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‘I’ve had MS for 14 years – this was my shocking first symptom’

'I've had MS for 14 years - this was my shocking first symptom'

A woman who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) has described her surprising first symptom of the condition.

Christine Chapman, 69, has been living with MS since 2010, but first discovered something was wrong with a strange symptom.

She told Express.co.uk: “I was walking down the street and my eyes started bouncing around so I tried to get a doctor’s appointment, couldn’t go so I went to the local hospital and they sent me straight to Moorfields [Eye Hospital].”

Once there, she said the neurologist knew she had MS because of the way she was walking.

Christine explained: “There was a neurologist there and he saw by the way I was walking that I had MS, it’s a particular gait we have.”

Despite her unnerving first symptom, Christine explained she hasn’t had a similar symptom since, explaining: “It’s my eyes and the eyes are the biggest nerve in your body so that tends to show up first, but I’ve not had anything wrong with my eyes since which is a great blessing.”

Furthermore, Christine said that she felt “lucky” to have been diagnosed in her 50s and added that when someone receives a diagnosis like MS they find out who their friends are.

She commented: “I was lucky in that I was diagnosed in my 50s so I was thinking ‘What am I going to do now for the next 20 years?’

“I’d reached the end of what I was doing anyway. I think possibly that older people it affects your relationships more because you have fewer closer friends, you certainly find out who your friends are.”

On what can help someone with MS, Christine said they needed “a good consultant, a good GP, a good MS nurse and a friend who’s got MS in reverse order”.

She added: “I think in terms of the treatment, I think a lot of doctors are quite scared of it because people don’t have it. Everyone has different symptoms and everyone reacts to it differently.”

MS is a health condition that can impact the spinal cord and brain. The NHS says it can cause a wide variety of symptoms including fatigue, numbness, pain, bladder problems, bowel problems, depression, anxiety, and vision problems.

They added while there is currently no cure for MS that “medicines and other treatments can help control the condition and ease some of the symptoms”.

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