Okay, so I've been doing some research on how much MS actually costs... and I was kinda shocked by my findings...
Did you know that on average, the cost for someone with MS is $69,000 a year? That's like an average persons yearly salary, doubled! Now, on a national level, it costs $28 Billion Annually!!!!!
When people ask me about MS... I give them the basic run down on what it does, and all that... the "normal" overview of it all.
When someone actually wants to get in an in-depth conversation about things with MS... I say that I get frustrated that their isn't as much "attention" towards MS Awareness as other diseases.... and they give me this confused look, like... "what?"
Well this is my personal opinion, and I'm sure others will agree with me.
When it comes to things like Cancer for instance... it has a big awareness with people and everyone knows what cancer is, and what it does. Because it can kill people...
What I try and explain is.... MS is a disabling disease that, usually, doesn't shorten the life of someone with MS. So, you look at someone who is dying of cancer, their medical costs are high, but it isn't for a normal life span. These costs aren't imposed to them for a persons normal life span, because they usually don't make it that far, which is horrible, don't get me wrong.
But then you look at those who are diagnosed with MS.... where on a normal basis, doesn't shorten the life span of those who have it.... these medical costs DO NOT end... So I feel that MS is a really big burden financially in the long run, instead of just a short period of time.
And then we have these insurance companies, who make things even more difficult! It's hard to get insurance with a pre-existing condition.. I just did an experiment and applied for insurance and entered all my medical information, and I was denied coverage due to my medical history.
I then tried a different company and my cost out of pocket was $600 a month w/ a $1500 deductible, so there's a litte run down for you.
I understand that we can only do so much, being diagnosed with MS.... but in all honesty I think it's bullshit that MS doesn't have the awareness it should.
When I heard "You have MS".... I was like, okay, what's that?? So I'm guilty of not knowing what it was... Once my diagnosing neuro told me more about it... I started crying. Crying for happiness that I finally had an answer, but then crying because I had this disease that had no cure... that I would have to live with for the rest of my life.
So, after my diagnosis by MRI, they did a spinal tap, to check to make sure there was nothing else, and do a total confirmation that it was MS. I went in to see my neuro ( who is not my neuro anymore, btw ) and he stuck me 5 times to try and get my spinal fluid, couldn't do it.
So I had to schedule w/ radiology to get my spinal tap, I went in for that.... they had to stick me TWICE... turns out I have spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine), oh, and I have degenerative disc disease.
So here is a run down on the conditions I had to enter in on my insurance application:
Multiple Sclerosis, Asthma, Arthritis, Vision Loss, Hearing Loss, Urinary Incontinence, Spinal Stenosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Acne, Surgery on right ankle, Surgery on left elbow, Anxiety, Depression, Swallowing Problems, Migraines
And I'm only 24 years old... How's that for falling apart for you?? Oh, and remember, according to the Social Security Administration, I'm still able to work... and am not considered "disabled".
On my last MRI, I read the report... I have over 20 lesions in my brain... that's all they could count.
So I guess you could say that I'm angry in some sense, that Multiple Sclerosis is the disease that no one talks about, no one knows about, but yet it has devastating effects. MS has no cure, and it is unsure as to what causes it.
So when people tell me, "it could be worse", they're right, it could be worse, but how can they say that to me.... being healthy, w/ no illness to fight. Yeah, I could be worse, but why do I have to deal with this in the first place?
I'm not wanting people to feel sorry for me, I don't want pity... I want people to get off their butts and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!! The best thing people can do for those diagnosed with MS, is not feel sorry, not sit there and be like "awwww poor you"... it means a lot when you try and make a difference on behalf of those living with MS.
This is why I volunteer, this is why I raise awareness as much as I can, this is why I try and help all those diagnosed, this is why I blog... It might not seem like a lot, but at least it's something.