Sasha and her children are starring in our Stop MS Appeal campaign this Christmas. She shares why it’s so important to her.
I was diagnosed with relapsing MS in 2019, three weeks after my little girl was born.
I couldn’t walk well, and my eyesight was starting to go. It was scary because I couldn’t hold or feed my new baby. We were separated for a month while I was in hospital trying to recover.
The overwhelming fear and sadness of that time are hard to express. I felt that I wasn’t going to be able to be a mum and look after my new little girl.
Support to get through tough times
I was given an MS nurse and her support helped get me through. My brilliant mental health team also supported me with my feelings. And my mum was there the entire time, helping me look after my tiny daughter.
My two other children were seven and four. They came to see me in hospital and they saw me in my wheelchair, but I wasn’t sure what to tell them. I didn’t know a lot about MS! The doctors didn’t give me a lot of information at the time.
It was only through looking at the MS Society’s website that I got a better picture of what my future could be like. And I found out there were treatments that could help. This gave me some hope that I might able to be the parent I wanted to be.
Being mum on good days and bad days
It can be hard explaining MS to my kids. I have good days and bad days. When a bad day comes along they can’t quite understand what’s happening to mummy. We have to have that talk again of ‘mummy’s brain is a bit poorly and mummy’s having a bad day today’.
On those bad days we see what gentle things we can do around the house. And if it’s a really bad day then it's CBeebies and Netflix to the rescue!
Asking for help is important. There have been times when I’ve said ‘I’m fine’ and tried to power through on my own. It’s the very British ‘stiff upper lip’ thing that many of us can do. But it’s important to be honest and ask for help when you need it.
Treatment has given me my life back
I started my disease modifying therapy (DMT) in September 2019 and I’m thankful for it every day. It’s stopped me from having relapses for the past two years. I know not everyone has such a good response but it’s the reason I can walk now. Not as far as I used to – but I can walk, which is amazing.
I’m always worried that my MS will progress. That anxiety and fear consumed me in my first year of being diagnosed. The uncertainty about my future is still hard. But I try my best to focus on being the best I can be now.
My Christmas wish list
We’re starting to get ready for Christmas - my third since my diagnosis. There are lots of things we love to do together at this time of year. But I also need to listen to my body, and not push myself to do more than I can.
If I had a Christmas wish list it would be to be free of the symptoms that can make things more difficult – like the cramping in my hands when I wrap my children’s presents. Or the fatigue that makes it hard to get everything done.
My biggest wish would be to never relapse again. And for everyone with MS to have a treatment that works for them. That’s why I’m supporting the Stop MS Appeal. Medicine is always changing and making new breakthroughs. I’m confident that one day there will be something that also helps with every type of MS.
Will you join me and help make this a reality?
Please donate today and, together, we can stop MS.