Odette Farrow

Hello, my name is Odette Farrow, I’m 51 and been living with MS for 30 years.

My first replase was in 1991, my face went numb. 2 years later I had another incident, after both MRI’s I still had no diagnosis.

On my 3rd replase I was finally diagnosed after a lumber punch.

In the 90’s I had 6 replases. I would go to emergency , they’d give me a cortisone drip, as per the neuro’s instructions, and I’d leave to go back to work. I thought all MS patients did that.

I was not given any medication for MS, and I am grateful. At the time my GP was my “MS” doctor.

Late 90’s I found a neuro-surgeon and his exact words were – “look after yourself and I’ll look after you”. At this time I was also retrenched, a massive blessing in disguise, we decided that it’s best I don’t return to the corporate world and we’ll just figure out life going forward.

I went for annual MRI’s, as per Doc’s orders. I started eating healthier, taking care of myself and started to understand the role of nutrition and the body. I realised that I was able to better manage the MS. I tried vegetarian, dehydrating, superfoods, looked into grass fed and happy animals only to better understand what my clients were doing and lo and behold my body responded favourably to all of this.

Every year my MRI showed minimal increase in lesions until I was around 5 smokers 2 weekends in a row! That caused the worst damage!!! A massive lesion affected my left foot. I have no pain but over the years I now struggle to even walk a 5km parkrun as my foot and leg become very heavy. For the most part I’m healthy, have no pain, and able to do Pilates and kettlebells. I avoid heat as much as I can and try and actively eat as clean as possible where I can.

I stayed with the neuro-surgeon for about 13 years, and only changed because of location. I now see a neurologist.

MS has affected me cognitively which over time I’m learning how to navigate life and routines. As hubby jokingly always said when his OCD kicked in and he’d tidy spaces and move things I’ve placed to try and remember….. “Honey, I’m placing your stuff in the MS braille pile” (no harm was meant to anyone by this comment) .

I’m able to walk, however any fast paced walking or attempt at jogging is limited to a few km’s before the leg becomes VERY heavy.

I am blessed and incredibly grateful in that I’ve had 8 replases over the past 20 years. In fact, my last MRI in June2021 they said some lesions have healed!