The daughter of someone with multiple sclerosis shares her experiences growing up with this disease in the family and how, in some ways, it was actually a blessing,
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.”