Silly ideas about what causes MS
News just in: "MS caused by chocoholic aliens leaving the toilet seat up!"
One of the great strengths of the Jooly's Joint community is our ability to rise above some of the nonsense the press prints about our condition.
On 18 September 2002, the BBC and The Times (who both should have known better) and several other national newspapers in the UK gave a lot of coverage to the claims of one neurologist that MS might be caused by sexual promiscuity, and that those of us who were virgins when our condition developed could have been sexually abused by our parents when we were children.
Many of us found this 'story' upsetting and insulting, and wrote to our MPs, the national press and the UK Press Complaints Commission to register our disgust. The UK MS Society was quick to dismiss the neurologist's claims, but this didn't deter the national press from running the item on many front pages.
Negative and sensational reporting of this kind has the potential to cause a lot of damage. It's not difficult to imagine the pain this caused to many of us, our friends and families.
However - the time to be angry has passed!
At Jooly's Joint, we decided to hold a contest to see if we have any budding tabloid journalists in our midsts. We ran a competition to see who could come up with the most ridiculous, out-landish reason why people get MS.
(This is just in fun, and obviously not to be taken seriously!)
Alien abduction and housework were popular theories (along with other tasks that I think we'd like to get out of doing, like emptying the cat's litter box!). We hope reading through our suggestions gives you a smile!
"Perhaps MS is caused by the monsters that hide under the bed, in the closet and behind the curtains of kids' bedrooms. Make sure you shoo the monsters away or your kids might get it!"
"I heard that people who can not touch their ears with their tongue are at a bigger risk of getting MS."
"I think MS is caused by the rays that come from electric garage door openers."
"I wondered if I got MS through eating obscene amounts of chocolate ice cream."
"I think my MS was caused by watching 'The Waltons' as a deeply confused teen and fancying Jim-Bob."
"I know that I have MS because my Mom used to pull my pigtails too tight when I was a kid and stretched the nerves until they got inflamed!"
"I'm certain I can trace my MS back to the time my brothers left a frog in my bed."
"I think MS is caused by dandruff. Dandruff is caused by bubonic plague. Plague was caused by bad art in the 13th century and dirt under one's fingernails..."
"I heard that MS can be caused by not having one's dreams interpreted in a timely manner."
"I thought it was because we didn't wash behind our ears when we were little like our mothers told us to... but then I thought that if that was the case, there would be millions more people with MS. How many kids do you know that didn't wash behind their ears? I know two in my household!!"
"In my case, I believe MS was caused by listening to Radio Luxemborg under the bedclothes via a small transistor radio pressed tight against my ear."
"I think I read somewhere that scientists have indicated that MS is almost conclusively, very probably, highly likely and with hardly any doubt, caused by having spent one's past life as a squid. Or possibly something else, perhaps a crustacean of some kind, or not, but definitely something rubbery, jelly-like or even squishy, according to abundant, or at least substantial, extremely convincing evidence. Of sorts."
"I'm think my MS started after I got drunk and bounced on that bloody inflatable castle at the weekend (it's Wednesday and I'm still knackered.)"
"I'd always through that MS is a result of alien abduction (coincidentally these are the same aliens that are responsible for crop circles, the pyramids and the many sightings of Elvis). Those of us with the illness were abducted by aliens and put through a series of tests and studies (wait, no, that actually was the diagnostic process!!)."
"I've often wondered if I have MS because all I wished for when I blew out the birthday cake candles was a nice husband, and not a good health!"
"I think MS is caused by getting too many skinned knees and elbows as kids (as in 'multiple scars')."
"I'm sure MS is caused by having an orange/blue disabled badge. The proof is that most folk with MS have a disabled badge therefore it must cause MS QED (well at least if you're a neuro)."
"I reckon sitting on the floor whilst hoovering is the root cause of MS."
"I think MS is caused by walking under a ladder."
"I think my MS was caused by nicking the turkish delight choccies from any box of mixed chocolates I was given - or, for that matter, any box belonging to anybody else! Or did this greedy onslaught just make me fat?"
"I'm pretty sure MS is linked to ironing. I only did it once too, clearly providing utterly irrefutable research-based evidence that once one starts ironing, stopping is high risk even if the first high risk unprotected exposure doesn't produce immediate symptoms! Needless to say, my partner irons for all comers, having been fully convinced of the need to do so through an extended 26 year clinical trial."
"My carer thinks its because those of us who have MS stubbed our second left toe on a rusty nail when we were 9 years old."
"I've convinced myself that my MS could have been caused by swallowing chewing gum when I was a kid."
"In actual fact MS is caused by an excess of intelligence genes which threaten those who claim to be higher powers (eg neurologists?!)."
"I think MS is caused by doing daily household chores. This is why more women than men get MS."
"I think MS was caused by overly punitive toilet-training methods by mothers nationwide pre Dr. Spock."
"Maybe MS is caused by childhood pets with shells?"
"I heard that MS can be caused by failure to floss after each and every meal ('plaque' causing 'plaques')."
"Hairspray. When I first had optic neuritis I was asked by the Ophthalmologist if I use hairspray."
"I'll bet MS is caused by scooping the cat litter."
"It may be due to over-use of crimpers, hairspray and black clothes during the 80s."
"I heard men were less susceptible to MS if they left the toilet seat up. I guess that's why so many of them do it..."
"Isn't MS caused by squeezing the toothpaste tube in the middle?"
"I always thought MS was caused by standing on the cracks in the paving stones! Remember 'Stand on a crack, break your mother's back'? I bet we had it wrong. It should have been 'Stand on a crack, gain another plaque!'"
"You are all wrong! Even my wife has got it wrong. She thinks that it was caused by walking on the cracks in the pavement when I was a child. I didn't do that so it must be caused by NOT walking on the cracks in the pavement when I was a boy!"
"It's my suspicion that MS is caused by not eating your Alphabet Spaghetti in alphabetical order."
"It's often concerned me that MS might be caused by wearing your socks on the wrong feet."
"To my knowledge MS is caused by microbes implanted by an alien intelligence that will eventually take over the earth. Those of us with the illness already are the ones who are considered to be the biggest threat to the alien force, hence we got it first."
"I think MS is caused by being forced as children to make our beds and tidy our rooms. If we had been allowed to be messy we would be fine now."
"Perhaps there is some connection between MS and slurping your soup whilst watching 'The Clangers'."
"I read that MS came about after a passing comet sprayed us with an alien virus."
"If I'd never gone near a neurologist, I'd never have been diagnosed with MS!"
"I've thought hard about this, and wonder if MS is due to us not having our television arials in the right position. Maybe we are picking up the wrong rays. You never know, do you?"
More made-up news just in:
MS might be triggered by a visit to a public WC!
An 'expert' believes MS is related to using public toilets, and that women, who are more prone to sitting on the toilet, might be most at risk.
Our expert conducted an analysis of known patterns of toilet use. As more women than men have MS, he concluded that this was attributed to the fact that men only sit on the toilet seat occasionally.
Women are now advised to always 'hover ' a few inches above the bowl if caught short in a public place. Our expert says that he believes that many people with MS have been aware of this connection. The proof, he goes on to say, is "a lot of people with MS have balance problems. This has been caused by overuse of the muscles needed to 'hover' effectively..."