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Meet - Deborah

Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

When were you diagnosed with MS? November 2022

What type of MS do you have? Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS)

#1: Can you tell us a little about your journey with MS. How did you feel about your initial diagnosis and how it has affected your life?

I initially experienced vision problems and a mild tingling sensation in my small finger and toe, which led to an MRI that revealed lesions. Although MS was considered, it appeared to be unlikely at the time. However, my symptoms gradually worsened, and it took 15 months and the detection of a new lesion on my MRI to receive a diagnosis. Given the progression of my symptoms, I wasn't taken aback by the diagnosis. It seemed only a matter of time before MS would be evident on an MRI.

#2: What MS symptoms do you have and how do you manage them on a daily basis?

My primary symptoms consist of persistent nerve pain, along with issues with my eyes and fatigue. The impact on my life can be so bad, I literally can not move. Despite this, I make an effort to maintain a routine and engage in graded exercises to stay active.

#3: Who/What has been your most important support system?

My family has been my greatest source of support, we are very close and they have helped me through some of my hardest days. I also have a Golden Retriever that provides comfort and alleviates my anxiety during particularly difficult times. Moreover, I have had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful people through the MS community, including Wendy and Ray, who have been instrumental in helping me cope with overwhelming symptoms.

#4: Do you use any accessories like canes, walkers, or wheelchairs to manage daily activities?

I do not rely on any accessories. Instead, I manage my time and choose activities based on my symptoms for that particular day.

#5: How do you stay positive and motivated in your daily life? What do you do for self-care?

As I stated before, my dog serves as a fantastic motivator to help me stay active and offers comfort during challenging days. I engage with the MS community daily, discussing issues we commonly face with MS and occasionally sharing vlogs on various topics.

#6: Your story and experiences with MS are incredibly valuable and can provide encouragement and motivation to others in the community. What words of advice or encouragement would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed with MS or going through a challenging time right now?

I am newly diagnosed and finding my new normal. I have good days and bad days, but having support from those around you is key. Give yourself time to grieve the person you were. But, a whole new world awaits. may have to adapt to things, but you can still enjoy life!

#7: Have you started a business or mission related to MS? Can you tell us about it and what inspired you to take this step?

I began an Instagram and Twitter account called Faking Wellness to speak to and communicate with individuals in the MS community. I document my experiences as a newly diagnosed patient and the various challenges I encounter. I felt there was a gap in this type of content during my diagnosis journey. In addition to sharing my personal journey, I also aim to spread awareness and share useful information on studies and possible treatments.

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