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Aging Gracefully With MS: It Starts With New Glasses

I’m off on Friday to collect new spectacles. Two pairs of new spectacles!

My first pair of corrective lenses came in junior high school; I was farsighted. After a number of years I no longer needed glasses, but by the time my twenties were ending, I was wearing glasses to correct both nearsightedness and a slight astigmatism.

This time around, my optometrist delivered a short lecture on the process by which aging eyes lose their focus strength.

My “short-sightedness” (that’s what they call nearsighted here, to which I took a little offense, knowing the American take on that term) has now progressed to the point where my distance and reading vision cannot be corrected with a single prescription. Thus, the two pairs of spectacles (I’m not yet ready to put in the effort to adjust to bifocal or progressive lenses, so I took those options off the table straight away).

I’m fortunate that MS hasn’t affected my vision…much.

An Inundation of Aging News
The news that my eyes are aging was the first in what feels like a cascade of items about aging and multiple sclerosis.

First, I received the annual update report from the MS Rehabilitation Research Group at the University of Washington in the mail. I’ve been a subject in an aging and disability (not just MS) research study for over five years now, and it’s always interesting to see this data.

Then I was informed that an article for which I gave an interview several months ago would be printed in the upcoming issue of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Momentum Magazine, which will be hitting the post boxes in the coming weeks. You guessed it: The article is about aging with multiple sclerosis.

Just today, a blog I wrote for MS Ireland introducing a new series we’re calling The Stages of Multiple Sclerosis went live. From early signs and being diagnosed as a young person, to fertility and parenting, and on to adapting and nursing care, we plan to cover how MS makes these and other stages in life different. As you’d expect, aging and multiple sclerosis is also a topic.

But I’m Not Old!
This weekend I enter into the last year of my forties. I am beginning to experience the little aches and pains, as well as other “normal” complications, of having a middle-aged body…on top of a body that has lived with MS for about 30 years (I was diagnosed at 35 but had symptoms as far back as my early twenties). Sometimes it’s not easy to tell the difference.

Perhaps this sudden inundation of information about MS as we get older should be a tell-tale of a coming breeze in my life. I’d love for there to be a cure for my MS, but until there is, growing old with MS is my best hope. I think it’s time to take a look at what that might mean — and as of Friday, I’ll have the tools to read up on it properly.

How about you? Is aging with MS ever part of what you think about? Should it be?

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by EVERYDAYHEALTH
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length


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