How Shift.ms helped me through

@katielondon
How Shift.ms helped me through

My MS Diagnosis

I can’t say that I really remember any early signs of symptoms with my MS. I was pretty young, only 15, when I was diagnosed. My first symptom was optic neuritis, affecting all vision in my left eye. Mum took me to an eye doctor where he quickly referred me to a radiologist for an MRI and they whisked me off to hospital for a week long stay to receive an intense steroid treatment. After the stay, the doctor told us to carry on as normal, as a 15 year old nothing made much sense. My mum wanted a second opinion so we went to another doctor, a lumbar puncture was conducted and it was confirmed that it was in fact MS.

I was then offered the DMT, and quickly had to learn and get used to poking myself with a needle. After the first DMT didn’t work, I moved onto the second which meant poking myself more often. Of course my friends didn’t understand why I couldn’t go and stay out all night with them and why I was so tired. I then came off of my medication and tried the plant based diet for a few years. It was then that I relapsed again and my doctor suggested another medication that was thank goodness an oral medication so no flu like side effects.

The Impact of COVID-19

COVID-19 has definitely made appointments very different. My monthly infusions are all done 1.5 meters apart and there are only four people in the room instead of the usual eight. Inside my doctors office we are a bit further than 1.5 meters away and I feel like he is a whole other room away from me. My health has definitely been impacted and I usually did much more walking and that’s definitely been limited with staying at home and having to be sheltered. Anxiety and the unknown has really impacted me as well. I’m lucky to have support at home to make sure we are safe.  

What has helped see me through

I remember living in Germany and all of my family in England sent me the link to Shift.ms.  I watched the BBC interview explaining how it worked and I thought it was a great idea. I immediately signed up and navigated through the page and thought “wow this is really cool”. I was able to make friends with other MSers and share stories, something that I was never able to do. I always looked forward to other people replying to my posts and giving their advice and being able to do the same thing back. Shift.ms was a huge help to me in understanding how others were feeling the same way that I was. The videos have been very helpful and help me to make more sense of the illness.

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About the author

@katielondon
@katielondon

I was born and raised in Germany, my Mum is from England and dad was from America.  I have two younger sisters and as I got a bit older a dog as well.  We lived a bit of both worlds traveling to England to see nan and grandad every chance that we got, America was a bit further but we did go and see the family there but just not as often. We weren’t really into traveling the world when I was younger, but skiing was a big part of our winters. It was early into my high school years that I was diagnosed with MS and it pretty much turned my world upside down, things my friends were doing I couldn’t do!  I learned to deal with it and was still able to join the skiing club. I finished high school, went off to college, got a job working with children, which I loved! I later met my husband and we got married. Together we were traveling to as many countries as we could before COVID-19 hit...