As I have said before when I got diagnosed with MS, I really didn’t know what to expect or what it meant. I went home happy enough with little awareness or knowledge of what was going to happen.
In the following months, I learned to understand many things about MS. There are 4 types (see below). It can be difficult to know what category you fall into or what your prognosis will be, you just have to wait and see what happens.
- Benign – where someone gets one or two attacks, with no disability, I think this affects around 20% of people
- Relapse Remitting (also know as RR)- this is where I fit in, you get an attack followed by a remission and some repair, each attack leaves a little bit of damage/demyelination, around 65 to 70% of people get this diagnosis
- Secondary Progressive – this is where most RR MS patients end up, this is because of the continued accumulation of lesions, the damage is getting added to every time you have an attack as you don’t repair fully.
- Primary Progressive – this is where some one has an attack and then goes rapidly downhill. They never seem to have separate attacks or remissions. This affects around 10 to 15% of people.
When I considered the above progression I realised that I wanted to learn and do whatever I could to slow down my progression, my MS. The last thing that I wanted was to end up being a burden to anyone, I wanted to keep my independence, which I think is the fear of anyone newly diagnosed. So now I spend my time, constantly trying to do all the right things, diet, sunshine, exercise, meditation and positivity. It is not always easy but I think it has paid off (except for the occasional bad day). I have found peace and the ability to live in the moment and not worry about the future.
Other interesting facts
- MS is common, particularly further from the equator and it incidence is increasing
- MS mainly affects young people in there 20s or 30s
- There is a higher proportion or women to men, approx 3 :1
- MS is more common in family members of people who have MS
- MS is thought to be 30% genetic and 70% environmental