Me and MS
I had a weakness in my right leg which unbeknown to me was my first relapse, it resulted in foot drop which meant at times I was practically dragging my leg around. It never occurred to me that there was anything really wrong, I thought it could be a trapped nerve or something similar. According to my family I was a hypochondriac so I didn’t make a fuss about it, to be fair you never really think it would be someone you know so fair enough they probably thought I was making it up. However, when I was diagnosed my sister and brother said they had googled my symptoms and guessed it was MS before I was diagnosed, yet still shouted at me when I was walking too slow!! Siblings…
After a few weeks of my leg issues I booked in with the doctor, they asked me to raise both legs and It was then that I realised one of my legs was really weak in comparison to the other, it was shocking at the time but I didn’t let it bother me too much because I figured there would be some way to sort it as there always is.
I got referred to a Neurologist and had a MRI on my brain and Spinal Cord. I expected it to be much scarier than it was but to be honest, I could’ve fallen asleep in there if they’d let me.
I got the diagnosis on the 15th of November 2015 which surprisingly I wasn’t so bothered about, I was there with my mum but unfortunately there was delays so she had to leave. My boyfriend then offered to drive up from down south but I declined his offer as I knew what the diagnosis was now and it was quite late. In the appointment the doctor told me that I should’ve had someone with me as I might not fully understand what the diagnosis meant, and considering that I knew nothing about MS at the time, he was right. With how little MS is talked about, unless you know someone with it, there is a chance you might not know what it is or how it can affect people.
My 2nd relapse was less annoying than dragging my leg around luckily, the word for it was very long and medical so I just had to explain it to people as my left eye went wherever it wanted whenever it wanted! At the time I had no idea this was happening, I just thought I was getting dizzy, however, if people noticed it they did seem a little freaked out. According to my MS nurse it was another relapse, but because it had calmed down before I’d been to see her I couldn’t get referred for treatment yet, I’d have to wait for another relapse.
The nurse tells me whenever I see her to ring her with anything that doesn’t seem right so we don’t miss it again. I still have a flicker in my eye but it is far better than my eye deciding to take a trip whenever it wants. Granted it does affect my balance but I’m hoping by using my weighted hula hoop more it’ll help my core strength so I won’t be walking into walls as much.
The most uncomfortable symptom I have is the pins in my veins sensation, I convinced myself that they were blood clots that I could feel and just felt sorry for myself because it felt unnerving and I was almost 100% sure I was dying. I wasn’t dying…The most upsetting symptom I have is the bladder spasms, which can cause frequent urination among other things, as you can imagine this is very embarrassing.
My most common symptom is the fatigue and issues with thought process, remembering names is difficult, as are directions and stuff I need to do. Which is why my phones notes app is having a lot of use, otherwise I’d be wandering round Asda wondering what strange things have people asked me to grab for their lunch today!
There was a funnier time when I couldn’t manage one of my symptoms, this was when I was doing karaoke and hadn’t had enough to drink to prepare myself yet, so my leg pretty much stopped working and I had to sit down to sing Adele. As long as I don’t do karaoke too often I’m pretty sure it’ll be fine!
Dealing with my MS has become a lot easier since I’ve started working for Active, I know that if I have any issues I can speak to someone about making arrangements to make my workload easier or for taking some time off to recuperate. Everyone has always been very understanding, I can find it very hard to focus on even simple things at times, especially when I’m tired. If it weren’t for Active I’d probably still be dragging my leg around a bingo hall with one eye on the kitchen and one on the stage. I am also managing the MS well in my personal life, I know what can make my symptoms worse such as stress and lack of sleep so I’d say all in all I’m on top of it.
Everyone experiences MS differently, and so far, my experience isn’t totally awful, it’s more annoying than anything else, yes there have been upsetting moments, but that’s hardly surprising. I don’t mind joking about it because sometimes it can be quite funny, if you can’t laugh at yourself walking into walls and people etc then what can you laugh about!