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People Must Be More Sensitive to the Needs of Multiple Sclerosis Patients

by Medindia Content Team on October 9, 2007 at 12:21 PM
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People Must Be More Sensitive to the Needs of Multiple Sclerosis Patients

On the billboards across the UK, the 22-year-old Faye Roe, a former Miss Great Britain finalist and model, could be seen explaining the effects of the neurological condition Multiple Sclerosis (MS) on sex.

"Sex brings on a major attack of the shakes. It's embarrassing and off-putting for both of us, but we can laugh about it now," are the words beneath the image of this young mother of two.

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In an interview she says if only more people understand the condition, it will make life easier for people like her. Yes she herself is an MS patient.

She spends most of her time at home, with her husband and 18-month old twins Oakleigh and Leo, because she is embarrassed about some of the ways her MS affects her.
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"We do not really go out much because I don't like the looks I get from people. If I am in a wheelchair, I don't get one look, but if I am walking with a stick people literally look down and point at me and I find it really hard.

"When I get stressed out my body goes stiff so my walking looks even more strange.

"So I want to make people more aware of the illness and have empathy rather than sitting and staring.

"I really want people to be aware of the everyday struggles, the physical and emotional pain that people with MS go through.

"My husband and I have a very healthy relationship, but I did the advert because a lot of people who suffer from those problems would not want to put their face on the campaign, because they are embarrassed.

"For me it is showing that I am not embarrassed. I should not be embarrassed of having MS through no fault of my own. I just wanted to raise awareness.

"I want people to stop being rude when they see someone like me staggering around and not to assume that I am drunk."

Simon Gillespie of the Multiple Sclerosis Society said, "People with MS are more likely to see their relationships fail, to lose their jobs, or find themselves isolated as their symptoms push friends away."

Since she was diagnosed two years ago Faye has had two major relapses, one of which left her unable to walk and partially paralysed.

Although she is now recovered from these, she is aware the future is uncertain.

Faye, who has regular Beta Interferon injections to ease and reduce her relapses, says she has periods of depression, pain, and fatigue.

"I am doing quite well at the moment, but it is quite hard to live with it is so unpredictable and cruel.

"It does not just affect you it affects all your family and friends."

There are more than 85,000 people with MS in the UK and 50 new diagnoses a week, with two to three times more women affected than men.

There is no cure and few effective treatments.

Alasdair Coles, a neurologist at the Department of Neurology, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, said it was important to raise the profile of multiple sclerosis.

"Did you know that, if you see a young disabled adult, it is most likely that they have multiple sclerosis?

"But despite it being so common, most people only have the vaguest notion of what the disease is."

Source: Medindia
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