By Charles Towne
When I met my wife I knew nothing about multiple sclerosis, or, M.S. as it is commonly called. I didn’t have a clue about remission, or the complications of the disease, but that was soon to change.
If a family member is diagnosed with a debilitating disease, and if we love that person, and if we have half the brain of a lobotomized lab rat, we are going to find out all we can about their affliction, right? I mean, that just seems reasonable to me. I read everything I could get my hands on regarding M.S. only to discover that there were a lot of black holes in the research.
One of the bits of information that I discovered was that from 3 to 4 % of those diagnosed with M.S. die from complications within the first three years. Well, at that time Nanny had already had the disease for over twenty years so the odds were in our favor. Then I watched her spiral downward from a cane to a walker, and finally to a wheelchair. Then, praise God the disease went into remission, and my darling could walk again! Then, inexplicably, the memory lapses began.
You will notice the title I gave this article, “M.S. and Me!” The reason for this title is that any time a family member is diagnosed with a neurological disease the entire family is impacted. Yes, WE have Multiple Sclerosis, and now WE have Alzheimer’s disease with its loss of memory accompanied by its erratic and confusing behavior. Multiple Sclerosis? Alzheimer’s disease? Parkinson’s disease? Families are torn apart by these diseases. Nancy’s family abandoned her when she so desperately needed them. As much as I hate this separation I do understand it. Often people separate themselves from what they don’t understand, or fear.
I have had to arrange for Nanny to be placed in a nursing home. I visit her often. I love her so much it hurts. Thank you, God, for giving me a special love for an incredible woman. Yes, she is still there, still smiling that beautiful smile, still loving, and yes, she is still loved. Thank you, Papa God for this lovely woman. Please don’t judge me harshly for putting her in a nursing home because you never know when you might be called upon to make the difficult decision, In which case may Papa God empower you to make the right decision.
Love God, and make a difference, today.
Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adapted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy filled life.