The MS Know-It-All

Have you ever run across the “Know-It-All”? You know, the guy or gal who has done, seen, tasted, smelled, tried, succeeded at (hardly ever failed – at anything), read, studied and/or experienced whatever topic might be at hand? And have you noticed that these KIAs (might as well give them a name, right?) have opinions about a subject that are almost always diametrically opposite yours on just about everything? It seems sometimes that these KIAs can only feel themselves to be right by making the rest of us feel like we are somehow wrong.

How about the MS KIA?

I’ve run into MS KIAs who will tell me that they have cured their MS – and attempt to make me feel bad for not curing mine. Or MS KIAs who tell me that my disease-modifying drug of choice (or choice to no longer be on drug) isn’t the best for me because <fill in the blank> (oh, I could fill a volume with the number of reasons that would fill in that blank). How about the MS KIAs who know everything about your multiple sclerosis simply because their great-aunt’s cousin by marriage six-states-away had MS – though they never met this person?

I’ve run into plenty of KIAs in my life, and I just don’t have the energy for them anymore. I guess it’s partly because one of the things I’ve learned from MS is to budget my energy, and they are simply not worth the effort. Still, a little part of me would love for the KIA to see the error in their ways and understand that there is little in anyone’s life history to support such arrogance. Well, that and who gave them the authority to spout off about our disease the way that some people – particularly strangers – think it’s alright to touch any pregnant woman’s belly without asking?

I’ve been doing a lot of reading of late, on other MS blogs, on support sites and various social media sites about MS. There are some very good sources of information, intellect and emotion out there on the Web. There is also an overwhelming abundance of MS KIAs.

Seriously!  Where do people come off?

I suppose, if I were to be fair and go back to read nearly eight years of my Life With MS Blog entries, I might see a touch of MS KIA in myself on an occasion or two. If that is ever the case, I heartily apologize!

I guess it all comes down to a core principle to which I adhere: I don’t really know that much. I know that I am a sentient being and I know that I am capable of love. Other than that, it’s just my system of personal beliefs that get me through each day

So, I guess when an MS KIA tells me that they know something that is contrary to something that I have grown to believe, it makes the comment more of a personal affront and gets my dander up.

The thing is, changing a couple of words in a conversation can change an MS KIA into a person who at least appears to care. “Should” replaced by “have you thought about” becomes a conversation, not a sermon. “What do you think?” works much better at holding my attention than “You know what I heard (or read or saw) that works?” 

I guess the biggest one for me is the incorrect use of the word “cure.”  If someone says “cure” and it’s not in the context of research, fundraising or hope, it earns a near-automatic MS KIA badge from me.
I suppose that one positive thing I’ve learned about living with MS is that I just don’t have to make time for that kind of person, that type of attitude or that sort of emotional drain in my life. I’ve also learned that I can stop just about any MS KIA dead in the path of his/her illogical argument by saying: “Excuse me; I have to go give myself an injection.”

Have you run into an MS KIA? Do you find them a drain on your life?  Do you have a standard answer? We learn best from one another; we’d love to hear your views.

Wishing you and your family the best of health.


Tags Activism & Advocacy      7

Trevis Gleason, Blogger

You can follow Trevis via, his Life With MS Facebook Page on Twitter and on the “Life With MS” Blog. And also, check out his bi-monthly blog for the UK.