Does my dad have MS?

Hi everyone

For the past two years my dad’s mobility has rapidly deteriorated, but he won’t tell me what is wrong with him. It started with numb/painful hands and having no strength in them in winter/when the weather was cold. Eventually this lead to him taking early retirement from his driving job (he’s currently 64) and from there he has continuously gone more and more downhill. Giving up driving. Not being able to pick things up, loosing a lot of weight, every time I see him he looks more and more frail.

The issue is he refuses to talk about it. He won’t tell me (or any of my siblings/anyone else) what’s wrong with him although we can all see him wasting away before our eyes. Apparently being in denial is his way of fighting it but keeping us in the dark is hurting us, not protecting us. I’ve literally been worrying every day for the past two years that he’s dying.

After doing some research it seems to me that he has MS, but I can’t be sure. The only thing he has said is that what he has isn’t genetic so won’t be passed on to us.

Currently he’s in hospital with pneumonia, which seems to have developed from a chest infection he was admitted to hospital for last month. Mobility wise he needs assistance eating, drinking, washing… with everything. His vocal chords are affected, so his voice sounds weird. He’s on a respiratory ward with men 30 years older than him with the same symptoms at various levels of severity.

I don’t want to confront him to demand answers he clearly doesn’t want to give because I don’t want to upset him. However if anyone can give me any advice on where we go from here I would really appreciate it so I can prepare myself. Is this his life now? In and out of hospital until finally something kills him off? Will he get even worse and end up bed bound?

I’m really struggling not knowing.

Hi Daughter84

I’m very sorry to read about your dad, it must be very worrying for you and your siblings.

It’s difficult to give you a diagnosis on here as a diagnosis can only be given by a Neurologist after lumber puncture and or an MRI and lots of other tests to find some evidence. Sometimes it’s quite difficult to get a diagnosis.

Your dad is the only person who can give you this information but have you tried having a quiet word with the doctors who are treating your dad in hospital. They may not want to break a confidence but they also may convince your dad that you need to know what is wrong with him.

I appreciate that you do not want to upset your dad but it’s difficult for you to get him any help if you don’t know

Good luck, I hope someone else can give you some better information, or you could try calling the MS helpline (0808 800 8000)


No one on this forum can tell you if your dad has m.s. and I doubt if he is in denial about his health problems

I guess what is concerning him is how you would react to bad news and how he would be able to handle that?