What is MS?
MS is thought to be an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord) which means the immune system - designed to protect against intruders such as viruses and bacteria - attacks tissues in the body. In the case of MS, the tissue that is targeted is myelin. Without myelin the communication between nerve cells is disrupted, and the body does not receive the instructions necessary to perform basic functions like speaking, seeing, walking and learning. If damage to myelin is slight, nerve impulses travel with minor interruptions; however, if damage is heavy and if scar tissue replaces the myelin, nerve impulses are completely disrupted, and the nerve fibres themselves can be damaged. Myelin damage leads to deterioration of the exposed nerves, resulting in irreversible damage to them. As a chronic neurological disease, MS has a dramatic effect on energy levels, sleep and overall quality of life.
Why I’m lacing up
I am the Team Captain for KC's Dream Team for the MS Scarborough Walk, I am a Director, on the Board of Directors of the MS Society of Canada, Ontario Division, Toronto Chapter and I also have multiple scerlosis (MS). On March 20th, 2017, it marked the 11th year that I have been living with MS.
Over the years most people looking at me would not know that I have MS as my vision problems you cannot see, my severe neuropathic pain which is constant and at times causes me to be off work, you cannot see. My fatigue which I am highly medicated for, you may not realize is contributed to MS, you may assume I had a late night and did not not sleep. My insomnia some may assume is due to stress but in reality its due to the lesions on my brain on my optic nerve which affects my sleep cycle. The scars all over my limbs from MS Pruitius multiple hospitlizations, you may assume I was scratched my a cat or a mountain lion. My treatment I do on weekends - to not affect my work the high fever, chills, nausea you may attribute to the flu. The fridge I have in my office you may think I get special treatment to have a place to put my own lunch but you may not notice its for my medication. Most people will never see me out in public in shorts or a skirt above the knee due to the years of MS treatments that makes my legs look like a junkie with scaring and bruises. I have signifcantly more time off work due to countless hospital appointments and I would rather be at work than go through hours of testing and hours of waiting at hospitals. Unfortunately, this year my left leg has begun to stop cooperating which has resulted in MRI's cat scans, ultrasounds, a few hopsital visits and multiple neurological tests. I am the first person to give up my seat for someone with a visible disability but nobody knows that behind my smiling face and humor lies someone who is always in pain but I just manage to mask it better than others. I am just trying to fight through the pain as long as I can to avoid having to use a cane. I am determined to walk down the aisle this year for my wedding without any assisted device. I have surpassed the 10 year mark so I know my health will continue to deteriorate but I try to make the most of it and travel as often as I can as I know one day I will not be able to.
I am fighting an endless battle and I do not know what my future holds. All I do know is awareness about MS breeds compassion and compassion leads to funding for research and research leads to a cure.
Thank you for reading my post, any donation amount helps and you can also join me by walking with me on Sunday May 7th, 2017