Multiple Sclerosis and Friendship

  • All I seem to be saying lately is - “I’m so sorry.”

    Let me explain.  I have several MS blogging friends for whom I feel great empathy.  Here are some recent events.

    Friend #1 receives a phone call informing her that she was terminated from her job.  She had been absent from work for 12 weeks, unable to do her job since MS symptoms had come on suddenly and led to her MS diagnosis.  With termination she will lose her health insurance.

    I’m so sorry.

    Friend #2 shares that her fiance was given only days notice that he would be let go.  This just less than 3 weeks before their wedding.  He loses his health insurance which they had planned for her to join, replacing the COBRA coverage she has had since her job was terminated earlier in the year.

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    I’m so very sorry.

    Friend #3 writes a poignant letter communicating some of the things she’s hidden from view which MS has been doing to her body and mind lately.  The honesty and vulnerability expressed through her words made me speechless. 

    I’m really sorry that MS is doing this to you.

    Friend #4 also writes beautiful things.  She is a beautiful person, inside and out, who has wonderful ideas which thankfully she doesn’t hesitate to act upon.  I admire this friend a great deal, but I unintentionally commented something which hurt her rather than make her laugh.

    I reiterated something I had said to her before in a phone conversation which was accompanied by an “oohh man” tone of voice.  But in written form, my words came across accusational and competitive.  Completely not my intent.

    She acted upon a wonderful idea and executed it beautifully.  I had an idea to do something similar, but had not expressed that idea to anybody much less put it into action.

    I’m really, truly sorry that I’ve hurt you.

    Friend #5 is a vibrant, talented musician with a bright mind and quick responses.  She once spent a year studying and playing all of the Gallay Caprices, Preludes, and other etudes on the classical horn which requires a virtuosic hand-horn technique.

    I’m sorry that your body, my body, gets in the way too often.

    So that’s what I’ve been saying recently.  What have you been saying?


    Lisa Emrich is author of the blog Brass and Ivory: Life with MS and RA and founder of the Carnival of MS Bloggers.

Published On: October 31, 2008