Trish's invisible journey

16th March 2020

Published in the MS Impact Newsletter

MS is often described as an ‘invisible illness’ because many of the symptoms are invisible to everyone except the person living with MS. While Trish might look fine from the outside, she is living with symptoms like MS fatigue, muscle weakness, sensitivity to the heat, trouble swallowing and bladder issues.

It took a while for Trish to come to terms with the invisible nature of MS. She would feel guilty when she felt too fatigued to clean her house or needed to take a nap during the day. Trish says she finds it really hard to look in the mirror and reconcile that the person looking back is really ill and is not going to get better. After all, she doesn’t ‘look sick’.

It was a Mindfulness Workshop provided by the MS Society, and supported by you, that helped Trish to accept her symptoms and show herself some compassion. Mindfulness has many positive benefits for people with MS and can help manage the effects of stress in daily life.

Some positive lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, regular exercise and mindfulness can help to ease the impact of symptoms and improve the quality of life of people living with MS. With your help, the MS Society provides a four-week Wellness Series which covers these three key topics as well as fatigue management.

Trish says she learnt so much from the interactive sessions as she was able to have her questions answered by specialist health professionals in a small group setting.

“We got to know each other and understand that while everyone's MS is different, we can all relate to the emotional, social and physical barriers we face. Our group was well balanced with gender and age differences and we quickly felt comfortable enough to share experiences and ask questions,” Trish says.

Shortly after her diagnosis with MS, Trish also reached out to an MS peer support group. These groups meet monthly and are based all around South Australia and Darwin. Trish says because she lives alone, she finds these connections invaluable and it’s great to be around people who just get it.

With your support, the MS Society has helped many people like Trish build connections and learn ways to manage life with multiple sclerosis. We hope to be able to provide many more of these educational programs and workshops to people living with MS in South Australia and Northern Territory.

Back to News stories
Trish's invisible journey