Glasgow woman says MS relapse affected mental and physical health

Posted: 5th May 2022

A GLASGOW woman says her physical and mental health has been affected following a multiple sclerosis (MS) relapse. 

Samantha Moir, who was diagnosed with relapsing MS in 2014, had an MS relapse last year about seven years of being stable.

She noticed her leg and foot were numb while walking her dog in September, and within a week it has travelled up to her waist and halfway across her body.

Samantha, who works as a project manager, says her physical and mental health was affected and it led her treatment being changed.

The 37-year-old said: “It was quite serious, I couldn’t really feel anything properly. 10 days later, I thought ok it’s getting better.

“But then I got tightness in bands around my thighs, my knees, my legs, my feet, my waist, and that made it really difficult to physically walk.

“Getting up after a certain period of time was particularly hard, I was shuffling.

“I love hill walking and I couldn’t even go up a small incline without struggle.

“And then my mental health suffered.

“I am usually quite a bubbly, positive person.

“And then I found that I went through this period where I just felt really low. And I just cried all the time.

“I struggled to see the beauty in things I would normally see the beauty in and I just thought this isn’t me.”

Samantha says that when she keeps well she forgets about MS, but the uncertainty of relapse causes her uncertainty as she thinks “is this how I’m going to be for life” and tries to figure out why it happened.

Following her relapse, Samantha changed treatment which she says was “scary” as she worried about the side effects, but she says it has been “fantastic” and the side effects have been minimal.

She said: “After starting my new treatment, I just turned the corner.

“I was being very careful in what I was doing and what I was spending my energy on.

“I all of a sudden made it back to doing all the stuff that I love.

“Still, to this day, I have tightness in my waist. The soles of my feet, sensation wise, they still don’t feel right, but they work.

“My mental health is now brilliant, I feel I am appreciating everything that I can so much more because I had lost it and got it back.

“It was a really hard time because it had been so long since I had a relapse.

“And then all of a sudden I was dealing with what was probably the worst relapse I’d ever had.

“Because it stopped me physically from being able to do things I love to for a prolonged period of time.”

MS damages nerves that control different parts of the body, meaning people experience a range of symptoms, from vision problems to muscle spasms.

A survey of 1200 by MS Society found that around half of those with MS feel isolated, while 76% said the unpredictability of MS was the biggest challenge they face.

More than half of people also said it has affected their career, around a third were worried about access to future treatments and 63% said they had stopped socialising.

Morna Simpkins, director at the MS Society Scotland, says: “Life feels uncertain for everyone just now but for people living with MS that uncertainty is something they can face on a daily basis throughout their life.

“MS is unpredictable and different for everyone, and our latest research highlights how this can have an enormous impact on people.

“More than 15,000 people live with MS in Scotland, one of the highest rates of the condition in the world, and we’re here for everyone affected by the condition.

“Our free MS Helpline, online forum and local groups can be an invaluable lifeline if you need support dealing with uncertainty.

“Our Wellbeing Hub also offers support to anyone affected by MS in Scotland.

“People living with MS, as well as their family and loved ones, can access one-to-one counselling, information webinars, as well as group activity sessions, to help support mental and physical wellbeing.”

For more information on MS Awareness Week, which runs from Monday, April 25, to Sunday, May 1 click HERE.

Source: Glasgow Times

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