My diagnosis wasn’t that much of a surprise. I knew something was wrong and my symptoms had already started getting worse in the past few months. I had bad cough and had been prescribed an inhaler over the phone last October (phone appointments are usual here in the UK). I used to have bronchitis as a child and this is where I am most sensitive. The inhaler gave me side effects; tingling, numbness and the right part of my jaw was clicking upwards. The A&E suspected a stroke and an ambulance picked me up. They didn’t investigate it much further though. Taking a referral for a neurologist was a bit of a challenge here in the UK (long queues etc).
I had to travel back to my home country Greece to check what was going on. The neurologist I initially visited there suspected that I might have MS so she referred me to numerous blood tests, 3 MRIs and an encephalogram. I work remotely so I was in the position to attend my doctor’s appointments and manage my workload at the same time. It was really tiring in the beginning. It felt like the blood tests were endless. It was a huge relief when the 3rd neurologist I visited prescribed me therapy.
What has happened since being diagnosed. MS came in my life so that I could find my real strength. I have a good heart and I see the good in people. However, I had a tendency in complaining and seeing things negatively at times. Plus, I thought I was the clumsiest person I knew, but now there is an explanation for all of my unusual symptoms. That gives me peace of mind…
My advice for someone newly diagnosed is you’ll be fine. We have a strength that people without MS would not understand. We get to achieve the same – if not more – on a daily basis as people without chronic illnesses. We show up to work and we might be in meetings while experiencing bad migraines or tingling and still manage it. And one day, who knows that might be soon, I believe that there will be a cure, too.
Things I do to manage My MS
Although I’m newly diagnosed myself, I don’t put as much pressure to myself as I used to:
- If I feel tired, I take regular naps.
- Insomnia at nighttime can be tricky, so I take sleeping pills.
- I go to the gym to keep a strong body (Cardio is my favorite type of exercise).
- I attend bachata classes, too. Dancing makes me feel alive.
- I live in England the past 4.5 years and the weather here is not the best. I try going back home as much as possible to enjoy the Greek sun.
I would recommend @beatingmyms. She appreciates life to the fullest and enjoys spending time with her children like anything in the world. I also recommend @multiplesclerosis.awareness. She provides us with inspirational and awareness posts when it comes to medication, symptoms. Etc.
I follow a Mediterranean diet; lots of legumes, fruit, vegetables, I try eating lots of fish, too. Although not easily found in Greece, my favourite fish is salmon. I used to be a vegetarian, but this diet didn’t help me that much so I switched back to eating a little bit of meat and fish.