March 7 to 13 is National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week, which is a good time to update you on my wife and I’s life. Angie was diagnosed with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis in July 1997. Over the years this has required us to adjust our lives to various stages of the disease, and increase my responsibilities as her caregiver. This pandemic has made that even more challenging as the medications Angie takes for her MS make her immunosuppressed and more susceptible to COVID-19. Her current diagnosis is Secondary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, which means her disease increasingly impacts our daily lives. Angie now uses a power wheelchair at all times and we use a patient lift to move her in and out of the wheelchair, bed, chair, and restroom. In addition, we have purchased an accessibility conversion van. Each change in her MS requires changes in our lives.
- MS is not contagious.
- MS is usually diagnosed between ages 20 and 40.
- Among young adults, it is the most common illness of the Central Nervous System.
- MS is not hereditary, but there can be genetic susceptibilities.
- MS does not have a significant effect on life span.
- Fatigue is the most common symptom of MS. Others include loss of coordination, vision problems, and memory issues.
- MS is a progressive disease, and there is no cure. But there are therapies that can greatly reduce disease progression.
- Current research is leading to new possibilities for more effective treatments.
If you would like to know more about our journey with MS and you are new to the blog, then you can follow this link to find posts I have made about MS and caregiving. You can also follow posts by my wife on her blog.