Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Despite MS, to Spite MS

How unique is this book? In the forward Jennifer Digman shares her research that there are 2,100 books on Multiple Sclerosis but only 5 about Multiple Sclerosis love stories.

How unique was reading this book? Because of MS symptoms Patti cannot read nor can she remember in the short term which in turn affects attention span. Reading it to her pieces of chapters at a time over the holidays was beyond interesting, at times outside my imagination.

At one moment I’m reading to Patti about Dan Digman who transfers his wife Jennifer from her wheelchair with the same one person unassisted transfer as I use for Patti except the guy has MS. Not only has MS but runs an 8K race in 43 minutes – damn, this guy is in far better shape than me and I do not have MS.

While Patti, who does have MS, makes skeptical sounds about a think positive snippet in one breath, laughs along with Jennifer’s take on something from their shared wheelchair view perspective in the next breath, and then abruptly decides she just wants to go to bed. MS attention span can be dizzying to deal with.

Spacing chapters are haiku poems by Judy Williams who also has MS. These capture Patti’s attention causing spontaneous comments and observations, a couple times leaving me to see the poem differently.

If ever I doubted it, this experience of reading “Despite MS, to Spite MS” with Patti has proven that Multiple Sclerosis is less a diagnosis and more a collection of Multiple Stories.

And, Now, We Pause for a Brief Commercial Message . . . Click “Despite MS, to Spite MS” to order.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Camp Courageous.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer 


  1. Patrick - thanks for posting about this book. Skip likes me to read to her, though not from books about MS. I'll read this one to myself.

  2. It's a wonderful book, and I am honored they asked me to be a part of it. Patt's experience with the poems confirms my own experience writing them. It's an intense but time-limited activity, consistent with my more limited energy and attention span. So glad she enjoyed them.

  3. I'm going to share this book with a friend who has MS. Thanks for posting about it.

  4. Honestly, Patrick, write your own. You could you know.

  5. I agree with what Mary said, Patrick. You could write a book and I think it would be well received by all, especially with your wit and humor even in the most delicate of situations.


  6. OMG, Patrick! We are so excited and touched that our book worked for you and Patti. We always have enjoyed the stories on your blog (yours was among the first we followed),and to have this kind of feedback from you – shared with the world on your blog – truly humbles us! And we agree with FranandMary and That corgi :), you also should look into writing a book of your own!


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