When I was first diagnosed, dozens of questions went through my head. Will I need a wheelchair to get around? Can I have children? Is this disease fatal? I admit that I was afraid of what was ahead. The unknown is scary.
By getting information from the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and other sources, I learned that the life expectancy of those affected is much the same as for people who do not have the disease. I learned that I can have children.
However, I also learned that children of parents with this disease are 10 times more likely to develop the disease. For those who like numbers: MS affects 1 in 340 Canadians, or about 0.3%. This means that my children have between a 2% and 5% chance of having this disease.
Another attack came in the winter of 2004. This time, my legs were affected. I was unable to walk more than 50 metres without support. I even had the "luck" of trying out a wheelchair. I had to miss work. I had even more understanding of the challenges that life will bring me.
After good discussions with my wife, I was reassured to see that our plans remained the same. However, the way to achieve them would change drastically. We decided to go forward and trust life; we now have two children aged 10 and 12.
The last attack left me with permanent leg issues.