Linda & Jerry

Outline: At 60 years old, Linda was diagnosed with MS after sudden symptoms that sent her to the emergency room. She experiences memory loss, speech impairment, and fatigue and has had rapid progression of her symptoms. Linda participated in one study involving taking medication.
Background: Linda, age 64, lives with her husband, and their daughter lives close by. She worked as a campus registrar until her MS symptoms forced her to retire. She identifies as a heterosexual White woman.

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Due to Linda’s cognitive symptoms, her husband, Jerry, helped her throughout the interview to tell her story as well as his.


Linda was diagnosed with MS at age 60 after having acute symptoms such as headaches, seeing double, and difficulty walking that led her to go to the emergency room. She has experienced rapid progression of her symptoms, particularly cognitive symptoms and memory fading. Linda was involved in one drug study that aimed to help with fatigue. Out of the blue, somebody called, explained the purposes of their study, and offered Linda participation in the study. She took three real drugs and one placebo over roughly twelve weeks on an alternating schedule. By the end of the study, it seemed that the drug Ritalin was a little better at helping Linda with her fatigue, but she has since stopped taking it. Overall, none of the drugs administered helped with her fatigue. Linda and her husband hoped to find a “miracle drug” that could help her.


Linda and Jerry received her medication via FedEx.

Linda and Jerry received her medication via FedEx.


Jerry: They would FedEx the drug to us. And they would tell us what day it was supposed to arrive, so we were-- made sure we were home. And it arrived on time every time, FedEx. And, of course, then we'd start it the following Monday. And then we'd go two or three weeks, whatever it was, can't remember. And then I guess we would discuss with her the effects of the drug that we just used. And she would tell us when she was going to send the next drug and so on.