Jay: I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 28
Hey, I am Jay (@whatabeautifulmsthisis), 31 from the UK and I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 28. One day in 2019 I woke up with numb hands.. 2 days letter I went completely numb with pins and needles from the waist down. This was the big relapse that led to my MS diagnosis.
When I was diagnosed I was terrified, a little relieved that I wasn't going crazy and pretty worried about what my life was going to look like. MS is unpredictable and is known as the snowflake disease as everyone has different symptoms. So far my main symptoms are mainly numbness, pins and needles, tremors and fatigue. I have good days and bad days - I'f you looked at me most days you wouldnt realise that there was anything wrong with me as my illness right now is mainly invisible which makes it hard for people to understand. The first year was so hard - I was anxious, I had insomnia and although on the outside I was smiling inside I was struggling...
"I changed my jobs to a less stressful one with less hours, I am currently planning my wedding"
However fast forward 3 years diagnosis I have done things I never thought I could. I started running with my MS and it started off with 2 minutes, 3K, then 5K I eventually even got to a 10k run with my numb, shakey legs! I met the most amazing support network on Instagram, I changed my jobs to a less stressful one with less hours, I am currently planning my wedding! Alot of amazing things have happened in my diagnosis - things I never thought possible. And some of my happiest days have been in the last 3 years despite what life has thrown at me.
I started treatment within 6 months of diagnosis. I take tecfidera which is a twice daily tablet - it can cause side effects. I get bad flushing on and off in the day and itchiness. I have only relapsed once since I was on medication and that was when I was only on the half dosage at the beginning so it's working well. So the flushing and itchiness is bearable when I know it's working and I have no new lesions (scars on the brain and spine).
I feel incredible lucky with my support network. My friends and family have been understanding - it's little things like knowing I might have to cancel plans last minute, when there's limited chairs they ask if I need to sit down. I was worried I would be a burden at times but I've never felt like that. I have an amazing fiance who cooks when I'm tired and lets me rest when I need to and does everything when I'm struggling and have limited energy. I don't know what I'd do without the support I've had I also found an incredible group of other young people called MS together which is has been a huge help to me. Being able to talk to other young people with MS who are like-minded has made the world of difference.
I am determined to be the strongest and fittest version of myself and I will put up the best fight I have against this crazy, unpredictable disease. ☺️