Before reading, if you missed Part 1 you can catch up here! It’s also important to note that the topic of this blog is focussed on Relapsing Remitting MS.
The day after my previous blog about Corrie, I was reading some spoilers (one of my favourite past times!) so I knew that Johnny becoming unwell was imminent.
During Friday’s episode, following being caught having kidnapped baby Suzie, we found Johnny in hospital. He’s not doing so well. He’s not doing well because he’s not been taking his medication for his MS for weeks. And this is where I think Corrie have got it a little wrong.
It’s great that Corrie are finally remembering to do something with it, but I feel the need to clear up a couple of “misrepresentations”.
Misrepresentation One: Johnny is only having a relapse (new symptoms) because he’s stopped taking his medication.
This is inaccurate. It’s not entirely clear what medication Johnny is on, but it’s easy to work out he’s on a daily self-administered medication rather than something like Lemtrada (which if you’re a regular reader, you’ll know is how I’m managing my MS).
No medication is proven to completely stop relapses. The only thing it will do is slow them right down i.e. reduce the frequency in varying degrees of success. That means you can still have a relapse regardless of whether you take your medication or not. Of course, it is more likely that you will have a relapse if you don’t take your medication, but the reality is, no medication is 100% effective.
Misrepresentation Two: Johnny experiences no MS related pain or problems as long as he takes his medication. When he’s between relapses, he’s completely fine.
Again, this isn’t a fair portrayal of MS. Once you’ve had a relapse and got yourself a few new symptoms, they never really 100% leave you. It’s rare to be symptom free. The extremity of it usually eases significantly after a relapse, but depending on what it is and how it affects you, it lingers.
For example, my legs have “tingled” for eight years. When it first started, it was an awful numb feeling through my entire body from the waist down. I had no sensation. Since that relapse, sometimes it can be all the way up to the tops of my legs and even into my lower back. Most of the time it’s a light tingle I barely notice, that doesn’t go further than between my feet and my lower leg. At other times it can be on the verge of pain. Heat can be a factor in making it “flare” as can tiredness or picking up infections. Oh and you guessed it, stress (amongst a whole bunch of other things).
It could be argued that Johnny has clinically isolated MS or it’s not that active or serious. But if that was the case, chances are he wouldn’t be medicating in the first place. It just doesn’t add up.
I get it must be hard to explain an invisible illness. How do you portray something that nobody can see? There are ways. People could simply ask Johnny how he is from time to time and he could complain about an invisible symptom. He could have the occasional bit of poor balance or walk with a limp.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Soaps are well placed to raise awareness on all issues, I just wish that when they do give somebody something that’s a lifelong condition, they do more than just remembering to portray it when it suits them, or it fits with the storyline.
7 thoughts on “On my soapbox. Literally. (Part 2) ”
NI dare you to contact the corrie writers
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I’ve complained to OFCOM, a friend who works at ITV has offered to speak to them and someone I know, knows Kym Marsh so blog has been passed on to her 😉
Also, your comment has only come up as “someone” so I have no idea who you are 😂🙈
I’m with you 100% I truly hate watching things where they’ve introduced an MS story line for 3 reasons
1 – because they’re so wildly inaccurate about the symptoms and how it impacts
2 – because they always make it a mental health story about inevitable depression and destruction of the persons life, family and career
3 – because they always go down the route of a shit med that won’t offer hope only more crappy symptoms from the med and slightly less relapses
I think it might have been casualty recently who had an A&E doctor gave Tec to someone they hadn’t done a JVC test on in A&E for goodness sake – and ‘gave’ them PML. it doesn’t bloody work that way they don’t just whip out a bottle and pour it in – the doctor would be struck off in that situation.
We don’t all get depressed
We don’t all hide our MS
We don’t HAVE to decline in this day and age
WE CAN FIGHT BACK TAKE CONTROL OF OUR LIVES
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Love this rant even more! Yes you can be stuck with MS but it’s not the so-called “death sentence” people used to call it, even just a few years ago! They don’t call us warriors for nothing so why can’t they show that side to the audience of a soap opera? xx
And while I’m on my soapbox.
If they were EVER sutupid enoiugh to portray someone with cancer in this way they walls be absolutely torn to pieces by the media and the public – so why on earth is it socially acceptable to portray people with MS as weak, pathetic, stupid and reckless?
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Love this rant Tracy! Absolutely right. Just think they’ve done an appalling job of portraying it well. I’m sure the same can be said for all sorts of other storylines, but this is the one that is relevant to me….x