It occurred to me recently that I’ve spent far more time on the “light” part of this blog than on the “limping” part. Writing about Jesus is a whole lot more fun and interesting than about MS. Still, I think it’s high time that I devoted a little more time to the topic, if only for the purposes of truth in advertising.
One of the fun things that those of us with MS like to say is, “You don’t get MS unless you get MS.” That’s a high price to pay for understanding; I don’t recommend it for everyone. Or anyone.
There’s a certain elitism in that saying, I confess. I would beg your indulgence for this. There are few advantages to having MS, so we cling to whatever we can. (It reminds me of a bumper sticker I’ve seen: “It’s a Jeep thing. You wouldn’t understand.” Really? Now that’s elitism aiming very low.)
But the point is clear and valid. Very few people understand the capricious and enigmatic nature of the condition. Some don’t even try. Like my last boss. To the end, he was convinced that MS is equivalent to a sore ankle. As far as I know, he still does.
This lack of awareness is understandable. Sometimes it seems as though the doctors are as confused as anyone. For those with a loved one who is a victim of MS, a higher level of comprehension is highly recommended. I am very fortunate to have such a family. They don’t fully “get it” – that’s not the point – but they demonstrate appropriate compassion and support, and more.
All of this explains why you will often hear people (including me) talk about “my MS”. The fact is that my MS is mine alone. It’s not much of a stretch to say that the manifestation of MS in me is unlike that of anyone else. The number of combinations of symptoms and degree thereof is astronomical. You’d have better odds at winning the Mega Millions jackpot than matching my condition. It would be more fun, too.