Hi, Its a bit random but i get weird questions running through my head every now & then (I’m in limbo after 1 attack). Does ms definately mean that walking is going to be an issue or progressively get worse? My attack didn’t consist of problems with my legs but if there’s a 2nd one I’m scares it’s going to affect my legs. I know that not many people end up in a wheelchair but what about difficulties? What are the difficulties exactly and is everyone guarantees to get walking problems?
No. Not everyone does.
I think the percentage who do become wheelchair users is 25%… but of course that doesn’t necessarily mean they are full-time wheelchair users… just means that on some days and esp if they are going far they use a wheelchair.
Some people during a relapse (proper name for an attack) have problems with balance and find a walking stick useful.
Some people over the years develop problems with walking and use a walking stick all the time and a mobility scooter or wheelchair for distances.
Some people over the years become unable to use their legs and become full-time wheelchair users.
I know at first this seems frightening… but you know the longer you live with MS the less frightening all this becomes. These are only aids to give us back our freedom and independence… otherwise we’d all be sitting at home watching bad daytime TV!
I don’t have relapses as I’ve got ppms. I use a mobility scooter or wheelchair outside. Inside I can get around my flat ok and on bad days use a walking stick. It’s not the end of the world. I’m still living my life and believe me I’m still enjoying my life!
But don’t think ahead of your MS. Anyone in this life can suddenly develop a need to use a wheelchair or walking aid. Anyone without MS can be knocked down by a car, hurt their spine, and need help with their walking… but I bet you didn’t spend time worrying about that before you had MS eh?
Take it one day at a time. It might never happen… and by the time it does the treatments might be much better or, who knows, even the cure.
It depends what you mean by “problems”.
On a good day, I can walk over four miles, which to most people, would not count as a problem. However, it is both harder and less comfortable for me now, so it’s not a problem anyone else would notice, but it IS a problem compared to how I used to be.
So I would say it is likely you will eventually notice some differences walking - and possibly with many everyday tasks you used to take for granted. BUT the changes can be quite subtle, and known only to you. It’s not inevitable that the disability will be very profound or visible. You might just be finding: “Oh, this is a bit more of a challenge than it used to be!”, or even just that you have to think harder about doing things that used to come naturally. So far, I’ve found it’s more a loss of strength and endurance, than anything outright not working.
Everyone’s experience is individual, so I can’t predict whether it will be similar for you, or completely different. But the “problems” might not be the highly visible ones I expect you’re automatically thinking of.
And of course, you might never have another attack, and thus never have MS.
Basically what Tina said except that I have relapses which leave me with quite noticeable walking problems for a few months and then these subside and I go into quite clear remission and I can have several years, three and a half last time, where I am able to walk very well for several miles. Of course, I have bad days/weeks in that several years and may have to rest up for a few days but I am much more mobile than I ever imagined I would be given how severe my relapse was 4 years ago.
It really doesn’t pay to look too far into the future - nobody ever knows what their future holds and I’m sure the rest of the world doesn’t fret about whether they are going to need a walking stick or a wheelchair in the future. It’s just that for those of us with MS or in limbo we are far more aware of the uncertainty of our future. Concentrate on the here and now and enjoy every day as it comes.
I know MSers who have had it for at least 15 years who have no walking problems (I am not one of them, alas, but they do exist!)