A mathematics curriculum specialist for a public school district who loves to travel
How did you find out you had relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS)?
“For weeks I had been ignoring symptoms that I thought were aches and pains from being active. But when the numbness and tingling moved from my leg to my arm, I thought I had a pinched nerve. I have a friend who's a physician assistant and she recommended an MRI and a spinal tap. She didn't tell me until later, but she knew one pinched nerve couldn't explain all my symptoms. When I saw a neurologist, he diagnosed relapsing MS.”
- Q. How did things go after your MS diagnosis?
- A. “My first neurologist looked at my MRI and made some pretty bleak predictions. But telling me I can't do something is a pretty good way to make sure that I will do something. He was pretty inconsiderate in how he spoke to me, but it did get me motivated to find ways to deal with my relapsing MS.”
- Q. How did you go about finding a treatment for your relapsing MS?
- A. “I tried one relapsing MS medication after another, and I put up with them because I wanted to think I was doing the best I could for myself. My doctor knew how I was struggling with the injection medications for a variety of reasons. After discussing with my doctor, together we decided that GILENYA was the right choice for me.”
- Q. What do you tell other people with relapsing MS?
- A. “Life does not end with a relapsing MS diagnosis. It is possible to live an active and fulfilling life. You don't have to prove anything to anyone else. Do what you can and remember it's also OK to slow down when you want to.”
- Q. How is living with relapsing MS different?
- A. “You just have to be a bit more mindful, listen to your body, and take better care of yourself. You may still have relapses along the way—I have. And even still, relapsing MS has made me a more patient person, both with myself and others.”
- Q. Why did you choose GILENYA as a relapsing MS treatment?
- A. “I did not agree with what my first neurologist said, so I drove 80 miles for a second opinion and found someone willing to help me. Together, we found GILENYA.”
- Q. Why are you a GILENYA Guide?
- A. “I want people to know that there will be bumps in the road, but you will have to navigate over them.”