Friday, April 24, 2009

Multiple Sclerosis - Has It Touched Someone You Loved?

Many of you know that my uncle is living with MS.

He was diagnosed about 20 years ago after having some blurry vision, tingling limbs and stumbling a bit.

For years, he lived with very few symptoms and went into remission a few times.

However, as the years passed and his stress increased, the MS grew.

What is MS?

According to the MS Society, MS is defined as:

"Multiple sclerosis (or MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another. Today, new treatments and advances in research are giving new hope to people affected by the disease."

One of the worse things for MS is stress.

Around the time that my uncle was diagnosed, his father passed away suddenly. He was raising his 2 sons on his own because his wife, the love of his life to this day, was a drug addict and abandoned them.

She came in and out of their lives until she died of a drug overdose about 12 years ago. During that time, the stress of her behavior, unexpected appearances, pleas for cash and the turmoil it caused for his sons pushed that stress further.

I believe it was when she died that the stress allowed his MS to take over. As I said, she was and is still the love of his life. He's never remarried and really never dated after she left. His sons fell into a bad way following in her footsteps of self-destructive behavior.

His MS caused him to be reliant on a motorized scooter, though he was able to walk and stand for short times up until 8 years ago.

He couldn't get around as well and his children had caused him a lot of emotional and financial heartache. He had to sell his business and his home. He became 100% reliant on that scooter.

As the last 8 years have progressed, his condition has drastically deteriorated. He is now confined to his bed with zero use of his legs or his left arm. Unfortunately, he has feeling in those limbs so he experiences all the pain that comes with MS without the function we all take for granted.

He can't hold his head up straight. He has lost all dignity in having his sister care for him, change his bedding, bathe him, tend to his wounds from being confined to bed, apply external catheters and tend to his every need.

He can still brush his own teeth and shave once someone brings it to him. He can still feed himself once someone prepares it for him and sets it on his tray.  Yet he maintains his sense of humor.

Others are more fortunate. We have a family friend who is in good shape. She's had it for about as long and has been in remission. Each case is different, but each individual is living in uncertainty.

It's a heartbreaking disease. My uncle is too far gone for some of the newer medications to help. Most of them are for people who are better off than he is. I don't know if they will find a cure or a treatment for people like him in his lifetime, though I hope and pray they do.

If you would like to help, please click to the right to donate for the MS Walk for a cure.

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Shelly said...

Forgive me for not donating. I'm doing a walk in September and will be raising my own funds for that. My Mother passed from this awful disease and I have a second cousin, my step mom and a friend afflicted as well. It is definitely on the top of my list of charities to support. Great Post!

Angelika said...

I have MS. It sucks!

I'll definitely pass this post along to my readers and help raise awareness about helping to find a cure!

SLColman said...

Hey! Great information!! :)

I got you all added to the blogroll at the new From Huskies to Husbands now :) I am not blogging full time at since I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop and them kick me out too... LOL

Anyhow come visit me at :)

Kelly B said...

Shelly, that is certainly understandable. I am sorry that your mom passed from this disease. I can't believe you have SO many people you know with it.

Angelika, I know from your blog that you have it and it causes you a lot of pain. I'm sorry that you have to deal with this too. Thanks for passing this along!

SL, if you can, go save all your stuff, widgets, codes and what not and make sure you can delete your photos via photobucket if they do drop you!

Poetic Shutterbug said...

Such a debilitating disease. I do not know anyone afflicted with this disease so I can only imagine how horrible it is. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. By the way I am one of the exiled.

Angelika said...

You have a High Five from me HERE! :-)

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