Allison Peebles is a Scottish actor and director who is dealing with the uncertainty of multiple sclerosis' progression—mobility, vision and fatigue issues.
At first she leads a double life hiding her problems from everyone. She is afraid that the production would no longer insure her with MS which would make her unemployable as an actress. Later she must reveal that she can no longer walk up stairs without holding the railing; she needs to sign a medical form for the producers.
Allison has had MS for 6 years and has only told close friends and relatives. Her first symptoms appeared when she was on vacation and came to the water's edge and could no longer move her legs. She progresses to a brace which means she can't wear her beloved high heels anymore. This is a turning point for her. She tries to look at the bright side—she must shop for flat shoes which she calls retail therapy. The emptying of her shoe closet prompts memories of past events in her life.
Allison writes and directs a play about a woman with MS who becomes a dominatrix. It is about a woman who has power then has it taken away from her; clearly paralleling her own life. She tells the play staff that she has MS when she can no longer hide it. She makes it clear that she wants to continue working as a person with a disability, though she worries that people will think her revelation is a publicity stunt for her play.
Allison feels she is sharing her body with MS. Her mom is upset that she wasn't told sooner. Allison's father died of MS and she did not want to burden her mother with worry. She feels guilty that she was once ashamed of her father's disability.
There are some instances of odd animation which don't seem to fit in with the tone of the rest of the documentary, which is an honest look at facing a progressive disease head-on and dealing with its ramifications. As Allison says” Time is running out and I don't know what I'm going to be like in a year's time. I suppose I want to try to do as much as I can before I can't do anything.” A well-done documentary which leaves one wanting to check up on Allison's journey in the future.
Reviewed by PRC Librarian Sheila Fitzgibbon
The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers/North American Research Committee on MS (CMSC/NARCOMS)The CMSC website is a vehicle with that develops and shares information and knowledge among members of CMSC and the health care community for the benefit of those with MS.
Computer Literate Advocates for MS (CLAMS)A web site bringing those with MS out of isolation and into a web community for support, companionship and information. Also has good links to other sites.
Dragon SystemsVoice activation at its finest, the Dragon Systems technology is used not only to operate laptops and pda's but can even control multimedia centers, navigation systems, mobile phones and much more.
Multiple Sclerosis Association of AmericaMSAA features news, information and local connections.
Multiple Sclerosis International FederationThe Multiple Sclerosis International Federation offers research suggesting that sexual concerns among men with MS range from 7% to 91%, with the most frequent concern being erectile dysfunction. Orgasmic dysfunction, loss of sexual desire, and fatigue are also concerns that are reported frequently. From the home page search under Sexual.
Multiple Sclerosis FoundationA great source of information about MS. Web site has interactive, multimedia MS library and online forum. Publishes MSFocus, a complimentary quarterly magazine and the MS Foundation newsletter.
Multiple Sclerosis Complementary and Alternative Medicine (MS-CAM) An internet community site run by the Rocky Mountain MS Center. The goal is to provide accurate unbiased reviews regarding complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies in multiple sclerosis, and to measure the experiences of the MS community with particular therapies and other subjects of interest. Visitor registration is requested; an annual subscription fee is requested.
MswatchSponsored by Teva Marion Partners, is a website dedicated to managing MS. Patients have the ability to keep a diary on the site, ask an expert a question, and communicate via the message boards.
Multiple Sclerosis Comprehensive Care A multimedia resource for MS professionals. Produced by the publishers of Neurology Reviews and supported by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, this web site features video interviews, interactive digital publications, self-assessment quiz questions, patient education tools, professional resources, and more. All our content is devoted to improving the care of patients with MS and helping those who deliver that care.
The National Multiple Sclerosis SocietyProvides information on living with MS, treatment, scientific progress and support.
The National MS SocietyThe National MS Society is a collective of passionate individuals who want to do something about MS now -- to move together toward a world free of multiple sclerosis. MS stops people from moving. We exist to make sure it doesn't.
Paralysis Resource Center The Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Center Information Specialists are reachable business weekdays, Monday through Friday, toll-free at 800-539-7309 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET. You may also schedule a call or send a message online.
Reeve Foundation Online Paralysis Community Connecting people living with paralysis, families, friends and caregivers so we can share support, experience, knowledge, and hope.
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