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Saturday, March 5, 2016

What My Mom's Multiple Sclerosis Has Taught Me

I administered my first drug injection when I was eight. My mom usually assigned the job — not typically intended for third graders — to either my firefighter father or my then 15-year-old big sister, Ashley. But on this occasion, my dad was away on a 24-hour shift, Ashley was at track practice, and my mom lacked the strength needed to grasp her needle. I was the last Schubert standing, and this day-to-day drill was a crucial part of the treatment for my mother’s multiple sclerosis; an unpredictable and incurable disease that attacks the central nervous system, and has plagued my mom since she was 18 years old.
Without faltering, my tiny hands picked up the syringe that housed 20-milligrams of Copaxone, and held it hovering over my mom’s left thigh, already speckled in purple, blue, and black, splotchy bruises from months of this daily routine.
“Is this the right spot?” I asked nervously.
“That’s perfect, Twinkle Toes,” my mom replied. “Don’t worry. I won’t feel a thing.”
I don’t want to call my mom’s MS a “blessing in disguise,” because that seems a bit selfish. But I would undoubtedly say that my mother’s unfortunate condition has taught both me and the rest of my family a great deal about happiness and the uncertainty of life.
March is National MS Awareness Month: a time to raise awareness of this crippling disease and support people like my mother 

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