You've reached a Future With MS - Part 2. If you'd like to read Part 1 first, click here.
Another symptom that may put you at risk, is your susceptibility to falling because of balance issues. Most falls are not fatal, but the possibility is there. Learning how to prevent falls like using a cane or mobility aide when you need it, greatly lowers this possibility.
Other symptoms, like swallowing problems causing you to choke, or temporary vision problems or spasticity causing you to have an accident while driving. There are any number of symptoms that could lead to an accident. Prevention is key in many of these instances.
If you know you have some of these symptoms, you should probably give up driving. I know this is at the expense of your independence, but if it could mean life or death for you or someone else, then the safest course of action is to stop.
All of this is said to help you realize that as a person with MS you may need to be especially careful and watchful when it comes to your health and well-being. Taking special precautions when you are having a relapse or exacerbation, or when your symptoms are worse than usual, can make a big difference.
Trying to do things that are healthy, like not smoking, eating foods that are good for you, exercising when you can, will all make a big difference in your quality of life as you get older. Having people around you who are supportive, and doctors who listen and make good recommendations can also make a huge difference in your quality of life.
Try to address issues like depression, dementia, or cognitive issues, when they arise. Don't wait until you have a full blown problem on your hands. With any symptom of MS, early detection and treatment is best, even if you opt for alternative treatments. Letting a symptom get to the point of an emergency is never good.
As a person with MS, you can expect to live a normal life span. Taking care of yourself as you get there is paramount. Having people around you who care about you and who will continue to help as things get more difficult, is a benefit. Take advantage of resources available to you.
A few other things to consider as you contemplate your future with MS, are home accessibility issues, financial issues, and in-home or nursing care, to name a few. If you are a young person with this disease, facing a future with MS, can cause you a great deal of stress or fear. It may be easier not to think about or deal with it right now.
One piece of advice that was given to Cir years ago has always stuck with us. Expect the best, but plan for the worst. We translated this in several ways. Cir began taking recommended nutrients very early – even before his actual diagnosis. He has continued to exercise when he is able. We try to eat well for the most part, we always look for accessible homes or ways to modify them, and we've looked for alternative ways to make money from home - all to ensure that Cir will have a more comfortable future with MS.
These are ways he can be proactive when it comes to an uncertain future with MS. Sitting back and waiting for things to happen is not a very good strategy, at least for us. Setting goals and planning for what he may need helps keep us positive. We all have our moments, and if you can make it back to a more positive attitude most of the time, living a long life with MS is not an impossibility.
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Cir & Akrista
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