Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Rose By Any Other Name

The new name change has been announced (yes, the second one) and once again there has been an outcry from people who don't like it. I won't go into all the reasons behind the change, you can find that information in NightWalkers magazine or on the website at I also want to say that I do understand the concerns about the name change, I really do. They were the same concerns I had. After studying the situation I did change my mind but I am still aware that they are valid concerns.

The one concern that seems to be at the top is this: Restless Legs Syndrome tells others exactly what you have. It describes the problem in the name. If we change the name, no one will know what we have. (Those were my thoughts too).

While Restless Legs Syndrome explains what we have, it also opens the door for all sorts of jokes, gags and misunderstandings. The media and so-called comedians have a field day with it. The medical community takes it lightly for the most part. If you tell them about the other symptoms you have that don't fit with restless legs, then you have another set of problems getting help.

It's all a matter of education. We have done a good job of getting RLS recognized and will do an even better job of getting Willis-Ekbom disease (WED) recognized. I am including a list of diseases/disorders that in the past had descriptive names--everyone knew what you had by purely by the name. These also have the names they are currently known by. I'm sure they were known by both names for quite awhile but I doubt that anyone even remembers the old names.

Bad Blood---Syphillis
Bladder in Throat---Diptheria
Brain Fever--Meningitis
Canine Madness--Rabies
Cramp Colic---Appendicitis
Dropsy of the Brain--Encephalitis
Glandular Fever--Mononucleosis
Infantile Paralysis--Polio
Winter Fever---Pneumonia

These are just a few but it makes my point; educating your family, friends, doctors, pharmacists, etc., will speed the process.

If you just cannot bring yourself to call this by the new name, then don't. No one is going to send the Name Change Police to your door. Some people just don't like change. Some people are upset because they didn't get to vote on the change.

As I said, this will take time. I have said it before and will continue saying it--the new name change is a good thing. However, you must make up your own mind!

Moon and Stars,