Most people only want an extremely brief and simple 'MS for Dummies' definition. The following is an attempt at reenacting how that often goes ...
Multiple Sclerosis is not contagious. Even if Patti decided to bite you the odds are zero you would get Multiple Sclerosis.
Electrical cords are easy to relate to for everyone. Inside a cord is an electrical wire that conducts electricity. The cord serves to shield the wire. When the yellow cord becomes frayed like this one then the copper wire is exposed. Let’s use a lamp for an example. A frayed cord and damaged wire will cause a lamp to short out or not work.
Our bodies have miles of nerves connecting the brain to our extremities and organs. Surrounding and protecting the brain and nerves is a substance called Myelin. The relationship between the Myelin sheath and our nerves is much like an electrical cord to a wire.
When a person has Multiple Sclerosis the body’s immune system (one of the most powerful forces in nature) goes rogue and attacks the myelin sheath.
As the immune system breaks through the myelin then communication with the brain is affected. When your body’s myelin sheath and nerves start looking like this piece of electrical cord then parts of you stop working.
Usually there is an attempt at Q & A. “I thought MS is supposed to …”, or the ever popular. “I have a friend who knows someone with MS and they are not like Patti….”
I point out I promised 'extremely brief and simple', and most importantly Patti is not her disease and absolutely nothing bores her more than MS 101 when socializing. <grin> So let’s leave it with this – Multiple Sclerosis is the proverbial 800 lb gorilla and will do whatever it damn well pleases.
“Living with MS” it’s surprising how many people you have to educate in less than two minutes. MS has no poster child and the variations in level of disability and symptoms only confound any public understanding. Our home made “myelin sheath” has taught more people in our story than any professional brochure.
'The Wire' also has also been adopted over the years as a “thing of interest” to Stardust and somehow is able to wander. <grin>