It looks like you are using an older version of Internet Explorer which is not supported. We advise that you update your browser to the latest version of Microsoft Edge, or
consider using other browsers such as Chrome, Firefox or Safari.
“I’m proud of what I’ve achieved.”
I'm self-employed. I started my business back in 2011 making notebooks; they're all vintage books, which I recycle or repurpose. I remove the original pages and replace them with notebook pages, and I design all the artwork inside. I print and bind them myself as well so, from start to finish, it's all me.
I really enjoy finding the books – that's part of the fun. But I discovered that books are really heavy! My office is upstairs so carrying them, cutting them and punching them is all quite physical. I think that's a good thing though. It helps keep my strength up.
I was first diagnosed with MS in 2009, a year after my first symptoms.
It was scary before the diagnosis. You want a reason why this is happening to you. I lost my sight in my right eye and that's quite frightening – it's not until something goes that you realise how life was before. I was really pleased to get a diagnosis; I knew what was wrong with me. I didn't feel sad or anything like that, I just thought, “okay, I can move on now.”
I met my husband before I knew I had MS. I got diagnosed one month before we got married. He puts up with me! He helps with my business and he just understands me.
One of the things I struggle with most is fatigue – that's where planning ahead comes in. You learn to balance life – to not overdo it. Or if you're going to overdo it then you make up for it in the next day, or two, or three. Whatever it takes, really.
I keep my own notebook where I write everything down. It helps me learn the patterns and how my body is working. It was a case of figuring out what worked for me and what didn't work for me at the beginning.
I try not to focus on thinking, “one day I'm going to be in a wheelchair” or “one day I'm going to have to use a walking stick” or anything like that. If I have to use a walking stick, then I will. Until then I’ll just carry on. My approach is, “what can I do to make my future better?”
More to uS has shown me I can be proud of what I've achieved. You don't usually sit there and think, “oh yeah I've done all right actually, I've done quite well”. I should be proud of myself, and I am.
“The brighter, the better.”
“I do everything people say you shouldn’t do.”
“I love being out there.”
“This doesn’t stop me being a dad.”
“I can still play the game.”
“If you’re not happy with yourself, you’re not happy.”
“I see life through many lenses.”