Multiple Sclerosis & Supportive Online Connections versus Support Group Meetings
When I was diagnosed with MS in 1988, coping with the disease happened in an isolated place with little hope. With no Internet there were few ways to connect and relate to others beyond the support groups that I didn’t have the courage to attend. Now, with many options to find people who truly understand, we have new ways to cope with the day-to-day challenges of living with MS. It has also provided unexpected opportunities to learn from one another.
Facebook is linking people who live with MS in an easy social way. My MS friendship network there has topped 200 people who live all over the globe. So last week, when a question occurred to me, “Do people with MS have heightened immunity to the common cold?” I wondered out loud in my profile status. Does having an over-active immune system sometimes benefit us? I never get sick, even when my family does.
With the resources that exist today, my ever-growing group of MS friends on Facebook gave me more to consider. In a non-random, non-double-blind study with about 38 responses I learned something about the community I am a part of. And I am comforted in knowing I’m a few keystrokes away from a group of people who, like me, want to connect.
How has new technology helped you live better with MS? And while you are here... do you get a cold as infrequently as I do?