Adjusting to life with MS

By Chad Klassen
May 16, 2016 - 11:41am Updated: May 16, 2016 - 7:08pm

KAMLOOPS — Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects over 100,000 Canadians. Researchers are working to develop new and better treatments for people living with MS.

It's been two years of adjusting to life with MS for Kamloops resident Susan Cook. Once an active mom, Cook has now had to scale back. 
 

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"It've had to learn to use buzzers and alarms, because my MS is cognitive more than mobility-wise," says Cook, who's had MS since 2014. "My brain doesn't function as well as it used to. I take things a bit slower. I'm a one-tasker, compared to a multi-tasker now, and life is just a little bit different."

Cook, once a dental assistant, has had to stop working with the cognitive difficulties. It was in 2011 when she first noticed something was wrong. 

"On my left side, I noticed that I wasn't hearing properly, seeing properly," says Cook. "I'd forget names, forget what I was doing. You start forgetting things at work, so it just progressed. By 2014, my body was completely numb."

It has been a challenge for Cook, who's had to relearn everything about her body, including how to walk without feeling.

"I always make sure I lift up my knees farther than you think you need to. You feel like you have sandbags underneath your feet. You have to make sure you buy the shoes that don't have big grips. It's all alterations of a new life."

Others living with MS experience similar numbness, as well as various levels of pain, which can be eased with treatment. 

For Cook, she's taking one step at a time, one day at a time, pushing forward for the sake of her husband and kids. 

"You have to just charge on and take control of the little things that you can take control of. Just to make it better for me, and everyone around you. If everyone else around you feels comfortable with your disease, then it makes it easier for my soul."

The MS society of Kamloops raised over $70,000 on Sunday, all money that will stay local to help patients in the region. You can donate to the MS society at mswalks.ca

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