When people ask about multiple sclerosis, “is it fatal?” is a frequent question or thought. The answer is no, except in the rarest of cases. People with most forms of MS are most likely to die from complications such as pulmonary involvement, severe infections, sepsis and aspiration pneumonia if MS is what ends them instead of old age. The average person with MS can expect their life to be decreased by seven years.
Depending on who is doing the asking, I will tell them about the four basic types of MS, but most people don’t want to hear that much information, and I don’t have one the most common four types anyway. I have Malignant MS, also known as Marburg Variant Multiple Sclerosis, Fulminant Multiple Sclerosis, Aggressive MS and Advanced MS.
It has symptoms of rapidly progressive inflammation and destruction of myelin and increased formation of lesions and plaque in the brain and spine. This loss of myelin affects the brain’s ability to transmit electrochemical impulses between the nerve cells of the brain, and the spinal cord, resulting in diminished or loss of neurological functioning.
All of this is a scientific and wordier way of saying that my MS progresses more rapidly than the typical MS. MMS’s demyelinating process, in most cases, leads to death in a year or two. However, there are also cases of it stabilizing at three years, although the damage done can’t be undone.
I’m sitting at a little over three years with MMS neither dead nor stable, in terms of disease progression. I’m still here, so I’ll take it, day by day.
Do you worry about multiple sclerosis being fatal?
Ellie is a 45-year-old woman living in South Carolina. She works as a cashier, but is always dreaming of more — she’s just not always sure of what “more” is. Her favorite hobbies are reading and reading book reviews. Within the first few minutes of meeting her, you’ll realize her nephews, niece, books and cats are her favorite things.
Please watch and share our MS Awareness video.