Sales and contract negotiator • College student
What was your path to discovering you had relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS)?
“My first MS symptom was when 3 of my fingers began to tingle. I thought it might be a pinched nerve, but decided to see a doctor who referred me to a neurologist. By the time I met with the neurologist, I had developed an additional symptom, which felt like an electrical shock that would spread from my head, down my spine, and all the way to my toes. I had an MRI, which was inconclusive, but the spinal tap confirmed a diagnosis of relapsing MS.”
- Q. Then what happened?
- A. “After my diagnosis, I tried to live life the way I always had. But the gravity of it all started to sink in and I got pretty down about my whole situation. I tried several MS medications, but I had to discontinue them for a variety of reasons. I was at a low point and I realized I wasn't going to get better just sitting around.”
- Q. How has your attitude toward MS changed?
- A. “I got to a place where I looked in the mirror and I wasn't happy with who I was. I had let MS take over. I decided it was time to fight back. I did a lot of research and I talked to my doctor about my options.”
- Q. What do others hear you say about relapsing MS?
- A. “MS is part of who I am. It doesn't change who I am. It did for a while. Now that I know how to maintain my life with MS, it is not as big a problem as you might think.”
- Q. How has living with relapsing MS affected you?
- A. “I have experienced the emotional rollercoaster and I did not enjoy it. Today I'm a whole lot better at keeping things even and level. I get the right amount of sleep, exercise, and try not to overdo things. I still go out with the girls from time to time, but I know I want to function and feel good the next day.”
- Q. How did you find GILENYA®?
- A. “I asked my neurologist about GILENYA. I'd been thinking, a medication really can't work well if you aren't good about taking it, and I had to admit I was doing a poor job with the injectable medications. I knew GILENYA was proven to work from the research I'd read. And I figured if I took a once-a-day* pill, I wouldn't always be trying to avoid treatment.”
- Q. Why are you a GILENYA Guide?
- A. “I want to help people who are struggling. They need to know that MS is not the end. It took me a while to really find my way, and if I can help someone else, well, that would be pretty cool, right?”