Whilst Covid-19 is another kind of flu, and it’s likely that you’ve had a coronavirus flu in the past, it is significantly more serious than what you would consider the seasonal flu. The seasonal flu typically kills 0.1% of those it infects each year, Covid-19 is currently killing around 1% of those it is infecting, meaning Covid-19 is 10 times worse than the seasonal flu. As it stands we don’t have a vaccine for Covid-19 and no way to effectively treat the disease. It is spreading quickly, asymptomatically, and has the potential to cripple our economy as well as impact those we care about. I could dive deeply into the science and statistics behind Covid-19 but what I want to focus on is what we can do to decrease our risk, to decrease our community risk, and how it relates to those of us taking disease-modifying drugs.

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LIVING with ms as a partner

Shortly after the arrival of our son, my Partner, Eliza, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. For the previous few months I had noticed that she was having difficulty walking straight, would lose her balance at random in the hallway. Vertigo was our laymen diagnosis. When it didn’t go away, and instead started to get worse, I insisted that we go to the G.P. Eliza has a history of head tramua from a childhood of accidents which she blamed irregularities on, but this was a little different, more acute and more pronounced.

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THIRD times a charm – tysabri infusions

When I started disease modifying drugs to control my multiple sclerosis it was pretty straight-forward. I was on what is considered the easiest intro drug, Tecfidera. It’s 2 tablets a day, one in the morning and one at night, simple. But my body wasn’t responding as we had hoped and my MS was still active, so we stepped up the game and moved to hospital administered infusions. This wasn’t a decision that came without considerations and it has taken time to adjust to the change.

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EXERCISE and multiple sclerosis

A relapse is a scary experience. For me, I lost my ability to walk properly without falling over, hearing in my right ear, and strength in my right arm. I thought it was permanent. After about a month those symptoms abated and I could hear, lift and carry my son, open things, and walk again. Not simply walk, but I could run again. It took time to feel confident in the movement, just as it took time with bouldering to feel that my arm would support my weight as it once did. That relapse was a reminder to me that the strength, flexibility and overall fitness of our bodies should be something we strive for, not only for the obvious physical benefits but for the deeper biological benefits as well. For people with MS, it can reduce the severity of relapses, improve quality of life, and help regain control and movement and thereby maintain independence for the rest of your life.

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using DIET to help manage your ms

One of the big things I advocate is to take control of the things that are within your control. With a disease like multiple sclerosis we can’t control when our relapses happen, nor how they will affect us. What we can control are other aspects of our health that are known to have negative impacts on our bodies and minds, regardless of whether you have MS or not. We can take full control of our diets, our exercise, the amount of stress in our lives, the disease-modifying therapies we may take, the picture of our overall lifestyle. With that in mind I’m going to summarise the 3 most talked about diets designed for multiple sclerosis to hopefully help you make an informed decision about what you will change to help manage your ms.

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SHOULDER your suffering

There are some hard truths in life, the biggest, and simplest, is that life is hard. This should not come as a shocking revelation. I would go so far as to say that at times you have protested as to how hard life is, either to you, or to what it is “doing” to your loved ones, your family, your friends. I’ve seen people take this realisation and let it suffocate them, let it stop them in their tracks, have them wallow in self-pity for how hard their lives have become. At one stage in my life that was me too. We’ve probably all been there, and sadly there are some people who never leave that state and the potential of their lives pass them by.

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BEFORE my diagnosis

This is a post I wrote before my diagnosis in early 2019, when I was in the midst of tests and uncertainty. One of my recurring experiences was people telling me that I would be okay and not to worry. This felt incredibly dismissive and diminished my experience. After thinking on this I decided to write a post about it to share with others in the hope that they would understand why telling someone that “it’ll be okay” isn’t necessarily helpful.

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