menu

LEMTRADA is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Because of its risks, LEMTRADA is generally used in people who have tried 2 or more MS medicines that have not worked well enough. It is not known if LEMTRADA is safe and effective for use in children under 17 years of age.

View IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Share, Send, or Save

The Physical Changes of Relapsing MS LEMTRADA patient blogger: Donnie By Donnie, Father, Husband, Project Leader, Former Athlete • May 31, 2018

Living in a small town, Donnie frequently runs into people he knows. However, some don’t realize the physical challenges he faces living with relapsing MS.

When I was diagnosed with relapsing MS in 2000, I only knew one other person who had RMS. Since then I have had the privilege of meeting hundreds of people with the disease. With relapsing MS, your age, gender, ethnicity, or where you live don’t matter. Multiple Sclerosis can affect anyone.

Being diagnosed has changed a lot of things in my life, which, I am sure, is the case with most people who have relapsing MS. The physical changes are pretty apparent when you see me coming. Several years after my diagnosis I had to start using a cane to help with balance issues. A cane is not something you typically see a healthy looking 40-year-old man using. At first I was very self-conscious about needing a cane. To me, it was a sign of weakness. 

I live in a small, rural community where I run into people that I know on a regular basis. One day in particular stands out in my mind. I was getting out of my car at the local hardware store. I had parked in a handicap spot and just exited my car. I grabbed my cane and headed towards the entrance. Just about that time I ran into an old friend that I hadn’t seen in several years. He looked at me like I had two heads! First words out of his mouth were not “How are you doing?” but “What are you doing parking in a handicap spot?” That was quickly followed by “What are you doing using a cane?” My mood switched when I realized he was asking with some sarcasm in his voice. Then I felt angry. Did he think I was using a cane as a fashion accessory? I explained to him that I had relapsing MS and that I needed the cane to help me walk. After that we exchanged a few uncomfortable pleasantries and he went on his way.

I had known this guy for years. We grew up together. Played football together in high school. If he reacted this way, what would other people do? Why is this healthy-looking guy using a cane? The reaction I get most often is people asking if I hurt my knee. Then I have to awkwardly explain to them that I have relapsing MS. Their response is usually as awkward as my explanation. To say I was self-conscious about my mobility issues is an understatement. I knew at that point that I had to change my attitude about the cane. More importantly, I had to change my attitude about my situation.

My mobility has continued to be an issue that I deal with every day. There are days that I don’t need it, but more often than not, I use the cane. The word itself, “cane” is still hard for me to say. So instead, I refer to my help as “my stick.” When I get ready to leave the house, I will ask Melissa to get my stick. Stick just sounds more manly to me.

Relapsing MS has affected my physical abilities, but it’s not all bad. It has also changed me in a positive way. Relapsing MS has unlocked an inner strength that I didn’t know existed. It has empowered me to live my life with determination. I can’t control what happened yesterday or last week. The only thing that I can control is today. So I will get up at 6:00 AM, just like I do every day, and head to work with my stick. I will smile and greet every person with a “hello” and a “how are you doing?” If they ask about the stick I will explain to them that I have relapsing MS. I will not be embarrassed. I will take the opportunity to share my story. Who knows? Maybe my positive attitude will add a spark to their day.

  • DIAGNOSIS
  • disability progression
  • LIVING WITH RELAPSING MS
  • SYMPTOMS



Related Posts

MY EXPERIENCE

One Man’s Experience with Relapsing MS

By Donnie, Father, Husband, Project Leader, Former Athlete, May 10, 2018

I want to paint a picture for you. Imagine me, a healthy 30-year-old man living in small town Kentucky

MY EXPERIENCE

Setting Goals and Staying Positive with RMS

By Donnie, Father, Husband, Project Leader, Former Athlete, September 18, 2017

I know summer's just passed, but I have to say, as I sit here and think about what a great season it has been

0 Comments

Add a comment

All fields required




1000 characters remaining

By clicking the Submit button you are agreeing to our Terms of Use. All submissions must be approved by Sanofi Genzyme before they will be posted.

The information on this page is owned and controlled by Sanofi Genzyme. All submissions will be reviewed and must be approved by Sanofi Genzyme before being posted. Comments that do not directly relate to the topic, potentially violate US FDA regulations, are factually inaccurate or misleading, or are spam, inappropriate, defamatory or use profanity will not be posted.

Please keep your comments respectful and appropriate, and do not reference any product names or product information. We will not post comments that include drug names or descriptions. Please note that Sanofi Genzyme may choose not to post, or may remove, a comment for any reason at any time. Comments on the page from members of the public do not necessarily reflect the views of Sanofi Genzyme, and Sanofi Genzyme does not endorse any content added by other users.

We are required to record and handle the submitted comments in a specific manner to monitor the safety of our product. If you have experienced a side effect or have a complaint specific to a Sanofi Genzyme product, please contact your healthcare provider. In addition, we encourage you to report the event to us by calling Sanofi Genzyme at 800-745-4447, where someone is available to speak with you.

The information on this page is intended for U.S. residents only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by a medical professional. Always consult a physician if you have health concerns.

Blog Terms of Use

LEMTRADA Events

Attend a live event or watch one online to learn more about LEMTRADA.


More From this Blogger

  • Meeting My Teammates —MS One to One®

    December 15, 2016

    LEMTRADA was approved on November 14, 2014, in the US. How do I know this date so well? Because I ha ...

  • Tackling My Relapsing MS Head-On

    December 7, 2016

    I remember when it happened—when relapsing MS showed up uninvited, but I processed the news, a ...

  • Perfection to Progression: My RMS Diagnosis

    December 6, 2016

    When it comes to my life, I’ve always been batting a thousand. Spending time with my family is ...


Tags

Show Less
  • FAMILY
  • PATIENT
  • YEAR 1
  • DIAGNOSIS
  • THE DECISION
  • SUPPORT
  • TREATMENT
  • NURSE
  • CARE PARTNER
  • LIVING WITH RELAPSING MS
  • CLINICAL TRIALS
  • INFUSION PREP
  • SYMPTOMS
  • HOBBIES
  • MS ONE TO ONE
  • CHILDREN
  • NEUROLOGIST
  • EDUCATION
  • EDUCATION
  • DISABILITY PROGRESSION
  • HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
  • EXERCISE
  • TIPS
  • RELATIONSHIPS
  • SIDE EFFECTS
  • RELAPSE
  • RESOURCES
  • INFUSION
  • POST-INFUSION
  • MONITORING
  • HOPE
  • COMMUNITY
  • FRIENDS
  • YEAR 2
  • GOALS
  • CAREER
  • FINANCE
  • VOLUNTEER
  • EVENTS
  • HOPE
  • NUTRITION
  • HOLIDAYS
  • RESULTS
  • RELAPSING MS