I'm 54 and was very
surprised to find myself diagnosed with RRMS at 52. I doubt that I'd had it for more than a few years before that, but who knows.
Fortunately, my MS hasn't directly affected me too much so far. (The meds
I tried did
, but the disease itself, not so much.) I always have a little numbness on the left side of my body, moreso when I'm real tired, and I run out of strength pretty suddenly sometimes if I don't pace myself and avoid heat, etc. Typical stuff mostly. But even before
MS I was using a walker at times, because of spinal problems, so in that way, MS hasn't been such a hard adjustment psychologically. So far
All of which touches on one of the reasons I had wanted to find a spot on this site where older MS patients could get together- because of the growing list of "co-morbidities" that many of us have, and the challenges and difficulties that situation can present.
Of course, I know plenty of people older than myself who are in great
health and have nothing at all chronically wrong, and good for them. But I also know (from working for a family doc) that there are a lot
more of us who had already compiled quite a list of injuries and various chronic diagnoses by the time our hair went gray, along with that correspondingly growing list of meds and/or supplements for same.
On the plus side, hopefully we've also had ample time to develop a strong sense of self, a great sense of humor, a balanced spiritual center, a great sense of humor, and an awareness that there are many people living much more painful, more difficult lives. And a great sense of humor
But regardless of one's wisdom, personal resources or coping skills, adding MS to a medical file that already reads like the Old Testament adds yet another unwanted dimension to a very complicated picture. Sometimes it's more puzzling
than anything, trying to differentiate MS symptoms from similar symptoms possibly caused by another co-morbidity. Do any of you guys have that problem?
In my case, since before
MS I have been dealing with, among other things, severe multi-level spinal stenosis and facet joint disease; muscle spasms, weakness, and numbness in the lower body secondary to the spinal stenosis; extreme
ongoing sleep deprivation secondary to constant pain; cognitive problems secondary to the sleep deprivation; arthritis and various old injuries; menopause; macular degeneration; migraine; etc., etc. Many
of these symptoms overlap with MS symptoms, which bugged me more after I was first diagnosed, but as time went on, it seemed less important to sort it all out. I guess I got to a point where MS became my "default" reason for most everything, unless there's a reason to rule it out, so I just don't usually sweat it. Usually
But once in awhile, something new and weird will happen physically, and I'll think, "OK, now I really need to pay attention and figure out whether this weirdness is from MS or not. Because otherwise, I'm having a freaking stroke