Living With Multiple Sclerosis
Monday 8th November 2003
The day my world fell apart
I had already suffered a pretty bad year, due to an ongoing back problem.
Injections in my spine in the April had left me unable to walk at
more than a snails pace and only for a very short distance. I had received
these injections a few years earlier and found them to be extremely successful
in releiving my back pain and was told by the specialist that the procedure
could be repeated if and when my back started to cause me more problems.
I mentioned to the specialist my concerns that on this last
occasion, my back, far fron feeling better, was in fact much worse. He
recommended a 10 week course of intensive physiotherapy, which I followed to
the letter. In August, following 10 weeks of these excersises, neither my back
or ability to walk had improved. The specialist, dismissed me with a parting
comment of "you just have to accept you have arthritis of the spine"
In September I experienced a loss of feeling in my finger
tips. It felt like the numb, tingling sensation you get after a bout of pins
and needles and was/is something I had experienced in my toes for many years. A
visit to my GP and xrays to my shoulders to check for trapped nerves proved
negative, so I was referred to a neurologist who sent me for an MRI scan. A
week later on the 8th November I walked into his office to get my results. He
told me I had Multiple Sclerosis and this was the reason for the loss of
feeling in my fingers and toes, and that the problem with my walking was also
most likely to be due to the MS.
I don't remember the drive home, but I do remember spending
hours trawling the internet, attempting to learn as much as I could about this
illness. It was a difficult thing to accept that life as I knew it was about to
slowly, but surely change dramatically and certainly not for the better.
Multiple Sclerosis or MS is a disease which affects the
ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each
other effectively. Almost any neurological symptom can appear with the disease,
and often progresses to physical and cognitive disability. It affects everyone
differently, comes in several forms and there is no cure.
Relapsing Remitting MS is where a person experiences a
sudden attack of some neurological symptoms, which after a period of time may
Primary Progressive MS is where the symptoms gradually
worsen and become permanant.
Secondary Progressive MS follows on from the initial
Relapsing Remitting form of the disease.