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Multiple Sclerosis Essay

833 words - 3 pages


Multiple Sclerosis, MS for short, effects approximately 5 in 10,000 people, and my step-mom Kathy happens to be one of the unlucky few (Rogner 5). MS is a disease that strikes the central nervous system, which consists of the brain and spinal chord. These two organs control the movement and function of the entire body. Inside the body of a person with MS the tube that sends signals throughout the body is either partially of fully blocked, leaving the victim with for starters, impaired vision, strength, and coordination (5). There are a couple of different types of MS, which include relapsing-remitting, primary-progressive, secondary-progressive, and primary relapsing (Kalb 5). The type that my step mom has is primary-progressive, which is considered the worst type of MS. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society a person with primary-progressive MS is “characterized by a gradual but steady progression of disability from the onset, with no obvious plateaus or remissions, or only occasional plateaus and minor, temporary improvements.'; In short this means that the symptoms Kathy is experiencing such as falling down due to a lack of coordination, tiredness, numbness, and bladder problems are only going to get worse. But possibly the worst symptom of all are mental problems such as a loss of self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness.
The most obvious effect that MS has on a person is a loss of coordination and balance; approximately 77 percent of people afflicted with MS experience this symptom (3). When my family went to the Grand Canyon for a vacation we had no idea that Kathy was afflicted with multiple sclerosis. We took a mule ride down to the bottom of the canyon, and when we reached our destination there was a ranch where we stayed the night. As you might expect it was very warm at the bottom of the canyon in the middle of the summer, over 100 degrees to be exact, so our family decided to go swimming in the river. On the walk down to the water, there was a metal grate that held rocks in place on the embankment, and as Kathy and my Dad walked down this grate Kathy slipped and tore up her foot on the metal. This was just a minor incident, but it was one of the first signs that Kathy could be having a problem. Now, about two years later Kathy walks with a cane,...

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