While recuperating from a recent MS flare, Sally Fletcher texted her new friend Pete Hansen to cancel dinner plans for Tuesday evening, opting instead to rest at home. When Hansen asked her what was wrong, Fletcher told him that the body aches, muscle spasms and fatigue she had experienced in the past 24 hours were enough to wipe her stamina for the rest of the week.
“That’s too bad, but get well soon!” Hansen told Fletcher via text. He felt confident that he was being a supportive friend and added that they could hang out when she felt recovered from her MS.
Fletcher then sent Hansen a link to the National MS Society, explaining that multiple sclerosis is a lifelong chronic condition that affects more than 2.8 million people worldwide.
Hansen texted back, “Well, at least you’re not alone! Actually, I think my roommate’s uncle might have the same thing. I heard him talk about the spasm thing one time too.”
Taking a deep breath, Fletcher tried changing the subject and hoped to end the conversation soon. She asked Hansen if he had watched the new season of “Stranger Things” yet, but Hansen insisted on providing her with unsolicited medical advice.
“You know, I bet with a community that size there’s gotta be someone who could develop a cure. Have you researched what kind of medical advancements there are? Until then, I know a good nap and ibuprofen always do the trick for me when I’m exhausted! Let me know if you need me to pick up some from the pharmacy.”
Three hours after sending this text, Hansen wondered why Fletcher hadn’t responded. He then remembered that the same scenario had played out a few months earlier when he sent his friend with endometriosis an ad for essential oils.