An Interview with the MonSter Itself
I saw a meme that showed a very poorly sewn shirt: One sleeve longer than the other, buttons horribly off-center, crooked seams, etc. The shirt was an absolute mess and the caption read "If 2020 were a shirt." There was another featuring a disheveled gentleman donning a wrinkled suit, unkempt hair, appearing totally spent, holding his coffee while at the bus stop. That particular caption said, "If Monday morning were a person."
Picturing MS as a real-life monster
Those graphics led me to picture a meme of my own. A monstrous-looking face with a set of deep, mean, dark piercing eyes under a thick unibrow, long crooked nose, wearing a cocky smirk. This face dressed in an ill-fitted, dirty looking, faded black suit and scuffed, run overshoes. The highlighted caption would be, "If MS were visible to the human eye." My imagination didn't end there, as I could then envision myself conducting an interview with the MonSter itself.
Imagining how an interview with MS would go
20 minutes after the scheduled meeting time, 'it' arrogantly and unapologetically saunters in with a rude air that screams 'I'm running this show, and it's all about me'. My feelings of disdain for this 'thing' surge even higher. You see, I'm very familiar with 'it' - 10+ years of familiarity, in fact - so my mission of completing this interview will not be thwarted. Here we go:
Me: Hello. I was beginning to think you weren't going to show.
MS: Ok, ok I'm here. Watchu wanna know? Time is havoc...got spines, brains, and nerves awaitin' me.
Me: Wow. Well, this won't take long. Let's say we open with you introducing yourself. You can let us know your name and tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Multiple Sclerosis
MS: The name is Multiple Sclerosis, but you can call me MS. I'm a chronic, often disabling disease that affects the central nervous system. They say I'm 'unpredictable.' I like to roll with my friends - Symptoms - and I have plenty of them. Man, my friends are something else! They come with many characteristics from numbness and tingling in the limbs, to pain and depression to loss of fine and gross motor skills and more. I can honestly say I'm not well-liked by anyone except for them, but I can also say I honestly don't care. Half the time, people don't even know I'm with them. They think I'm one of my colleagues who look like me such as Lupus, CIPD (Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy), Lyme disease, ADEM (Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis), and several others!
MS is an autoimmune disease
Me: You sound pretty pleased with yourself and your 'friends'. I can definitely understand why you'd not be liked. Tell me, how and why do you choose those you attach yourself to? And how can one avoid your 'company'?
MS: (Laughing) Awww...duh! I'm labeled an autoimmune disease which is when a body's immune system attacks its own tissues; ergo, the body is the real culprit in my eyes. See, when that happens, I'm summoned...and there's nothing you can do about us coming. Sorry, darlin'!
How does one overcome the limitations brought by MS?
Me: I'm speechless at your callousness and your arrogance. I'd like to know how you react when someone attempts to persevere past the limitations you and your friends pose.
MS: Ohhh yeah...well, it's those times when I tell my friends Fatigue, Incontinence, Mobility Challenges, or whomever that it's time to flare, and they arrive to stop all that. Sometimes we are 'nice' (winking) and hold off until after an activity or event.
If MS were an animal...
Me: Hmph! Let me ask you this. If you were an animal, which one would you want to be?
MS:(Proudly swells chest) A beast!
Me: (Shaking my head) Why am I not surprised? Is there anything positive someone you've intruded upon might say?
Does MS have any positives?!
MS: You know, there kinda is. I hear that I bring such turmoil to the lives associated with me that they didn't realize just how strong they were until I came along. If they can cope with me, they can handle most, if not, anything that comes their way. Whatever. (Shrugs shoulders.)
We can fight back against MS
Me: Ha...good for them! Certainly, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, they say, and indeed, you aren't fatal alone. You have to rely on complications from your 'friends' to go that far. PLUS, research has shown that there are nearly 1 million people living with you in the United States. Many are making it because they've identified tools, skills, therapies (physical, occupational, mental), and medications to quiet your roar. Yes, you are indeed a beast, but you can be fought. In other words, 'you ain't all that'!
MS: (Agitated) Ok, well, anything else so I can get outta here?
Me: Actually, yes, just one more thing. Where do you see yourself in five years?
MS: (Sighing) Probably close or closer to nonexistence or better management of my antics so that the people I affect can live better lives - than what I'd like to see. I'm here to attack, but due to all of these studies and research and websites and whatnot...
Me: Yesss! And as one who has lived with and not succumbed to the perils of you nor your 'friends', I'll be happy when we can finally say good riddance to bad rubbish! Now, you can very much 'get outta here'! Interview is over! (Smugly watches as 'it' quickly scurries out.)
My meme still says "If MS were visible to the human eye," but now shows a picture of a cowered creature peeking from behind a bush in an attempt to hide from the camera.
Does your employer provide workplace accommodations due to your MS?