My name is Helga. I was diagnosed in 2010 with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. I had been experiencing symptoms such as vision changes, balance issues and cognitive changes for about 2 years before my diagnosis. Numbness in my face and numb patches on my legs led to my final diagnosis.
I was very fit at the time as I was prepared to run my 5th Comrades marathon. After much debate I still ran the Comrades marathon but that was to be the last time.
I did not know about multiple sclerosis and everything I read about the disease was doom and gloom. The understanding and adjustment to this disease was as difficult for my children and my entire family as what it was for me.
Fortunately I was under the care of a great neurologist and I was placed onto disease modifying drugs. I changed drugs almost every 2 years until we found the one that works for me. I have been on Aubagio for almost 2 years and doing well.
I stopped working 3 years ago as I had cognitive issues with multi skilling, short term memory and executive function. I am still fit. I do Pilates and I swim a mile twice a week. I am also the proud owner of a Great Dane who is being trained as my service dog.
My advice to anybody who is diagnosed with this disease is to get support for you and your family from a patient support group such as MSSA. Medical advances have changed the potential outcome of this disease so much that it is no longer necessarily the debilitating disease it was before.