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Imagining what the future holds.

Hi, not sure if this is the right place for this but feel a bit out at sea. My mum has been experiencing mobility issues for a year now. One leg specifically which she describes as numb and dragging. She has had an MRI and they found six lesions on her spine and she is now waiting for a brain scan and lumber puncture but the consultant has said he is looking at progressive MS. My mind is running away with itself at what might be in the future and how I can help my mum. Only got this news today. Not sure what I am looking for on here but appreciate any responses.

Hi. Your mum’s story is very similar to mine… I’ve had a numb dragging leg for many years and was diagnosed with ppms last November. Ms is different for everyone so I can’t say what the future holds for your mum or me, we just have to get on with things and get help for whatever symptoms come along. Your mum should get an ms nurse if diagnosed and they can be a really good source of information so maybe you could go along with her if she is happy with that.

The best thing you can do for your mum is listen when she wants a moan and be there to help when needed. I still have a good life, it’s just a different one. Karen.

Hi

As Karen says, MS is different for everyone. You can’t tell from the onset what the future will bring, it’s an awkward cuss of a disease.

Once diagnosed officially though, there are lots of things that can make life a bit easier / better for your mother. If she has a foot that’s ‘numb and dragging’, it could be what’s called ‘foot-drop’. There are lots of different products to help with foot-drop if that’s what’s causing her walking problems. If needed later on, there are loads of options to help this (many of us can suggest different products).

She should also get a referral to a physiotherapist who will be able to give her specific exercises to strengthen her muscles, if the nerve signals aren’t getting through, it’s harder for the muscles to work, so physio exercises can really help.

Referral to an occupational therapist should also help. If there are products that will make her life easier, form walking aids, to perching stools (that you sort of lean/sit on, helpful in the kitchen and/or bathroom), and aids for the bathroom, grab bars where needed, etc.

Then there are specific drugs that can help, neuropathic pain medication, or drugs to help with stiffness and/or spasms.

Once she gets the actual diagnosis, it will probably be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for a while, all sorts of things, from fear of the future, to depression and don’t forget anger, plus a good bit of ‘Why me? It’s not bloody fair!’

So be ready to give her the support she needs, but let her ask for some of what she needs, don’t make the assumption that she needs X or Y.

You could also encourage her to come to this site, we are a friendly bunch and are quite good at supporting each other, with emotional stuff, actual answers to many of the questions that will be flying at her (and you too) and also, having some fun too.

All the best through this next bit of testing and the actual diagnosis, for you and your mum.

Sue

Thank you Karen. Truly. Especially the last sentence. x

Thank you Sue. Honestly so kind for you to take time to reply. Has given me a real sense of calm. Or at least a pragmatic viewpoint. Thank you. x