18 November 2009


A theme that seems to turn up, sooner or later, in a lot of MS blogs is, "Why?"

Not "Why me?" as in, "Why not somebody else?", more like "What was it that caused me to get this stupid disease?" or, "Why has my disease course been so benign (or aggressive), and somebody else's so aggressive (or benign)?"

Since nobody knows what causes MS, it's hard not to wonder. Maybe it's just my talent for self-flagellation, but... was there something I did? or didn't do? Not that I purposely brought it on myself (really, let's not be stupid!), but did I somehow, inadvertently, do something wrong; make the wrong choice? Could I have spared myself some of this grief?

Some of the people who write about MS point to something in their past that they suspect kicked off their battle with the disease -- an event, an injury, an illness. I don't remember anything like that.

A genetic predisposition? Not much I can do about that.

Growing up the wrong gender, at the wrong latitude? Not much I can do about that, either.

Exposure to something in the environment? Probably. Who knows?

Would it have been different if they were putting people on disease-modifying drugs when I was first diagnosed? Would Betaseron, or Novantrone, or Tysabri have been more effective if I had started on them earlier? Did I choose the wrong drugs? Would Avonex or Rebif or Copaxone have worked better for me? Or did I just spare myself a lot of hassle and a lot of money?

I try not to go off on this wild goose chase. There aren't any answers. There maybe answers some day, and there will be plenty of time to beat myself up then, if it turns out beatings are in order. For now, it just makes me crazy. No need for that. I'm crazy enough.


  1. A friend was driving me home after my last appointment with my N who had nothing to offer for my "atypical" MS scenario except a new muscle relaxant. In the midst of pondering it all, I looked up and saw a huge billboard of Why Here? from the WA MS Society.

    What timing!

  2. I HATE that bullboard! Grrrr (Yeah, no typo) Right, no more need for crazy.