The invisible disease
Multiple Sclerosis the invisible disease is now a part of my life. It first affected me in 1972 but who could say what it was when it first arrived and began to infect me. I had no idea that there was anything wrong with me.
When I was younger
I used to play rugby at school, run down the sand-dunes at Aberdeen University. I thought nothing of using the London Underground or walking back from parties at 3 a.m. I was so naive and innocent, always thought that only a car crash could lead to disability.
So hard to comprehend
- It’s not contagious
- There is no known cure
- It has crippled me
- It is an invisible disease
So many changes to my life
I will not list all of them but here are some changes that have had a huge impact on me and the family. These changes have not happened suddenly, so far its taken 20 years.
- No longer able to just get up and go
- Taken my life and forced it to go down new avenues
- Stopped me going for walks in the country side
- No longer allowed to drive the car
Lets hope there are more years when I”m able to enjoy life, might be only 5 but it could be another 20. Whatever happens I must now live my life by new rules.
Every day I am reminded of it
- Foot drop when I’m stumbling to the bathroom before I get dressed
- The additional handrails to help me stay on my feet
- Pills, I must take them morning and evening to make my life easier.
- Downstairs the rollators and mobility scooter are my minders
- Intermittent self-catheterisation
- Double vision when I have done too much
There is no escaping it. Nobody knows how I am feeling, I do not look ill.
I must remember to be positive because this is an invisible disease. Things could be much worse for me.
I might look good but remember I may well be feeling lousy.
Let me decide what I can do or cannot do.
I am stubborn, that is how I got this far.
- Remember that I cannot walk and talk
- Don’t shout at me for being slow to answer your questions or for being so indecisive, its called a foggy mind
- Let me be as independent as possible
- Help me not to burn the candle at both ends
I will always need that little bit of TLC.
I will always tell you when I need help.
It’s called multiple sclerosis
Yes there are other diseases just as unpleasant that you can develop during your life but MS usually strikes when you still believe that you are immortal and you have your life in front of you. Progress of the disease can now be reduced for those newly diagnosed but it will continue to steadily rumble away and get worse in my case. It is an invisible disease and it can have profound effetcts.