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?