rabbit doing magic and pulling a woman with her legs on fire out of a top hat

Illusions, Magic & MS

An illusion distorts reality. It's a form of sensory distortion. Magic involves performing tricks such as making things seem to appear and disappear. And then there is Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease that can be relative to the two - so to speak...

Illusion and MS

What I see when I look at myself is an able-bodied, healthy female that can live a ‘regular’ life of working, caring for myself in totality, and running around doing this and that. However, that is the illusion. The reality is that I am not so able-bodied, medically retired, dependent in my daily life and require mobility assistive devices. I can recall, closer to the start of my diagnosis, when I erroneously interpreted my reality and wouldn’t use the cane I needed for my safety, would go to work when in extreme pain, drive when I could barely move my legs or my feet were numb, etc. My illusion was that I could do these things, to just keep going and it’d be ok. My reality was that it was a false belief and if I didn’t cease being unreal about my circumstances, the outcome could certainly end atrociously. Therefore, what I see is not illusory... It's really me with MS. And with that realization, I live smarter - and safer - by accepting and learning the boundaries of my reality/limitations.

Magic and MS

Magicians can entertain with all kinds of tricks such as making things disappear in the air and bringing them out of the audience's pockets, producing rabbits and pigeons out of a hat, even making the table rise in the air and stay there for five minutes. We can never understand how they perform their tricks. I have spent 11 years witnessing a plethora of ‘MS tricks’ that aren't exactly what I’d deem entertaining. The unmistakable feeling of a bug(s) crawling on your leg and ‘woolah’ - it's gone.. or rather was never there; you're perfectly fine getting in the shower and ‘abracadabra’ - within minutes you're totally void of all energy; when walking along and all is well then ‘hocus pocus’ - you’re suddenly on the floor; peacefully enjoying a conversation with friends and ‘abracadabra’ your legs are on fire ..on the inside; quietly reading or writing then woolah - the very immediate need to get to the bathroom is upon you. MS is the magician and me, the (albeit unwilling) assistant. Like magicians, we can never understand how MS performs it’s ‘tricks’ although research is ongoing to learn more about how this particular ‘magician’ works.

The connection

The relationship I’ve found between illusion, magic and MS lies in those periods that I’ve erroneously ‘seen’ myself as not having limitations as well as my encounters with the tricky suddenness of symptoms. I must say it has been an adventure - though not necessarily as amusing as an illusionist or magic show.

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