Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wow! Researchers Find That MS Has Negative Impact on Career Prospects!

Harvard University

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This just in: a groundbreaking research study has found that "multiple sclerosis (MS) delivers a massive blow to your job prospects as well as your health".

Well, you could knock me over with a feather. Really, you could, and that has nothing to do with this research finding. It's one of the reasons why I had to stop working 2 1/2 years ago.

Anyway, back to the study. After doing exhaustive research, Australian researchers have discovered that MS sufferers are more likely to leave work as a result of their disease than people suffering from other chronic illnesses.

Not to minimize the severity of other chronic illnesses, but is this really a surprise to anyone? Unless an MS patient is gainfully employed as a paperweight, there's a good chance the disease will eventually have a detrimental effect on their job performance. Between fatigue, cognitive difficulties, and mobility issues, MS isn't exactly the equivalent of an MBA from Harvard as far as career advancement goes...

Is this the kind of thing that MS research money should really be spent on? What's next, a study showing that "MS Patients Are Much More Likely to Visit a Neurologist"? Or how about "Wheelchair Bound MS Patients Spend Much of the Day Sitting".

Let me save the research world some hard work and money. I've done some non-MS related research of my own, and these are my findings:

  • Flying over the handlebars of a fast-moving bicycle has a positive impact on the necessity of stitches.
  • Mixing copious amounts of vodka, beer, and bourbon has a negative impact on the ability to not vomit.
  • Telling the state trooper who pulled you over for speeding that the reason you were going so fast is "because I was pressing really hard on the gas pedal" has a negative influence on the mood of the state trooper.
  • The amount of time spent dating pathological liars is directly proportional to the level of your desire to stick your head in a toilet.

Oh, and one piece of research that is MS related:

  • Having MS sucks.

Where do I sign up for some research funding?...

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  1. I just found your blog and you crack me up. I don't have MS but I am a wheelchair compatriot via random autoimmune response to a vaccination. I was living in the east village at the time. Now I moved in with my parents in LA. Whoppie! It has been 5 years for me. Anyway, back to you. Yes, I thoroughly enjoy your blog. Paraplegia has a negative affect on employment and enjoying life, fyi.

  2. This is great, Marc!! You should definitely apply for some research grants.

    However, I do have one contradictory observation which is definitely not scientific but a general "feel." On the RA site at HealthCentral, there are many more community members who are on permanent disability (whether from Social Security or previous employment) than there are on the MS site.

    Seems that there are more people hanging onto employment (in whatever form that might take, ie. freelance writing, teaching school, etc) on the MS site than there are on the RA site. Hmmmmm....

    (btw, I'm going to have to 'borrow' your click here to e-mail me sign. It's much too cute and attractive.)

  3. Ya know, it annoys me that they spend research dollars to state the obvious. Spend that money on research to fix it, not tell us what we already know!

    Perhaps we could team up and get a research grant to determine the favorite color of people with MS. It would be equally helpful I'm sure and at least it's not something we already know.

  4. Too funny, Marc.

    I'm trying not to be cynical here, but it's not a real big step from this to a study of drug efficacy funded by the drug manufacturer. In both cases, the result has a significant "well, duh" factor.

  5. marc,
    I love reading your blog. I check it out more than once a day. It gives me some insight into this different you that I have lost touch with. Nonetheless, it makes me feel closer to you again. I miss you so reading your blog makes me miss you a little less. It also helps me put my life into perspective. someday i will get to new york and visit you. -love always, amy

  6. Shaking my head in disbelief. I guess the researcher's audience is for people who don't have MS... just to be sure they know what we who have MS already know. I wonder how much funding went into this research? Those research dollars could have been put to better use by sending it to people like us and other worthy causes.

  7. My favorite color is green. I want to be part of research!!!

  8. you forgot another fact, that researchers wont have to do a study on because you(we've) already found the answer

    insomna makes people tired

    and another fact thst research has brought you by spending your money

    people with ms has a 75% chance of being related to the vikings

  9. Anonymous-glad that I was able to give you a laugh, but very sorry that you suffered such a horrible reaction from the vaccine. Seems like you have a feisty attitude, though, and that's half the battle...

    Lisa-thanks for the kind words, and I know that there are many other conditions that are even more debilitating than MS. I was only trying to point out the absurdity of this kind of research, which unfortunately is not that uncommon. You know that, though. Thanks for doing all the great work you do promoting MS blogs. And feel free to borrow whatever you like, that's what the Internet is for (don't tell that to the music industry, though)...

    anonymous-great idea! I'm sure the medical journals would be abuzz at such a project. BTW, my favorite color is a deep dark red, like burgundy...

    zoom-you're preaching to the choir. Even my neurologist tells me that most early stage trial results are released simply to jack up stock prices. Profits are more important than people, you know...

    Amy-I'm glad that you found my blog, and are enjoying it. I miss you terribly, too. Hey, I have an idea about how we can stop missing each other. Pick up the phone when I call, silly...

    Centennial-I think some researchers really just like to pat themselves on the back. "My, aren't we brilliant!"

    Kicker-okay, you're down for green. I think we're onto something here.

    pfrox9-I didn't know that about Vikings, but it makes sense given that MS is more prevalent in northern latitudes. I'm pretty sure I don't have any Viking blood in me, though...

  10. whodda thunk it?? ;-)

  11. well, the operative words for me were 'in comparison with other chronic illnesses'. No doubt they were doing a study on the effect of more than MS on work history and considering there are a lot of diseases that cause quite a similar range of symptoms, not out of the ballpark to me at least. I have a nephew with MD, his sister with MS, his grandfather with ME, all of which has negatively impacted on their work histories as you can imagine. Nephew has never been able to hold a full time job, his sister has had to revert to part time work, grandfather had to retire early. I assume this was a social study and not a medical study.


  12. I can predict some ground-breaking research results myself. I would venture to guess that having ALS has a negative effect on career prospects as well. Can I get a grant?

  13. Gosh! These guys get paid for these ground-breaking conclusions. What's really embarassing is; this "study" came from my own backyard.
    Steve from downunda (wheelchaired by MS)