MS doesn’t stop me staying active

Sonja, 29, UK

MS was a very sudden and out of the blue diagnosis for me. I was urgently hospitalised October 2013 with suspected stroke. Since hospitalisation, I have been left with left-sided weakness and a number of ‘invisible’ symptoms. However, I work very hard in order to increase and maintain strength and functionality.

I work as a locum Paediatric Audiologist, which I try to do on a part time basis so that I can spend my free time kayaking, volunteering, and gaining new skills and experiences.

Kayaking has been massively important to me; it has not only helped my physical rehabilitation, it has aided my mental wellbeing by being outside with nature and making new friends. It has also been a means of goal setting, to give my life focus. Without kayaking, I am not sure my body would be as strong as it is now.

I think that exercise is key; if you have any weakness, don’t give it opportunity to worsen, take hold of your own physical destiny by exercising as much as possible – I’m not saying run a marathon (although eventually it might be fun to do!) just start off slow and gradually build your strength up with the help of a good physiotherapist, and who knows what changes you might see in your body.