My wife made a comment last week that I’ve thought about a lot since she said it. It was said in passing in the middle of a conversation that I cannot remember (apparently, my wife’s not the only person in our family with poor memory). In this case, though, I think I fail to remember the rest of the conversation because her comment stunned me.

“I don’t think I’ll live a long life.”

I knew if I talked to her about it then, I would become too assertive about how wrong I thought the statement was and that she had no right to think that way. (Actually, she has the right to think any way she wishes … and usually does … even if I don’t like it!)

I knew, though, I wouldn’t be able to listen to what she was really saying. So, a week later, yesterday morning, I asked her about her comment.

“I imagine you said it because you have MS, but having MS doesn’t mean you’ll have a shorter life. Are you thinking you’ll have a shorter life because of something you’ve read? Or is it just a hunch?”

She’s a realist and a pragmatist. “I need the cane to walk around on and it’s getting worse. I’m headed for a wheelchair in my future and I don’t think people confined to wheelchairs live as long,” she explained simply.

I know her gait is worsening. And I won’t be surprised when she requires a wheelchair. But I’m not ready to believe it will shorten her life. I said, “Unless you’ve read some significant study, I wouldn’t assume being confined to a wheelchair automatically shortens one’s life.”

She countered, “people in wheelchairs get less exercise, hearts grow weak, muscles grow weak. I don’t think they live as long.”

Ever the optimist, I responded, “Yes, perhaps that could be true, but I know people confined to wheelchairs who are in great shape. They even make racing wheelchairs for athletes!”

Her eyes said, “but I’m not an athlete.” She looked at me like I wasn’t understanding her. The fact is, I didn’t want to understand. I didn’t want to think that being confined to a wheelchair will shorten her life.

It’s obvious neither of us knew the real impact a wheelchair has on lifespan. So it was time for a little online research.

I’ll share what I’ve found about life span and wheelchair confinement. Interestingly, I’ve not been able to find a single study of the impact of wheelchair confinement on lifespan for MS patients.

So I’m approaching it from a different angle. I’ll start with the basic question, “Is MS fatal?”

According to the National MS Society the answer is: “No, MS is not a fatal disease, except in rare cases. People who live with MS can be expected to have a normal or near-normal life expectancy.”

I like that answer except for the “except in rare cases” part. But from all I’ve read, those rare cases are indeed rare and consist primarily of MS patients in whom the neurological damage is done to areas of the brain and nervous system which control breathing or regulate heart beat.

A more complete answer seems to be available on the Medscape Today website in “Aging With Multiple Sclerosis“, an article published in the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing (J Neurosci Nurs 36(5):245-251,259, 2004. © 2004 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses)

The authors write, “The disease (Multiple Sclerosis) causes demyelination of the central nervous system and results in symptoms such as extreme fatigue, mobility impairment, optic neuritis, weakness or paralysis, abnormal/painful sensations, and loss of balance. Although these symptoms can result in considerable disability for the person with MS (Finlayson, Impey, Nicolle, & Edwards, 1998), overall life expectancy is not dramatically altered for these individuals (Weinshenker, 1995). Of those with MS, 85%-90% can expect to live as long as their age peers (Minden, Marder, Harrold, & Dor, 1993). Currently in the United States, life expectancy estimates range from 74 years for men to 79 years for women (Centers for Disease Control, 2001).”

The authors did not separate the MS patient population into two groups, Those in Wheelchairs vs. Those Without Wheelchairs. The statistics include all MS patients.

So I’ve found an answer to my wife’s statement that she’ll not live a long life. I think she will live long.

Here’s why: 85%-90% of MS patients can expect to live as long as their age peers. (I don’t think I’m doing any funny math here, but the following works for me). Statistically, the bulk of MS patients will be found toward the average (inside the bell of the bell-shaped curve for those of you who like statistics and graphs). The 10%-15% of MS patients who do not live as long as their age peers are in the population that are outliers, they are a standard deviation or two away from the norm.

Based on her symptoms to date I believe she is having an “average” experience of MS. So, to extrapolate that into the future, I think she’ll find herself well within the 85% to 90% who live as long as their age peers … with or without a wheelchair.

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28 Comments on Multiple Sclerosis, Wheelchairs and Lifespan

  1. Nancy says:

    My brother was diagnoed with MS years ago. Up until last summer it was very manageable. It has progressed over this last winter to where he is now permantely in an electric wheelchair. He is unble to feed/cloth himself. His fiance is doing all this for him., but am afraid she may hurt herself in picking him up. He isn’t a small man. They are in need of help in many areas. Now need a ramp built for the home. Shower equipment. etc.etc.etc. Soon will most likely be needing supplies. He lost his job a couple years ago when the plant shut down. So no medical benefits. and living on unemployment. His home had burnt to the ground last fall., unfortunately his home insurnace was cancelled. So no help with obtaining a new home. He cashed in his 401K to buy a double wide home. He has finally started receiving Social Security Disability which has really helped with utilities, food. etc. But they are in need of help with medicine, physicians visits and so much more.
    Is there anyone they can contact to get some sort of help with anything they may need?? I have given them so many phone numbers to call, but they keep getting pushed onto another person and so on, IF you could be of any help, please write back so I may give them this information.
    I do not know much about MS, just that he had been dealing very well with it, until this last winter, like I said previously, it has progressed so rapidly now that he is in a wheelchair. I know the MS scale ranges from 1-10, I think he is at a 7-8, (completely wheelchair bound). My brother is not one person who wil ask for anything, he just suffers, therefore I am trying desperately to seek any information I can give them.
    I wish to thank you so much for any information or help you may provide.

  2. gbb says:

    Sorry to hear about your brother’s problems. In my son’s case, I was told that since he recieved disability (SSI) he was automatically eligible for Medicaid. We have private insurance on him as well as Medicaid. In addition, I contacted Community Long Term Care (may be called something different in each state), and they help us with some of the supplies that my son needs. Usually there is a long waiting list for this service, and it’s based on severity of the person’s problems. For example, would the person be eligible to go into a nursing home facility because of the level of care needed? If your brother would fit that category if he didn’t have family help, then his position on the list would move up. Understand that with all the budget cuts, some of these organizations have suffered from funding cuts, which translates into limiting what they can do to help. In addition, I would check into his ability to get food stamps. If receiving disability, a person should be eligible for food stamps if he doesn’t have any savings or doesn’t live with anyone who has money coming in. As far as I know, there is no help out there for putting in a ramp or shower seats unless your insurance does it, or if the person is retired military. We’ve had to pay for all of that, and currently we’re looking at the personal expense of buying a hospital bed, since private insurance nor Medicaid will pay for it.

    As a side note, I have a friend in the medical field, and she says that the Jerry Lewis Foundation sometimes helps MS patients, but I haven’t seen it first hand. Hope this helps a little.

  3. dian says:

    hi there, i got MS since 2 years ago and im on manual wheelchair now. you can search the MS on internet and you may find much about it and how to survive with it. nice to know you all :)

  4. Sam says:

    My brother was diagonised with the disease 10 years ago and he’s still doing well, all one need is Prayers and good eating,’diets’

    • Jim says:

      This comment is so untrue it is laughable. Diet is not a significant contriburing factor in MS progression. It is only one very small piece of a very complicated puzzle. Most individuals suffering with pregressive MS are trying everything possible to prevent the progression – and often it doesn’t work. Saying that all one needs is a good diet and prayer is promoting false hope.

      • Scot says:

        Jim,

        Actually, you are not correct. There is significant research supporting diets with increased lipids tend to display increased exacerbations. This isn’t concrete, it is only in the research phases, but it is relevant. Another factor, Vitamin D levels, was something that wasn’t thought to be relevant even 10 years ago, but is know considered a factor as well.

        I do agree, many things play a role in MS, but rushing in and saying diet has no role is a bit hasty.

        In terms of prayers, this too is hasty. A positive attitude can play a major role in disease progression. For many, prayer plays a big role in positivity. To discourage this is nothing short of reckless. Many neurologists agree, just like MS follows no particular course, neither do the treatments and mental approaches to handling the disease. In other words, MS is an “individual disease”, which means that it requires “individual” care.

        I’m not going to cover the differences in Progressive and Remitting MS in this reply. What you addressed in your response was both, whether you realize it or not.

  5. Layli says:

    I totally agree with you Sam a good diet, great support system and Prayers could take you a long way! i have a friend who’s been living with MS for 20 yrs and is doing great.

  6. Vicki says:

    My mother is 78 and has had MS for 44 years . She walked with a stick up until 7 years ago. She has been in a wheelchair since. She has also been in a Nursing Home since 2004. Health wise she will outlive us all. She is not on any medication for anything. Memory is a bit poor but we don’t know where MS leaves and Dementia takes off. My dad was her primary caregiver up untill 2004. Mum is happy and bright and has always looked on the bright sie of things.

  7. Clarissa says:

    I was diagnosed with MS in 2007 and subsequently ended up on disability due to blackouts, fatigue, and balance issues. According to my neurologist, it appears that I have had MS for quite some time. I have numerous lesions in my brain and spinal cord. I have had the muscle twitches, double vision, blackouts, fatigue, imbalance issues, tingling in my hands and feet. So far, the worst issue I have had was when my left foot suddenly, without any warning, becamse paralyzed. Luckily, my husband was walking beside me. He was able to catch me before I hit the floor. Ironically, we were at a “Couples Living with MS” retreat in Mobile, Alabama when it happened. I had been walking normally. But, when I took the next natural step, there was nothing natural about it. It was as if my left foot was gone. I couldn’t feel it or move it in any way. Needless to say, I was terrified. I prayed that the sudden disability would be temporary, and after about 5 to 6 weeks, the feeling and movement slowly began to come back.

    That was the worst. It hasn’t happened since then, but I am always aware that it could happen again. I recently burned my hand severely when I lost control of it while boiling some water on the stove. I have been dropping everything I touch and breaking plates and glasses around every corner. My energy level is lower than it has ever been and I don’t know what to do about it. Everyone says to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. And, ordinarily, I would agree with them. But, MS isn’t my only health condition. I also suffer from short bowel syndrome. The majority of my intestines were removed during emergency surgery about 2 years ago. Because of that, my body has problems absorbing nutrients from the foods I eat. I have been hospitalized for malnutrition (had lost weight down to 95 pounds – down from 335 pounds). So, for one illness, I have to stay away from fruits and vegetables because my body needs no help purging anything I eat. My internal medicine doctor calls my system the “express”. While on the other hand for my MS (I call her Ms. Missy), I need the same fruits and vegetables.

    I get two different opinions – one from my neurologist regarding medications and meals for MS, and another from my internal medicine doctor regarding my short bowel syndrome. It’s like I have to choose which is more of an emergency. Right now, the short bowel syndrome seems to be winning out in the “emergency” department. I have realized that if I die of malnutrition or complications from it, I won’t have to worry about MS or anything else. I have almost died three times in the last year due to complications from my short bowel syndrome.

    If anyone, whether it be a physician or a stranger with any advice or a simple prayer, please e-mail me. I have become basically home-bound as I can’t drive most days. It would be nice to talk to someone who can TRULY understand what I and everyone else with MS is going through.

    I know I have typed a novel here. But, once I started, the words just kept flowing. Whoever reads this, I hope you are doing well and continue to do well. God bless you.

    Clarissa
    Ozark, Alabama

    • Debra says:

      I too have short bowel, losing my entire colon and rectum to ulcerative colitis . . . and then I was diagnosed with Crohn’s. Then the tingling started, and after over 5 years of misdiagnosis (they thought it was peripheral neuropathy) I went to an Ms clinic. I am actually diagnosed with transverse myelitis at the moment. I repeat MRI’s later this year. We’ll see . . .

      Either I can’t use the meds because they completely mess with my digestive system, or they simply don’t touch my symptoms. I have so many dietary restrictions because of my severely altered digestive system, it is impossible to eat the healthy diet I wish I could. I am just thankful that I am still walking, although short distances are all I can tolerate, and they result in an evening of extreme spams and pain in my feet and legs. Talk about symptoms . . I have had them all. What I haven’t experienced is any kind of remission. I haven’t even had two good days in a row in over a year . . .

      Not everyone with MS or TM has the good luck to enjoy a life of remission. I thought things were bad a decade ago . . . until I see how much I have lost.

      I know why the original writer’s wife felt her life would be cut shorter . . . because longevity does not always equal quality of life. I know I am not looking forward to what the slow decline will mean to my life . . . as right now it is plenty miserable. I try, I try hard to laugh, to smile, to enjoy the little things. I avoid the mirror, as it tells the whole story. My smiling eyes are gone . . .

  8. Ron says:

    I just lost my wife of 17 years on 9/11/11, a week after her 54th birthday from MS. She had tried the ABC drugs to no avail and her doctors said to care for her and make her as comfortable as possible with no hope left for us. I’ve read so many articles about MS and almost all state that almost all MS patients live a normal or near normal lifespan. If that’s the case, then why did my wife die so young??? The last 2 years, her average heart rate was around 150BPM and when asking her doctors about that, we were always told, “Its okay.” It obviously wasn’t okay. She died in my arms. I performed CPR on her for 30 minutes before medical help arrived but to no avail. Even though its been slightly over a month since I lost my soulmate, I still close my eyes and only see her dead body in my arms and my heart is so broken.

    I can only say NEVER take anyone’s word as written in stone. Ask questions and cherish your loved ones as they can be gone in an instant as my beautiful wife was. While they never performed an autopsy on her, I can only suspect her heart stopped before my eyes as she was taken from me. Cherish EVERY moment.

    Still deeply in mourning,
    Ron
    Houlton, Maine

    • Rick says:

      Ron, I am so sorry. My heart goes out to you. I know your pain is great. I wish they were available, but there are no words that I or others can say that will assuage your grief or heal your broken heart. Strong love feels deeply.

      For both you and her, I am grateful you were present with her. Sharing your grief with us is a gift to our group. Your reminder to ask questions and, more importantly, to cherish our loved ones each day is so powerful.

      Please let me know if you can think of ways I can be helpful to you.


      Rick

      • Ron says:

        Thank you so very kindly, Rick, for your wonderful words as they were from the heart. While the love Liz and I had/have was indeed deeper than I had ever hoped for or even thought possible, I had been told that the pain would pass within several weeks. It really has not. Strong love indeed feels deeply, Rick. True, only time will help make the pain I now live with tolerable, it will never disappear as nothing feels right….joy has left my being for now and I must find inner strength to change the image I still live with when I close my eyes of my beautiful Liz lifeless in my arms. I’ve not yet been able to find those joyous images in my mind of Liz when she was healthier as I so desperately seek them. In time I hope lest I lose myself forever.

        Never take true love for granted and always cherish the one you truly love as it really can change, literally, in an instant. Liz’s doctors told us she would, most likely, live a near normal lifespan and obviously that wasn’t the case. I pray a real cure will soon be found for this most horrible disease as I can only hope others will be spared the grief I am living with. As Liz’s caregiver for the last 11 years of her life, we lived with the hope of a cure. May others soon live with the cure!

        Again, thank you kindly, Rick, for your comforting words.

        Ron Rank

    • Jim says:

      Ron….how are you doing?

  9. Sarah Jordan-Pulley says:

    Clarissa I will be happy to talk and email u I was diagnosed w optic neuritis and I came to this site first and I’m glad. You seem positive and god fearing. I love that and I hope u are doing well or at least not getting any worse fast. GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU WHO POSTED ANYTHING! I really did not need to be looking this up but I couldn’t resist and I thank god I read all the stories. We all need to relax and surround ourselves w positive people w high hopes and faith just even if only the size of a mustard seed..god is awesome and no matter what he will walk us through it

  10. Ricky Foster says:

    Hi Guys.

    I live in Australia. I’m 26 and I have just been diagnosed with MS.

    I cannot tell you how scared I am.

    It is good knowing that you can live a long life with this disease.

    The Pins and Needles for me is all I have for now. But It really is annoying.

    Ricky

    • Alison says:

      Hi Ricky,

      I am 24 years old from Canada and I too was just diagnosed. Pins and needles is all I have as well and to be honest I too am scared to death.

      You are not alone.

      The one great thing I have learned is that the vast majority of people live productive and full lives with little disability. Eat a healthy diet, exercise as much as you can, love the ones around you and stay positive.

      The best quote i have heard since my diagnosis is “Do not anticipate trouble… do not worry about what may never happen… keep in the sunlight”

      You can always adapt and overcome as long as you are surrounded by love… my hope for you and me and everyone is to not have to adapt too much and to keep on living the good life :)

  11. Sandra says:

    My husband was diagnosed nearly 16 years ago, 3 months after our 17 year old daughter was also diagnosed. She is doing well and is still very active. He, on the other hand, is confined to a wheelchair and has major cognitive impairment. (He’s between an 8 and and 8.5 on Kurtske’s EDSS scale) Due to a neurogenic bladder, he had a “permanent” catheter placed last spring, and at times has bowel control issues. Once your loved one becomes truly miserable with this disease, you come to understand that there are things much worse than death. To watch them suffer physically and struggle with some very basic human functions, it becomes clear that to want to keep them here is very selfish on our part. He has lived a very good life since his diagnosis, but when his time comes – which could be soon – he will welcome it.

  12. christina says:

    HI there,
    I don’t usually post on websites like this but this is a special case and I am desperate for help.
    My best friends mom, a second mom to me, has MS and has had it for quite awhile now. She has progressed so much in the last year. she is wheel chair bound, and needs help for absolutely everything, My best friend is just graduated college and is with her mom 24-7
    Her mom falls several times a day and my best friend is not able to lift her. it is so discouraging,. they have been to so many doctors and they are not helpful.. MY best friend is fatigued and always upset.
    Is there any options I can look into to help her. Like devices to help lift and transport her. and scooter.
    They are at a loss if any one has any ideas please let me know

    Christina

    • Christian says:

      Hi Christina,

      This is a first time post for me. I’ve always found it difficult to talk about these things, but your comment really grabbed my attention because i feel that i can relate to your friend.

      I am 25 years old and live alone with my 48 year old mother and my 81 year old grandmother. My mother was diagnosed with MS nearly 30 years ago. She began using a wheelchair for long distances about 8 years ago. She has not been able to walk by herself for the last 3 years and is now completely dependent on her wheelchair for mobility.

      The difference between your friend and I is that I am a man and I am relatively strong. I have exercised regularly since the age of 17 because I found myself more often needing to carry my mother. Sometimes I carried her up stairs, and other times I needed to lift her up off of the floor or transport her etc…

      I work full time so I am never home during the day. We have caregivers that come for a few hours 7 days a week to assist with bathing, dressing, and cleaning. I do not have much of a social life, but I do occasionally try to get out because the stress is just so overwhelming sometimes I can’t handle being in the house.

      Therein lies my problem. Whenever I am not in the house, there is always a risk to her safety. I’ve taken measures to make things easier for her and my grandmother when I am not around, but accidents still happen. Due to the progressive nature of the disease, her condition eventually makes those measures obsolete. My grandmother is 81 years old and is needing some help herself nowadays. There is only so much she can do to help my mother. If my mother falls she cannot pick her up. She is not strong enough to assist her very much when it comes to transfers, but they manage for the most part. Unfortunately, they do not get along very well. My mother is very demanding, and my grandmother cannot really deal with the stress. She takes it out on me most of the time and makes my life more difficult. Thus it is just one very stressful, depressing, and not so functional mess.

      Now that I’ve vented a little, some of the things I’ve done to help reduce her reliance and minimize risk of falling:

      -Lower the bed: in our case I removed the box spring and replaced it with a wooden board. There are also low profile bed frames and mattresses. This helped considerably when it came to using the second item on my list.

      -The Commode: I cannot stress how important the commode is. She is usually able to transfer herself onto the commode and back onto the bed or sofa. The height is also adjustable so you can find the right balance between the level of the commode and the level of the other transfer surface. This is also however, where she encounters problems and sometimes falls because she is not always successful in her transfers. Fortunately she rarely hurts herself because she does not fall hard, but rather slides down to the ground because of her inability to bend her legs. Sometimes she is forced to lie on the floor for a long time because I’m not home, and nobody else is around to help her.

      Two other useful items that can easily be installed:

      Ramps (where there is a small step) and bars in the bathroom (these make it much easier for us to handle her when bathing). I’m sure there are many more accessories, but these are the 4 solutions i’ve incorporated to try and make things a little easier on everybody.

      Those things helped to considerably reduce the number of incidents. But like I said, eventually those efforts, just like all the rest, will become obsolete. I wish i could be more positive, and offer some better advice, but i have long reached and surpassed my limits on optimism and hope. All that’s left is to try and enjoy the good times we have, and wait for the bad times to get worse, until they sadly (or perhaps mercifully) come to an end…

      Christian

  13. Theresa says:

    It’s been months since I have been here. I don’t really know what I want to say but there is no one here to say it to who understands. My sister has progressive MS. She has been wheelchair bound for 8 years now. She was doing fairly well until a year ago. She broke her leg transferring from her scooter to her van seat. Since then there has been a drastic change. She can no longer get into or out of bed without someone to get her out. Sometimes no one comes and she stays in bed all day laying in her bodily waste. I used to go help her and clean her but have lost 60% use of my right hand and can no longer do it. She can not bathe herself, use the restroom, even brush her own hair. She wears diapers and somtimes it is hours before someone is there to change her. Her legs have become so stiff they no longer straighten out. Her right hand is curling into a fist making it hard to even feed herself. She has lost so much weight and is wasting away. She told me the other day that she would not be here this time next year. She told me that after seeing her doctor. She won’t tell us what the doctor says so I don’t know why she thinks she won’t be here. She has become so negative and puts everyone down all the time. Her memory is getting terrible and she yells at us alot. I try to remind myself it is the MS but it is very painful to be treated that way. I can not tell her no as I am the only one she has to take her places and if/when she does pass, I want no regrets. She lives with my 85 year old mom and treats mom horribly. Mom was told by one of my sister’s friends who is a nurse that she saw my sister not long ago and she looked really bad. Mom told her about how it was for her and the nurse told mom it was time for her to go to my sister’s doctor and take control. Mom asked me to go with her. So in 2 weeks we will go to her doctor and find out what is best and what we can do. Please pray for us. Thanks for letting me vent. Hope everyone has a good day.

  14. Krisitne says:

    Does anyone have any ideas about what to do about my moms severe curvature in her back from scoliosis? All the doctor had to say was it was from sitting in her wheelchair all the time. Its really upsetting to see her uncomfortable and having to sit with her head hanging down to the left all the time latley! Plus is there any extra cushioning she could have on the wheelchair sit so she dosnt get as sore from sitting on it all day? This is becoming very upsetting as mom has been sitting in the same wheelchair for years getting worse and worse and no one seems concered about it they just say theres nothing that can be done. There has to be SOMETHING out there that someone out there that can help her out then have her suffer day after day. rrrrrr….Getting very angry about this situation!!! Plus shes not getting any kind of exersises or pysho she cannot get out of her wheelchair except when she is put to bed. What a nightmare for her i feel so bad theres got to be something for her out there!!! She lives in B.C. Canada and she has hardley any support from anyone including her doctor and it all seems to come down to her not having the money to be able to affored neccessary things to hep her out! Im very disguested with the lack of help out there for disablied people!

  15. Krisitne says:

    Oh and i forgot to mention as well her one hand keeps turning purple its been happing for months now and all the doctor has to say about that its because of her arm being on the arm rest! Cant seem very good to to still be in the same wheel chair then! But there not doing anything about it!

  16. christine newton says:

    My twin sister is 64 and was diagnosed with MS over thirty years ago. The biggest problem for all of us is that she has some kind of unshakeable belief in doing whatever she wants to, even though for most of the time she doesn`t think clearly.
    She has no use at all in her legs, but insists on trying to move from her wheelchair to the sofa. This has resulted in her breaking both her legs and ankles in seperate falls in the course of this year alone. Last year she broke her hip when she was transferring from one wheelchair to another. When she comes home her leg and ankle will be in a splint again, restricting even the limited movement she had before.
    She has been given all the support possible, four visits a day from carers,a hoist and special matresses, but as soon as she feels slightly better she discards all these.
    And the same thing happens. She falls, then hospital, nursong home and back to square one.
    Has anybody any solutions?
    She can`t seem to realise what a toll her behaviour takes on us, who have to pick up the pieces every time. Please give me advice.

  17. April McKinney says:

    Check medical supplies and adaptive living aids. they are many different types of bolsters that help with the problems you are describing. I worked at a group home with physically and mentally handicapped adults. One of my favorite ladies had severe cerebal palsy and scoliosis. Because of her advanced age and fragility and mental age, I had to try out a lot of different items. Mostly, specially designed pillows and cushions to help keep her from hurting herself. A physical therapist explained the following (that really helped) : on a massage table, lay down on the side that you curve away from until you loosen up and relax 20 to 30 minutes. We would do this before each meal and she was able to sit up and enjoy her meal much easier.

  18. RIchard Tanner says:

    i have used wither a wheelchair or a scooter since year one . I never allowed any wheelchair stop me from going to Europe twice, and Australia & New Zealand and many parts of USA and Canada.In fact I look upon all these trips as a victory over MS.
    I was surprized when my wife insisted a scooter for me in the early days of MS. But I soon knew it was a most wise plan.

  19. Kim says:

    I just wanted to comment that my mom was diagnosed with secondary-chronic-progressive MS in 1989. She was 39. It came on her quite fast, but she worked as long as she could. Mom used a cane and then eventually a wheelchair. Mom became bedridden in 2002 due to falling a couple of times, which can be a danger to those with MS as they tend to feel weak or their leg(s) can just “give out” at any given time it seems. Mom had some hospital stays between becoming bedridden in 2002 and 2013. We were told with her being in this condition, it would not bode well overall. We exercised her as much as we could. We lost Mom in September 2013. Actually, she became septic, but of course on Mom’s death certificate it states “MS and complications of MS.” We know Mom didn’t die of MS. Yes, there were definitely factors that the MS caused to happen.
    I hope your wife can get a hold of (if she hasn’t already) some Therabands to help with her exercising. Also, I recommend this to help exercise your wife’s lungs: https://www.eastmedics.com/3m-Littman-Select-Burgundy-Stethoscope.html
    It made such a difference in Mom’s breathing. Keeping you both in my prayers, and please, feel free to contact me anytime if you have any questions, as I was Mom’s caregiver for 20 years.

    Sincerely, Kim

  20. Mary says:

    I am Agree with Scot, as my Sister has been dealing with it for last 8 years and all she does is to keep trying making muscles ( yoga ) and keep up with her diet. they are several roles that she has to fallow. and so far her MS is stabile and looks much better from earlier years.

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