Tomorrow evening (Thursday, November 30th), Trinity College Dublin will host a public talk on living with Multiple Sclerosis. To find out more about this disease, Sean O’Rourke was joined in studio by Rosie Farrell and Keith Byrne, both diagnosed with MS in the last three years.
Rosie explains how she discovered she had the condition.
“I was driving to work. I pulled the car over because I felt very dizzy and my vision became double and to cut a long story short, I ended up in hospital on the Monday and it took them six months to diagnose it.”
Keith had a similar experience. He was driving at night and found himself unable to see the speedometer of his car. He was diagnosed with relapse-remitting MS which means he gets intermittent flare-ups, but must constantly look after his health and well-being.
Rosie suffers from MS-related chronic pain but refuses to let the disease hold her back.
“We got married this July so that was exciting, but it was a tough road because we got engaged two months after I was diagnosed, I ran a half marathon and I ended up having a series of relapses where I ended up using a wheelchair for a time and stick. I still have to carry a stick in my handbag and I suffer with chronic pain now so it was a long journey to the wedding.”
Organizing your big day is stressful and complicated enough as it is, but the added element of MS meant Rosie had a tougher time than most.
“It was near impossible because I flicked through every wedding magazine, I typed in every search term and there’s just nothing out there for people getting married with disabilities so it was hard. You had to find your own way through it.”
Similarly, new dad, Keith wants to make the absolute most of his life with his young family.
“MS is a big, big factor in my life and I’ll always have it lingering in the background but I don’t let it stop me from doing anything. In fact, it encourages me.”
For Rosie, it’s about taking one step at a time.
“I try not to linger too far ahead. People do say think positive, but I know for me, thinking too positive has pushed me further than I was capable… I like the idea of thought challenge and living in the moment, seeing where you are at that time and living as best as you can.”
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