In response to the June 13 letter from Elizabeth Dawson: She may have been in the medical field for 65 years, but does not know MS. I have been in medical field for 20 years and have MS. She states that people with MS "will always end up in a wheelchair or confined to bed without medication." Medication is very important, but I do not think that Mr. Tyrrell's editorial was stressing the effects of medication.
Some facts about MS that people experience:
1. Relapsing-Remitting MS - 85 percent initially diagnosed.
2. Primary-Progressive MS - 10 percent initially diagnosed.
3. Secondary-Progressive MS - with Relapsing-Remitting within 10 years. Medications have delayed this transition. Long-term data is not yet available to determine if treatment significantly delays this transition.
4. Progressive-Relapsing MS - only 5 percent.
I was diagnosed 15 years ago and on medication I am still mobile. There is no indication that I will be in a wheelchair or confined to bed. Also, my brother, who is five years older than me, also has MS, but he is confined to a wheelchair. He did not start his medication right after being diagnosed.
Yes, medication is expensive, but the drug companies have programs to reduce the cost. Unless you walk in that person's shoes, don't assume you know everything.
For information you can call the National MS Society and there is a local chapter.