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Multiple sclerosis: Why I decided not to hide my illness away after being diagnosed with an 'invisible' condition

Multiple sclerosis: Why I decided not to hide my illness away after being diagnosed with an 'invisible' condition

It's a funny thing, being diagnosed with a chronic illness. During the lengthy diagnostic process, all hell breaks loose – rows, guilt, recriminations, bad-taste jokes (all made by me), brave little smiles, not-so-brave wailing sessions down the phone to my very patient friends. Seeing your parents cry. Declarations of love (two). Lots of well-intended cake.

And then it all just stops. You get your diagnosis, start the medication and life goes on.

I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis after tingling in my limbs prompted me to get some tests done. After six months of MRIs and a lumbar puncture, I began treatment in the summer of 2012. MS is an autoimmune neurological disease that affects 100,000 people in the UK. In the course of the disease, the protective coating around nerve fibres becomes damaged, causing a range of symptoms – including limb numbness, loss of balance, tremors, vision problems, memory problems, bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunction, and problems with speech or swallowing. Relapsing-remitting means that attacks come before a period of remission, although the nerve damage is cumulative and the disease can evolve into secondary-progressive, where there are no periods of remission. It is currently incurable, but advances are being made all the time, and there are a number of drugs available to help prevent relapses and manage symptoms.

Read on >> http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/multiple-sclerosis-why-i-decided-not-to-hide-my-illness-away-after-being-diagnosed-with-an-invisible-a6689801.html

Posted on: 16/05/2016   Categories: Charity News

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