Pain and Suffering...

Speaking of pain and suffering, I was talking earlier today to a friend of mine suffering from advanced multiple sclerosis. She was very focused on these Tysabri hearings going on. Tysabri's the MS drug that was quickly taken off the market after some patients died from a rare brain malady.

Up until then the drug had looked promising — severely suffering MS patients saying it gave them hope and that even with the risks, they'd take their chances. My friend was of the same mind. But the conversation on Tysabri ended there.

She wants the drug. She doesn't want the sympathy. She never complains about her disease. Or the job she can no longer do. Or the simple fun tasks of life that she can hardly do.

I remember being at a charity event with her a few months ago, and everyone was complaining about the lousy dinner, the lousy service, even the poor acoustics. Still another whined about how he could be doing other things this night — that his job was taxing, his kids were taxing, his life was taxing.

Yet from this small, wheelchair-bound, sparkle of a woman, not a peep. Not a complaint. Not a bad word. About anything or anyone. She, of anyone, had the right to bitch. But didn't.

I remember asking her later about the cold dinner we shared that night. Her answer was as classic as her character.

"I was a guest," she told me. "It was a free meal!" The food, she said, was fine.

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