Not a very cheerful topic, I know - I am 55 and have had MS for 12+ years and am male. The subject came to mind when I was receiving treatment for 'lack of control' for going to the toilet - I was having a catheter removed after 4+ weeks and have to go back in another month and maybe have another catheter fitted. I find that there are advantages and disadvantages to having a catheter - it can be uncomfortable! On questioning the nurse about 2 items - I was told 1) when was the catheter first used answer - by the Greeks (I was astounded at the lenght of time!) and 2) HOW LONG WILL I HAVE TO WEAR THE CATHETER? ANSWER - FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAYS! - I'M NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT. My thought was - at 55 HOW LONG IS THAT LIKELY TO BE? i know that you can't tell that but what would be a reasonable estimate, please? I have R/R MS just now and have been estimated to have had it for ~12 years. BUT THAT IS IT - THE REST IS A MYSTERY TO ME. HOW LONG HAVE WE GOT (ESTIMATE) - THANKS IN ADVANCE.
If I’m really honest, my intuition is I’m not going to make it to 70, Marcus (I’m 45 now). I must emphasise that I’m not basing this on any stats about MS, or even how badly I’m affected at the moment (not very). I had a distant aunt with MS (so we assume the genes are in the family somewhere), and she lived to be 87, and only needed a wheelchair in her last few months, so far as we know.
But somehow, I don’t think that will be me. I come from a long-lived family, with many living into their 90s. I had every reason to think my father would live to be 90. But he didn’t even make it to 70 (he had asbestos-related cancer, not MS), and now I feel that neither will I.
I don’t think I’m being particularly morbid (although it might sound it), and I don’t think I am depressed. Just deep down, when I really think about it, I do believe this illness will kill me. Not tomorrow, not next year. Probably not even in 10 years. I reckon a quarter of a century, or thereabouts.
That’s still longer than a lot of people get, I suppose. But not quite as much as I had hoped.
No idea, Marcus, but if you consult the Office of National Statistics, I expect they can tell you what age men die on average, and their assumptions about how much longer Mr Average can expect to live in the years to come. Then you would need to adjust for things like what men in your family tend to die of, and when. Maybe you knock off a year or two for MS and its attendant complications. But not nearly as many years as you would need to knock off if you carelessly step off the footpath while engrossed in ONS statistical analyses on life expectancy and fall under a bus.
As Jaki says, let's just make the most of the time we have - whatever that is.
It does depend on your lifestyle, the work you've done, whether you've worked with dangerous substances/chemicals and your family history and also what standard of living you've had. I do believe that if you take care of yourself and have things to look forward to, it can make a difference.
Good luck, you also need people to care, hope you have people in your life who care about you and if you don't then here's one who does.
Soooooo many factors come into this - you get what you get and you go when you go. No point questioning or worrying about it, or trying to work it out - supposing you worked out that 57 was when you were going to die, what would you do for your two remaining years? And then, when you reach your 58th birthday, what will you do then, apart from feel a bit silly? My mother had MS, she died at 67 from various complications - I don't want to know when I'm going to die, and I'm not going to compare my life to my mother's, we're two different people with very different life experiences.
Who knows, MS has fucked me up a bit and if it was just me, I'd be happy to sail off tomorrow.
It isn't just me though, I'm fortunately still able to work and bring home a salary. I need to work, much as I have little energy outside of work time in order to provide for my family, to be here for my family, for my kids still in education and to support my hard working husband.
Fuck MS, it's a major pisser offer but I'm lucky to be drugged up enough on effective medication that I can go out to work still - how long will that last?
Who know? I just want to be here for my family. I don't have time or energy to be calculating how long this body willl last - haven't the government just increased the retirement age. I'll probably drop at work - just hope we've won the lottery just before that so my kids will be okay without me.
I could be dead now and by rights probably should be due to collapsed lungs in 1997 and an horrendous accident where I broke my neck last year. But I am stilll here.
I have no idea when I am going to die and couldn't care less. My Dad died totally unexpectedly at 64 from a brain aneurysym that he was born with. No one knew about it until his autopsy and he died the happiest man I knew.
We could die tomorrow, next week or not for another 50 or 60 years. I don't think the length of life is as important as the quality of that life. And yeah, the quality of my life is very different nowadays compared to only 3 years ago but it may be different but I still enjoy it. I am in bed for a good 80% of my time and am dependent on an electric wheelchair and scooters etc but I still love my life.
If I died tomorrow I woud die happy and if I die in 60 years I am going to make sure I still die happy! Life is for living, don't dwell on dieing. We all will one day whether we have MS or not.
Thanks very much for all your comments. Its obvious that MS does not affect your common sense. I've just finished a course of anti-depressants and the sun is shining today and I have a slight feeling of feeling good! (rare).
Thanks again (and if I could pass on the good feeling, I would)
Again, thanks for the comments. I don't want to be patronising or sexist (or both) but practically all of the comments are from females (I think). Yet again, there is 'proof' of which sex is the more (generally) compassionate sex. Thanks 'females' - my wife keeps telling me that she is from the superior sex - (on this issue, I can't argue with that!).
If we are going to beat this MS, you (females) have the right attitude. I'm not trying to be a 'smarmmy' male (as you might possibly think). I would just like to get the hell rid of MS! And get on with life.
I wouldn't finish the course of anti-depressants, I'd see the GP about taking them continually!! There's not a lot of help for us but this crutch is useful. It's funny the things we think that's it I'm not having this any more AND then we just get use to it. Pragmatism? I'm 55 and I'd like to collect my pension...also female! Take care, M
Dear 'Sunset', thanks for your reply. I noticed that you are from Glasgow (been there many times). (Eh'm originally frae Dundee but live in Dalgety Bay, now). Have lived in Aberdeen, St. Andrews amongst others?
I shared your 'stress' when being 'first diagnosed' - I live with MS now (I think! - 'live', I mean).
I never imagined or foresaw this outcome - I'm just living from day to day?
I'm 55 now and have just had a catheter removed. There were 'times' when neither myself or my wife could 'fit' the catheter properly - my daughter managed - she is only eight years old!!!