Thursday, 21 June 2012


The recent celebrity story of Jack Osbourne's MS diagnosis has been met with some very mixed responses and has really made me think.
Many people have been grateful for the awareness the story will have generated for MS, and some hope that might be seen in increased fundraising and support. Others have been quick to complain that it takes a celebrity to make a MS story a headline, and the focus is dis-proportionally on Jack rather than the MS. With any disease, different people have very different experiences, and there is some fear that this MS story will become the bench-mark for public understanding and sympathy.
One thing that struck me as a patient suffering from other LTC's was Jack's approach. Several of his comments below provoked quite a reaction in me, and certainly made me think . . .

shock of diagnosis . . . but refusing to let it get him down

"while I was waiting for the final results, I got really really angry. Then I got really sad for about two days, and after that I realised being angry and upset is not going to do anything at this point - if anything it's only going to make it worse."

Moto: Adapt and Overcome

Whilst I fully respect Jack for being so public and honest about  his experience and health, I can not help feeling this sends out a message of over-simplicity about the Change Curve and that 'acceptance' isn't a destination but a journey. There have been times when I thought I was making really good progress towards 'acceptance' then something happens (seeing someone enjoying a hobby I can no longer do for example), and it hits you that you have really only just begun scratching the surface of 'acceptance'. I think that it is only retrospectively, you realise how much along that path of acceptance you are and how well you are coping.

I wish Jack the best of luck along this journey, but want to let others know that even if you reach acceptance you can still have moments of panic and anger at the situation. The ebbs and flows of these emotions are all part of the life that a LTC gives you!

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