11 Super Dumb Myths About MS Explained

I've been writing too many serious things lately. It’s time for an insipid list. Are you listening Buzzfeed?

Myth #1 Spa treatments will cure MS

While it’s true you cannot spell ‘pedicure’ without ‘cure’, a fresh coat of polish and some attention to your cuticles is not, in fact, a cure for drop foot. I know this for sure because I tried to claim my last spa visit and my insurance company was really crusty about it.   

Myth #2 You cannot get more than one disease at a time

I was convinced this was a thing. I stopped flossing, thought about taking up smoking and was playing fast and loose with my breast exams. Then I got dx’d with a mild arrhythmia called Wolff Parkinson White. All I heard was Parkinsons and I lost my fucking mind until it was explained that they’re not really the same thing. Too late. My life had flashed before my eyes and now I wear my seatbelt, take my vitamins and think about my own mortality ALL THE DAMN TIME. 

Myth #3 You have to fight to beat MS

Fight whom? Myself? My brain? Should I punch myself in the spine? I know, I’ll poison my liver with booze. That’ll teach my no good body to mess with me. 

Homer gets it.

Myth #4 There’s a cure! 

Wait, what? Tell me more! How have I have not heard of this?

Because there is no cure. There are some treatments that are effective for some people. I swear to you, I know all about them. Please stop telling me about some thing you sorta remember in Russia or maybe it was Lithuania but in any case it was just the headline of an article you saw on the internet. I don’t have the energy to explain it to you again. I promise you that when there is a cure it is utterly impossible that I will first hear about it in a link you sent me on Facebook. Stick to updating me on the demise of Brangelina or the latest celebrity death. That is the only breaking news I trust you to deliver. 

Myth #5 Getting liquored and engaging in séances with your besties will give you MS

Every super hero has an origin story and as the heroine of my own I'd convinced myself that some cheap red wine and a sketchy book of spells gave me some bad karma when I started experiencing my first symptoms one week after Halloween. True story. I believed in the power of my own shoddy witchcraft for at least three years. Turns out this is scientifically impossible. Thanks science! Also the hair loss spell that was put on that boyfriend-stealing bitch? That didn’t work either. She knows who she is. 

Myth #6 MS is contagious

I wish. Then I could give it to my enemies (see above). Okay, I’m obviously kidding. No, I’m not. 

Myth #7 Pretty people don’t get diseases

Someone actually said this to me. Turns out pretty people can also get new friends.

Myth #8 Everything happens for a reason

Oh really? Tell me more about the holocaust.

Myth #9 It all works out in the end. God doesn’t give us more than we can handle

See #8

Myth #10 People with MS are descended from Vikings

This one might be true and that’s good enough for me to claim to everyone I know that it definitely is true. It’s the only cool thing about having MS. Or about having super pasty skin for that matter. Our pets were dragons! 

Myth #11 MS is a journey

Journey was a meh band that your parents listened to. Journey is a PS3 game for nerds. Journey is an affordable midsize crossover. MS is a vile disease. Calling MS a journey is an insult to the ’70’s, dorks and sensible family vehicles everywhere. Don’t stop believing MS sucks.

The internet is full of bad information about MS. What are some of your favourite misconceptions? Anything you wanna clear up? Please share in the comments.

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  1. Another myth: Pharma companies are working very hard to develop a "cure" for MS and it's just a coincidence that the drugs that they have developed are "disease management treatments". Not a myth: It's more profitable to have a patient who has to take the drug for years than to develop a drug that will cure the patient.

  2. Thanks for the laughs! Great and fun read!

    Meg (aka BBH)

  3. Thanks again Tripping - this is great and straight to the point!! I actually recently went through a
    'scene' like you've described previously. I have an elderly neighbor who lives across the hall and has been avoiding people. Her niece sent her neighbor, a nice guy in his late 60's, to try to coax this woman to open the door. I went out to see what the ruckus was about. After talking for a bit this nice guy (a complete stranger to me) said in a conspiratorial tone: "you have MS?" I sighed and reluctantly answered yes. He proceeded to tell me about the diet soda stuff and I
    couldn't believe I was hearing it. Thought of your post immediately. So he gave me the name of his cousin in NJ - an incredible 'healer' because "you might not have MS!!". And if he couldn't heal me… he sends his patients down to the Hippocrates Institute in Florida. I then told him I eat pretty much organic and never drank diet soda. I also answered him that, yes, I knew about the Hippocrates Institute - and asked him if his cousin actually PAID the whopping bill for his patients to go there; and that if he did, I might take him up on it!

  4. Hey Tripping, I may actually be descended from Vikings too. And I am definitely familiar with Journey however am much more of a Van Halen and Led Zeppelin fan. Thanks for writing.


  5. This is an old post but...I think I'm around your age. I just found out this year that I have MS. And I love every word you have written, but especially this post. I also may be descended from Vikings.

    1. Hi Allison,

      Thanks for your note. I'm glad you found me, but sorry you have MS. That first year of diagnosis can be so hard. Effing Vikings!