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MS & Comorbidities! How do your other medical issues combined with your MS impact you?

Many people who live with Multiple Sclerosis also end up having other health issues. These health issues combined with MS can present some unique challenges. I'd love to hear about how the combination of MS and another ailment impact you?

Some people end up with multiple chronic illnesses (I know folks who have MS & RA and MS and Fibro, etc). Others, like myself, have other medical issues. I was born with a condition known as Symbrachydactyly, essentially, my left hand did not fully develop. I have half (and fewer) fingers and bones in my left hand (if you are really interested, you can read more and see a picture here: https://multiplesclerosis.net/living-with-ms/when-ms-isnt-only-issue). As you might expect, this makes me depend very very heavily on my right hand. So it was much more than an inconvenience when my second MS exacerbation ended up impacting much of the right side of my body, including my right hand. To this day, I still suffer from the damage done in that relapse, as my right hand will often get numb or tingly, or simply not open and close as much as I tell it to. As you can imagine, relying so heavily on my right hand because of the issue with my left can make my life very difficult when I start experiencing MS symptoms. So triggers like warm temps and stress that can make past issues come to the forefront can really have a major impact on me as I can suddenly be unable to use both hands. Everything from taking a drink of water to using the bathroom becomes difficult and messy at best or completely impossible at worst.

I cope with these issues by trying to pay attention to what triggers an uptick in my symptoms. I’ve also experimented with multiple adaptive devices over the years to make some tasks a little easier. That said, it’s still a huge issue for me. So do you have multiple health issues that combine to create some unique problems? If so, how do you deal with them?

Fun fact: I thought of this topic because April is Limb Difference Awareness Month! So yep, with March being MS Awareness Month, I have back-to-back awareness months in my life which is not something I ever expected to say when I was younger!

  1. Thank you so much for your articles, they help me so very much. You are a light in darkness many times for me and my family. You are a good soul, I am sorry you have struggled with this.

    1. Often. I deal with 5 other diagnosis too. Falling frequently results in broken bones.

    2. They worsen the symptoms.

  2. DEVIN!!!!! You Sir are have proven to go towards A challenge Blazin’…….. I say this because if I am not mistaken you are a (former) Computer Engineer ?
    Not an easy task i would imagine with
    Symbrachydactyly!!!!!! Like myself you
    Seem to be a fellow fighter who moves toward a fire and instead of running ya figure a way to hopefully out it out .
    I also have Hemiplegic Migraine. I had a
    “Stroke’” , at 19 which left me unable to walk, talk, blah blah. Intense therapy for 1yr dly, skipped brain rehab moved to a new state, a new life. Slam!! Diagnosed with MS at 25 which was not a surprise
    It took a long time differentiating the MS NUMBNESS and HEMI MIGRAINE heaviness , numbness, speech lots same things but like everything in life practice……….and my advice to anyone ALWAYS listen to your own body. Be your own advocate. My MS WAS construed for HM and vice-versa many times many years!!!
    One more thing is at 54, the song we all lesrned as children 🎶 your hip bone is connected to your……leg bone…. Could not be truer especially for autoimmune diseases (i think)
    Thanks Devin as stated previously you r a great soul


    😎🤩Lisa

    1. Thanks so much, Lisa! Oh yea, I guess working with computers I simply adapted. Only one good hand is all I've ever known so I just made it work without even really thinking of it. So sorry to hear that you suffer from migraine, those can be truly awful. You story very much illustrates how hard it can be to suffer from multiple ailments! Is the numbness from this or that, it be hard when it comes to treatment. Always great advice though, listen to your body!

    2. A big thanks to everyone for allowing me a place to vent where everyone understands. When you don't have any support system, forems like these are a life saver. Thanks again for being here. Sincerely, Twana

  3. DEVIN,
    Exactly!!!! When we are really young we dont think about it, adapt, fight the fire!!
    I think a great new 20+ MSer Mantra should be the old HIGH SCHOOL CHEER 📣 “Heck No, We Won’t Go”
    A re to keep fightingg which for me becomes difficult winter months. Sun 🌞 out today so my old self kicked in🥸

    1. That's one thing I will continue to do is fight. I'm a redhead so I don't give up.

  4. Thank you for another great article Devin. It truly sucks dealing with this horrible MS. Then on top of it having other health issues as well. Very strange and horrible world we live in. If the scientist are correct and we are energy of some sort . They say energy cannot be created or destroyed. Then I want to hang out in outer space once this MS body dies 👍👍👍.

    1. Thanks so much, ! I most certainly understand that sentiment! And space has always been pretty cool to me!

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