I also wanted to use this site as an opportunity to raise awareness about the illness I suffer from. In 2001 I had my first symptoms and after many tests I was diagnosed in 2005 with multiple sclerosis.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a condition of the central nervous system. It is the most common disabling neurological disease among young adults and affects around 85,000 people in the UK. MS is most often diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 40, and women are almost twice as likely to develop it as men. Once diagnosed, MS stays with you for life, but treatments and specialists can help you to manage many symptoms well. Although its cause is not known and a cure has yet to be identified, research continues into all aspects of the condition.
To understand what happens in MS, you need to understand how the central nervous system works. Your central nervous system is made up of your brain and spinal cord. Your brain controls bodily activities, such as movement and thought, and your spinal cord is the central message pathway. Messages are sent from your brain to all parts of your body, controlling both conscious and unconscious actions.
In MS: surrounding and protecting the nerve fibres of the central nervous system is an important substance called myelin, which helps messages travel quickly and smoothly between the brain and the rest of the body.
MS is an autoimmune condition. This means that your immune system, which normally helps to fight off infections, mistakes your body’s own tissue for a foreign body, such as infectious bacteria, and attacks it. In MS, the immune system attacks myelin. This damages the myelin and strips it off the nerve fibres, either partially or completely, leaving scars known as lesions or plaques. This myelin damage disrupts messages travelling along nerve fibres – they can slow down, become distorted, pass from one nerve fibre to another (short circuiting), or not get through at all.
MS can cause a wide variety of symptoms. Many people experience only a few symptoms and it is unlikely that anyone will develop them all. People can have different symptoms at different times and, although some are very common, there is no typical pattern that applies to everyone.
Common symptoms experienced are: problems with balance, bladder and bowel management problems, fatigue, memory deterioration, difficulties controlling mood, emotions and higher risk of depression, muscle spasms and stiffness, pain and sensory changes, speech and swallowing difficulties, tremors, vision difficulties.
For me personally I suffer from emotion managing problems especially anger and depression, walking problems I use a walking stick to help, fatigue is a big problem and really stops me doing a lot of what I want, swallowing and problems with choking, I have a very bad memory, I fall from time to time and have dizzy spells, I am numb all over my body especially my feet and legs, my fingers, and mouth, and I shake all the time that makes carrying hot drinks etc dangerous.
A friend of mine made a documentary about me and my MS and she has uploaded it to youtube so I thought maybe you would want to watch?
Its in parts but Im really proud of it and Tasha has done an amazing job
-For more information please visit The MS society