Three years ago today I was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. I have been arranging a fundraising event to raise money for a local charity that helps people with various neurological conditions including MS. This time next week, at DW Fitness First, my fellow gym members and I will be taking on an 8 hour Spinathon – back to back spin classes to raise money for The Swindon Therapy Centre for MS.
In the past 3 years, I have taken my diagnosis and used it to change my diet and exercise regime and found that I can manage my symptoms through both of those, along with a heap of mental strength. Don’t get me wrong, my MS gets me down; I suffer on a daily basis with dizziness, numbness, constant pins and needles, vision problems, mood swings, fatigue, the occasional leg collapse (which has been happening more regularly recently, due to stress in various aspects of my life), the side effects of my medication and an overwhelming sense of dread as MS is so unpredictable from day to day, but I am still able to do things that a lot of people with the more progressive forms of MS can’t. I’ve been to the Therapy Centre a few times and realise I’m very lucky to be able to manage my symptoms myself. A lot of people who use the Centre rely on it to help them through their journey and it feels like a safe haven in such an unpredictable world.
The best thing I have read about living with something like MS is to “be as well as possible, for as long as possible”, so I wanted to do something whilst I am able to; to raise money for a Centre that helps people who have limited abilities because of a condition they didn’t ask for, but one that chose them and changed their lives.
I have to carry this illness for the rest of my life, so I can either wallow in the weight of that, or I can fight every day and make it a good one.
All we can do is always maintain hope and never give up.