The event was interesting and engaging and was also a celebration of how far we have come in our understanding and treatment of MS since the Society’s inaugural meeting sixty years ago.
To put this into perspective, just twenty years ago there were no disease modifying treatments for MS. Today, there are seven, with four more on the horizon.
The talks and flow of information at the event were fantastic, but what I enjoyed more than anything was the support and sense of belonging. MS can be a very isolating illness affecting every area of life. As a single parent (yup, get the violin out), there are long evenings when I am alone with my fears and jumbled thoughts, without someone to rein me in and help keep things on an even keel.
To be surrounded by other people living with MS is comforting. I feel accepted and less alone. Sharing stories and laughing with each other in the face of MS is balm for the soul.
I went to a workshop about ‘Looking after yourself’. Listening to other people speak reassured me that my thoughts and fears are not unique to me – we all struggle in some way or another, whether we are newly-diagnosed or have lived with MS for decades.
Lunch was an opportunity to catch up with old friends and spill coffee down my top, just in time to sit on a question and answer panel about family life with MS. As this was at the end of a long day, I was ever-so-slightly tired and I’m sure I rambled incoherently about MS and The Teenager and how we had adjusted to life with MS.
We rounded the day off with donuts and more coffee before heading home. I took away the thought that even though each of us with MS copes in our own way, we all know we are in it together.