Light In the Dark World of MS

Hey MS.net family!

My name is Drew and I live in the beautiful state of Maine. I served our great country in the Air Force, and deployed overseas to Afganistan. I was diagnosed with MS in 2015 at the age of 26. Currently I’m still working full time, as a telephone lineman. When I noticed my first MS symptoms, it was on a hot summer day. I was climbing a utility pole for work, when I finished what I was doing and climbed down, I had noticed that my feet went numb. No big deal I thought, I don’t ever drink enough water and it’s hot out I’m probably just dehydrated. Well… 4 months and other body parts going numb later, I stopped being a man as my wife would put it and went to a doctor.(You all know how it is, guys never listen when they have issues health wise and don’t ever go to the doctors.) I guess listening to my wife isn’t such a bad idea, because after months of testing, I was finally sat down with my neurologist being told I am being diagnosed with RRMS.

Not sure how educated you all were on multiple sclerosis when you got diagnosed or had a loved one diagnosed, but the most I knew about MS was that Montel Williams and Jack Osborne both had it. I thought it was more of your body attacking muscles. Little did I know that MS actually hates our bodies more then I thought and decided to attack our nervous system. (Btw side note both of those gentleman are really doing a great thing for the MS community and educating the public about this disease) so here I am two years later, and experienced another relapse recently.

I have two beautiful daughters, a 4 year old and our new addition who is now 8 months. I titled this “light in the dark world of MS” because I think we could use some encouragement as an MS community and see some of the brighter sides of life as a whole. As much as I would love to sit and write out a list of all my issues that I have, I’ll save it and focus on what helps me get up every morning and push to the end of the day. Because if you focus down the path of life and look to far into the future, it can be discouraging in many ways. So I focus 1 day at a time. I also would like to say I’m a man of faith, and I tell you what, especially on those bad days I lean even harder on my faith with god to get me through it.

The other thing obviously would be my 2 beautiful daughters and my wife. When I strap my work boots on in the morning, I focus not on the pain I’m having to get the boots on, but the reason I’m pushing through the pain. I realize everyone of us our in different seasons of our lives with MS, all I’m saying is, let’s get a movement going in the community to lift each other and show the light rather then the dark. Let me know what brings a smile to you throughout your day. I have some serious depression as of recent relapse, so positivity is a must in my life. Let me know some the lighter sides of your life that get you through a day. whether it’s a special somebody, or a certain reclineable chair that if you didn’t have, would make life less enjoyable. I personally want to thank all the members on here, and this community has really been a blessing in my life. Thanks!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (15)
  • Shasha
    12 months ago

    The Ameriican diet hurts people. I need no gluten/dairy/soy/sugar/GMO/food with a label…taking vitamins/good oils/minerals…probiotic…LDN..detoxing helps me and more. Sunlight may help MS since low Vit D can cause autoimmune issues. Eating gluten (wheat/barley/rye..oats/corn/rice) makes my MS kick in. Rice is low in gluten. I can still eat white rice, but people/pets may need to get grain free to feel well. When I took white rice away from my cat food my cat’s fur got shinier and my older cat got healthier. Some grains also have Roundup on them at harvest. Gluten hurts my intestines so less nutrients absorb…then cells are not made right to work right to burn oxygen/food/make ATP energy. MS people may not tolerate heat if their thyroid is low. Amour thyroid helps me, not going by TSH since the pituitary may also be hurt by gluten which makes TSH. MS may come and go due to a person eating and not eating gluten. Sugar may hurt also as it slows mitochondria. Mitochondria maybe hurt by antibiotics/chemicals/paint/born that way/Lyme and more. Not all MS people have Lyme, but may have infections. A Zyto scan showed my infections and how my organs/glands were working. A Hair test showed if my intestines were absorbing and if I had heavy metals. I need a strict diet. Low oxygen in the brain due to gluten not allowing intestines to absorb nutrients so cells are not made right to burn oxygen can cause depression/anxiety/no sleep/obsessing/panic/suicidal thoughts in me.

    Natural help saved my life. Chiropractor/Alternative doctor/articles/book on helping health with natural ways. Best wishes.

  • Drew Swan author
    8 months ago

    Sasha, thank you for this super encouraging info! I will absolutely be looking into all this. Hope all is well with you and thank you for posting!

  • potter
    12 months ago

    I live in a Air Force town so we appreciate all of the airmen and their sacrifice. Are you still a lineman? The heat really does me in, I couldn’t even shower after my last relapse. The tiny bit of warmth would send a wave of numbing over my body. I finally got over it but dreading summer. My husband is also my biggest supporter, he is getting ready to retire and we are going to do some driving trips while we can. I was diagnosed 11 years ago, but probably had it many years before. Living a positive and stress free life is my best prescription for MS. Potter

  • Drew Swan author
    8 months ago

    Thanks so much for your response! Sorry for my delayed reply, been a crazy year for me. Yes I am still a lineman, getting into the nasty part of the summer, that I’m dreading. I also get that numbing and almost painful feeling with warm/hot water when showering. It’s been about 4 months since you posted, and I hope your still doing well!

  • melack01
    2 years ago

    I also am a veteran (USAF 1981-1992). The highlight of my week is Tuesday. Me and my husband go to play darts. Some days I do remarkably well and some days not so well. My game is definitely affected by noise and if it’s too warm. My husband is my best medicine. He knows just when to hug me. I think the people in our lives are what make the biggest difference.

  • Drew Swan author
    2 years ago

    Thank you for reading and sharing with us! Also thank you for your service 🙂 I 100% agree that it’s the ones in our lives that are the ones who motivate and keep us on the right track. I am still new to the MS disease and I’m still learning how my body is dealing with it and I have found loud noise and crowds really make me fall apart quick with anxiety. Hopefully I’ll get to throwIng another story on MS.net and hope you read again:) Keep on fighting and doing what your doing -::Drew::-

  • Drew Swan author
    2 years ago

    Thank you for reading and sharing with us! Also thank you for your service 🙂 I 100% agree that it’s the ones in our lives that are the ones who motivate and keep us on the right track. I am still new to the MS disease and I’m still learning how my body is dealing with it and I have found loud noise and crowds really make me fall apart quick with anxiety. Hopefully I’ll get to throwIng another story on MS.net and hope you read again:) Keep on fighting and doing what your doing -::Drew::-

  • Julie
    2 years ago

    Things were looking pretty dreary for me. I was diagnosed in 2001 so I’ve been living with this for a few years. I’ve been on betseron for several years but considering going off the disease modifying drugs since my rediagnose of PRMS (progressive-remitting ms). I don’t think there has been much success with the DMD’s for progressive MS.

    So with the blues that tend to com with this disease, my husband of 30 years left me. I decided to sell my house and pitch in with my daughter and son in law and buy a home together. It seemed like a good deal since I’ve been falling a lot and with my numb hands it’s getting tough to mix up my shots and administer them.

    So that comes to the biggest joy of my life. Along with my daughter and son in law comes their kids, my grandkids, 11-year-old twins. There isn’t much I wouldn’t do for them, they are the joy of my life. My daughter is distressed that I seem to indulge them. Well, that’s my job as a grandma. Getting to be with them every day keeps me smiling and when they come downstairs to tell me goodnight, well, there isn’t much more happiness for me.

    You are newly diagnosed but you seem to have a grasp on what you need to push through this. Keep your family close and try to not aggravate them too much lol There are days that it will happen with this disease. Keep smiling and remember what’s important….your family!

  • Drew Swan author
    2 years ago

    Julie thank you for reading, and also sharing with us. It seems like you have been through a lot of darkness in the past! Trust me I have my days where I’m a miserable “you know what” and definitely don’t deserve the family I have. It’s the hard days for me, that when I see my girls smile my whole mood changes. Sounds similar to you with your grandkids. your a super strong woman, and have overcome a lot of struggles. Your an inspiring person who I hope to hear more from because, it’s stories like yours, that build a lot of us up when we are down. The studies for MS are constantly showing great signs. Stay encouraged and keep pushing on! -::Drew::-

  • 1weclbc
    2 years ago

    Hi Drew!
    Thank you for your service! I was diagnosed in 2009 with RRMS. I am on copaxone and doing fairly well, but the fatigue gets me. Like you still working full time and thankful for so many things. I am also a woman of faith, and believe in the “glass is half full” kind of attitude! I count my blessings every day, like family and pets and friends…….etc. But this weekend, I was thankful for my gravity free chair! It is so comfortable, I may just move it inside to replace the couch!! LOL Stay strong and smile!

  • Shasha
    12 months ago

    After 2 weeks of being gluten free I had 1000X more energy and felt 20 years younger. Gluten is wheat/barley/rye..oats/corn/rice. Rice is low in gluten. Pets/people need grain free which help heal the intestines so they absorb more nutrients which helps the brain/body cells be made right and work right.

  • Drew Swan author
    2 years ago

    Hi 1weclbc! Thanks for reading, and thank you for your support. I’m so glad to hear your doing well and able to stick to capaxone. I too started with Capaxone and made it 9 months before I gave up on dealing with the pain of injecting myself- I tried just about every way possible to make it work for me in a way that didn’t make me swell up for 3-4 days. But now I’m looken for my best new option for treatment and the only thing I feel comfortable trying at this point is Gilenya . Speaking of comfortable , I just looked up a gravity free chair and wow doesn’t that look some dang comfy!! Haha thanks for sharing with us all and appreciate your positive feedback:) Stay strong in your faith , Thanks -::Drew::-

  • DonnaFA moderator
    2 years ago

    Thanks so much, Drew, I’ll share your kind words with him! Please, use away! I love the word tribe, it’s inclusive, protective and fierce! And I’m humbled and honored to be part of it! -Warmly, Donna (MultipleSclerosis.net team)

  • DonnaFA moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Drew,

    Firstly, let me say thank you for your service! Hooah!

    I truly enjoyed reading your story! You have a very engaging style, and I hope that you share more with us down the line.

    I’m a little like you, my children and my guy (Ex-Navy) are the reason I get up and who get me through the day – as are the wonderful members of this community. It’s awesome to be accepted as a part of this tribe. Thanks for being a bright and hopeful part of it. -Warmly, Donna (MultipleSclerosis.net team)

  • Drew Swan author
    2 years ago

    Thanks DonnaFA, thank you for reading and for your support! Please share my appreciation for your mans service to our country;) and absolutely agree that this community is such a huge support with my MS journey. Thank you for being apart of this really active “tribe” <— awesome, totally using it more! Sincerely Drew

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