Life can change in an instant and that is exactly what happened to me at the end of September. I was rushed into A&E with a suspected stroke after many tests I left hospital after 4 days with the possibility of having MS.
After an agonizing 2 month wait not knowing what was wrong I received the news that I have late onset MS. Which is exactly the same as getting MS in your 20s or 30s but at a later stage in life. For the last couple of years I have been putting off the numbness and pins and needles in my legs down to the menopause but it was obviously something more serious. Many symptoms are very similar – along with the pins and needles there is brain fog, aches in the body and difficulty in concentrating so it makes it hard to know what is really going on so I would encourage you to make sure you talk to your GP if you are concerned about anything.
It has only been a few weeks since my diagnosis and I am waiting for an appointment to see the neurological nurse to talk over my treatment and how they are going to help me manage the symptoms. I am not sure if the news has fully set in yet as it is life changing, although it can be managed with drugs and alternative methods I am going to have to learn to live with everything that comes with a chronic illness. No two MS journeys will be the same and I have no idea how mine is going to progress. I can only take each day at a time and learn to adapt and live with whatever it throws at me. I currently switch from being over positive and determined not to let it get me down to sitting crying and shouting WHY ME and what have I done to deserve this?? It is a lot to take in and my emotions are going to be on a rollercoaster for a while as I come to terms what the impact but all though my life will change it will not stop me living life to the full.
At the moment my ability to walk is not impacted too much but after my latest attack it was a real struggle to get around but that can change on a daily basis. The one thing that I am struggling with is the total fatigue that hits me out of nowhere and floors me. The one thing that I am going to have learn to do is slow down and listen to my body – I am so used to doing 20 things at once and having so many projects on the go and juggling so many different things at the same time but from now on my ability physically and mentally is going to change so I will have learn to adapt.
When something like this happens in your life it really make you think long and hard about what is actually important and letting go of the bullshit and the toxic people that you don’t want or need be around. It goes to prove that life is short and so unpredictable and you never know what is around the corner so you have to make the most of every moment which I am fully intending to do.
Life is going to change but I will not be defined by my illness or let it beat me. With the help of my wonderful support network of friends and the various organisations and charities set up to encourage and help those who have MS live life to the full.
I have discovered a new style icon Selma Blair who has been an advocate about her MS diagnosis on her Instagram feed and I love how she rocks her looks with a vintage cane so the hunt is on for a fancy walking cane to help with my mobility and be stylish at the same time!!
I have a new focus along with sustainable fashion, not being invisible over 50 I will add being an advocate for those living with chronic illness and MS – life is definitely not over – maybe it is just beginning a new chapter?