Up Close and Personal #2: Grace

Welcome to the second in the series of ‘Up Close and Personal’ series. I mentioned in first blog that each person would be sharing their own experiences of living with MS including initial diagnosis, medications and some of their symptoms.

So, I met Grace (who lives in Switzerland) through a charity that we both volunteer for and it was not too long after she was diagnosed and (I think it is fair to say) the personal journey that she has been on since that time has been quite something. We chatted a bit on WhatsApp and had a call and hit it off. I was astonished at how positive Grace was despite only just receiving her diagnosis. I was super pleased when I eventually met her at a conference we both attended in Prague and our friendship has continued from there. Grace has her own YouTube channel MSGoss. Check her out 🙂

When were you given your official diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis?

In April 2017 at the hospital in Basel, Switzerland.

Did your diagnosis take a long time?

Nope. I didn’t even realise there might be anything wrong until I went to an an eye test because I was experiencing double vision and the specialist suggested an MRI.

What sort of symptoms did you experience before your diagnosis that led you to go and seek medical attention?

Double vision predominantly and some weakness in my legs

What tests did you have to get to your diagnosis?

An MRI scan and a lumbar puncture

What was your initial reaction on hearing the news that you had MS?

Shock because I never thought any of my symptoms were anything to worry about and then calm as my best friend has MS and knew I’d be O.K.

What sort of symptoms do you experience on a day to day basis now?

Weakness in legs, unable to fully empty bladder, tingling in hands, brain fog

Which of these would you say are the two symptoms that bothers you the most? 

Weak legs and brain fog

What disease modifying therapy are you on? If you are not on a disease modifying therapy, please can you explain why you have chosen this route to manage your disease.

I am currently on Ocrevus

Have you noticed any side effects from your DMT? What is your experience of your DMT?

So far so good

What other things do you do to keep yourself healthy? (Do you follow a particular diet, do exercises, take supplements, meditate, go to any groups etc.)

I do yoga and follow a balanced, healthy diet

What is the worst thing about having MS?

The inability to always do things sporadically. I can’t run anymore or walk far distances, and living in a country surrounded by mountains I would love to explore them.

Is there anything positive that has come from having multiple sclerosis?

Getting out and meeting people, and having a better awareness of the world.

What are your top three tips to someone who has just been diagnosed with MS? Or, what would you say to yourself if you could go back to the day when you were just diagnosed?

Shit happens

Don’t stress

You’re gonna be ok

MS has been in the media a lot recently, with stories in soap operas and the news coverage of Selma Blair. Do you think this is a positive thing for people living with MS? Why or why not?

It is absolutely a positive thing because it creates awareness about a condition that not a lot of people know about.

Thanks for reading guys, if you have any questions or comments, please do get in touch. I always love to hear from you. The next in the ‘Up Close and Personal’ is Joan – an MSer who lives in Ireland. Look after yourselves and look forward to hearing from you

Z x

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