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 www.rls.org. 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
Ague---Malaria
Bladder in Throat---Diptheria
Brain Fever--Meningitis
Consumption---Tuberculosis
Canine Madness--Rabies
Cramp Colic---Appendicitis
Dropsy of the Brain--Encephalitis
Glandular Fever--Mononucleosis
Infantile Paralysis--Polio
Quinsy---Tonsillitis
Screws---Rheumatism
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,
Kathy

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Those are interesting examples. The earlier names sound so old-fashioned, don't they?

Kathy said...

But they really explained what you had, people understood when you said you had consumption! But we did get beyond those common names to the ones we use today and we can do the same with RLS.

denchin said...

i prefer RLS because it really describes what this is about in the name, but it also brings laughs to people i attempt to explain it about to and some think it's another name for ADHD. by the time they finish laughing i find it hard to explain to them that it's a serious thing for me and other sufferers. i think i'll take some time to get used to the new name but i like that it sounds more official and i hope that it will enable people to take it seriously!

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