Living an uncertain, yet purposeful life with MS

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by BioNews Staff |

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Five photos showing individuals with multiple sclerosis, who are sharing their real-life stories during MS Awareness Month, are hung with clips on a string above the words 'MS Community Spotlight.'
A woman poses against a white wall wearing a pink blazer and black pants.

Surjeet Kaur’s MS journey involves sacrifice, but also awareness and positivity. (Photos courtesy of Surjeet Kaur)

Day 14 of 31

This is Surjeet Kaur’s story:

It was an ordinary day in November 2012 when I woke up with a stiff neck. I tried to brush this off thinking I had slept funny. The sensation then progressed down the right side of my whole body with extreme touch sensitivity. I also started to experience strange electric shock sensations throughout my body. Slowly my right side became so numb that I started limping and couldn’t even eat food by myself.

A woman sits at a desk with two laptops and a tablet open in front of her. A poster is visible in the background and says "MS 10."

Kaur works on a podcast and with social media to spread MS awareness.

Little did I know that this seemingly simple issue would lead to a life-changing diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS). I barely had a clue what MS was. I had many questions in my mind: What about my future? Will I be able to walk properly? Will I die early? Will I be able to work? Will anyone marry me?

Despite the initial shock and numerous questions about my future, my family’s unwavering support became my pillar of strength and I embarked on a journey of awareness and positivity. With the support and encouragement of my brother, I initiated an Instagram community that now connects more than 25,000 individuals, fostering mutual support, shared experiences, and friendships in the fight against MS.

However, this road hasn’t been easy, as MS has impacted me in various aspects of life. My journey involves a lot of sacrifice, self-control, and self-discipline.

Lots of emotions are connected with one’s food habits. And what if someone asks you to change your food habits completely? I had to do it. I am from India, where our staple foods are wheat and dairy. But I had to give them up and adopt a gluten-free and dairy-free diet.

Similarly, I had to change my ways of working out. Before MS, I used to work out for weight maintenance, but now I work out for my health. I transitioned from gym workouts to yoga, gaining insights into holistic physical and mental well-being.

A woman sits cross-legged on a red yoga mat with her eyes closed and her hands together in a prayer position.

Kaur practices yoga.

With MS, I couldn’t keep up with my social life. I not only had to reduce my meetings with friends, but I also reduced my social circle. I couldn’t stand up to the responsibilities of keeping commitments and maintaining balance amid unpredictable health challenges. Not everyone could understand why I am always tired or experiencing pain.

Having always believed in the therapeutic power of staying busy, I continued to pursue my career and work. However, I faced two relapses due to stress and office politics. I realized that with MS, I wouldn’t be able to continue working in the corporate world. I decided to pursue a career that would help me maintain my health and allow me to be financially independent. Today, I am an internationally certified yoga instructor and nutritionist, advocating for MS awareness.

The unpredictable nature of the disease brings an ongoing fear of an uncertain future. While sacrifices and compromises accompany this journey, I believe that with one’s determination and resilience, MS cannot thwart dreams.

In recognition of Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month in March, the MS Community Spotlight campaign features a series of stories highlighting the real-life experiences of people affected by MS, written in their own words. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for more stories like this, using the hashtag #MSSpotlight, or read the full series.