"I want others to know that you can live with MS, it doesn’t have to define you"

“It’s taken me many years to come to terms with my Multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis. Looking back at my 23 year old self receiving that news I can see I was in shock. I had been a very active and healthy person who was studying a post graduate qualification and working part time. Then literally out of nowhere I couldn’t feel my feet and the pins and needles worked its way up my legs over the course of the next day. I was very lucky that I was diagnosed very quickly and had access to disease modifying drugs available at the time. But honestly it plays on your mind, the constant “what ifs”. Is this headache the start of a relapse, will I be able to walk tomorrow, how did I end up in a form of soap opera etc.

The reason I am writing this is that I want others to know that you can live with MS, it doesn’t have to define you. I have done more with MS than I ever did without it. I learned to drive again, I travelled as far as and as much as I could, I became politically active again which meant I got elected as a local councillor in 2017 and most importantly I had a beautiful little girl in 2014. 12 years later most of the “what ifs“ didn’t happen and I have stopped worrying about the things I can’t control. Sometimes that’s easier said than done but having my family and friends around me who are positive and supportive helps.

I made the decision to have the most aggressive treatment in 2017 and as I am writing this I am going for a MRI scan on Wednesday. I am blessed to have been remission since 2017.  It has still been challenging since I now also have Hashimoto’s disease  (an under active thyroid) which has its own issues. My advice to others is to eat as well you can, try to be kind to yourself, don’t concentrate on the things you can’t do but the things you can. Most of all put your energies into what is important in your life.”

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