17 years of MS

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17 years of MS

Postby mandyc » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:20 am

I was diagnosed 17 years ago after my right leg suddenly stopped working. I'm now 50 and have never really accepted my disability, I just put up with the erratic pins and needles, spasms, vertigo, leg weakness etc etc. I often take a pain tablet or something for spasms but not much else. I had to leave my job as a desktop publisher because I couldn't use a computer mouse properly anymore. I still miss working but I have done amazing 'bucket-list' type things the past 15 years I couldn't have if I still worked. Luckily my husband brings in the pay-check and my friends keep an eye on my eccentric lifestyle so I don't totally collapse!

I potter around caring for injured wildlife and orphaned lambs and goats and have met the most caring, awesome and inspiring country folk ever. I keep 20 odd pet reptiles and mentor new keepers, restore and re-upholster small antique furniture, maintain and drive daily a 49 year old VW Beetle and volunteer 5 or 6 hours a week at all sorts of charities, at a steady and purposeful pace. If my right arm is weak today I use the left, if my legs feel wobbly I pick a task I can do sitting down. I have found that the more I do the better my activity level is, but the more I lie down the sorer my body gets and the weaker I feel. Having said that I do now have a mobility scooter for shopping trips.

This is just me and my MS with a "use it or lose it" attitude, although I have slowed down a tad this year.

I believe many newly diagnosed people start immunomodulator treatments to slow the disease down these days.
I have had a recent major episode which affected my eyes and increased pins and needles etc in arms and legs. My neuro asked why I haven't seen him all this time for treatment. I'm now being pressured to start and am worried but just prefer to hug my reptiles for the moment.

I'd like to say that if you're a 'newbie' try to be psychologically strong and just try to do things you've always wanted to. It gives you strength and motivates you onwards despite the body's ups and downs! The people you meet learning all those new skills helps keep you going too. :-D. The people on this site are awesome too - anyone else from Australia?
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Re: 17 years of MS

Postby koopico » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:30 pm

I'm from the US, but nice to meet you, Mandy! Sounds like you have a great attitude--which isn't always easy to maintain! I was dx'd in 2001, but I think I've had it since '96 or '97.

I love that you help injured and orphaned animals--that's really wonderful!

Take good care, and "see" you around!
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