€¦this occurs when the hearts rhythm system does not receive a message to beat, the heart stops.
The way MS is typically diagnosed is due to a personâ€™s presentation of symptoms, MRI findings of plague along a personâ€™s nervous system, and/or protein a personâ€™s spinal cord fluid. For me, it was all three which gave a definite diagnosis.
Symptoms include: Brain complications such as dizziness, cognitive losses, fainting, seizures, inability to swallow or eat which can result in tubes to receive nutrition, or inability to breathe without a ventilator. Other symptoms include weakness, atrophy of muscles due to lack of use, inability to walk or move, stiffness, contractures from not moving, incontinence, urinary retention which often results in cathetheration, numbness, to no feeling at all, neuropathy, pain from stiffness and numbness. The one that I have experienced many times is eye sight loss. There are many other symptoms and all are dependent upon when and where the myelin is attached and interrupts the communication channels.
Reasonâ€™s as too why one person gets this disease versus another is really unknown. There are a lot of theories but none have proved true to the entire population of people with MS. MS is young personâ€™s disabling disease and is usually found mostly with women, after the age of 40 with men. Men typically progress more rapidly through the disease process. MS is not the end of the world. It creates challenges and fears. There are losses and there are gains if a person with MS can look past their losses and see their future. A person with MS lives with a disease that progress at a fast rate or a slow rate depending on how often they experience attacks. There are four levels of MS. First is the Remitting relapsing? The second is primary progressive, and third is secondarily progressive.
The fourth level describes when a person is at their worst and this is the last category.
I hope this helps for those of you who were interested. I am very glad for those of you who were interested. Just know, for me my faith is in my father above, and my strength comes from him, my family and all of you. I thank you so much for being there for me and for always allowing me to be part of this on line family. You are all the best.
RE: What is MS? - RNvic - 07-23-2008 02:32 PM
Red, thank you for taking the time to post this information, it helps all of us, even those that are nurses to understand what you are going though. Hope you are feeling better with the new medications, think of you often,
RE: What is MS? - Roadrunner - 07-23-2008 03:35 PM
Red, thank you for that info. My younger sister developed MS after I moved to Florida a long time ago but never understood it. I do remember my grandmother having it and I figured it was an unfortunate genetic thing pasted down. The one thing she is very fortunate to have alot of people supporting her and her family and seems to be dealing with it very well. I wish you the best