I am very open about having multiple sclerosis and about living with a personal disability. During the campus tours I do through my job, I openly talk about being registered as a student with disability through my school’s disability office. When travelling, I have no qualms with talking about the set of needles I have to take with me.
But I’ve been pretty lucky.
Yeah, I’ve had some big relapses—vertigo, loss of appetite, nausea, numbness, weakened vision… the whole nine yards—but for the year and a half since I’ve been diagnosed, there’s only been two weeks where I’ve really had to face my multiple sclerosis head on. The majority of time, I’m a perfectly able person with disability.
There have been some carryovers from my relapses: my balance is a little off, and I notice more of a stutter especially as I get more tired. But besides that, nothing.
I have daily shots I have to take, which can cause a big struggle. The days when I have no symptoms, those shots serve as a reminder that I am living with this. Which is really hard. It’s a reminder of all the uncertainties I live with.
What if today is the day I have another relapse? What if in between my meetings that day, I lose my sense of balance? What if halfway through class, my hand goes numb and I can’t write any notes?
A couple weeks ago, I gave myself my morning shot, and for the first time since I started taking this medication—about a year now—I experienced shortness of breath and anxiety. I’ve read that these are common side effects, but for me, the medicine hasn’t caused any side effects for me besides soreness at the injection shots.