Monday, January 19, 2015

MS on TV

Last night, my 11-year old son and I watched Guy's Grocery Games--a Food Network cooking competition show where families run through a grocery store then cook meals with challenges like "canned food only." (Don't judge me. Everyone has embarrassing TV viewing and mine could be way worse....he hem...Housewives franchise, anyone?)

Anyway, when one of the contestants was asked what he would do with his winnings, he said he would help his mother who was disabled due to Multiple Sclerosis. Then a picture popped up showing a woman slumping in a wheelchair. I took the opportunity to remind my son (for the umpteenth time) that "20 years after diagnosis, about 1/3 of people who receive no treatment may require a wheelchair or other assistive device"...which means that 2/3 won't need a wheelchair and those numbers will be even better for those that take disease modifying drugs.

I started thinking about how often I hear "MS" on TV. Lest you think we are a household of couch potatoes, you should know that, although I have been known to have marathon viewing of Showtime series and my teenager watches way too many shows about little people, there are days when the television isn't even turned on...much to the dismay of my children.

I used to watch the medical drama program House on a regular basis. More times than not, Dr. House and his team of diagnosticians had to rule out Multiple Sclerosis when they were trying to diagnose a mysterious paralysis. I don't drink anymore but I always thought it would be a great drinking game to do a shot every time someone mentioned MS.

Remember West Wing? The show made headlines when viewers learned that President Jeb Bartlett had a medical secret.  Yup, you guess it:  MS. Viewers learned a lot about relapsing and remitting Multiple Sclerosis including symptoms that came and went and injectable disease modifying medication.

According to the National MS Society, an estimated 2.3 million people have MS. So, I guess I shouldn't be surprised I keep coming across so many characters on TV who have or may have MS. And then there's all the real-live famous folks:  David Lander (aka, Squiggy); Richard Pryor (RIP); Montel Williams; Teri Garr; Jack Osbourne; Annette Funicello (RIP); Richard Cohen; Tamia; Clay Walker; Ann Romney; Kelly Sutton and Trevor Bayne (NASCAR); Joan Didion; Alan and David Osmond; Josh Harding (NHL); Chris Wright (NBA); and, according trashy tabloid sites that came up on a Google search for "celebrities with MS," even one of those Housewives may or may not have MS!

They're in good company.

1 comment:

  1. Eh, we prefer to watch "Chopped" on the Food Network. Give it a try!

    MS may not be represented well on TV, so we try to make a name for it on the web.
    We have game!