Getting Around with MS

Getting Around with MS

When Adam was 32, he noticed some changes in the way he felt, both physically and emotionally. He was suddenly more tired than usual and started suffering from dizzy spells. His sister had an iron deficiency, and he thought that may be the case for himself as well. He approached his doctor, and after testing his iron levels and seeing that they were regular, he was asked to come in for another appointment. Almost as an afterthought, he mentioned to his doctor that he had recently begun experiencing some tenderness and pain in his face. She thought it would be a good idea for him to get an MRI. After a few months of neurological consultations and further tests, Adam was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Knowing that living with MS would be an uphill battle, Adam was determined to become an expert on the disease. He wanted to know all of the issues he might face, so that he could organize his life around these new challenges.

What he learned is that MS is a difficult disease to predict because it affects people in such a variety of ways. The most common symptoms include dizziness, bowel and bladder dysfunction, depression, sensory impairment, tremors, cognitive impairment and difficulty walking. Adam quickly realized that he would have to take things day by day and could only prepare for so much.

As his conditioned accelerated, he faced another major challenge – he realized that he would no longer be able to drive. While his symptoms came and went, and there were days when he almost had none at all, he never knew when they might hit. If he had a flare-up while driving, it could be disastrous, and even fatal.

Luckily, Adam lived in Toronto, a large city with many transportation options. He became reliant on driving services such as Uber and Lyft, which were always readily available. He also made good use of Toronto Transit’s Wheel-Trans service. As an eligible participant, Wheel-Trans was able to get him where he needed to be in a timely and efficient manner. With a little bit of planning and flexibility, he was still able to work, shop, and spend time with friends and family. Slowly, he adjusted to his new normal. His life was different than it had been, but with the right tools, it was fully manageable.

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