All ye MS sufferers, please don't fail to appreciate the honorable character of your disease, for there are some diseases, some misfortunes that seem downright stupid in comparison.
Take E. coli poisoning, for instance. I happened to read this morning in the New York Times about a young woman who had been paralyzed by a hamburger. Seriously, it is so. The hamburger she ate one carefree sunny summer's day was tainted by E. coli, which not only made her sick as a dog, but paralyzed her for the rest of her life.
Just imagine trying to convey that to the person who asks after your sad condition. Was it a car wreck? A fall from a cliff? A cancer, a neurological disorder?
No, it was a hamburger.
Not only is it a stupid sounding illness, an embarrassing sounding condition, but it also could have been avoided.
If only I had not eaten that hamburger on that carefree sunny summer's day.
Such a result--paralysis--seems wildly unfair, ridiculously harsh. How much better, how immeasurably more honorable to say that you were struck down by an autoimmune disorder, and to point to the culprit, multiple sclerosis, as if it were a well known fire breathing dragon.
Ours is a disease with a clean reputation. It starts on the inside and needs not first to be consumed. It does not crawl or wiggle or worm. It is mysterious, elusive, ever partially unknown, like the Lone Ranger or the Phantom of the Opera. It can stand with the best of them, and hold its head high. And by it the sufferer is faultless, a victim in the purest sense.
Therefore, honor your disease, and be proud, for the testimony of innocence testifies in our favor.