My kids are 9 and 12 and the 9 year old is the biggest worry wart in history. They are both very sensitive little souls--I worried about telling them. We have been honest, but very non-chalant about the whole thing so as not to create a cloud of worry.
At first we weren't going to tell them--which was 100% against my better judgement. But my husband was afraid it would scare the kids and put my youngest into a world of fear. Then, I decided to start taking Copaxone--a daily injection, and you can't "hide" that. I wasn't going to lie. So, I sat my kids down and told them something like the following:
You know how Mommy has had issues with being tired and with migraines lately? And do you remember how my arm started going to sleep and I had to go to the doctor? Well, it turns out that I have a a very active immune system and it gets a little over active sometimes (too which my youngest said something about it being like her and we giggled and so on). Since my immune system has this tendency to do this I have to eat special foods to keep it from acting up (my son is allergic to peanuts so I compared it to that) and I will have to take special medicine that will help keep it under control.
When they asked what it was called I told them it was called MS or Multiple Sclerosis and we left it at that.
I assume that my older son will Google this at some point and he will ask harder questions. I plan to answer them honestly and clearly.
I've worked with teenagers a very long time (I taught grades 7-12 for 12 years and now teach the teachers of those age groups). They can handle a lot, what they can NOT abide is lying or secrecy as they find this to be the ultimate betrayal especially from adults who have preached that this is not allowed. So--a calm and clear conversation that allows him to ask me whatever he wants and that gives him whatever answers he needs will be my response.
I plan to assure him that MS is NOT a death sentence and that I am doing EVERYTHING in my power to remain healthy. I accept that there is a chance that I may lose mobility at some stage but I do not accept that I have to give into that eventuality without a fight and that even if that unfortunate outcome is my future lot, I intend to continue living my life with pride, love and joy--and if I end up in a wheel chair it will be the coolest damn wheel chair he's ever seen
because that's how his mom "rolls." LOL
And--above all, I love Him and his sister beyond all else and that will never change. And that is why this diagnosis hasn't crushed me--because I have the greatest family and the greatest gifts in the world and if this is all that is asked in return--so be it.
Good luck to you..