1. Do you have a primary diagnosis, if so, what is it?
A: Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis
2. How long did it take you to get diagnosed?
A: Approx 14 months
3. How did you feel when you were first diagnosed? (ex: relieved, upset, numb?) What was the first thing you did?
A: I was unsure as to what rrms was at the time; I was confused and had lots of questions as I was only 21 or 22.
4. What advice would you give to someone who is chronically ill but undiagnosed?
A: Don't Google your symptoms and try to self diagnose. Everybody's different and you will scare yourself. The mind is a powerful thing and positive thinking is key as well as a healthy lifestyle, so try your best to keep active.
5. Has your chronic illness changed your perspective, and if so, how?
A: I definitely realize that living life on my own terms is a luxury, not guaranteed. I've adapted to make it work through living a healthy lifestyle.
6. What moment are you most proud of in your chronic illness journey thus far?
A: Running the London marathon was amazing. The feeling I had when I crossed the line was unreal. I had some horrendous relapses a few years ago where I lost my vision and my walking ability was compromised. I'm now 6 weeks out from my first bodybuilding competition.
7. What was your hardest (or lowest) moment, mentally and/or physically, that you’ve been through on your journey
A: During the last relapses, having my daughter come into the hospital and try to push my wheelchair for me. She was 6 years old; that's what makes me determined to be the strongest version of myself.
8. What or who has helped you the most during the lowest days?
A: I can't single out one person my family was brilliant and really supported me. I'll never forget everything they did for me.
9. If you had any words of advice for someone struggling with a similar diagnosis, what would they be?
A: However low you feel, don't give up. Instead of thinking of all the bad things happening, think of the good things you have and your loved ones. Fight for them and yourself. You can do it!
10. What would you like the world to know about life as a chronic illness patient?
A: There will be ups and there will be downs. Learning to live with your condition is challenging but it can be done. The hardest thing to deal with in my opinion is knowing my body does not always work properly. Right now I am winning this 💪
By Darren | @pascoedaz1