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Looking Ahead

I am 54 years old, and have not only 1 autoimmune disease, MS, but 2 more: type 1 diabetes and hypothyroidism. I have had diabetes for about 18 years, and hypothyroidism for nearly that long.

Last February (2013) my feet became numb and tingly, and I assumed it was diabetic neuropathy. But my endocrinologist said it wasn’t presenting the way it usually does, and sent me to a neurologist. He checked me out and discovered other MS symptoms (balance issues, a weaker side) and ordered an MRI and eventually a spinal tap.

So here I am, with MS at age 54. Meanwhile, I had started a weight loss program at my athletic club and got connected with a trainer whose mom has MS. What a Godsend! Chris works on balance as well as stretching, weight, and CORE (essential to stability!). This has resulted in my being able to walk without bouncing off walls and even up and down stairs without holding on. Plus I’m in better shape and have lost over 20 pounds.

I have other symptoms as well and am planning to start on Tecfidera in September once my youngest daughter is off to college. I do get tired easily and can’t walk too far (planning to take a bus tour on our upcoming vacay to San Fran), and sometimes I don’t know what’s worse… diabetes or MS.

But all in all, life is still good and hopefully will be for many years to come!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • MyMSWalk
    6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your story! Foot pain and numbness / tingling was a big part of my initial symptoms and we thought it was delayed onset of type 1 diabetes. I was shocked when after taking several tests the doctor strongly suggested an MRI. WHAT do I need a scan of my brain for?!?! I guess he knew what he was talking about.

    Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Sonya
    6 years ago

    Hello Sue!
    I was 54 when I diagnosed with MS, 6 years ago. I must say, this part of my journey on this earth, was one I never expected! I began Avonex within a few weeks of my diagnosis, & have done well with it. I HATE the injections, but it has become a part of life as I know it. My neurologist & I are in conversation about switching to Tecfidera, but I guess I just hate the thought of switching to something new,, & having the side effects to go through again.
    Thanks for sharing your story with us! I wish you all the best with your journey. Please keep us up-dated.

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