Many people who live with Multiple Sclerosis also end up having other health issues. These health issues combined with MS can present some unique challenges. I'd love to hear about how the combination of MS and another ailment impact you?
Some people end up with multiple chronic illnesses (I know folks who have MS & RA and MS and Fibro, etc). Others, like myself, have other medical issues. I was born with a condition known as Symbrachydactyly, essentially, my left hand did not fully develop. I have half (and fewer) fingers and bones in my left hand (if you are really interested, you can read more and see a picture here: https://multiplesclerosis.net/living-with-ms/when-ms-isnt-only-issue). As you might expect, this makes me depend very very heavily on my right hand. So it was much more than an inconvenience when my second MS exacerbation ended up impacting much of the right side of my body, including my right hand. To this day, I still suffer from the damage done in that relapse, as my right hand will often get numb or tingly, or simply not open and close as much as I tell it to. As you can imagine, relying so heavily on my right hand because of the issue with my left can make my life very difficult when I start experiencing MS symptoms. So triggers like warm temps and stress that can make past issues come to the forefront can really have a major impact on me as I can suddenly be unable to use both hands. Everything from taking a drink of water to using the bathroom becomes difficult and messy at best or completely impossible at worst.
I cope with these issues by trying to pay attention to what triggers an uptick in my symptoms. I’ve also experimented with multiple adaptive devices over the years to make some tasks a little easier. That said, it’s still a huge issue for me. So do you have multiple health issues that combine to create some unique problems? If so, how do you deal with them?
Fun fact: I thought of this topic because April is Limb Difference Awareness Month! So yep, with March being MS Awareness Month, I have back-to-back awareness months in my life which is not something I ever expected to say when I was younger!