31 Days of MS: How I’m fighting back

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by BioNews Staff |

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An photo illustration for 31 Days of MS, where people share their stories of life with this disease.

Mike Parker noticed numbness in his feet about 10 years before he was diagnosed with MS. (Photo courtesy of Mike Parker)

Day 4 of 31

This is Mike Parker’s story:

I recently was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). The last few months have been tough, with worsening disease symptoms, fatigue, cognitive problems, and limited mobility, just to name a few.

I’ve found ways to keep myself going. Podcasting about my journey has helped me keep positive, as well as talking on social media accounts about the issues I’m having and starting my own website. When I was told I had MS I knew very little about the condition, and I was scared. But with support and help I have come to terms with it. I’m trying to fight back by keeping positive and, if possible, helping others who may be struggling.

It started around 10 years ago with numbness in my feet, which I ignored as it would come and go. Over time, the feeling got worse and stopped going away. Thinking it was an infection, I went to a doctor and was given antibiotics that didn’t really make much difference, so I just carried on with life. But as time went on the numbness worked its way up my legs, eventually becoming a very tight band across my chest and back that also has never gone away.

Doctors told me to go for an MRI scan, but I was afraid of the small space. I went for an open scan that showed an issue with a disc in my back. A second scan, done with contrast dye, then showed two patches of demyelination on my spine. I was sent for a brain scan — for which I had to overcome my fear of closed scanners. I did and it showed “a few tiny white matter lesions” on my brain.

My neurologist diagnosed multiple sclerosis in June 2022.

I created the website to get my story out, in the hope that others will see that they are not alone and to encourage people to talk about their issues and feelings. I try to write blogs two-to-three times a week, as well as do a weekly podcast.

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.