|Me and Lorna at a party in 2012|
I'm a Mum of two, beaver scout leader, carer and yes I have MS.
Well where do I start? For those who don't know what MS is it's Multiple Sclerosis.
A neurological disease which effects the nervous system, and the messages sent from your brain to the rest of your body.
I'm trying to make people aware of MS as there are over 100,000 people in the UK suffering from this illness and most of you will probably know someone with it without realising it, Most of the time its a invisible disease.
Now I won't try and bore you but this is my story.
I'm 35 years old, happily married with 2 boys age 6 and 9, back in 2010 was where it all began. I woke up one morning with pins and needles in my feet, thought I just slept funny, like you do, but the pins and needles didn't disappear and they travelled up to my waist and where constant. Then I started to go numb. I could walk but couldn't feel the lower part of my body. If I was to cut my leg I wouldn't feel it, or stub my toe, it wouldn't hurt and this lasted for about 8 months. I do remember one time when i was out with my little boy at the time, I was walking down the road looked down at my feet and realised I had lost a flip flop I looked a right blank and just laughed at myself, after several tests, an MRI and lumbar puncture, the neurologist said that I had Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS) which is an individual first episode of neurological symptoms which may lead in to MS or not. I had a 90% chance it would turn into MS.
A few years passed, I had mild symptoms, such as tremors and fatigue but no relapses. I carried on as normal, raising my family and getting on with my life, then boom in November 2013 another relapse, similar like the first one but just on my right side. This is when i finally got diagnosed with Remitting Relapsing MS.
Yes I was scared, and worried about the future. when you get told that you have MS your first thought is will I be in a wheelchair? Will I be able to work? Will someone have to care for me? But once your learn more about MS you get to understand the condition, that everyone is different, everyone has different symptoms and good times and challenging times.
Once my feeling came back after a couple of weeks, I carried on working, driving and being me. Yes i was tired and had to cut my hours at work and learn to know my limits but I was still me. Then again in November 2014 Boom another relapse, but this was different, I started to lose vision in my right eye. The doctor told me it was optic neuritis and this did scare me, but it slowly returned. My next journey is to start DMD, Disease Modifying Drug Therapy, in the next few weeks, which won't cure my MS as there is no cure but it should slow down the progression.
When i tell people i have MS i have different responses:
" You don't look like you have MS"
" You poor thing"
I don't do sympathy, and i don't need special treatment, i have this illness but I won't let it beat me. if I end up in a wheelchair or not, at the end of the day no one knows what the future will hold.
Like i said before 'I'm a mum of two, a beaver scout leader, a carer and yes I do have MS'.