Having MS is like being on a flight when the captain comes on and announces that the flight will be delayed by two hours and those of you who have connecting flights will miss them.
MS is a disease that challenges connections of all kinds. Connections to faith, friendships, marriages, families, vocations, hobbies, careers and hundreds of important and meaningful pieces of one’s life are suddenly missed. But one of the incredible mysteries of dealing with this disease includes the new connections that seem so random, but which bring comfort, strength, and ongoing blessings to our lives.
One of those blessings came to me at one of the lowest points of my life. During an extended hospital stay, Dr. Ping Li, a resident in the Neurology department at the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and an extremely brilliant and gifted physician, took a special interest in me and my situation. She was an advocate, guardian angel and became a dear friend.
Late at night when she was on call and hospitals are such lonely places to be, she would pop in and we would talk. We would talk about her life in Beijing as a child, balancing work and family, how we both liked shopping at Ann Taylor. But it was the touch of her hand, the tears in her eyes when she discussed the brutality of MS and her soft smile when she was giving a Ping pep talk that is part of a connection that I will always cherish.