Standing in the freezing cold to smoke brought it home to me
My doctor told me I had a trapped nerve
The first sign of my MS was when I went completely numb down the left side of my body. It lasted for two or three weeks.
I went to the doctor who said that it was a trapped nerve and there was nothing wrong with me. I took him at his word.
Then, about six months later, I lost sight in my right eye. I felt terrified – I could only see things from a tiny part of my eye. I was told in Accident and Emergency on a Saturday night I had optic neuritis and was booked in for an MRI on the following Monday.
By the Tuesday they had diagnosed me with MS.
Rebif injections help me stay in work
It took quite a while for my eyesight to come back, but it’s fine now, although the optician says he can see the damage. I’m also diabetic, so I get my eyes checked twice a year.
When I was first diagnosed with MS, the neurologist said smoking was very bad for the condition, but I had so many other questions I wanted answers to I didn’t take this information in.
I’ve been having Rebif injections for the last six years and haven’t had a relapse since. It means I’m still able to work full-time. I do walk with a stick as I can get quite stiff sitting in the office as my job is desk based.
Everyone smoked at university
I started smoking when I was 16. At the time everybody smoked as it was socially accepted. It was back when you wanted to look ‘cool’ in front of your friends!
I went to university in Glasgow – everyone smoked there. I could smoke anything from 10 to 20-a-day.
My neurologist warned me
Nicotine gum and vaping
Your routes to quit
If you want to make a quit attempt this October you won’t be alone. There’s support wherever you live in the UK.
If you're worried about this information or have questions about smoking and MS, please call our free MS Helpline on 0808 800 8000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org