Have a Question for Beth? Ask it here! No question to big or small. I often have a laundry list of questions for others going through something similar. If I don’t know the answer, I will research and ask around to get you an answer. I look forward to hearing from you!
Question: I was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and wondering why did this happen to me?
Answer: The exact cause of MS is unknown. You are one of 2.3 million people worldwide that wonder the same thing. There is nothing you could have done to prevent it. I hope with time and understanding you realize that multiple sclerosis is what we have, but cannot define us.
Question: I have a dear friend with MS who also is a mom of a 10 and 17 year old. Her husband left her after her diagnosis and is fighting for sole custody stating she cannot properly care for her kids. Where do I go to help her with her rights as a disabled mom? My heart is breaking for her. Thank you.
Answer: Find an attorney who is experienced in family and disability law. She is entitled to 50% custody like any other parent and her 17 year old is old enough to choose. Tell her to keep fighting for her rights. She is lucky to have a friend like you.
Question: Since my diagnosis I’ve felt sad, discouraged and frustrated. Why did I get this MS diagnosis?
Answer: It is okay to be sad and grieve for the life you expected. Then it is time for you to get dressed and head out into the world filled with opportunities for you. Make small steps to take care of your body and find what makes you happy and feel your best. We are rooting for you!
Question: My friends have asked me if it is all right to bring up multiple sclerosis and ask my daughter how she is feeling when they see her. Is it intrusive? They want to show they care and are concerned but do not want to put her on the spot.
Answer: They should definitely bring it up. There is no reason to ignore the elephant in the room. Your daughter will decide if she wants to discuss in detail or a give a simple answer.
Question: My 25-year-old son was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and I am devastated.
Answer: An MS diagnosis is a shock to everyone. Give yourself a day to grieve and then look for the good in this diagnosis. Begin to research the disease and learn about all the science and new medications and natural treatments that are out there. Be there for your son and enjoy every day.
Question: I’m planning a trip to a warm weather climate. Should I be concerned the heat and humidity will spoil my vacation?
Answer: Although everyone is affected by the heat differently, I suggest bringing a cooling vest and scheduling your outdoor times for morning and early evening when it isn’t as hot. We travel yearly to the beach and I’ve always found ways to stay cool and have fun.
Question: My friend has MS; what can I do to help her?
Answer: Offer to pick up her kids from school or babysit, make her dinner, take her out for coffee or drinks and listen instead of talk.
Question: What triggers your flare-ups?
Answer: This is different for everyone, but heat, cold, specific foods (dairy, gluten, alcohol and caffeine) plus stress all contribute to flare-ups.
Question: Does MS impact more women than men, or is it pretty equal?
Answer: MS affects women more than men, although scientists are not sure the reasoning behind this.
Question: What’s a common age to be diagnosed?
Answer: The disorder is most commonly diagnosed between ages 20 and 40.