MS - From A Child’s Eyes

My husband and I decided early in our marriage that we would make it a priority to eat dinner at the table every night. It is a cherished part of my childhood for sure. It was at our dinner table that my twin boys felt safe enough to be open about their feelings on my diagnosis with MS. I am thankful for our dinner table conversations.

In honor of MS Awareness month, I am sharing the boys’ perspective. After all, I may be the one with MS, but the whole family is living with it.

Jake’s thoughts:

I am not going to lie. I was very afraid when my Mama was diagnosed with MS. I thought she was going to die. It started with a bad headache after she had surgery. Then she was seeing double. When she turned her eyes to look at me, one eye turned and the other stared forward. I remember thinking that couldn't be good. I didn't say anything to her because I didn't want to scare her. Mama had been reading the Harry Potter Books with me and Zack. I had read about JK Rowling, the author. Her Mom died from Multiple Sclerosis before she finished her first book. She made Harry an orphan because her Mother was dying as she was writing it. Zack and I talked about it in our room at night. We were so scared because it was the same disease we were told our Mama had.

Zack’s thoughts:

Jake and I talked about Mama and how we thought she might die. We didn't talk about it with anyone else. It was hard sometimes to concentrate at school. Mama needed help walking, and she was in bed a lot. I started playing football and she was so proud of me. She missed my first game because she had a hysterectomy. I sometimes wish she didn't have that surgery because things went down hill after that. Daddy says she probably had MS for a long time, and the surgery didn't cause it, but may have made it flare. She made it to all of my other games. Even when she didn't feel her best, she was standing at the fence cheering us on.

One night at the table we were talking about everything. Mama started getting a shot every night. I hate shots. I asked her what the medicine was supposed to do. She explained that it was to keep her from having a relapse. Then Jake just came out and said “JK Rowling’s Mom had MS; she died from it.” Mama asked “She died from it?” Jake said “Yes, she died from Multiple Sclerosis.”

I wasn't sure how this conversation was going to go, but I was relieved that we were talking about it. Mama and Daddy assured us that she was going to be fine. I am thankful that there are medicines to help. Mama’s medicine is working because her last MRI showed no change in two years. I am also glad that she only has to take shots three days a week now. Jake and I aren't worried so much anymore.

Some of the most important conversations I've ever had occurred at my family's dinner table. ~ Bob Ehrlich


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