Can you catch multiple sclerosis from someone that sneezes in your direction?

I sat across from a lady at Olive Garden that thought multiple sclerosis was a contagious disease and she needed to get away from me so she wouldn’t catch it. Far, far away. She even complained to a worker saying that they need to make me leave. How do you respond to people like that? At first I was stunned at the sheer lunacy of the thought that someone believed they could contract a chronic illness that destroys the nerves in a person’s body.

If I was thinking a little clearer at the moment I would have let out a loud cough, blew my nose into a napkin, turned around and grinned a bright shinny smile in her direction while letting her know that she needs to go home right away, take a hot shower, eat a bowl of chicken soup, take a handful of vitamin C, and cover her chest in Vicks vapor rub for the rest of the week.

I don’t know where people get those fear-filled ideas from. It would make a great comedy routine, that’s for sure. My friends got a kick out of it so at least I brought smiles to the table without even trying.

When I got home I was shaking my head in amazement that people like that actually exist. Some will never hear that heir thinking is flawed. They are just adamant that they are the person filled with truth and know everything about everything. How sad.

Just as I’m not contagious, I can’t cure myself either. Yes, there are foods that help me to maintain a healthy body and foods that tend to trigger my symptoms. There aren’t many that adversely affect me but those that do, I try to avoid. No diet will cure you. All those with MS that change their diet to help, they are not cured. Even the die hard dieter will tell you that their MS will still creep up and tries to ruin their day. Their diet isn’t curing them. They are just keeping a manageable life with an incurable disease.

Remember that this is your life. You are the one in charge of you. Enjoy life while you can and don’t let anyone take the reins. No cure doesn’t mean no hope.

4 replies
  1. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Thanks Penelope there are some ignorant people out there. I haven’t met any one like that but I have met some who have never met anyone who has MS and a small of info helps to explain what is going on.

  2. bunny
    bunny says:

    you’re a much more tolerant person than i 👏🏻. the woman who reacted that way was ignorant (actions,words & being uneducated in MS) rude, disrespectful, narcissistic, closed minded …yes i could go on.

    i would not have handled that situation in a nice way at all. maybe at first try to explain something like, it’s not the flu 🤒.

    but after her resistance would have verbally blasted her out of her seat making sure she would have left embarrassed and with her tail between her legs.

    not only would she have gotten a crash course about MS, so would’ve the whole restaurant 😈😆

    i have all the patience and willingness in the world to dispel MS myths that people have , only if they’re willing to listen— not hear— but listen.

    your humor stating it made a good story for your friends never ceases to amaze me.

    people can be real donkeys!! whatever happened to treat people how you’d like to be treated.

    thanks for your post- your a true rockstar 🤩

  3. Gale Langseth Vester
    Gale Langseth Vester says:

    She must have heard about MS lesions, but then the term became conflated in her mind with the black plague! If I’d been in your spot, I might have done something along the lines of what you’ve suggested. Or worse!

    Thank you for behaving yourself! 😀



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