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Suicide and the MSer


. This was a hard topic to write about. I am not considering this act. I am thinking about those who have chosen to do it. Having had Polio and MS, I sometimes get tired of fighting battles and I wonder how others feel about keeping a stiff upper lip. First a little background. .


  • I had Polio when I was three. From age three through seventeen I spent a total of about four years in the hospital. I had orthopedic surgery three times With all the treatment I became more mobile and used fewer braces. See graph.
  • At 35 I married. The following year when my wife was expecting my daughter, I was diagnosed with MS.
  • Five years later the curve in my spine caused by Polio forced me to have spinal fusion. It took six months before I could walk somewhat and a full year to recover.
  • The effects of MS became too much for family versus job. At age 45 I was forced to medically retire. My progress from Polio had been reversed by MS.
  • The decline has been more rapid due to the effect of past Polio and now Post-Polio symtoms. See graph. With each exacerbation, I loose a little more and deal with many of the MS issues. My current diagnosis is Relapsing-Progressive.
So Sad


I know that with MS and Post-Polio, baring a medical miracle, I will continue to physically decline over time. I have and advantage over most Mser's because I was once there as I battled the effects of Polio. However, adjusting to a steady decline is difficult after all those years of climbing the incline upward. What I fear most is cognitive impairment. My brain has taken me a long way and made it possible to cope and adapt.


I ask myself, What do I do when and/or if ;



How will I know when I reach that point?

When is Enough, Enough?

A lot of people are far worse. There is total paralysis, arthritis, Parkinson's, heart disease, cancer, aids. I know I am not alone in this dilemma. I do not need to be counseled on changing values and ways to adapt and others overcome worse.

If the combo of MS and Polio is not going to kill me in a reasonable amount of time but it 'may' slowly turn me into a vegetable, I have to ask, How will I deal with it? How much can my family take? When is the battle not worth the effort and the returns on investment are all at a loss?

Few of us with a chronic illness ever talk about it but most of us have thought about taking our own life. There are a lot issues and man in general has not solved them since the beginning of time. However, suicide is a valid question and an alternative.





Like maybe you, I have thought about these issues, both from a moral and ethical point of view. Sometimes I think I will reach the point where not living will have the highest value to me. Then I wonder if God will say it is OK for me to let go. I would like to talk with someone about my questions but I can not find anyone who is not determined to talk me out of even thinking about suicide, no matter how bad things might be.

So, what do I believe? That is the dilemma. I can not write down just one thought that would express my belief. I can write several statements I feel are true and then you can mix them together to find out what color you see.


A rational person can logically evaluate alternatives and rationally take their own life.

The Christian religion adamantly believes that all life is sacred but does not adequately define life.

Suicide is wrong if used to avoid a problem of your own making.

The body will rot but the soul is eternal.

Gifts from God are passed to others through you.


I am going to leave you with those statements. If you have other true statements, send them to me.


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