Wednesday, February 3, 2010

You Might Be Friends With A Turd

Multiple Sclerosis is an odd little bastard. It does some messed up stuff to some people. It took away some of the feeling in my hands and I was super pissed about that for a while, but I've moved on. For now at least. The thing is, despite all the shitty things it does, there is at least one big positive that MS brings about if you let it.

When I first started to deal with this mess, I posted a random bit of "oh, why me? why MS?" on Twitter and out of the wilderness came a few kind responses from people I didn't know. These were people I'd never talked to before and yet they offered words of encouragement. I was a bit weirded out, seeing as I don't talk to strangers (or even people I actually DO know), but I decided to choose one of those strangers (hi Dana!) and reply back. The replies went back and forth. It was the early stages of what became a genuine friendship.

I say "MS Friends" to people, which may make it sound like it is not as important or on the same level as a normal friendship but that isn't the case at all. I care deeply for the few real friends I have. It doesn't matter if they have MS or not. The interesting thing though is how deep a connection or bond can be made between people you don't even get to see. They become like long lost friends you talk to online because they've since moved far far away.

Why do I mention this stuff today? Well, one of my MS Friends, is going to be in for something big. Jackie (from over at MSUnderstood) will be going through a 3 stage process of a total colectomy. Now I haven't known Jackie for an eternity, but at the same time she is definitely one of those long lost friends. We haven't met face to face and yet I care about her deeply and wish nothing but the best for her. Hearing the news hit me just as much as if I had heard it from a family member (and not one of those cousins I could give a a crap about, I'm talking immediate family!). If I was one of those people who prayed, she'd be in my prayers. I guess she'll just have to settle for my best wishes.

The point of all this is, while MS is a bitch there is one thing that I am glad it gave me. Friendships. There is an MS community out there, and just like a regular community it's filled with all sorts of people. Of course there are weirdos and annoying people and those you'd rather not talk to, but that's just like your local community. I definitely encourage getting out there into the community and finding those few individuals you click with. MS sucks hard, but having friends who you can rely on for moral support for that junk (and life in general) is a good thing and you are missing out if you don't have that already.

Take care Jackie, I'm rooting for you!

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