When were you diagnosed with MS? December 2014
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 was diagnosed with MS in December 2014. However, I started to have symptoms a year before my diagnosis. I was working for a make-up company back then and was doing a client's make-up when my right hand released the foundation brush. I was having trouble with picking the brush up off of the floor. I went home that night and told my husband something is wrong with me. After months of doctor's appointments, a spinal tap, and MRI's. I was called into my local neurologist, who asked me do I want the number 1,2, or 3. I chose the number one doctor. He was the leading multiple sclerosis doctor in the state of Alabama. I was referred from the local neurology office with my images to my current neurologist who read my results to me on December 22, 2014. I was devastated and thought that my life was over. I informed family and friends of my diagnosis. My husband, mom, and friends have been my biggest support system. My neurologist did a great job informing me of treatment and lifestyle options. Every day is a fight and it is worth it.
#2: What MS symptoms do you have and how do you manage them on a daily basis?
Every day, I encounter chronic pain that persists continuously. My right side goes numb including my limbs. As well as, I tend to experience memory problems whenever I'm fatigued or unable to obtain adequate rest.
#3: Who/What has been your most important support system?
My family has been my greatest support system.
#4: Do you use any accessories like canes, walkers, or wheelchairs to manage daily activities?
#5: How do you stay positive and motivated in your daily life? What do you do for self-care?
I make a conscious effort to stay busy and remain active every day. With a 15-year-old and a toddler in the house, my hands are always full. My husband supports me in my efforts to stay fit by motivating me to exercise regularly. They are a huge part of what motivates me daily. Whenever I can, I take time to rest and prioritize self-care by indulging in reading.
#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?
MS is just a small part of you. MS does not define the bigger picture of who you really are!
#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 made it my mission to research and discuss subjects that are often neglected in discussions among MS patients. For my dissertation, I conducted a qualitative research study on how people with MS perceive their sexual experiences post-diagnosis. This involved gathering perspectives from individuals who have been diagnosed with MS and discussing the experiences they have had since then. Over the years, my extensive research and discussions with experts at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society have encouraged me to stick with this topic and eventually publish my research. My aim is to prove that individuals with MS are more than just their diagnosis and that we are capable of discussing any topic, including sex. Ultimately, my mission is to emphasize that we are all human beings and deserve to be treated as such.
Follow me @psychdoctolliverscott
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