In My Opinion

By Doug Ankerman

It’s a well-known fact multiple sclerosis is different for each individual. What pains you might not bother me at all. MS symptoms can be as unique as one’s personality.

That’s why writing about the “ABC’s of MS” can be a real toss-up.

What “ABC” means to you could be totally different from what I believe.

Your “ABC” could mean “Always Buy Crisco.” Maybe it stands for “Absolute Best Cat.” Or, short for “A Bulky Corduroy.”

Only you know your particular definition.

In my experience, the “ABC’s of MS” stands for “Any Bathroom Close?”

“Any Bathroom Close?” because I’m always on the hunt for the nearest facility.

You might say I have a nose for American Standard. A proboscis for porcelain. Why I can smell a urinal cake at 50 paces.

Experts remind us to scope out the nearest exit in case of fire. Yeah, I’ll do that right after I find the absolute shortest and quickest route to the little boy’s room.

Here’s a picture of a diagram I found in an airline lavatory…

graphic of person walking cross-legged toward the toilet

This sure looks like me! Legs crossed…either from spasticity or incontinence. And the same big, bald Charlie Brown head.

As a frequent traveler with an active bladder, I am familiar to the location of every rest area, service plaza and McDonald’s east of the Mississippi. (C’mon, I’m not the ONLY one who stops at Mickey D’s JUST to use the potty, am I right?)

Okay maybe I am exaggerating just a tad — but it does seem like I am constantly searching for the loo.

Whatever “ABC” means to you…”Another Burnt Cookie,” “Adoring Badger Care” or “Always Bundle Cardboard”…to me, the “ABC’s of MS” will invariably be short for “Any Bathroom Close?”

But that’s just my opinion.

Doug writes sill stuff about MS and other topics on his humor blog at For a seriously good read, check out Stacie Prada’s “An ABC Mantra: Always Be Creative.”

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About MSAA

The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national nonprofit organization and leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a Helpline with trained specialists; award-winning publications, including, The Motivator; MSAA’s nationally recognized website, featuring educational videos, webinars, and research updates; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; safety and mobility equipment products; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; MRI funding; My MSAA Community, a peer-to-peer online support forum; MS Conversations blog; a clinical trial search tool; podcasts; and more. For additional information, please visit or call (800) 532-7667.

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