When Kimberley was diagnosed with MS in February, she was scared to open up about the condition. But then a few months later, on World MS Day, she decided to ‘come out’ about her MS in a rather public way – and was overwhelmed by the support she received from friends and strangers alike.
When I first found out I had MS I was totally shocked, despite having known for three years that it was a possibility. I never thought it would happen to me or ever imagined being diagnosed with MS, but after some tears I decided that I had to make the best of my situation and to be positive about my future. I was getting married four months later and knew I had to be strong. Having an amazing support system of family and friends helped me incredibly.
Adapting to having MS hasn't been easy; my neurologist has said my MS has been active recently with three relapses in less than a year. I am learning to adapt my life by not taking on too much, listening to my body and resting when I feel the need, not feeling guilty about having naps and saying no to plans when I do not feel up to it. Being a busy person and having an active job managing a performing arts centre for adults with disabilities means I can find it hard to 'slow down' and 'take it easy', but I know that I must do this for my own health. I had a relapse of optic neuritis during my honeymoon which may have been a result of all the wedding stress and planning.
I posted on Facebook about having MS on World MS Day. It was a very big statement, but I felt it was really important. I didn’t want it to be a ‘taboo’ subject and I didn’t want to be a victim of MS. I understand that sharing your story so publicly isn’t for everyone, but it has helped me greatly. I was scared about doing it, but felt that by posting on World MS Day I could raise awareness of younger women having MS and living their lives just as anyone else does – just with a few obstacles to overcome along the way. When I shared my story, so many inspiring women who had been living with MS for years reached out and gave me invaluable advice and support. It was the best thing I could have done.
My advice for others recently diagnosed with MS would be to try not to think the worst – being positive has helped me massively. Also, having a rewarding job gives me purpose, keeps my mind active and helps me to be thankful for the life I do have. I would also advise people to share their story, not necessarily publicly, but to talk to others and be open with your feelings. I was overwhelmed by the advice and support I received after sharing my story.
The ADAMS project
25/05/2022 - 00:00
Dr Benjamin Jacobs spoke to us about a new study on the genetics of MS in people from minority ethnic backgrounds which may eventually shed light on why MS can be more severe for Black and Asian people.
Roxy's journey to diagnosis
16/05/2022 - 00:00
Roxy talks about her MS journey and the importance of sharing her own experiences to ensure that others don’t face the same challenges when receiving a diagnosis.
Lis' MS journey: one woman and her bike
04/05/2022 - 00:00
In May 2022, Lis will be heading off on her 5,000 mile cycling challenge. She shares how the idea came about and discusses why the support of the MS Trust was invaluable following a multiple sclerosis diagnosis.
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