Rachel Sinclair, 32, Aintree explains how she was diagnosed with a life-changing condition...
February last year, I woke with back pains. Then, just days later, I lost the feeling in my right leg and couldn’t walk.
At Aintree Hospital, tests revealed part of the discs in my back had crumbled.
‘You’ll need surgery to remove them,’ I was told.
Transferred to The Walton Centre for the specialist op, when I came round after,
I couldn’t see. Doctors couldn’t explain why I’d lost my sight, warned I might not regain it.
I was devastated, had test after test.
Two weeks on, incredibly I began to regain vision in one eye. And, eventually, doctors had some answers…
‘You’ve got multiple sclerosis,’ a doctor said.
MS is a condition that affects the brain or spinal cord and causes fatigue, vision problems, muscle stiffness, and spasms, difficulty walking and bladder problems.
The doctor explained there’s no known cure for MS, but I could try medications and therapies to help manage symptoms.
Only 31, it was a massive shock. Life as I knew it would never be the same…
But I refused to mope. I learnt to walk again and, after two months in hospital, I was allowed home.
My vision still poor, I had to wear a patch over my right eye, but I tried to see the funny side.
I suffered severe fatigue and back pain but, with time, my condition improved. Six months on, my sight returned.
Since then, I’ve had a few relapses, lost and regained my sight four times! I’ve had problems with my bladder, and had a catheter for a few months.
I’m often fatigued and in pain. But I refuse to let it get me down – I still work as a trade marketing manager and refuse to let MS define me.
I’ve started a blog, theblondewhoblogs.com, and hundreds of readers have contacted me.
Some are also MS sufferers asking for advice, others say I’m an inspiration. I’m flattered, but really I’m just being me.
Being diagnosed with MS hasn’t been easy. But I certainly won’t be beaten.