Saturday, December 10, 2005

Current events: Richard Pryor on MS 10 years ago

I was poking around for a story that would shed some light on what Pryor's experience of MS was like, and stumbled on an article by David Schumacher that appeared in Ebony in 1993. At this point, Pryor had only recently stopped working as an entertainer. Here's a bit of his diagnosis story:
"MS is a very strange disease. I didn't know anything was wrong at first, [it] just crept up on me. Then one very strange day [director Michael] Apted said, 'Richard, come here.' And I did. Well, I thought I did. My brain told my body, 'Go see what the fella wants.' But my body said, 'I'm gonna f--- with you a bit, Rich.' Apted thought I was joking around. He said, 'Come on, Richard, stop goofing around.' I told him, 'Well, I'm not! trying real... hard to get there!'

They sent me to this wonderful place called the Mayo Clinic for a checkup. They did all these tests on me... After a week, I was told I had MS, not an extreme case, not enough to kill me, but just enough so that I can't masturbate."


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