When were you diagnosed with MS? October 2019
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?
Since my dad was diagnosed with MS in 1996, the news of my own MS diagnosis didn't come as a shock to me. Although it was still difficult to hear, it wasn't my first major diagnosis of a chronic illness. Back in 2003, I was diagnosed with a rare eye disease, and during most of my twenties, I lived in fear of going blind. This experience, along with the medical trauma I endured, equipped me to handle the news of my MS diagnosis.
So therefore, I jumped right into getting a care team and developing a treatment plan as soon as possible. Fortunately, I was able to get a diagnosis and begin treatment, within two months of my first symptoms. However, I couldn't shake the fear that this would hold my husband back from finding a job, as we were just starting to navigate the post-graduate school phase of our lives. It was challenging to incorporate this new aspect into our lives, but I remained optimistic and determined to find a way to manage my MS while continuing to pursue our goals.
#2: What MS symptoms do you have and how do you manage them on a daily basis?
The majority of my symptoms are sensory-based, which include persistent numbness and tingling sensations in my hands, legs, and feet. Additionally, I experience a considerable amount of fatigue.
To manage these symptoms, I rely on a combination of diet and exercise. Regular exercise has been helpful in reducing my fatigue levels while maintaining a healthy diet has improved my quality of sleep. Moreover, when my numbness and tingling sensations become unbearable, I find wearing compression gear, especially gloves, and arm sleeves, to be effective in alleviating the discomfort.
#3: Who/What has been your most important support system?
My most important support system has been my MS community on Instagram.
#4: Do you use any accessories like canes, walkers, or wheelchairs to manage daily activities?
I don't use mobility aids. But, I do wear compression gear to help deal with the numbness and tingling.
#5: How do you stay positive and motivated in your daily life? What do you do for self-care?
I stay positive by finding a balance between staying active and getting adequate rest.
#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?
Avoid using search engines. The results usually lead to unnecessary anxiety by presenting worst-case scenarios. However, if you do choose to search for information, try to be specific and look up things like treatments or procedures to gain a better understanding of how they work.
Next, find others who have MS. Instagram is a great place to make connections. Many MS societies list local support groups that can help. As well as, your doctor's office might also have a support group too.
#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 live in Singapore and Singapore doesn't have an official MS Society, so I am working with some fellow MS warriors here in Singapore to create an official MS Society here.
The MS warriors in Singapore are a great source of inspiration for me. But I am motivated when people approach me with questions about what it is like living with MS in Singapore. Prior to relocating, I faced challenges in obtaining information about MS in Singapore. Thus, I do my best to assist those who seek my guidance. However, it's imperative to establish an official MS Society in Singapore to provide comprehensive support to the MS community.
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