My last ten years with multiple sclerosis

My last ten years with multiple sclerosis

Me and The Wife in 2011, I was still working

In the last last ten years I have changed from a man in full-time employment to a man with very visible, full-on, multiple sclerosis. Until 2011 my multiple sclerosis was affecting me physically but my thinking and problem-solving skills were still good. Employment was always somewhere in Europe as a contract computer analyst programmer or should I say a technical geek. My last 10 years with MS have changed life completely

January 2010

For two years my life with MS was OK. In January 2012 I had an interview in London for a new contract ; MS ruined it. Back at home the Wife asked me “How did it go?”

I only said a few words, “Its the MS  I don’t have the energy to carry on with this work”.

She replied, “I knew this was eventually going to happen, just retire”. She did not even blink.

Medical retirement moves into pole position

Suddenly I found myself at home 24 x 7 and no job. I walked into medical retirement with my eyes closed. A life challenging, life changing event and it took me completely by surprise. Who wants to employ a 58-year-old man with multiple sclerosis and 20th century computer skills? I soon found out; it was precisely zero.

My MS history

I believe my MS started in 1972 but no diagnosis until 1995. It morphed from relapsing remitting MS into secondary progressive MS in about 2000. During the next 10 years I did have bladder problems and drop foot issues. I also had to stop driving in 2005 but working overseas meant this was not a problem.

Me and MS lived together quite happily for over 35 years, we co-existed. I saw no reason why the status quo might alter. Sadly MS had other ideas. Slowly in 2008, it began to put its foot on the pedal. It started to trip me up but no lasting damage to me. I just got up, dusted myself down and got on with life only to fall over again.

My last ten years with multiple sclerosis

It now began to creep up on me and my life changed. I needed a wheelchair at the airports. I suffered the indignity of unexpected termination of contracts and then came “the interview” in January 2012. Medical retirement suddenly happened and my MS was gaining momentum.

My last ten years with multiple sclerosis

My outdoor walker, its essential

In the space of eight years so much has changed

My priorities have changed completely. I receive government benefits and I’m officially disabled. I can’t do  things that other people take for granted. Here are a few of them. I must use a walker, I can’t stand under a shower, write a legible shopping list or lift my left leg off the ground.

The changes never happen suddenly

Inevitably it starts off as a little niggle, something mildly irritating. There is never an OMG moment. Instead it is the slow realisation that fundamentally my life has changed. Then something needs to be done sooner rather than later. Recently too many of these moments have occurred.

Ten years with MS

Its perfectly possible that there will be no more niggles but something in my brain is telling me something else. What might it be next? I will let you know  🙂

Associated articles

My last 10 years with multiple sclerosisHeads MS wins or tails I lose

 

 

 

 

 

My last ten years with multiple sclerosisThe positives from MS

 

 

 

 

 

January 2020

3 responses to “My last ten years with multiple sclerosis”

  1. My deepest sympathy and encouragement in your ongoing battle with the MonSter. Your determination inspires me.

    I was diagnosed in 2000 and by 2005, I was realising I needed to retire as an equestrian journalist, despite the support of colleagues. Twenty years later, writing though hard keeps my mind working – but the words are now fiction.

    • Hi Roland,

      Retirement was a big shock, I had managed to imitate an ostrich successfully and retirement never entered my mind until it happened. I now manage to keep my self very active through the website and being involved with the selection and training of nurses. I give talk on Long Term Conditions looking at the mental and physical consequences. So much happens that is hidden from view and nurses need to know about this.

  2. Francesca says:

    Bravo

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