Thesis Update: On Living with MS

Not much thesis was done today though I did have some good bonding time with my roommate.

For a long time I’ve wanted to write about my experiences with MS, so why not tonight? I can’t get to sleep so here goes.

One thing I’ve noticed about having MS is that no one ever asks me about it. It may sound like a weird problem to have but I actually do wish more people asked about it. Not the boring status questions that doctors ask but real questions about my real experience with this disease.

I think generally, people feel uncomfortable asking about it. They probably don’t want me to think they’re only thinking about me in relation to my disease. But honestly, since MS is generally a non-physical ailment, I assume most people forget that I have a chronic disease. Maybe others forget too and that’s why they don’t ask about it. Or maybe they actually don’t care about the philosophical questions one must ask oneself after undergoing a life-changing event. That may be the reason.

Last Friday, my roommate accompanied me to my monthly infusion. It was cool to have her there. I think there’s a new level of depth to our friendship that comes from seeing someone in such a vulnerable state. Plus, we got to talk to this other guy who was pretty cool so we had some cool stories from that.

What I’m trying to say is, I can’t speak for everyone suffering with a disease, but I really appreciate when others ask about my MS. It certainly isn’t the most important part of who I am but it has contributed to the parts of me that are now quintessentially ‘Danielle’. Skirting around the issue seems silly. I don’t think it would be possible to really know me without confronting the issue of my MS, the same way it wouldn’t be possible to really know me without recognizing my race or my faith. I get that those things are all controversial and uncomfortable topics but they’re also things I deal with everyday.

We’re not just one type of person. There isn’t just one way we can be categorized. That would be so boring and shallow. We’re products of all of our experiences and if those are the things that have made us who we are, why not share them with someone else? Better yet, if someone can know you with respect to all of those categories and still be interested in pursuing a relationship with you, how much better would that relationship be than one built merely on one of those categories?

I think it would be a lot better.


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