Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Out of the Closet

So I let people know at Big Old Seminary that I have MS. It was something I was in the closet about for a while, since I wanted my classmates to learn to deal with me as mibi, not as a medical case. I'm fortunate. My disabilities are very minor and virtually invisible to the world, and for the time being my MS is well-managed with disease-modifying drugs.

I came out of the closet by soliciting their contributions to PH's MS150 bike ride from the Capitol of the Confederacy to Rockefeller's Imitation Colonial City and back.

Reactions have been interesting. A couple of folks said, "Boy, that's a surprise." One person asked an interesting question: what am I most afraid of? I said it was losing my sight again. I had a bout of optic neuritis and lost most of my vision, which - fortunately - mostly came back with treatment with IV steroids. One person, a very wise femme d'une certain age like me, said, "I wonder how many people in this place have some medical issue they're not telling about." I wonder, too. I hope my talking about my thing will make others feel safe.

Most folks are silent. Either it's a non-issue for them (I'm still the same old mibi), and that's fine with me, or they don't know what to say, and so say nothing.

If it's the latter, and they want to be clergy, they'd better learn how to figure that one out. A heartfelt "gee whiz" would do.

In any case, I'm sure glad to sweep that secret out of the closet. There be monsters!

1 comment:

Lauralew said...

Hi Mibi, my dad has MS. He was diagnosed years ago before the Americans with Disabilities act, and although his only problems were visual, he was promptly fired from his job. The emotional aftermath of that for a man whose job provided his identity caused far more problems than MS ever did.

I agree with the wise person; everyone does have something. If they don't, they will. I think MS is more in the public eye than it was before and therefore, is for many a non issue. Thanks for sharing!