Sunday, 6 September 2009

Moving house, driving, back to school...ALL CHANGE!

Hello all,

Yet again I am in trouble with my family and friends for not updating this. It's not so easy now Ava is a demanding diva of nearly 11 months! I find it hard to get anything done now, she just wants to play, bless her! Well, a lot has happened since I last wrote...I don't know where to start.

In a month since I last wrote we have decided to move, found a Bungalow to move to, put ours on the market selling in 5 days and are currently awaiting a moving date. When I last wrote in July we weren't even thinking of moving. My parents have offered their financial support to enable us to move to a Bungalow making life easier for all of us -big thanks to them! As soon as they had put the idea in our heads we set about hunting for a Bungalow and viewed a few before finding the perfect one. Trouble is, we were in no position to buy it...we quickly got ours on the market and it sold in 5 days, so it all worked out perfectly. We are just waiting to exchange contracts now and get a moving date. So I may be in the new place when I next write!

I eventually got around to driving my new Motability car with hand controls. It is rather scary having driven a car with my feet for 10 years to start using a push/pull hand control and steering with your left hand. Anyway, shortly after I started driving it, Nathan drove it with the foot controls and the accelerator got stuck down. Luckily he managed to control it and pull up in a layby and then turned the engine off. Of course, as a result, I was very reluctant to drive it again. But, I've had to drive it to work and am now getting more used to it.

I am officially a teacher again! I went back to school last week and am contracted to work a Thurs pm and all day Fri. I really enjoyed it but was totally shattered! It was actually very strange for me...going from a relatively fit, active person who could walk unaided when I left to have Ava, to coming back in a wheelchair not be able to teach in the same way I used to. But I coped with driving there and back, and teaching some very successful lessons. It felt like I was getting a little bit of my old life back which felt great. I just need to get back to swimming now!

So, it feels like a new start for us...a new house, new car, back to work, all with our little girl. Wish me luck!

P.S I have my 6th infusion of Tysabri next week. I sometimes feel like I am getting stronger but I can safely say that I am no worse...which is the main thing!

Monday, 27 July 2009

I am still alive...!

Yes, I'm still here, I've just been very naughty and not updated this in a while. It is getting harder and harder to find a spare few mins to update this as Ava doesn't sleep very much in the day and wants constant attention when she is awake! At this very minute she is kicking our sofa to get my attention as I am ignoring her!

We had a great holiday in seems so long ago. Ava was a very good girl on the plane, and everyone was so great getting me on the plane too. I got to drive my scooter pretty much up to the door of the plane and then they took it off me and loaded it straight away. It was a great service (thank you Easyjet)! So if any of you are worrying about going away on a plane, DON'T WORRY! Just pre-warn your travel company and you will be treated like royalty. We had some mixed weather out there but we still managed to get a nice colour. The picture below is of me and Ava on my scooter.
I can't believe it is only 5 weeks until I go back to work. I am only going back for an afternoon and a full day but I haven't taught for over a year...what if I've forgotten how to teach?! I have been lucky enough to get money from Access to Work to pay for a support worker for the whole time I am teaching and they are buying a very expensive lightweight wheelchair for me to use at school. I am really looking forward to going back, although I've been warned, I have a naughty class this year! School have been fantastic about helping me get back to work. I just want to get stuck in now!
For those of you who knew I had a car on the Motability Scheme, I have finally driven it. I got it a few months back and it has been sat on the drive as I was a little nervous to go out in it. Using your hands to drive is so strange and needs a bit of practice. I found the hardest bit was knowing how far to turn the wheel, with just your left hand, to get the turn you wanted to! But once I get a little bit more confidence, I know it is going to be great.

I have now had 4 infusions of Tysabri and think I am feeling the benefits already. There are little things such as typing, lifting my toes up and sometimes my walking that seem to have improved. I am still writing about Tysabri on the MSRC website so if you want to check it out, the link is on a post below
I am sure that someone will tell me if I have missed anything out on this post!
P.S Just had to put another pic of my beautiful daughter on!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Au Revoir....for now!

I am very excited as on Saturday we are off to France on our first family holiday and Ava's first flight! I'm just a little concerned about the amount of luggage we have....2 suitcases, a set of golf clubs, a pushchair, a mobility scooter and a wheelchair and of course a baby! Luckily we are going with family so we have got extra hands to help out! We are also going with my Auntie and Uncle and cousin. We have got our own villa and pool so I am hoping to do as much swimming as possible to try and build my muscles back up. It will also be the first time that Ava has been swimming, which if being in the bath is anything to go by, she will love it!

I forgot to say, I am going back to work in September. There is no way I could return as a full time class teacher so the school have agreed to a job share. I will be back teaching year 5 but only for a day and a half, I am actually quite excited. I may also do a bit of private tutoring from home if I can get someone to look after Ava for the odd hour or two. I think we will just see how I cope in September to start off with.

As for the Tysabri, there is nothing really to report. Some days I feel really strong and my legs are good (for me) but other days I am exhausted. But I have only had 2 infusions and they have told me that the benefits build up the more infusions you have.
Bye for now
Em xxx

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Link to my Tysabri Diary

Hi all,

I have just checked the link on here to my Tysabri diary and it doesn't seem to work anymore. Here is the link which should work:
If it doesn't work go to and there is a link to Tysabri diaries on the front page and you find 'Emma's diary' there.

Happy reading!
Em x

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Hospital Stay!

Hi guys,
I have a genuine reason for not writing this sooner and updating you all on my progress.......I have been in hospital for the last 5 days! It all started a couple of weeks ago when I wasn't feeling 100% but I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong. My symptoms could be really good one day but really bad the next. I woke up last Thurs morn and my legs didn't want to do much at all and it took me a very long time to even get dressed and get downstairs. Nathan took the day off work to help me with Ava, by midday I felt better and almost sent Nathan to work. Come the evening I had a very high temperature which affected my vision, my legs weren't doing anything and I couldn't hold anything. To cut a long story short I ended up being taken to hospital in an ambulance. Of course we were all panicking about the dreaded PML. After a number of tests it was established I had a nasty kidney infection which then led to another discovery of a new kidney stone, which I do not need! I hated being in there away from Ava but I had to have a course of IV antibiotics. Nathan, my family and the in-laws were fantastic in looking after Ava so Nathan could still work, and also feeding him so he didn't have to worry about eating.
The MS team are sure that it wasn't the Tysabri that made me ill, unfortunately it just makes you prone to getting infections. And as I am prone to getting UTI's (Urinary Tract Infections) I'm not surprised.

I had some very sad news a couple of weeks ago, my coach at swimming passed away. Mike was so inspiring, even when I was diagnosed with MS and I couldn't train as hard as I used to,he always encouraged me to keep going. He leaves a big empty hole in our swimming club and will be sorely missed. RIP Mike xxx

My next infusion is on May 29th so watch out for my next installment on
Bye for now,
Em xxx

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

1st Infusion of Tysabri

Hi all,
This is going to be a very short post as I am shattered to say that everything went well with the first infusion. They took 3 attempts to get the cannula in but once up and running it was fine. Felt a little sick last night and today I am so tired that my body doesn't want to do anything. I am hoping that this fatigue will pass, I will write again soon in more detail.
Here's to positive thinking that the Tysabri will help,
Em xxx

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Where do I start?

Hello all,
Yet again, it has been longer between posts on here than I would have liked so I have lots of news to share. Firstly my beautiful baby girl is over 6 months old now. I can't resist sharing another pic of her with you:

She is a good girl and is giving us a good nights sleep which is much appreciated and helps us get through the day! We are just getting her first passport and the photo above will be her picture. We are going to France in June with the family which will be lovely. I just hope she is ok on a plane.
It was Nathan's birthday back in Feb and I promised him tickets to watch Liverpool play at Anfield. I was unsuccessful in my first attempt but successful on the next. We are going to watch them against Newcastle next Sunday. You see, I say attempts to get tickets because if you want a disabled ticket you have to apply with all your details and then names are drawn in a ballot to see if you get a ticket. I have a wheelchair ticket and you can take up to 2 assistants (who are free) so it's a fuss to apply but well worth the value. We are also in the Kop grandstand and if you know about Liverpool that is the place to be so Nathan is very happy!
I went for a driving assessment yesterday for adaptations to my car to get me back on the road. It was very exciting but also very nerve wracking. My eyesight was tested and it wasn't very good due to the damage caused by Optic Neuritis but it was legal to drive...phew! I went out and had a drive of an adapted car - very very scary after driving with my feet for 10 years and not driven since August last year. But I started to pick it up! I am getting a steering lever for accelerating and braking (just a push/pull lever) and a steering ball on the wheel. Will definitely take some getting used to but will keep me a bit more independent.
Tysabri, Tysabri, Tysabri....I start it on Monday (27th). I am very excited but a little scared. I just want to get it started now. Of course I will keep you up to date with how it goes. I am also doing Physio once a week and using tilty table things which enable me to stand up straight for a short while and not look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame!
I think that's all the news so far, bye for now,
Em xxx

Monday, 23 March 2009


Hello all,

Well, as the title suggests I am starting Tysabri treatment. I saw my neurologist last week and he said that the scan had shown up new lesions so I was eligible to try Tysabri if I wanted to. So I am going to go for it and have been given April 27th as my start date. I am going to be writing a Tysabri diary of my experiences which you will be able to read on the MSRC website ( )

He also pointed out from the scan that I was currently having a relapse (which I suspected) so they gave me another course of IV steroids last week. I responded really well to them until 2 days after the course finished I woke up in agony. I have never known pain like it. My knees felt like they were grinding together and I couldn't even stand up. It was pretty scary. I suspected it might have been all linked with a water infection and was given antibiotics for this the next day and the pain everywhere else started to subside. I don't want to ever experience that again. But on the upside, although weak, my legs are stronger than they were.

As you can see from the picture, Ava is getting big now. She was 5 months last week. She makes all these problems bearable. And I must mention my wonderful husband who is such a great support for me. Plus he told me I don't mention him enough on here!!!!

Em x

Friday, 6 March 2009

Where does time go?

Hi guys,
I am so naughty not updating this for a while. I don't know where the time goes.....actually I do. She is called Ava and is the biggest time waster I know! Can you believe she is 20 weeks old today? The picture above is of her meeting our friend's little boy Joshua for the first time. He is 3 weeks younger than her. They were sooooo cute together. We went to see them at the weekend and just stayed in, watched the rugby and had a takeaway with a glass of vino. It was a welcome change of scenery for me.

My new car is due to be here at the end of March. I have to have a driving assessment in a couple of weeks to see which would be the best adaptations to the car for me. I'm a little scared as I haven't driven since August last year. I'm sure it will be fine though. I have also ordered myself a scooter. These 4 walls are finally driving me insane, it is like groundhog day every day. At least with a scooter I can strap Ava to me and go for a bit of a cruise ha ha!! Nathan has just bought a new car (a mondeo) so it has enough room for me, Ava and all our bits and bobs.

I had my MRI scan on Wednesday, I forgot how loud and boring they are. At least it's done now. I spoke to my MS nurse yesterday because we'd talked about steroids after the scan. My neurologist is going to see me next Tues instead of the 24th to discuss the options. I am hoping he will have the scan results so if I'm eligible for Tysabri we can get cracking with it.

That's all for now,
Emma x

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

I have wheels, lovely lovely wheels!

Hello all,

Have posted below about some trials into MS so go and take a gander if you are interested. Well well well, what can I say? So much has happened with my frame of mind over the last couple of weeks. About a month ago, my mum suggested that I go into town and use one of the mobility scooters to try them out. I said NO WAY quite adamantly, 2 weeks later I found myself on one. To me, in my head they were for larger or older people, not a 27 year old young mum. When I spoke to my MS nurse about this, he said I had to use my stubbornness to get myself out and about, as scary as it might seem. So I found myself on the phone booking a free scooter at a shopping centre. At first I was a bit embarrassed, but when I realised no one was staring a me, I was fine. The only problem I found was that some shops are not designed for scooters and are a little tight. You end up nearly taking racks of clothes out or knocking over rails! And reversing is a whole different matter.......try going forward into a lift and then getting out of it beeping like a reversing lorry!!!! So I am seriously considering buying a scooter. Watch this space.

I HAVE BOUGHT A CAR! By continuing on the theme of getting out and about I have redeemed my disability living allowance mobility component against a new car. I am hoping to get hand controls so when my legs are having an off day, I can still get out and about. Here is the link for those of you who are interested in it :

It is a 3dr and magenta on the pic but I have ordered a 5dr automatic in bright blue.

My Physio team have also given me a rollator walking frame (as pictured below) for around the house but I think I will probably use it around and about.

Ava is crying so must go and make milk!
Take care,
Emma x


Hi all,

I have been approached and asked to advertise some trials into MS on here. Just because I may be able to attract some different people who are interested in helping. Here is all the info you need:

A Clinical Research Study Evaluating An Investigational Medication for Relapsing Forms of Multiple Sclerosis
Medical researchers are enrolling people in a worldwide clinical research study for people with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS). This study will assess the safety and effectiveness of an investigational study medication versus placebo (an inactive substance which contains no active medication) in people ages 18-55 years old with RMS.

The investigational medication used in this study is called teriflunomide (ter-i-flün-ō-mïde). It is derived from leflunomide (le-flü-nō-mïde), also known as Arava®. Arava® is already approved in many countries for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, another autoimmune disease.

The first step in determining eligibility for this study is to take the pre-screening questionnaire either online or on the phone. You will be asked a series of questions related to your health and be given additional information about study site locations. Visit or call 1-866-565-0245 today to learn more about the study and see if you may qualify

Happy trialling!

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Tysabri or not Tysabri?

Hi all,

Firstly, can I just say how nice it is to get comments from people who read this blog saying that it cheers them up or they can associate with what I am saying. It is reassuring that there are people out there going through the same thing as me. I am always surprised that anyone reads this, I mean who wants to read about my life!!! But I love writing long may it continue!

Secondly, as the title may suggest, I have been offered Tysabri. My MS has been 'highly active over the last year or so, so I am now eligible for something stronger that is hopefully going to stop the progression of my MS. But I know all these drugs are not without their side effects. I have to see my Neurologist and have another MRI scan before they can confirm I can have Tysabri. They want to check my brain to see that I have more lesions showing than last time, otherwise I am not eligible for it! I think that we are pretty much decided that if ok with all my checks, I am going to go for it. I want to give myself the best chance of fighting this disease.

Occupational Therapy have been back out to visit. We are now going to apply for a grant to extend the shower (so we can get a seat in it) and a stair lift. A stair lift would just mean I can go up and down the stairs with Ava and feel safe and not use up all my energy going up and down them! My MS nurse suggested I get a scooter to get out and about but I am not sure I am ready for that yet. They're for old people in my mind!!!!!!! I'm sure I'll come round to the idea sometime!

Photo update of Ava for you all!

Em xxx

Friday, 16 January 2009

My saviour...the perching stool!

It has only been 10 days since I last resolution is still going strong! Occupational therapy came around to assess me and I have now got a few gadgets to help me. My favourite thing is my perching stool for the kitchen. It means I can cook, wash up and make Ava's bottles without having to prop myself up somehow! It means that Nathan doesn't have to do EVERYTHING! I also have a handle fitted in the toilet to heave myself up and they wanted to put an extra banister in but because these new houses all have plasterboard walls, they couldn't put one in (guess I'll have to save up for a stair lift!!). I also have a bath lift as the shower seat I wanted didn't fit in the shower. This is good, but those of you with MS will know that the heat from a bath is not great for the legs (well in my case anyway!). So longer term, they may look to extend and lower our shower so it is level to the floor and big enough for a seat. So all in all, I was very impressed with the help I received.

My darling daughter is just starting to wake so I'd better go and get a bottle ready for her. Just wanted to wish my mum a happy 'special' birthday for yesterday...although I did see her!
Em xxx

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

New Year's Resolution

Happy New Year to you all! As the title suggests I have a New Year's Resolution relating to the write posts more frequently. I feel very guilty that my last post was on November 21st as we are in January now. Oops! Well, where do I start?

Lets start with Ava. She is now nearly 3 months old and I can't remember life without her. We are getting smiles and giggles every day now and she can sleep well when she wants to! She was completely spoilt at Christmas, but thank goodness she didn't have many more clothes as she still hasn't worn all the clothes she was bought when she was born! This is a picture taken on Christmas Day:

My MS has not been great since she was born but I am thinking positive and hoping to build up my strength with physio and swimming. I have been injecting Rebif for a couple of months now and am still getting headaches occasionally through the night. They say to take paracetamol and sleep through the night but that is easier said than done with a 3 month old baby! I am also getting slight skin reactions around the injection site but they are nothing to worry about. My first blood test didn't show up anything so they are happy with the way my body is responding to the Rebif. I have had a second lot of steroids since Ava was born and I had another good reaction to them....but have since noticed the symptoms coming back again. My walking is pretty unsteady and I can't walk very far. The physio team think my balance is poor because my core stability has taken a battering with the pregnancy. So I am hoping that the exercises I am doing will help. I also went swimming last night for the first time since September and really enjoyed it. It was an effort to get ready, get into the pool, get dressed after and walk back to the car but I think it was worth it.

I am having a visit from occupational therapy today who are going to assess me and see if I need any equipment to help me around the house. I know they are bringing me a shower seat (as I get so hot in the shower I can hardly stand) and a perching stool to use in the kitchen. This will mean that I can make the bottles for Ava and cook tea without worrying about falling over!

I always read back through my posts when I've written them and I can never remember writing what I've written. It always sounds like someone else writing..not me! Anyway enough waffling,

Em x

An insight to my life with MS