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Claire thackray 10 years

My 10 year MS anniversary

Claire Thackray

Unlike the changing seasons, MS is not predictable...

Reflecting on a decade of MS

Sometimes, a fortunate stretch of summer days can suddenly get snapped up by a freakishly cold winter whiteout. Autumn doesn't even get a chance to display its true beauty.

Now as I reflect on the first decade of officially living with my MS, I'm both thankful and surprised. I'm able to say I've had more spring and summer days than I could have dared to imagine after my unforeseen diagnosis.

After the first and only major relapse that led to my swift diagnosis, I spent two years struggling to get to grips with my new 'MS label'. I fought hard against it, I couldn't respect it. This was my body. MS wasn't welcome.

Making changes to my life

Soon after my diagnosis, I experienced a few minor relapses. I was terrified of the prospect of living with a permanent winter inside of me. So I decided it was time to experiment, to make some changes to my life that would improve my overall wellbeing.

Alongside taking my DMT (Avonex) I would take daily doses of Vitamin D3. I gradually changed my eating habits and strived to eat more fish and veggies, and far less red meat and processed foods. And I totally cut out low fat products like diet fizzy drinks.

I started jogging again, not very far, but far enough to get my heart booming on a regular basis. And I found short running sessions outdoors helped me to process and deal with my life’s stresses more efficiently. Bonus.

Dealing with the psychological effects of MS

In hindsight, for me, the psychological struggles of having MS have been far more challenging and domineering than any of the physical symptoms. While my body has more often than not enjoyed warm, summery days these past 10 years, my mind has frequently been subjected to the depths of winter.

It’s important we do everything we can to promote and uphold our physical and mental wellbeing. Listening to my body before it's too late is something I'm still learning to do. And I admit, I don't always get it right, even after all this time!

I always try to take a positive from a negative, or at least try to see the positive side. It's a fact of life that things change. So whatever the season I always try to make the most of that one particular day, on the day, and live a life I can enjoy.

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