by Gabe Taylor
On October 26th, The Independence Center hosted a discussion on Multiple Sclerosis (MS) with Tom Falconer, Ambassador for the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Falconer, whose wife has MS, has been the primary care giver for his wife for the last 27 years.
During Falconer’s presentation, he discussed the symptoms, diagnosis, challenges, and long-term prognosis for people with MS. He explained that MS is by no means the end of life as you know it, and in fact can present relatively mild symptoms for some. For Falconer’s wife, though, the disease was debilitating. Within three year of her diagnosis, she was completely dependent on a wheel-chair for mobility.
When discussing Falconer’s presentation, Carol Johnson, Independent Living Specialist at The Independence Center, who has Multiple Sclerosis herself tells me “It helped me out tremendously, and everybody that went said it was just awesome.” She goes on to tell me that based on something Falconer said in his presentation, she was able to talk to her doctor and figure out that one of her medications was not working correctly.
Though much about MS is still unknown, one factor that all MS patients have in common is the degeneration of the myelin sheathing surrounding the nerves that transmit signals throughout the body. Falconer explained this complex process by comparing it to an electrical wire with worn out insulation. As the insulation becomes thinner and is eventually missing, the electricity is diverted from its intended location and terminates in the wrong place along the way. With MS, this results in mental degradation and the inability to effectively control the muscles. If you or a loved one has Multiple Sclerosis, or you would like to know more about this complex disease, The IC can help. To learn about our MS support group go to http://bit.ly/2gKCZ0W or contact Carol Johnson at 719-471-8181 x116.