The uncertainty kills me. The usual response from people is that no-body knows their future 'you could be knocked down by a bus tomorrow'.
I hate that response. Simply, it's crap. Here's what I tell people. No, nobody knows exactly what their future will be. But I now know that I have a statistically significantly higher likelihood than you do of ending up needing a cane or crutches. Do I know for certain it will happen? Of course not. But your potential future is not the same unknown as mine. Need more proof? Ask the disability insurance companies what it costs you vs. me for health insurance. Most of them won't take me because I'm "higher risk."
does anyone know a 75 year old with MS? And one that still walks!
Yes, actually I do. The mother of my husband's friend has had MS for over 30 years. She's in her early 70s and still wallks.
Ian, I want to answer your main question at the last here, because it's very timely. I found myself thinking about sending you a private note once or twice before, because I worry about you. You're on this site a lot. And you do post a bit negatively at times--mind you, that's not a judgement. I'm the Queen of Negative Thinking, just ask my husband.(Although I inheirited my title from my mother, Her Supreme Anxious Royal Highness of Negativity). And I have to fight very hard against it.
I spent years in and out of counselling from my early 20s until now, my late 30s. The eariler stuff was overcoming a lot of damage done in a very twisted family scenario--and also, in retrospect, looking for someone professional to help me grow-up since my parents, although I love them, are very flawed. My work with this counselor helped a great deal over the years. It helped me through a divorce, and to become the person I needed to be to find the right man and be open to being with him. And, most recently, it helped me deal with this diagnosis to some extent.
I say some extent because I think we're always dealing with it. I'm not so great about being in denial--I sometimes envy those who are. So for someone like me, which I think you are, who is facing things all the time and can easily "go negative" as they say in public relations, it takes new behaviors. To promise yourself not to think about it always. To make lists of the positive stuff. To use help someone else. To count your blessings. To take the day off, or just the hour off, from thinking about MS. To stay off this site for a week. And perhaps, to find a good professional person you feel comfortable talking to as part of the time you "allow" yourself to deal with MS.
Whatever MS may take from you, it cannot do half the damage you can do to yourself with depression and succumbing to negative thinking. Trust me, I know.
I've been negative most of my life. I was taught (by my mother) to fear a lot of things that never happen, to worry about EVERYTHING, to fret, to complain under one's breath without reallly doing anything to stick up for yourself, to be passive/aggressive. Basically, to bitch a lot.
In some ways, MS has helped me be a better person. MS showed me that yes, something really, really bad can happen to you and guess what? You're still alive. So if you were waiting for the bad news to be delivered, well, it's come. So it's time to move on. And if you were waiting for your life to begin, well, better get it started.