Skydiving or an Adjustable Bed?

confused faceI love MS magazines. It’s important to keep up to date with latest developments, policy and research. That to one side, I am confused.

On the one hand, there are articles about ‘triumph over adversity’ – people with MS skydiving, firewalking, trekking the world despite all the odds. On the other, the adverts paint a very different picture – catheters, adjustable beds, respite care, Motability, bath lifts, etc. So which is it it be? Which camp do I fall into?

Well, neither. I’m not brave enough to triumph over my adversity. The nearest I got to skydiving was when the builder jumped out of a tiny plane over the Arizona desert on his 40th. I was so traumatised to see my friend suddenly drop out of a plane that I clung to the bemused pilot until we landed.

I’m also, thankfully, not at the stage yet where I need to consider a versatile, easy access shower or electric scooter. I know many of us are, don’t get me wrong, but where is the middle ground? I feel both inadequate and scared. Are these the only two ways to live with MS?

I’m probably a typical person with MS – in my 30’s, with a child, trying to hold down a job and worrying about things we all worry about, MS or not. The bills, the economy, hoodies, the NHS, the price of food. I haven’t got the time, or childcare, to set off for China or raise thousands and thousands of pounds.

I do what I can to support MS charities. I trained as a support volunteer. I’m in a working group. I attend meetings and rallies (‘I’m not a scrounger, I have MS’). In my own little way, I hope my blog too, can show that life goes on with MS.

I used to work in advertising, I know companies are particular about where they place their ads. So why do they ignore us? There’s 100,000 of us in the UK alone. I want to see adverts for restaurants, travel companies (not just insurance), sparkly flat shoes, make up, days out.

I will jump (carefully) off my soap-box now. Rant over. Is it just me?

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6 thoughts on “Skydiving or an Adjustable Bed?

  1. Allyson says:

    I’ve said this all along – there is no middle ground in these magazines! Those people running marathons and trekking through jungles for charity on one page and the scooter/easy access shower adverts on the next. What happened to those of us that live a perfectly ‘normal’ life but unfortunately 6 weeks of the year have to hang up the 4″ glitter party heels in favour of the less glamorous flat pump! Or just have to be a little carful getting in an out of the bath?! Maybe you should write a ‘middle-ground MS’ers’ magazine!?

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hi Allyson!
      Brilliant, brilliant comment – so glad I’m not alone in ranting about this topic!! I couldn’t agree more about the middle ground – there’s a huge amount of us out there!
      Wouldn’t it be great to see different adverts? We still socialise, we still want to look nice, we still go out places.
      Oops, I’ve clambered onto my soap-box again….

  2. Allyson says:

    Rant away… you write the things we all think! It’s refreshing x

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Aww, thank you! Must get a smaller soap-box though, it’s pretty high up here!
      Maybe I should set up camp at Hyde Park Corner one Sunday, lol.

  3. That’s funny (or not)…now that you mention it, I DO realize the abundance of ads of the sort you describe (and lack of anything else). The first few times I got “Momentum” magazine (note inspiring title) was very soon after diagnosis. The ads were extremely depressing. I thought: Is that my future? Why is that lady SMILING inanely as she wears/rides/steps into [insert item here]? Then I simply stopped looking at the ads. (This is my favorite MO for dealing with unpleasant things: pretend they don’t exist.)

    What a long-winded way of saying I enjoyed and agree with your post.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Thanks Ms CrankyPants!
      Too right. When I was first diagnosed and got these magazines, they were flung against the wall in fear, depression and anger. How DARE these people in the ads look so goddam happy??? Is this all I have to look forward to?
      Momentum is an ‘interesting’ name, lol. Maybe we should come up with suggestions for new magazines….

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