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If Only I Knew…

14 Feb

I have a sister with MS.  She is 4 years older than I am.  She was diagnosed about 7 years ago (I want o say(although I could be wrong on this). After hearing news like this our whole family was shocked and just couldn’t believe it. Something inside of me said to bring this up to my primary doctor.

So off I go for the yearly exam just to check on whatever may be falling apart or not. I mentioned there was now a diagnosis of MS in the family and asked (hinted) about any testing that I could undergo to check me for MS. My primary just blew it off and said not to worry about it. I think he gave me the ‘MS isn’t inherited’ blurb. Well, I’m not very aggressive with certain things in my life and medical things are one of those sit back and let them tell me because I am not a doctor moment. I will ask a question but I won’t really get a firm response (or one that they have exhausted all options to make me feel secure in the knowledge). Even though I just let it go at the time, it was always a little nagging feeling I had.

Seven years later (or so) I am now diagnosed with MS. She and I do not share the same symptoms so that is different. But what are the chances that two siblings get this disease? It seems more than just a random occurrence to me. I want to shout at the top of my lungs for the rest of my sisters (I have 3 others) to go get an MRI….just to make sure. If there are no white spots on that MRI, then I would be the happiest person. But if there are, then I want them to get help sooner rather than later.

I haven’t asked my neuro doc yet about how long she thinks I have had this disease. I bet I have had it for twenty years of more (I’m 46 now). I’ve had symptoms throughout my life that have been diagnosed with one thing, or another, and another, and another. Some of those symptoms were/are eerily similar to those I have right this second with the MS diagnosis.

I’m amazed that I know more and more people diagnosed with MS. It seems way more prevalent than the figures out there. The one single nurse I had for the injection training goes out 3-4 times a week to train a new person. That is just ONE nurse in one tiny location of the country & world. It is only one nurse for a specific type of MS drug. This really shocks me.

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3 Comments

Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Multiple Sclerosis

 

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3 responses to “If Only I Knew…

  1. musingsofms

    February 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    I was told that siblings of MS patients have the highest rate of developing the disease themselves. It’s more common in women than in men so it makes sense for sisters to be on the lookout. My family (maternal side) is full of autoimmune diseases. An aunt and myself have MS, two aunts and my sister have Psoriatic Arthritis and grandma and cousins have Rheumatoid Arthritis. There are a lot of women on that side. I’m to have found each other here in blogosphere! xo

     
    • kerrieb40

      February 16, 2012 at 8:04 am

      Wow! I wasn’t aware there was that much connection, but it makes sense kind of. I wonder how much is environmental and from the entry of all the processed foods. These foods came about when I was growing up and now they are so prevalent. It is rare that I eat anything that is a real food. I should, but I don’t. I should especially now with this diagnosis. I’m going to try babysteps with fixing my eating now. (I say that but I do have such a hard time committing myself to it).

       
  2. quietms

    February 18, 2012 at 5:33 am

    I’m not sure how much is genetic vs. how much is environmental, but it has been researched (not that I’ve read any of it), and my neuro seemed to have the stats on it when I probed her. I worry about my daughter as she has MS on both sides of the family.

    I didn’t really bother following it up because there isn’t anything I can do about genes, and I really question how much of the genetic research is skewed by environment anyway, because you have to remember that siblings generally live in the same house, eat the same food and do the same things. I don’t know if any of the studies looked at identical twins separated at birth, but I’d imagine that would be a pretty hard push with the incident rate of MS. I wouldn’t trust any of the data they have on specific gene associations at the moment.

    However, just because you have the genes doesn’t mean there isn’t anything you can do about it, I know it can be hard, but eating well and exercising benefit so many other aspects of well-being it really is worth it, and I would encourage you to do as much as you can for yourself. As for your sisters, it can be hard, but surely with two sisters diagnosed they would be starting to take it seriously.

    From wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_sclerosis):
    The risk of acquiring MS is higher in relatives of a person with the disease than in the general population, especially in the case of siblings, parents, and children. The disease has an overall familial recurrence rate of 20%. In the case of monozygotic twins, concordance occurs only in about 35% of cases, while it goes down to around 5% in the case of siblings and even lower in half-siblings. This indicates susceptibility is partly polygenically driven.

     

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