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Multiple Sclerosis Interview Essay

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I chose to sit down with my friend Brittany and have a conversation about her experience living with multiple sclerosis and the impact it has had on her life. I opened the interview asking Brittany to describe her illness, and she explains multiple sclerosis is an auto-immune disease that affects her nervous system. In Brittany’s case, her immune system is attacking the myelin sheaths on her brain, spinal cord, and optic nerve, which causes lesions to develop. The lesions press on these delicate areas which result in debilitating physical and mental symptoms. Brittany then goes on to explain that she’s been diagnosed with relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis, so she has “times that are awesome and times that are just not so awesome.” When I asked her to elaborate on what that means to her, she described that when she has a relapse her symptoms include severe loss of vision and mobility as well as speech difficulty. Brittany suffered from cognitive impairments and she would have trouble connecting thoughts to words. Brittany explains that the most traumatic part of her illness was losing her independence. At her worst she could not drive, walk, or even stand on her own. Due to the nature of relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis, these symptoms can last from days to months, and once they…show more content…
Brittany describes her first relapse as sudden and severe, and her illness shocked her family and close friends. Her diagnosis really scared a lot of people close to her and she remembers people not really knowing what to say or how to act around her. It has been over 3 years since her first relapse, and now friends and coworkers are generally very understanding and supportive. However, she realizes that a lot of people really do not understand what multiple sclerosis is, and because of that she feel as if people often feel sorry for her or make misconceptions about the nature of her
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