I have a chronic illness that affects my brain. It also affects my Central Nervous System. In fact it affects my Central Nervous System (CNS) first, which affects my brain. I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS). My immune system is attacking the myelin sheath, which is coating that protects nerve fibres. This causes scarring of the nerve sheath, which slows or stops nerve impulses as they travel from the brain. Something like that, anyway.
I have MRI scans that show where in my CNS the scarring is. This means a lot to my neurologist, and not so much to me. I know what I am living with, in terms of the way I am affected, he knows why it is happening. So why am I telling you this? Well I’m hoping you may learn something, by reading my words. I am also hoping to help raise money to help people in Australia with MS, through this campaign https://www.kissgoodbyetoms.org/fundraisers/individuals/carolyn-cordon
I was diagnosed with MS in February 2010. At that time, I was physically affected, with weakness in the muscles on the right side of my body – arms and legs in particular. When I saw the neuro, he told me about the available medications that may help to slow the progression of MS for me. There was no cure, back then, and there is still no cure.
The medications offered were all injections. One given once a day, one given every other day, another every three days and the last one, once a week. I was a little shell shocked at the time and could only see myself going with the weekly injections, and I wasn’t entirely sure I could even do that.
I gave it a try though, and after getting trained by one of the lovely nurses from the MS Society, I learned how to inject myself in my thigh muscle with Avonex. I carried on doing this for two years. Then, along came some handy little tablets! This tablet is called Gilenya, and I now take one of these every morning, and have given up the injection, with thanks!
I’m proud of myself for having been able to do the weekly injections, but I’m thrilled with my new tablets, which seem to be working well. I no longer need a walking stick, or walker. I’m better able to get around and I’s still enjoying my life! Some people with MS haven’t done as well with Gilenya. MS is a strange disease, and different people are affected very differently with the various medications. Some have had serious headaches from this medication, some back aches, and some other serious side effects. I’m very sorry for these people, and I hope they all find something that suits them and helps.