Knowledge is power
Five years before I got MS I was a company director for a landscaping company. I had a busy work life and I enjoyed playing sport like badminton and tennis.
My first MS symptom was numbness from the waist down. I also started to feel fatigued and my walking became laboured. About year later, on my second MRI the neurologist told me she'd seen lesions in my spine, at the top of my neck, and some small ones in my brain and that she had a reasonable conclusion that I possibly had MS.
Learning about MS
As soon as I was told it was likely to be MS, I started to research it on my iPad at home. It just meant I had a handle on what the condition was. The over-used phrase 'knowledge is power' is quite irritating to me but it just so happens to be true. For me it was just helpful to learn about the condition and understand it rather than deny I had it, because I knew by then that this was a reality. It helped me evaluate the condition.
My wife's reaction to the diagnosis was different from mine. Whereas I drew comfort from learning about MS, I think Ally, at that time, preferred not to think about it. It wasn't her way to look things up.
Asking about treatment
I planned to ask about DMTs in my consultation. By then, I'd been researching and had quite a long list of questions that I wanted to ask. I got the impression that the consultation was going down the lines of 'you’re ok and fairly stable so we'll just see you in six months' so that's when I asked about DMTs. My neurologist reacted positively and referred me to an MS nurse.
The emphasis was very much on me to make a decision about which one I wanted to try. So by the time I went back to see the consultant I knew which one I wanted to try. I asked if it was suitable and within a couple of weeks I had my first prescription!
A balanced choice
I chose the tablet DMT because it seemed to be in the middle in terms of side effects and benefits. So on balance, I felt that was a good one to start with.
I've had two MRIs since starting treatment and they've both shown that disease activity is quiet. So my MS nurse and neurologist recommend I carry on taking the tablets and I'm happy to do so.