Taking aim at multiple sclerosis

“When she first started experiencing MS symptoms in 2009, she did not think much about it.

“I lost feeling in a postage stamp-size area on my upper right arm,” she said. “I played with it, and got a bruise there but couldn’t feel it. Then the right side of my face a month later went numb, ear to mouth. I could feel hot and cold, but there was something not right about it.”

She lost her sense of balance and started listing to one side, then started experiencing terrible headaches over one of her eyes.

“At first you want to pretend that nothing is wrong,” she said. “But when I lost my balance, I knew I had to see a doctor.”


A great inspiring story of what it’s like to have multiple sclerosis. This is a must-read for anyone who doesn’t have multiple sclerosis.

Secret Teacher: doctors said MS would end my career – they were wrong | Teacher Network | The Guardian

It was New Year’s Day when I woke with pins and needles in my hand. I didn’t think much of it at first, but two days later my hand had seized up and I couldn’t even hold a pen. The day after that, I was struggling to walk in a straight line. I saw the GP and was admitted to hospital for a series of tests. By this time, I couldn’t even feed or dress myself.

The consultant neurologist was blunt in his delivery of my diagnosis. “There are lesions on your brain,” he said. “It’s clearly multiple sclerosis (MS). You should follow a different career – you won’t be able to be a teacher.”

MS is an auto-immune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord – there is currently no known cure. My life was going to change, and my mind was filled with questions. Was I going to end up in a wheelchair? Should I give up teaching, even though I was only in my NQT year? Then I became defiant. There were surely other teachers who had similar conditions. I realised, despite the stress of the job, I did still want to be a teacher. What I didn’t want was to let MS dictate my choices in life.
Cutting workload isn’t enough to stop teachers leaving schools.

After physiotherapy and steroids, I regained most of my mobility and went back to school on a reduced timetable. I shared my news with the head of my department, senior leadership team and a few colleagues but made the decision not to go public with my diagnosis.

One of the difficulties about living with MS is that many of the symptoms are invisible yet crippling – fatigue, loss of sensation and bladder problems, for example. Although my occupational health therapist made some recommendations to help me, the school was reluctant to follow them. I had to fight hard to have a short morning break so I could sit down between lessons. I wasn’t asking for any favours or for an easy life – I just wanted to be able to do my job.

via Secret Teacher: doctors said MS would end my career – they were wrong | Teacher Network | The Guardian

Two lessons can be taken from this inspiring story if you are diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

Never give in to MS learn to adapt.

Be ready to teach what MS is.

Nashville business owner does good for others while fighting own battle | WKRN News 2

“I was told at 24 that I would end up in a wheelchair, and I looked at the doctor and said, ‘No I won’t,’” she recalls.

Evans held her head high when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, or MS, at such a young age.

She showed that grace under pressure is, in fact, courage.

“I said that’s not going to be me, that’s not going to happen, that’s not how I’m going to live my life,” she told News 2.

It’s been 14 years since that diagnosis, and Evans has been busy. She started her styling company, moved to New York then to Los Angeles, where she met her now husband and they both realized they shared a passion for helping foster children.

Evans’ fight with MS is ongoing, and some days are better than others. But no matter what, she starts her day with a little bit of grace and a whole lot of strength.

“My grandmother used to make us in the morning, she used to say, ‘OK, tell me about your day.’ We always started with I got up, I brushed my teeth, I did this or whatever, and tell you about the rest of your day,” remembers Evans. “Well that’s my thing. I gotta get up and keep going every day. Doesn’t matter. You just gotta get up.”


via Nashville business owner does good for others while fighting own battle | WKRN News 2

This is an inspiring story about Megan Evans not surrendering to Multiple Sclerosis while giving back to others.

I’ll agree with her in that I do better when I get up and get going everyday. Some days may be tough but it has to be done.

Jamaica mother with MS aims to inspire others

Lisa Ray, a single mother in Jamaica with multiple sclerosis, has been through many hurdles over the past eight years, but she refused to let them stop her from living a full life.

In 2008, the former Wall Street broker and comedy promoter noticed she was displaying slurred speech, and suffered from dizziness and problems with balance. After doing independent research, she self-diagnosed herself with multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain to the body, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Ray’s primary care physician dismissed her symptoms as not being serious enough to be a result of the degenerative disease.

via Jamaica mother with MS aims to inspire others • TimesLedger

My story is similar to this article about Lisa Ray but her story is much worse than mine.

Starting around 2003 or 2004 I started getting a tingly feeling and burning sensation in my right foot. It wasn’t constant it was more off than on. I went to my doctor and he order an MRI of my lower spine. Results of the MRI he said were I had arthritis build up on my spine around a nerve and it was pinching it. He told me there was nothing you could do at the time.

About  2005 or 2006 the feeling had gotten worse. A return visit to the doctor resulted in a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. I was given a prescription for Lyrica which after short time I found did not do anything. I called the doctor and was told there was nothing they could do for me, it would have to get worse.

In the summer of 2007 I had the same feeling that was in my right foot was now beginning in my left foot. The tingling in my right foot had I moved up into my right calf muscle. I also had an overwhelming stiffness in my lower back and shoulders as if I had worked out day before. My doctor referred me to a neurologist at that point and he said I needed to have an MRI performed on my entire spine and neck. When the results of the MRI came in the neurologist told me I had a mass on my spine.  He did not know what it was but assumed it was either a collapsed disc or a ruptured disc and that I needed surgery. After they would not schedule my surgery I went to another neurology clinic and they scheduled me to see a surgeon. The neurosurgeon said after looking at my records he couldn’t understand what the neurologist wanted him to operate on. After performing a bunch of physical tests on me he told me that he believed I had multiple sclerosis. He referred me to another neurologist and told them to look at MS for my condition. That neurologist did a brain MRI that revealed a problem. He then ordered a series of blood tests to be performed which came back negative. The next step was a spinal tap and on January 8th 2008 I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Today thanks to Copaxone the medication I take I don’t have the tingling or burning sensation in my feet. The stiffness is generally controlled most days as well. My walk and balance are off however and I need a walker to get around. I have tremors as well along with speech issues and swallowing issues caused by multiple sclerosis.

My advice to anyone with MS is learn to adapt and then move on.