My name is Laura Mann, I am 24 and I have had MS for
I would like to say I have overcome this hideous disease and am the boss of my own body
-- but I have not. When I was initially diagnosed, I was working full-time, had a highly
active social active life, and a wonderful home.
Within four months though, I was unable to work because of the crushing fatigue that made it impossible to get past the tremendous pain in my legs. Because of this, I was forced to move back in with my parents because I could no longer maintain a household by myself. The past few months, all of my energy has centered around trying to work with what is still left of my body. My physical therapist helps me immensely with reducing the pain in my legs and gaining balance and coordination because I get very dizzy from both the MS, and, the pain medications I take for my legs.
I also had to reshape my group of friends because they were incapable of dealing with my disease. My new friends are now all solid, wonderful, supportive people who help me with the mental and emotional aspects of the illness.
Thankfully, I can still: walk, run, and stand, but all at great cost. But even standing for just 10 minutes can result in tremendous discomfort. Some days are almost pain free and bearable. But some days I am in bed crying because the pain medications I take do not numb the pain enough.
What makes MS such a difficult decease is that everyone has different symptoms and responds differently to pain medication. Some people can walk fine but are incredibly dizzy. And in the worst case (with progressive MS) some people first cannot walk, then can not use their arms, then ultimately lose their eyesight. So I understand it could be much worse for me. But, it is still very hard battling fatigue and pain each and every single day of my life. I remain hopeful that going forward I can live a wonderful and fulfilling life with MS. As I see it, giving up and giving into the pain that comes with this disease is not an option.