What to call You People

My wife Alison and I were spending some quality time in the car the other day, discussing some advice my doctor had given me about my persistent insomnia. Some of the things he had said, and this is very common advice, was to avoid napping during the day, to not get up out of bed when I could not sleep, and all the old saws like only use the bedroom for sleep, no reading in bed, make sure the room is quiet and comfortable, etc. Alison pointed out that this advice was perhaps good for “normal” people – a terms about which we both laughed – but perhaps did not apply to people like me.

It got me thinking about what we disabled (a term I’m not all that comfortable with) call the non-disabled. Out of all the terms I’ve heard, my favorite by far is “muggles.” Inspired by the Harry Potter books, the Urban Dictionary defines it thus: “(noun) A person who possesses no magical skills or abilities.” I kind of like that. I might be struggling with ordinary abilities, like walking, but I have magical abilities that muggles will never understand. My doctor, no matter how well meaning, is a muggle, as is my neurologist and my physical therapist. And muggles, no matter how empathetic or invested or caring they might be, will never understand. And I’m not telling what those abilities are.

I had never heard the term “iceberg disease,” before, but I thought it so very apt for MS. So much of what we deal with every day is below the surface.

Now plauying on Radio Paradise: The Kinks, Shangri-La.


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