A Mother’s Perspective
I can still remember the exact moment that I found out about my son Jack's RRMS diagnosis. My heart sank, my stomach dropped to the floor and I thought I was going to pass out. My first thoughts were, “They’ve obviously made a mistake! This has to be a wrong diagnosis, Jack is much too young!” Because of my ignorance, I assumed that only the elderly got diagnosed with MS… how wrong was I?
“How did Jack get this? Why did he get this?” That is what’s so horribly frustrating about this disease – it’s 2015 and medical science still doesn’t fully understand how and why a person gets MS. I’ve been told by some doctors that if you live in certain areas of the world there’s a noticeably higher demographic of people with MS. Then, there are some doctors that say it is hereditary, while others will say it is not. Unfortunately, it’s a disease that’s very hard to diagnose since there are so many possible symptoms – which makes it that much more difficult to wrap your head around.
So, after digesting as much information as I could, I still found myself wondering, “Did I do something wrong when I was carrying Jack? Was it something I ate? Or maybe it was the area where we were living?” There were literally 101 different things running through my head. As parents and “members” of Jack’s support team, Ozzy and I try to not to be overly cautious with Jack. But with every headache, backache and muscle ache, we automatically start worrying that he is going to be hit with a flare-up. In an effort not to worry us, Jack has now basically shut down and rarely discusses his health with us. He doesn’t want to be treated differently!
Twenty years ago there wasn’t a single medication on the market for MS, but now there are twelve disease modifying therapies. I feel very optimistic that in another twenty years there will continue to be major strides made against this disease, and hopefully they will even find a cure.
While no one knows what the future holds, today my son is a healthy, active, fully functioning 29-year-old husband and father. It’s difficult at times, but Ozzy and I have learned to stop wanting to wrap him up in cotton wool and call every day to see how he is feeling. He knows that if he ever wants to talk, we’re always here for him – but it’s important that we continue to see him and treat him as the strong and independent man that he is. Ozzy and I are truly proud of Jack for his attitude and positive outlook, and commitment to making a difference in the fight against this disease.