People often ask me this question and I'm not sure why. Perhaps they are thinking what they would do in my situation. The simple answer to this question is no. I have learned that there is no need to provide a lengthy explanation, although it's hard for me to keep my big mouth shut. Here is what I would like to tell them:
I have never been a joiner. I was never a girl scout, member of a club or a sorority sister. Having a serious disease like MS doesn't change who you are. Also, I need to have something more in common with people than this disease that I hate. It is good to have people who understand what you're going through, why you're so tired, why you are having trouble getting a complete thought out and other MS symptoms. However, I have less patience with these people and am amazed by what they say to me. I was flabbergasted when a support group member came up to me and said that their doctor told them they would end up in a wheelchair like me and that was a fate worse than death. If it hadn't been so close to Christmas, I would have given that woman the serious tongue lashing she deserved. What an ignorant, insensitive comment. For a moment, I wished that she would find herself in a wheelchair just to see how it felt.
When I was first diagnosed, my neurologist actually advised me NOT to go to a support group. He already knew enough about my personality to know that it wouldn't be a good fit. He told me that he had spoken to a group early in his career and it was really depressing. So, I avoided support groups early on because I didn't want to see how bad the disease could be. Now, I don't go because I don't want to listen to people complain when they are much better off than I am. I have my unofficial support group of friends who have MS that I can call or E mail anytime. We understand each other and we definitely understand that sometimes the last thing we want to discuss is MS!