Monday, March 12, 2012

Multiple Sclerosis Life Expectancy

Tonight my daughter asked me a really off the wall question. She had driven with me to pickup a donation for the children's home and we were heading back home when she asked, "dad, is mom going to die soon?" Now, my daughter is 14 years old and my wife was diagnosed years before she was even born, so she hasn't ever known a time before my wife had ms. She totally took me off guard when she asked because we weren't even talking about my wife or anything to do with MS.

This is a question I had asked Dr. Swank when we used to visit him yearly. When we visited with him, I would bombard him with questions because I wanted to know as much as possible about Multiple Sclerosis. When I asked Dr. Swank about life expectancy he quickly told me that most MS patients lived a long life. He even said that in his research, 85% of his patients that were following the MS diet lived a full life with limited MS issues. What I've personally seen is MS doesn't lessen the amount of years you live, but it can lessen your ability to live those years.

I quickly answered my daughter and let her know that her mom wasn't going to die soon from her MS, and that is not the way Multiple Sclerosis affected the body. Then she asked me what we would do if my wife went completely numb, and I assured her that we would do everything possible for my wife to live a long, healthy life. It reminded me today that we need to be discussing MS with my daughter as she gets older so she understands it and doesn't fear it. It is so important to discuss MS with your family and especially with your children, and to understand the effects of MS well enough to discuss it. If you have any questions I can answer please let me know.