When were you diagnosed with MS? November 2010
What type of MS do you have? Diagnosed with Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS)
which has now moved to Primary Progressive MS (PPMS)
#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?
My journey began In July of 2005, when I had my initial experience, which I now realize was my first flare-up. Two years later, I had another episode where I was admitted to the hospital. They initially thought I was having a stroke. Fast forward to 2010, I experienced vision loss in my left eye and was diagnosed with optic neuritis. Following this, I was referred to a neuro-ophthalmologist who promptly ordered a brain MRI, and the next day I received my official MS diagnosis.
#2: What MS symptoms do you have and how do you manage them on a daily basis?
As we all know, MS symptoms vary from person to person, and I experience numerous symptoms on a daily basis. Currently, I struggle most with memory loss, severe tremors, and muscle weakness. I was a restaurant general manager. But due to my symptoms, I could no longer perform my duties effectively and I had to go on disability. Now, I take it day by day, and my main source of enjoyment is spending time with my grandson.
#3: Who/What has been your most important support system?
My husband, two daughters, and caring
siblings are my largest support system. However, the news of my youngest daughter possibly having MS has left me feeling guilty about the possibility of passing it on to her. It's a difficult situation to deal with. Additionally, I have a medical assist dog, Tao, who is always by my side.
#4: Do you use any accessories like canes, walkers, or wheelchairs to manage daily activities?
I use a cane, which I prefer to call a walking stick, most of the time. Occasionally a wheelchair, if I'm having a bad day.
#5: How do you stay positive and motivated in your daily life? What do you do for self-care?
I stay positive and motivated by pushing forward as much as possible. I have come to understand my limitations, and I try to rest whenever I can. While it takes me longer than most, I am still able to manage self-care tasks for now.
#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?
My words of advice would be to always try and stay positive about your condition. The lord doesn't give you more than he thinks you can't handle. Fight like a girl and keep powering away!
#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 haven't started a business. However, I am an advocate for our community. As well as, I have been participating in the MS walk every year since 2011.
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