Pardon my vent

Ok I needed to get something off my chest … and where better to do it than my own blog?  🙂

I feel for Jack Osbourne being recently diagnosed with MS – I really do.  My own mother was diagnosed with it on July 3, 1997. So she’s been living with it for almost 15 years   Long story short, she had gone into the dr for something unrelated and had mentioned to the dr that she’d felt a little weaker on one side than the other .. so he ran some tests. Sent her in for more tests. And the initial diagnosis was …. a brain tumor!  They’d seen the spots on her brain and MS doesn’t typically show up on an MRI so that was the first conclusion.   Yikes.

I was 3 1/2 hours away at college at the time.  It was a rough time at first, even though I am sure she shielded me from what SHE was really feeling at the time.  

More tests were ran .. and the final diagnosis was Multiple Sclerosis.  We had no family history (and we didn’t have a history of diabetes, either .. go figure.)  Both happen to be autoimmune diseases, so I’m sure there is some correlation somewhere.. but I digress.

My mom has her good days, and she has her bad days.  She was a single mom for most of my life and could have been decribed as a workaholic. But I never wanted for much of anything.  In 2003, her doctor finally took her off of work.  She was too tired all of the time and couldn’t put in a full days’ work anymore. That was a huge adjustment for her, but she’s managed pretty well.   When my son was born in 2008, she kept him for me for the first 5 months. Until the dr told her “I took you off of work for a reason, and keeping a baby is a full-time job.” So she cut back to part-time with him 😉 and then we weaned him off until he was eventually in daycare full time. 

All of that being said …. you wouldn’t know anything was “wrong” with her at all.  She has had to learn to make adjustments in her life. Not working is the biggest one. But she has to get her day started much earlier than most, because she tires very easily.  And she can’t handle the heat very well, so she starts early before the Texas heat kicks in by 10 am lol.  When I talk to her on my daily drive to work, by 8:30 am she has accomplished more than I may do in my entire day.  When we go to the mall, she has to use her handicapped plackard (sp?).  She is fine going in, but by the time she’s walked all around, she’s a little slower to walk out to the car, so it helps to be parked closer.  But I have seen her pass up many a handicapped spots, and say “Someone else may need that more than I do.”

Back to Jack Osbourne…   it has been ALL over the news lately about his MS diagnosis.  And this morning, on the radio they kept saying how sad it is. “He’s only 26 years old, and has a young baby.”  He’s still alive, people!! He is up and walking around. And it can easily be a manageable disease.  It affects people very differently, so there are no guarantees that his life will need to be altered very much.  He has the benefit of being incredibly wealthy so he will not have to call insurance companies and argue about his prescriptions, like my mom has had to do on many occasions (she is currently giving herself a shot every couple of days.  The meds do not “fix” anything, other than delay symptoms and keep them at bay.)

I guess this morning when I heard my local favorite radio station talking about it .. it got me worked up.  Because I see my mom and how lucky she is and how well she’s lived with MS for almost 15 years …. And she gets a reality check whenever she goes in to see her neurologist for a checkup, because she sees others with the same disease, rolling in and out in wheelchairs.  Some people are not as lucky as she is.  Some are in wheelchairs by now. She can still walk on her own accord, albeit a little slower than she used to be.  But hey, I’m moving slower than I used to, too. 😉

I’m not by any means minimizing MS, or it’s affects.  Like I said, it affects different people different ways.  But I’m sure Jack Osbourne will be just fine.  He’ll have top notch medical care and prescriptions available to him. So all I’m asking is for the media to stop acting like he’s dying.  Apparently MS needs just as much advocating/awareness as diabetes does (as do many other diseases -there’s that word again – but I’m in sort of a ‘diabetes bubble’ and don’t always realize it.)  There are several celebrities that have it, and have been very vocal about it – Terri Garr (the wife from Mr. Mom) and Montel Williams are two of them.

Love you, Mom.   And you always tell me how proud you are of ME for “dealing with this” every single day .. but I’m proud of YOU, too.   

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About Shannon

I am a wife, a mommy, and a Type 1 diabetic (since '92.) I have had two successful pregnancies - one of which was with twins. I wear an insulin pump- - off and on for 17 years; currently on the Medtronic pump and CGM. I am not a medical professional, nor am I giving medical advice. I am just sharing my day to day stories of someone who lives with this disease every day. My ultimate goal is to raise awareness.
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9 Responses to Pardon my vent

  1. Keiran says:

    In addition to your mom, I have two friends with MS, and you’re definitely right about it affecting everyone differently. My friend in LA was diagnosed semi-similarly to Jack, in that lost vision led to the discovery of her MS. At the time she lost all vision in one eye, and (if I recall correctly), most of the vision in the other as well. She’s had a *lot* of issues with her MS – but she also doesn’t always take care of herself the way she should. That’s half due to lack of money/no insurance, and half due to unwillingness to change some habits to help herself manage.

    Without knowing how it’ll affect Jack, you’re right. He’s got something that the “average” person doesn’t have, by having the money to afford higher level care for his MS. It doesn’t have to be a death sentence, and making it out as if it is, does a disservice to those who battle with it every day.

  2. Scott E says:

    I don’t know a whole lot about MS, nor do I know about Jack Osbourne (I live a sheltered life, you might say!). But your mother seems to be handling this like a champ. I’m sure you have inspired her with your diabetes care, and she’s inspired you with her handling of MS as well.

    I completely understand what you mean about the need to advocate for other (diseases/conditions/there’s-that-word-again) than diabetes. My brother has Angelman Syndrome, which I believe is much harder to handle than diabetes. It’s the cause of a genetic mutation and manifests itself in so many ways. There’s a good Wikipedia article on it. After so many years (he’s 35), we basically try to help him live a happy, comfortable life and that’s it. It envelopes everything he is, and it truly does define him. If he could somehow be cured of it, he would be an entirely different person and we wouldn’t recognize him anymore.

    I know I’m getting off-topic, but my point is that the more people we see and love who deal with different “things”, the more we become confident ourselves, and the more it helps us to prioritize the really important things in life. Thanks for “venting”.

    • Shannon says:

      I remember reading your post about your brother recently (or maybe it was a Tweet, I forget) .. and I’d never heard of it before. So, see, you ARE advocating and you don’t even realize it.

      My son was born with bilateral clubfeet. Yet again, something that we have no family history of. I’m sure I’ll post about that one day but again, it is something that I was thrown into/immersed myself into and something else that most people know nothing about. And I know as much as I know, from resources I found online mainly. Every voice is heard by someone. 🙂

  3. orangealien says:

    Thank you for saying, things I want so badly to say but cannot because people tend to think I am complaining everytime I say I have MS, but it is no death sentence, I haven’t been in the news. I just get on with life like we all must do. Glad you Mom is doing well and hope people will soon realize the truth about MS.

    • linda says:

      I totally understand where you are coming from Shannon. I have a friend who was diagnosed with MS when she was 17.she is now 27. She has had to take daily shots, but does not let it slow her down. Because of it (the MS) she is now a nurse and hopes to be an advocate to help others. In the past she had to battle for medicine for her shots and PET scans,not having unlimited resources that Jack does. She is also a champion barrel racer, this helps with her MS. I have seldom heard her complain or seen family members cry over it. She is like, It is what it is and handles it.

    • Shannon says:

      Thank you for your kind words. It takes people talking about so others know about it — I said this to someone else today that every voice is heard by SOMEONE even if we don’t know it. 🙂

  4. Mom says:

    Oh Lord…. you made me cry on this one. I love you so very much!!! – Mom

  5. girlparker says:

    Great vent, Shannon. I thought the same thing about Jack Osborne – bad news, but in no way the end of his life. Your mom is Wonder Woman and I loved your tribute in her behalf.

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