Happy New Year (when it comes) - What age will my life end?...

I know it’s like asking “How long is a piece of string?” - I’m 55 now, 56 next year. I have an Eight Year Old Daughter and have had MS for 12/13 years. I don’t work (not by choice) - My last job was ‘seated’ - I find it difficult to stand. I’ve got R/R MS (I think). I know that it’'s ‘anybodies guess!’ but it would be handy to have an estimate? - to try and get the (finances) in order. My wife is an Optometrist but I’m unable to do anything (at the moment). I lost my ‘driving license’ this year but I’m going to try with an ‘automatic’ car! I know anything would not be accurate but an ‘estimated’ guess would be handy? - I don’t drink (alcohol) or smoke but I used to many years ago. At 55 - how long have I got? My Mother and Father are both dead - my father died aged 86 - but he didn’t have MS (neither did my mother). I’m not worried (just curious) - as you all must be?. I hope that I’m not being too ‘morbid’ but it would be ‘interesting’ to have an ‘estimate’ - but ‘Happy New Year’ anyway! and best wishes.


Dear Marcus,

MS won’t kill you just make you bloody miserable, if you let it. Try the automatic car they are wonderful and have extended my driving EVEN if I do have to lift my legs in OR on occasion someone else lift them in. As long as I am sitting down no-one would know I have MS!!!

How long do we have? My burning question is how will I die? Stop thinking about it, cease whatever you have and to hell with the unanswerable ???s.

Very best wishes for 2012, M

Hi Marcus,

When I was diagnosed a friend likened it to a lit bomb. Everybody has a bomb, he said, but the MS had lit my fuse. All I can say is that 16 years later my fuse is still burning!!

I’m roughly the same age as you and I don’t drink either so I’m not going to read any of your answers in case we have a soothsayer on the boards. I understand your desire to get your finances in order but why on earth would you want to know when you are going to die?

Since I was diagnosed many unforeseen things have happened to me but at the risk of sounding like an inspirational poster I try to live by Andy Dufresne (Shawshank Redemption)

“Get busy living or get busy dying”


THANKS (hellMS & Jane) - Your replies made me feel better! Hope you have a good new year!


Dear Jane, on re-reading your message -

" I understand your desire to get your finances in order but why on earth would you want to know when you are going to die?"

I know that it is ‘tounge in cheek’ (at least I hope it is) but my wife is a ‘fiery’ Irish-woman (and catholic) - I’m Scottish and not catholic - I’ll leave it to your imagination.




My great aunt lived to 87 with MS - and that was a few years ago now, when surviving past eighty was not as common as it is today.

So don’t assume you can’t live to be old with MS (though I admit I’m not sure how desirable it is).

Statistics suggest that on average MS shortens life by “a few years” (five to ten). BUT, don’t forget that averages include the extremes - the unlucky few who died very prematurely as a result of MS, and also (sorry to be morbid) any who committed suicide.

If you took the “extreme cases” - including suicide - out of the equation, you’d probably find most people with MS have a near normal life expectancy. Other factors, such as whether you smoke, or are obese, probably play a much bigger part in how long you can expect to live.

But don’t forget that nobody knows. My father came from a very long-lived family (including the 87-year-old auntie), was extremely fit and sporty for his age (could walk three miles or swim 40 lengths), had never smoked, and liked a drink, but never to excess.

He got cancer not once, but twice (two unrelated types), and the second lot killed him, at just 69.

It had never even occurred to me my dad wouldn’t make it to seventy, and I had thought the odds were pretty good of him making it to 90, given that he’d looked after himself, and didn’t have any history of serious health issues.

Nothing’s guaranteed. NOT having a serious disease doesn’t mean you’ll never get one, and succumb to it quite quickly. Conversely, already having a serious disease doesn’t mean you’re not long for this world.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there had already been a centenarian with MS. If not, I’m sure there will be one before long (though I’m not particularly hoping it will be me!)


Thanks, Tina, for a wonderfully ‘long’ message - it was far more than I could have expected (and very positive in parts as well!)



Get your finances in order, have everything you can sorted, then forget about it and get on with your life. Although statistics say that MS shortens your life a little, it’s a known fact that 87% of statistics are made up, haha. Also, MS may not be a factor in your death - all it takes is one careless driver on the road (or off it if they’re particularly careless). What’s going to happen will happen, live your life whilst you can.

Luisa x

Marcus, you have lived with it a lot longer than me. However, please stop worrying about this. Get your finances in order by all means. But we should all do that anyway. You could go out tomorrow and get hit by a bus… I love a cliche. Happy new year, Suz xx

Gosh I am absolutely not worried or curious about this, life is for the living! I know a lot of people without MS in a worse position than me!

Good chance there will be a cure in your lifetime. Then the next day you go out for your first walk and get hit by a bus…

Hey Marcus. Nobody knows for whom the bell tolls. Live for today and get your finances sorted.

Pat x

Hi Marcus.

Only one thing is certain, we all have to go at some time but I don’t consider we are any more vulnerable than the next person, in fact we probably look after our health better than most.

I first had symptoms, that I can identify in my early fifties, which was early nineteen nineties, I was diagnosed with PPMS in 2003, I am now approaching fifty nine, I appreciate that’s not exactly old.

But my MS nurse has a lady on her books, who has had MS, from a very early age, and she is now in her nineties, and still driving, with the full backing of the MS nurse.

So try not to worry.

Chris R.

I. El. (Eng). (Rtd).

I know its going to be a bad day when I get out of bed and miss the floor, today is such a day.

Thanks, Luisa. I would do well to heed your advice.


Marcus. x.

Thanks, Suz. And a Happy New Year to you as well. Apart from summer hols, I have been ‘house bound’ for a year (sad, I know) but you do talk sense.


Marcus. x.

Thanks, ‘Amylou’. I have met people with MS (a lot worse than me). I’m just feeling a bit sad (and I’m on anti-depressives) - When I was well (without MS) I used to ‘jog’ along the beach in St. Andrews (at 6.00 a.m. in the morning) - it was wonderful in the summer. I can hardly walk now but you are right!

Best wishes,

Marcus. x.

Thanks, Pat. Your words are simple but very true - they have given a boost! to my ‘ego’.

Happy New Year,

Marcus. x.

Thanks, Chris. Good words and appreciated. I’m glad that you mentioned your age. Hope you are OK after your ‘stumble’ - I fell down the stairs about a month ago and ‘my leg’ is still ‘sore’. But enough ‘of my gripes’ - hope 2012 goes well for you.



They do say you die With MS and NOT from MS!


Thanks for your reply, Janet - never a truer word spoken but have a Happy New Year, anyway!

Marcus. x. (New Year Kiss)

Hi Marcus, great advise to get your finances in order. I just hope you keep going for a long time (me too) cos I like chatting to you on here (and on fb too), so you and I and everyone else need to hang on in there. Having a little smile to myself about you jogging along the beach in St. Andrews, it was in St. Andrews that I first had symptoms, it was 1989 and Lisa Stansfield was at no. 1 with All around the world. Cheryl:)