I was 25 when I found out I had this illness–specifically, I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS (categorized by waves of relapse with periods of inactivity that is often diagnosed earlier in life than other forms of MS). In my head, I thought I was going to be in a wheelchair forever and was left wondering what this meant for me. Thankfully, I’ve been very fortunate for the past 25 years, and I’ve had an incredibly mild case.
Still, the first few years were really hard as I figured out the right treatment with my doctor, and there were times when I needed a cane to walk.
I quickly learned that everyone with MS has personal triggers that can exacerbate symptoms. For some people, the trigger is stress, for others it’s other illnesses. For example, I discovered anytime I got a fever, that would trigger worse symptoms. While the first few years were hard, I stabilized, and I was fortunate that my doctor took an approach that was beyond medicine.
Since I was having trouble with my balance, he suggested that I try yoga. And because a lot of MS patients struggle with vitamin D levels, he upped my dosage of vitamin D and took a holistic view of my health. We also looked at different foods that cause inflammation and adjusted my diet accordingly.