Catherine sitting on sofa

I feel like I'm living through a revolution in treatment

My name is Catherine and I'm from Derry in Northern Ireland.
I was in journalism for twelve years in local newspapers.  That’s where I met my husband - he's also a journalist. We got married in 2010 and have two daughters, Lucy and Charlotte.

My first symptoms

I started to notice that I needed the bathroom a lot and I thought I was going crazy because it was constant. I even went to a hypnotherapist because I thought it was all in my head! I also got quite a lot of vertigo, some bouts of numbness, and I used to trip over my feet a lot. But they were all really small things so then when I got the MS diagnosis it really was unexpected.

Still, the diagnosis for me was actually a relief because I finally had a reason for feeling under the weather all the time. Whereas for my mum, dad and Joe, it was a lot harder to process.

I've always said it's harder on my family than it is on me.

Starting a family

Kids were always on the agenda so when I was offered treatment, about four weeks before Joe and I got married, we decided we'd have a family first. I always say we prioritised life at that stage, so it was a conscious decision by us.

Everyone's different though - I would never tell anyone to come off treatment to have a child. But we decided that's what we wanted to do and Charlotte (our first daughter) was the result so it was good outcome!

A big decision

As soon as I had Charlotte I asked my MS nurse if I could start treatment. Even though I knew I wanted to go on treatment, it still felt like quite a big decision. So I did wobble a bit when they offered it to me.

But then a friend of mine, who's really quite sharp, said to me 'imagine they had told you couldn’t  have treatment, how would you feel about that?' And I said I'd feel really hard done by, I'd feel annoyed, I'd want them to give it to me. So she said 'well you've answered your own question then'.

I decided to go on treatment at that point because I realised there are people around the world who haven't got that option. It was there waiting for me to take, so I felt it would’ve been wrong of me not to take it.

Revolution in treatment

I feel like I'm living through a real revolution in treatment, which is fantastic!

I have more choices than people would’ve had twenty years ago and the advice you’re given now is different too. I never take that for granted.

> Find out about getting treatment