Having a chronic incurable illness like MS can be a lonely experience. As much as those who don't have it do their best to understand it, only other MSers will truly 'get it'. I was offered three sessions with a counsellor after I was diagnosed but I remember sitting and wondering what do say to this nice woman who doesn't have MS but is here to help me? Maybe I just wasn't ready, but I was curious to meet other people around the same age. To see how they were coping. I did eventually.
MS & Me
“I have MS, but MS hasn't got me” was the catchphrase bandied about by the MS Community circa the year 2000. Have you got MS or has MS got you?
When I was diagnosed, I fell into the latter camp. I over-identified with having MS. In my own head, I was this tragic creature diagnosed in her prime. Instead of being a person who just happened to have a condition, illness, disease or whatever you want to call it, I became this vulnerable, scared, delicate being. I became an MS sufferer.
Would you be interested in reading a work of fiction with a character with MS in it? Or do you read to escape the reality of living with MS and don’t want to be reminded of it? Or maybe you believe it would be good to see more representation - to normalise it as a feature of life many of us have to deal with? There are a number of memoirs by people with MS including our own Trevis Gleeson's 'Chef Interrupted' but I have not come across many novels where the main character has MS. I set out to find out if such novels exist and came across three.