Disease and the Genealogy of Suffering

How multiple sclerosis has pulled me and my sister apart and brought us together

Shanna Loga
6 min readMar 17, 2021
Two sisters laying on the grass next to each other.
Photo by willsantt from Pexels

Slumped over like a question mark, my sister shuffles across the first floor of her house. Her feet drag and her legs collapse beneath her from time to time, leaving her in a crumpled pile. Once in a while, her boyfriend or her 15-year-old daughter finds her, and she can’t recall how long she’s been lying there.

She can no longer lace her fingers around a glass of water and bring it to her lips. Her right hand flutters like a bird with a broken wing, unable to lift itself and sustain its own weight.

Yesterday, my sister sent me an Edible Arrangements bouquet for my birthday. She addressed it to an apartment I moved out of three years ago. I didn’t tell her about her mistake.

My sister is 36 years old.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system. It disrupts the connection between your brain and your body. Symptoms range from difficulty walking and thinking to weakness and fatigue. My sister has a version called Relapsing-Remitting MS, meaning she experiences unpredictable relapses in her symptoms followed by periods of remission and relief. This relapse has lasted four months so far.



Shanna Loga

Multiracial Midwestern Mama | Multiniche — you never know what I’ll write about next (and neither do I) | She/her/hers | https://shannaloga.com/