I know my multiple sclerosis has affected my girls more than they deserve and they have missed out on certain things in life because I’m too tired, sore or exhausted simply from thinking about the event.
The one thing that weighs on me more than all of that is how MS will affect my kids’ future. I regularly if I will pass multiple sclerosis on to my kids.
This was my first question when I was diagnosed over 16 years ago. I was engaged at the time to my now husband and I REALLY REALLY wanted to be a mum. It was something I knew I wanted ever since I was a child myself.
However, I didn’t want to endanger any future children. My heart lifted when my specialist told me that there was a higher risk (2% compared 1% in general population) but not enough to warrant a warning not to have kids.
Remember this was 16 years ago. Since then we have come to know that being pregnant can help a woman with MS to feel better. And we also know that MS can be partially genetic and partially environmental.
Environmental is obviously where you live and your upbringing. Mine was abusive and the fact that I ended up with this illness with no one in my genetic family to have suffered from this is, I think, one reason I have MS.
Which makes me breathe a little easier. I am lucky to be a mother to two beautiful girls and anyone who knows anything about MS knows that the ratio of women affected by MS is approximately three to one. Once again I worry.
The best thing that will happen to me is when my girls get age 40 without a diagnosis. I know there are worse things in the world that can happen to them but if either one of them gets diagnosed with MS I know I’ll blame myself.
At the end of the day we all the want the best for our children and they have and will watch me suffer till the day I die with this illness. I don’t want them to go through this. I want what most mothers want, the absolute best life possible for our children.
Do you worry about your kids getting multiple sclerosis? Has it happened to you?
Vivian was diagnosed with MS in March 1999, although symptoms began in 1995. I previously worked as a financial adviser but had to retired due to the worsening of my symptoms. On the positive side, more free time allows me to work on my writing. I am 43 years old, married with two beautiful girls, aged 14 and 11 and reside in Australia.
You may also enjoy reading other of Vivan’s writing: JK Rowling fund trial for Secondary Progressive MS and Bioten found to help Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.