Just a few weeks after the birth of his daughter Pearl Clementine, Jack Osbourne, 26-year-old son of famous rocker Ozzy Osbourne, learned that he had multiple sclerosis (MS)
. This isn’t the first obstacle he’s had to overcome, having battled obesity and drug abuse in the past; but this particular diagnosis left him feeling even more shocked, angry, and frustrated than ever before. After all, the news comes at a crucial time when many important life events are happening for the young man, such as marriage, career changes, and children.
At only 26 years old, Jack is younger than the average patient who is diagnosed with MS; typically diagnoses occur in those around the age of 37. But after feeling strong tingling sensations and numbness in his extremities and a sudden loss of sight in one eye, Osbourne decided it was time to visit his doctor. Test results revealed that he had indeed experienced a 60 percent loss of sight in one eye, and had developed multiple sclerosis. About MS
Multiple sclerosis affects over 400,000 Americans, and each week around 200 more people are diagnosed. It’s a degenerative autoimmune disease
that targets the brain and spinal cord. More specifically, it attacks the myelin sheath, which is a covering that protects nerve cells. Eventually, the disease can produce varied symptoms and affect muscles and personality, as well as vision, bowel, nerve, and sexual functions.
The extremely wide range of severity can make multiple sclerosis a dangerous foe. Some patients can become crippled to the point of paralysis, while others may only experience milder problems and disabilities. Many patients continue to lead relatively normal lives while treating their symptoms; yet the public perceives MS to be an instant sentence for lifelong use of a wheelchair.
It’s hard to tell how a person’s MS will behave, and doctors usually wait until much later to look back on the disease to determine how severe it really was. Each day can bring a new problem, but it can also bring a new victory. While no cure currently exists, many treatments are available
; and starting treatment early is crucial to coping with the disease. Jack’s Future with the Disease
To some, the worst part of MS is the fear of the unknown since anything can happen. But doctors urge patients to not jump to conclusions. For many, the disease can become a regular, treatable part of life and may not degenerate to the point of paralysis. In Jack’s case, he may already be suffering some concerning symptoms . . . but the story’s not over yet. The young star has a new baby girl and a loving fiancée to keep him busy and motivated, and is seeking psychological counseling to learn how to better deal with this potentially life-changing news.
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