Me, My MS and I

Martyrdom Ain’t For Me, No Siree!

I’ve come across many instances of describing people with MS as ‘MS sufferers’ recently. Everyone prefers their own terms, as it were, or none at all. It thoroughly annoys me that others take it upon themselves to decide I’m a ‘sufferer’ and to describe me as such. I’m not planning on being up for martyrdom, so no ‘suffering’ with quiet dignity for me, thanks! I plan to grow old disgracefully and have a whale of a time doing it!! I’m a person that happens to have MS (and it’s *my* MS thank you very much, so hands off with the descriptions and names!!), not MS that just happens to have a person attached. We’re people, not a condition. Consider the mental health campaign slogan: see me, not a label.

I prefer to have a riotous time during the good times and enjoy them thoroughly, and although the bad times aren’t great, I decided to kick my MS in the arse and fight it every step of the way (even if it means throwing sand in its eyes!), as opposed to ‘suffering’. Suffering implies a passivity that no MSers whom I know subscribe to. We’re all fab, super folk who are determined and stubborn and fight our MS every step of the way. These are our bodies, it’s our MS, and we decide how we describe ourselves.

Perhaps some people with MS don’t mind at all being described as a ‘sufferer’, and that’s their choice which they make and are happy with. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but before the next time you decide to call someone with MS a ‘sufferer’, consider if you have the right to – are we really ‘sufferers’, and what gives you the right to decide if we are?

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  1. * MSGiGiski says:

    Thanks for writing what I feel but can not express so eloquently. I hope you do not mind if I copy your language when I converse through the written media that I find myself using more and more every day.

    By the way,
    You prose is very beautiful and enlightening. Keep writing I like it.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
    • I don’t mind at all if you use any of the wording, glad it’s helped : )

      Thanks very much for the lovely comment, very kind of you. I’ll try to always keep the style the same! : )

      Take care, J x

      | Reply Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  2. * Christie says:

    Hey Jenna,

    Well said. I,too, will not “suffer” but rather let my MS simply journey along side me. Besides, I hate labels.

    Great post!

    Best, Christie

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
    • Hi Christie,

      Thanks very much : ) Yip, MS is a journey and we just take the ups with the downs. Labels are soo annoying, and pretty pointless too!

      Take care, J x

      | Reply Posted 9 years, 4 months ago

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