Tag Archives: internet

A Sense of Disconnection

life without the internetOh my days. Who knew that being with a much-reduced internet connection over the last week could be quite so traumatic?

The Teenager has gone through a whole range of emotions, from full-blown panic (‘how will I survive? I am utterly, totally disconnected’) to deep depression (‘wake me up when it’s over’).

I helpfully suggested he read a book or I don’t know, make something.

I was smartly told that whilst that may be acceptable for old people like me who went through their teenage years *gasp* without the internet, he’d rather sit in McDonalds like a saddo all day where they at least have free wifi, thank you very much.

Anyway, we’re back on track and a sense of normality has returned to our little cottage (it won’t last). In other news over this quiet week:

  • I had a letter inviting me to my graduation ceremony next May and did I want to hire a cap and gown? Which means my degree results must be on their way, eek.
  • The Teenager gave up his paper round. Enough said. You really don’t want to hear about it. Or the specially-extended lecture I gave him.
  • My smartphone (so badly-named) decided to get in on the internet act and freeze at inopportune moments, leading to a telling-off at work. Boss – ‘oi, get off your phone’. Me -‘ I’m not on it, I’m waiting for it to unfreeze’. Boss – ‘right, no more coffee or chocolate at break times’. Me ‘be right with you, boss.’ To show how sorry I was, when the phone worked I sent him pictures of cats doing funny things as that always cheers him up.
  • All the crafty bits I ordered for Christmas have arrived – candle wicks, wax pellets, craft knife, cutting mat, white card, Christmas essential oil, modelling clay and star-shaped cookie cutters. Much hilarity will ensue.
  • The cat kindly left a birds head outside my back door. Which I stepped on.

While we have been surviving without much internet, my mum (62 years old and a great-grandmother) whizzed ahead of us.

In between Skyping her sister in Scotland, she upgraded her phone from a brick-like Nokia to a Samsung all-singing, all-dancing model. The Teenager is quietly impressed, if a little jealous….

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Do You Have MS? Take The Quiz!

quizThere’s a good reason our neurologists and MS nurses warn us not to google MS. A tweet went round recently with a link to a website that promised to diagnose you with MS or not, just by answering 12 simple questions (here).

I took the quiz, with the knowledge I have already been diagnosed with highly-active relapsing MS. The website’s Androctor Anna, however, gave me unexpected news – ‘I screened you for multiple sclerosis. Based on your answers, you don’t fit the diagnostic criteria for the screened disease.’

I admit, when my neurologist first diagnosed me with Clinically Isolated Syndrome, which may or may not lead to MS, then told me not to look for answers on the internet, the first thing I did when I got home was pour myself a stiff drink, boot up the computer and surf. Endlessly. I’ll bet most of you guys did too.

I can laugh at these quizzes now, but if I had found them back then, would it have been a more serious matter? Would it have reassured me? Through trial and and a lot of errors, I eventually stuck to only two websites – The MS Society and the MS Trust. Friends were just as naive as me though – my inbox was flooded with links to various websites. One admonished me for drinking diet Coke, whilst others offered amazing herbal cures or secrets to beating MS, if only I paid hundreds of pounds for the privilege.

More worryingly, other websites chastised me for putting sun cream on my son. By ‘denying’ him vitamin D, I had unwittingly increased his chances of developing MS. And it’s not just internet websites. Have a look at some of the books for sale about beating MS:

  • The Hippy Guide to Eliminating Multiple Sclerosis (Sugar Diet Illness)
  • Talking Back to MS – How I Beat Multiple Sclerosis Using Low-Dose Naltrexone
  • Fighting the Dragon: How I Beat Multiple Sclerosis

I’m sure some of these books have merit, but MS is still an incurable disease. Providing false hope through books, diets or remedies is cruel. MS can be managed, not cured. And are we under pressure to fight back at all costs, rather than concentrate on disease modifying drugs and adjusting to a life with MS?

One thing is certain though, where there is illness, you can be sure there are people out there making money off the back of it.

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