Saturday, March 27, 2010

I discovered the Internet and Multiple Sclerosis

I discovered the Internet and Multiple Sclerosis spouse caregiving in the early 1990’s on an AST desktop computer with two RAM and a dial up connection.

Even on prehistoric technology I was in awe of what seemed information magic. Our only other options were brochures from the neurologist or sitting in our local library reading through the New England Journal of Medicine.

Time was increasingly shrinking juggling spouse caregiving and basically single parenting. Nothing except the Internet was ‘open’ after I got Patti and our daughter to bed and finished homemaking chores.

While neurologists focus on Multiple Sclerosis as a medical condition, we were learning that MS is life changing.

Then suddenly on a screen were the stories of people like us, living with Multiple Sclerosis as a family.
Today a Google search of Multiple Sclerosis yields over 9 million results; I cannot help but wonder if overload doesn’t swamp those already reeling from being newly diagnosed.

The Savvy Web User

Using the Web as a source of health information is not without its hazards; incorrect or misleading information, bad links, stale news, fraud, and even hoaxes all exist on the Web, so findings must be viewed with a critical eye. When you come across a Web site that looks promising, ask these questions about the site and the information it presents to determine its trustworthiness.

* Are authors and original source material cited?
* Is the author credible by virtue of listed education or experience?
* Is the information up to date and unbiased?
* Are links to other medical sources present and working?
* Is the site easy to navigate, clear, and useful for all types of people?

Be sure to share search findings—especially those related to medical treatments—with a doctor or other healthcare professional that can help you determine the legitimacy of the source. …

Click Understanding the Internet: MS and the Web to open the full article by Melissa Carter-Ozhan, Editorial Supervisor, BioScience Communications.

Hope burns like a wildfire across the Internet as well it should. Navigate wisely.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
web site:


  1. This subject was on my list of next big articles to write for myself and my blog, especially after speaking with someone who is also writing such an article. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

    There are a few details in Melissa's article which are already a bit (slightly) outdated and could be tweeked.

    One thing I've noticed (and have been disappointed in) is that I might find really good material re: MS on a website such as provided by MSIF. And a reference is given to one of the sources, being a Sourcebook at NMSS, however the page has been moved or deleted because NMSS drastically changed their website some years ago.

    Moving material and creating bad links for others should be consider very bad internet etiquette! I love me a reference and good link.

  2. I remember when we were at the vet recently for a problem Koda had, I told the vet tech I had researched it on the web and the web had said it wasn't a major problem she told me not to trust anything I read there. I think there are lots of useful info out there, we just need to be careful to consider where the resources are coming from

    isn't it amazing how fast technology has changed over the years?



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