Wow, apart from my utter failure to ever gate crash a White House party (or star in a housewife reality show), I swear this could be me ...
Note, she did not state that she "suffers" from MS, or discuss any of her presumed symptoms. In fact, just the opposite: she explained her reasons for not making her illness public earlier are that she didn't want to be judged or pitied, and was concerned about keeping her job. (Reasons I can certainly relate to, by the way, and which also contributed to my own 20+ years of silent denial.)
What I'm surprised about here, though, are some of the public responses to her disclosure. Several in the MS community have accused her of lying merely because her disease does not appear to be as severe as that of others. Some have even criticized her for being too "high energy" of a person -- something that according to these critics we MS'ers are simply incapable of being. (Which begs the question as to whether those more severely affected by disease would not be better off if they chose to focus more of their energy on something other than their afflictions ...)
I've only once caught a few minutes of Salahi's show, and really have no idea what her character is like or track record for truth telling is (apart from the White House stunt, of course). But maybe, just maybe, she has been successful at one thing apart from grabbing a little media attention: choosing to keep her pain to herself.
When did stoicism stop being a virtue? As a blogger, I know I'm as guilty as anyone for publicly sharing details of my life that previous generations would consider far too personal. But from the start, I've hoped to keep the whining on this blog to a minimum. Now it seems the public is outraged simply because a "celebrity" (do reality TV stars count?) has not complained enough, or been sick enough to earn our empathy.
I believe that Ms. Salahi probably does have MS; it is not all that difficult to cover up if you still walk well and "look healthy." I also have a pretty good idea what challenges she may have had to overcome in order to keep her diagnosis to herself. I'm certainly not saying that having a chronic health condition is an excuse for poor behavior, but who would you rather be friends with -- a person who lives life zestfully and keeps her symptoms to herself, or the person who makes her diagnosis of (fill-in-the-blank) the story of her life?
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What do you believe? Does Michaele Salahi really have MS? And if so, should it change our opinion of her in any way?