My mom is just beginning to read about MSA and what the implications are.  She is a bit discouraged.  Her words to me were, “It doesn’t sound to good, does it.”  No it doesn’t sound good –

Some basic facts from the MSA  support group website

*Disease progression in MSA is quicker than in Parkinsonism but similar or slightly slower to that of PSP.  Almost 80% of patients are disabled within 5 years of onset of the motor symptoms, and only 20% survive past 12 years.

*The mean survival is roughly 6 years – Dad is just entering into his 6th year of battling this disease.

*The probable outcome is poor. There is a progressive loss of mental and physical functions until general debilitation develops. Early death is likely.
Most people who are diagnosed with Shy-Drager syndrome die within seven to 10 years after symptoms begin.  Dad seems to have a different form of MSA – the most likely version for him is Striatonigral degeneration which mimics Parkinson’s Disease so well that most doctors can’t tell the difference.

*Pneumonia is the most common cause of death, although irregularities in heartbeat or choking may be responsible for death in some patients. Breathing problems such as aspiration, stridor (high-pitched breathing sounds due to airway obstruction), or cardiopulmonary arrest are common causes of death.

Barring a miraculous intervention from the Lord – we might have 1 year left maybe a few more – but the progression seems to be going at a fairly fast pace.  Mom does not want to see dad become incapacitated – but that is how this disease works.  He is already in a wheel chair and will most likely need to have some weights added to his walker to keep him from falling backwards.

The Lord didn’t just deliver me from my sins at the cross, but continues to deliver me from my darkest moments.  This is a dark moment – I am glad that Jesus continues to shine light as I walk this path that was laid out for me before time began.  My light comes from Him who brings light into the dark places!