My MS Story

Katie St. Lawrence shares her story of living with Multiple Sclerosis.

I believe my journey with MS began when I was 21. I was in college doing my dream course and was almost fully trained as a baker. I woke up one morning and realised that one of my legs was numb. Over the days that followed, this spread to the other leg, to an arm and my torso. I spent the night in A&E but was sent home and told to wait to be referred for an MRI. Eventually, I did get the feeling back but over the year that followed, it came and went. I now know these attacks as relapses but didn’t know what they were at the time.

During that year I had multiple appointments with many different types of doctors. It was on April 6th 2016 - a whole 13 months after my first relapse - that my neurologist said to me that I had relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

After meeting with the neurologist that day, she had me go to meet with the MS nurse in the hospital. I remember sitting in front of the MS nurse for the first time and breaking down, crying. Finally I had the answer to what was going one. In a way, it was such a complete shock to me as I honestly thought it didn’t happen to anyone my age. I was only 22.

The nurse was wonderful. She was so caring and kind, didn’t rush me at all and had the tissues to hand. She sat me down and explained that the most common age for MS diagnosis is between 20 – 40 years old. The nurse also gave me a list of websites to check out this included of course the wonderful MS Ireland.

I got in touch with them and began following them on social media to stay up to date with all things MS related. I also eventually became a member of their blogging team who writes the weekly MS and Me blogs. I have met so many amazing people both from the blogging team, MS Ireland themselves and people at different MS Ireland events.

I would be lying if I said I prefer having MS to a life without it. Thankfully, my treatment plan is holding my MS steady and I have been relapse-free for 4 years now. While I do have some bad days where I am sick and have different MS problems, I try to not let it get me down and lead the best life I can. I am a believer that everything happens for a reason and that maybe the reason I have MS is to help raise awareness on this disease and hopefully one day a cure will be found. All I do know is that through having MS I have met some of the most amazing people and have been given some of the most amazing opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten to do beforehand.

MS has made me a stronger person. I have MS and I choose not to let it define me.