31 Days of MS: My strength, my spirit, my story

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by BioNews Staff |

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Tom and Jessica Dubey

Jessica Dubey, right, is with her partner, Tom. (Courtesy of Jessica Dubey)

Day 22 of 31

This is Jessica Dubey‘s story:

Multiple sclerosis is unpredictable, You never quite know what to expect or how you will feel. Planning a weekend, a holiday, or even just a night out can sometimes feel impossible.

My journey over the last six years has had its challenges and been full of ups and downs. It began with  feeling unusually tired and then my sight blurred and disappeared in my left eye. After seven months of  tests and symptoms, I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS(RRMS).

My grandmother had MS. She was diagnosed in the 1960s. At that time, there was little understanding about the disease and there were no treatments. Her condition, of course, progressed, as a result. When I was diagnosed hers was my only reference to MS. It was scary. Thankfully, things are radically different today.

My main challenges have been trying to find a medication that suited me. I am currently on my sixth medication. The side effects have been numerous and untenable.

But I’ve had much support from friends, family, colleagues, the MS Society and my medical team. My advice is to surround yourself with love and, most importantly, be kind to yourself. You  know what your body needs.

The key for me is to manage my energy levels, know my limits, and keep a positive mindset. It can be  frustrating when my body won’t keep up with my mind and everything I want to do. That means scheduling time to rest and planning ahead. Work and weekends can be challenging as I have to manage my fatigue. I’m extremely lucky to be able to work from home and have the most  supportive colleagues who’ve been so understanding. I’ve also learned to enjoy indoor activities more — reading, crafting, and puzzling.

I feel incredibly grateful to have so many treatment options available. Research has come such a long way. When my grandmother was diagnosed in her 40s, she was sent home with no way to slow the disease’s progression. I’m now on my final phase of Mavenclad, a two-year program, which should lead to five years of being medication-free. It’s onward and upward from here!

The future is bright and hopeful.

Multiple Sclerosis News Today’s 31 Days of MS campaign will publish one story per day for MS Awareness Month in March. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #31DaysofMS, or read the full series.

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