Last year a new CBS television series, Scorpion, debuted with a recurring character that was battling multiple sclerosis. We are introduced to Megan O’Brien, the sister of the main character Walter O’Brien, who wears leg braces and lives in a nursing home as her illness is quite advanced. The drama never addresses the type of MS Megan has but, as she is in her mid-thirties, it’s safe to assume that its primary progressive. Her brother is a genius with 197 IQ and he is doing everything he can to cure her.
The producers portray Megan as someone that is living her life despite her illness. She goes on outings and even dates her brother’s best friend, Sylvester.
In the second season Megan’s condition worsens and she has deep brain stimulation. She asks Sylvester to stay with her during the procedure but asks him not to tell her brother, as she doesn’t want to worry him.
As time progresses so does Megan’s MS and she is hospitalized with scarring on her lungs because she is inhaling food and saliva. Her brother wants to have her intubated because she had a lung infection and this would help her fight the infection. Megan doesn’t want to be intubated and Walter ends up getting a court order and has her intubated against her wishes. Walter wants to upload Megan’s consciousness onto a hard drive as a technological singularity Transcendence style.
Later Sylvester and Walter argue because Sylvester obeys Megan’s wishes and doesn’t have her intubated. To be able to follow Megan’s wishes, Sylvester marries her thus nullifying Walter’s court order.
In season 2, episode 10, Megan and Walter’s parents arrive from Ireland as Megan’s condition has worsened. Walter does everything he can to extend her life so he can find a cure but eventually she unfortunately succumbs to her MS.
It is a very sad storyline even though the writers of the show have portrayed Megan in a very positive light. While she does suffer, Megan is optimistic and does her best to live her life to the fullest.
Scorpion depicts the very worse side of MS. The story focuses on main character Walter and his growth as a person watching his sister suffer with little he can do to stop the pain. He has no control of the situation and we all know how difficult it can be not to be able to control your circumstances, especially with MS as it the most unpredictable disease out there.
Do you watch the show Scorpion? Do you think it accurately portrays living with MS?
Vivian was diagnosed with MS in March 1999, although symptoms began in 1995. I previously worked as a financial adviser but had to retired due to the worsening of my symptoms. On the positive side, more free time allows me to work on my writing. I am 43 years old, married with two beautiful girls, aged 14 and 11 and reside in Australia.
You may also enjoy reading other of Vivan’s writing: JK Rowling fund trial for Secondary Progressive MS and Bioten found to help Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.
Above photo from TVLine.