Monday, 2 April 2012

Pretty as a picture

This is not a pretty sight but then MS is not pretty.
Since the early days, post DX, I've often wondered what my lesions look like. How many there are, exactly where on my brain and in my spine. I've seen pictures of other people's MRI scans. Do a simple Google search and you will come up with a wide variety of images. Or find it on Wikipedia: Wikipedia Multiple Sclerosis MRI.gif

Today for the first time, on Facebook, I saw something other than the black and white images or diagrams. A picture purporting to be showing Multiple Sclerosis lesions. It was posted on a Multiple Sclerosis Information page. It looks horrible:
I hate to think bits of my brain look like this. They probably don't. After the picture had been shared on various Facebook walls (including mine) this comment was posted:
Dave Curtis Um, no, MS lesions do not look like this. This is a random JPG which somebody hijacked. A more plausible explanation for it is that it shows tapeworm infestation as explained here (you'll see how the original text got removed from the doctored image you have):

I'm glad that is not what the lesions on my brain look like. However, I still want to know how many lesions I have and where. I still want to see my MRIs. I've had lots. Been in that machine time and time again. During the journey to diagnosis I think I had two or three. Since then I've had at least another four as part of research projects. I am a willing participant in research. It may not help me directly (except for the wonder drug trial) but if it helps medics, scientists, anyone understand this condition better then that has to be good. As well as taking part in research trials I am increasingly involved in other MS related activities and fundraising. For me it is personal.

If you ever hesitate about donating to an MS cause please remember the lesions. Imagine them as part of you. Inside you. On your brain. Imagine there not being a cure. Imagine living every day with the effects of those lesions. You may not be able to take part in research but you can take part in other ways, for example:
Bake a cake, take a picture of it. Make it a pretty one. Email the photo and the recipe and it could be part of the fundraising booklet CakeMumBaked. I will be sending in a recipe. Will you?

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