It’s on the Inside: Living with an Invisible Illness

  • by Melissa L.
  •   September 25, 2017

Melissa L. is a paid Advocate for Teva Neuroscience, Inc.

How I’ve learned to live with my invisible RRMS symptoms

“But you look so good; you would never know you have MS!” This is something I hear whenever someone finds out I have been living with a relapsing form of multiple sclerosis (RRMS) for 13 years. When you look at me, you see a woman who is a wife, mother, preschool teacher and volunteer. You see someone who exercises, drives a carpool, attends sporting events, participates on school boards and more. What you do not see is a person living with a chronic illness. Some people with MS, like myself, have symptoms that cannot be seen from the outside. The majority of my RRMS symptoms are fatigue, cognitive issues, weakness, blurred vision, tingling and numbness, to name a few.

I know everyone gets tired, but I experience a fatigue like no other; a fatigue that is hard to explain unless you’ve actually experienced it. From the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed, fatigue is present. Unfortunately, as a mom of two busy boys, lying down is something I do not do often. As a mom with RRMS, I tend to feel somewhat guilty. There are times when I am unable to participate in family activities because of my fatigue. I also need to go to bed early because by the end of the day, I am exhausted.

As we get older, we all become somewhat forgetful, but cognitive issues are very common and can affect the daily life of somebody with MS. From not remembering whether I closed the garage door to referring to my children by the dog’s name, my cognitive issues are present. These are not major problems, but sometimes, it makes me feel absentminded. In my home and car, you will find sticky notes everywhere. I tell my family to write down whatever is needed, because if it is not written down, I may not remember! My boys have a hard time understanding this, because they feel there is no reason why I should not remember certain things. My husband likes to call me “Two-time Melissa,” because there are times I will ask a question, and a few minutes later, I will ask the exact same question. During my everyday life, when issues like these arise, I feel I need to remind my family that I do have RRMS and cognitive issues affect me a great deal.

Living with these symptoms can be frustrating at times. I think people tend to forget that I do have a chronic illness because “I look so good.” Sometimes, a gentle reminder and continuing to educate my family and friends about RRMS and how it affects me goes a long way.

Melissa L.

RRMS Patient

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123 Comment(s)
  • Marilyn | September 26, 2017
    The fatigue & cognitive issues sounds just like my daily struggles. People laugh with me a lot. Down deep, I am not sure they realize it is MS. My neurologist told me 29yrs ago that the short term memory part of my brain was the largest damaged area. This summer in Texas was rough. I have had to really reduce time outside this summer. Frustrating!!!!! But, I know I am blessed.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | September 27, 2017
      It sounds like you have been through a lot, Marilyn. We hope you find comfort in connecting with other members of the community.
  • Margaret | September 26, 2017
    Hi, Melissa. Yes. Fatigue for me has long been a presenting and problematic symptom. I worked as a nurse for 32 1/2 years before retiring some four years ago. I think that while my family and friends knew that I had Multiple Sclerosis, that when I needed to nap etc. that they more or less just regarded me to be unmotivated. Good news, there's medicine for fatigue now.Talk to your Dr. :)
  • Diane | September 26, 2017
    I don't know how you do what you do. It must be hard but you must persevere when you live your family.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | September 27, 2017
      Thank you for sharing, Diane. We wish you the best!
  • becky | September 27, 2017
    i too have been diagnosed since 2014, truly blessed at 49 it came late in life, but we who have it understand all. even though it is different for us all still similiar. thanks for what you do
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | September 27, 2017
      Have you visited Teva’s Lift MS Facebook page, becky? There, you can read other relatable stories from Care Partners and people in the community. If you are interested, you can find it at https://www.facebook.com/liftms.
  • Tanya M. Wilson | September 27, 2017
    I feel the same way. People won't know I have had RRMS for 25 years until I get up to walk. Very hard to do it. Sure can't walk a straight line. I do have cane and wheeled walker. I prefer, of course, not to use either. So I'll run in gas station or corner store without them, depends on how I'm feeling. I stay awake once I'm up in morning, taking My 16 year old to school. I'm 47 w 2 boys 19 & 16.
  • Larry | September 27, 2017
    I find all of this very helpful, thanks.
  • Geneva | September 27, 2017
    I have all of the symptoms that you described. The fatigue is unbelievable. How do the doctors test for MS?
  • Bonnie | September 27, 2017
    I am so sorry for what you are going through.
    My prayers are with you and your family. I am 73 my problems came on me later in life and nothing like yours. Thank God you have a loving family. I have list friends much older than you that had it.
    Stay as active as you can and rest as much as you can ( I know it is easier said than done) only you know how you feel. Your in my prayers
    God Bless you.
  • David | September 27, 2017
    I too have MS and hear the same thing. I am beginning to understand the comment " if you have a disease don't say anything about it. 90% of people don't care and the other 10% are glad you have it". I can relate to this feeling!
  • Marquita  | September 27, 2017
    I hear what you are saying.i deal with it everyday of my life.its not easy,but I manage.good luck with everything you are going through.
  • Barbara  | September 27, 2017
    I feel exactly that way, plus a lot of other things going on. My Nero Dr told me I was to old to have this!!! It just didn't start yesterday, iv been on SSD for 20 yrs. I'm 72 now!!!!!!
  • Colleen | September 27, 2017
    I have been diagnosed with RMS for 2 years now. My hole world is turned upside down. A very active person love the out doors,kept up with 7 grandkids, worked in the local school cafeteria. I have quit work, can not work out side because of the heat, and the worst is I can not do a whole lot with my grandkids. I am sixty. Every one says wow you lost weight and look good. I put up a good front.
  • Darlene | September 27, 2017
    Melissa I mirror you in many ways..
    I have felt so very Blessed as a year ago I found something that helps. Check it out. EHT.. enough said.
    Like a goof ball I went on a trip to FL last week.. does napping and melting sounds familiar. Lol it was fun regardless. Don't forget to smile and live !
  • Julie | September 27, 2017
    Thank you for sharing your story that so many of us "looking so good" individual share. Continue to educate your loved ones and get rest when you can.

    From Another RRMS Working Mom.
  • Charlene | September 27, 2017
    I am so happy to read someone understands what I go through daily. People say.but you look so good, or they are tired too. I get frustrated repeating why I forget things in a split second. People say but you look so good. They don't know how looks are truly deceiving.
  • Sam | September 27, 2017
    I have rrms I go through it all everyday only the pain somedays are worse then others. I miss alot of things with my grandchildren. I would not wish MS on my worst enemy.
  • Laura | September 27, 2017
    I also have been living with RRMS. Dx in 2005. I know exactly what you mean about the "but you look so good!" I, unfortunately had to stop working in 2011 due to my cognitive issues. sometimes I feel guilty for not working but I know I'm here for a reason. I have a son who has had drug issues and my husband and I have a 2 1/2 year old grandbaby who keeps me going! I am tired always
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | September 28, 2017
      It sounds like you’ve been through a lot, Laura. We’re glad you’ve reached out for support. Let us know how we and the community can help.
  • Zetha | September 27, 2017
    I agree. I to have RRMS! Have to write Dr's appt. On calendars people always say you look good! If they only knew how I feel!! The tiredness, fatigue, the PAIN!! Is off the chart!! I have to remind my family on occasion that I have this disease!! Diagnosed in2006! The flare ups are more common as I get older! New symptom: headaches!! People must know with this disease we suffer in silence.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | September 28, 2017
      Thank you for sharing, Zetha. We wish you the best!
  • Andrea | September 27, 2017
    I can relate to pretty much everything you said Melissa. It's frustrating that I say or ask the same question over and over. I feel for you and everyone that is going through this.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | September 28, 2017
      We understand life with MS can be challenging, Andrea. We hope you continue to lean on this community whenever you need support.
  • Debbie | September 27, 2017
    I couldn't have explain it any better. The chronic fatigue...I can sleep 12 hours & still be tired. I have cognitive issues, short term memory lapses. Numbness in lower limbs. Depression. Falling. It's not easy raising a family & working...but I succeeded

    It's been over 25 years with R/R MS & im still fighting👍🏾💪🏽
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | September 28, 2017
      Please keep us posted on your progress, Debbie. We’ll be thinking of you.
  • Cindy Cound  | September 27, 2017
    Thanks for sharing this...i feel the exact same way!
  • Renee | September 28, 2017
    My daughter is battling ms.she has gd.day and bad.u have to stay focused on uive u got deal with make the best out of ms.udont HAVE time for ms.to keep u down u keep it down.never give up fight on cry on hold on PRAY on never give up. God WILL PROVIDE.
  • Cindi | September 28, 2017
    Thank you for this post. It is as if you are a mirror of me.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | September 28, 2017
      That's great to hear, Cindi! We hope you'll enjoy reading more of the posts featured on the blog. Let us know what you think!
  • Dee | September 28, 2017
    I feel the same way. I have heard but you like so good. I feel as tired when I get up in the morning as when I went to bed the night before. Its good to know there are people like me do I don't feel like the only one.
  • Terri | September 28, 2017
    I sure understand how you feel Melissa. I go through the same thing that you are talking about. We just have to get through, and try to support each other. Thank you so much for your post. It means a lot to those of us who are suffering with relapsing remitting MS.
  • Brenda | September 30, 2017
    Living with MS for 10 years, on a daily basis, constant struggles with memory/cognition, fatigue and vision are the most difficult to explain to someone unable to see what you deal with. Being able to make others aware of the struggles of living with this "invisible illness" will help make them understand the unpredictability of this chronic disorder and what is does to them.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | October 02, 2017
      Thank you for sharing, Brenda!
  • pam | September 30, 2017
    I like this app. I have had MS since 1999. It helps to read about others.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | October 02, 2017
      We’re glad you like the blog, pam! Check out Teva’s Lift MS Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/liftms. We think you’ll like it.
  • Karen | October 05, 2017
    I get you. Sounds like I wrote that! I am a wife and mother and a retired preschool owner and teacher. I was already on disability for another (invisible) disease when I was diagnosed with M.S.
    That was a bit of a blow. So now I'm learning to find a balance in my life to be able to enjoy all of the great things I do have in my life. Thank you for your article.
  • Mark | October 07, 2017
    I have the same problems. New bosses at work are not as understanding as the old ones about it.
  • Cindy | October 20, 2017
    This is soo soo true! And I'm getting worse with all of the symptoms..having had this disease for 14 years. I make lists of everything..where I have to go and what I have to do When I get there. Also of phone calls I need to make and have had to start putting all my appointment in my phone so I won't forget them. I also forget what I'm talking about and can't find the word I'm looking for..
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | October 23, 2017
      Thank you for sharing with the community, Cindy.
  • Ray | October 20, 2017
    I Agree With You 100% I Have Sticky Notes All Over My House It Helps.
  • Loveta | October 26, 2017
    Thank you for sharing. I was diagnosed in 2007. I am now 68. Fatigue, balance and loss of bladder control are my greatest concerns. I take meds for depression and "own stock in Always Discreet underwear". Use a rollater when I go places.
    Don't like this at all but will do what I can the best I can. All of your comments are very helpful. God is good. God Bless each of you and your loved ones.
  • Fran | October 27, 2017
    I have beautiful niece Victoria, who has MS, your words are the same as hers. A devoted mother of two sons & husband. Fatigue is overwhelming at
    times, her faith in god, the love
    for family help's her each day.
    I admire her courage as she
    struggles with this debilitating disease, hopefully a cure will be discovered for all of you that have MS.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | October 30, 2017
      Thanks for sharing, Fran.
  • Rhonda | October 27, 2017
    Good job handling it all! Making sticky notes is good idea! One day at a time! Your succeeding!
  • Canary  | October 28, 2017
    Praying for you to feel better. GOD bless you
  • Hannah | October 29, 2017
    So many comments that I can relate to. I have RRMS and am learning to pace myself, last night I was cooking a big dinner for friends and had to take a half hour break in the middle and sit down, but I got back up and finished. The hardest is balancing the fatigue without making my husband and kids sad about me having MS. I want their lives to be happy and optimistic like I am. Thank you this helps
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | October 30, 2017
      We understand living with MS adds extra challenges to life, Hannah. We’re so glad you’re here and hope you find helpful support.
  • Kathy | November 14, 2017
    You are my kindred spirit Melissa! You described my life to a “T”. Sometimes I feel I should carry a cane as a reminder to family and friends that yes, I do have MS . I too suffer dearly from cognitive issues , blurry sight and that AWFUL fatigue:(. I have 3 boys , a husband and a Labrador with endless
    Energy 😥. I loved reading your post . You made me feel so not alone ! Thank you , Kath
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | November 15, 2017
      We understand that MS comes with many ups and downs, Kathy. We are glad you are here and hope you get a lift when you visit this community.
  • Linda Grimm | November 29, 2017
    Melissa, This is so true in my case as well. Everyone says, but you look so good, I would never know you have MS. This makes it hard for family to understand what you are going through. The fatigue is very difficult for me because I haven't learned how to handle it. I was always a go-go-go type of person in a hurry, and now I walk very slowly and have the cognitive and balance issues.

    • Teva's Lift MS Team | November 30, 2017
      Thank you for sharing your experience, Linda! We hope you continue to lean on the community for support. Best wishes!
  • Rivka | February 04, 2018
    I also have rrms. Fortunately my children are adults now but I do have the cognitive issues and the unrelenting fatigue. I sometimes also have pain and headaches from rrms. With a very helpful diet and making sure to get regular moderate exercise I do better than if I did not take fairly good care of myself
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 05, 2018
      Thank you for sharing your experience, Rivka! We hope you continue to lean on the community for support. Best wishes!
  • Fred Markowitz | February 04, 2018
    My beloved nephew has MS.
    He is reclusive and withdrawn. I do want to be a part of his life..
    His answer to me "I don't feel well.!" What can I do...this bothers me greatly but I have to give him his space. He will not share.
  • R | February 09, 2018
    I think all woman can have a dibilitating illness have a husband kids an housekeepibg an work an we r exspected to carry on cause weclook good ! If men had been treated in this manner there would be an uproar ! WHY DONT SOCIETY CARE ABOUT WOMAN ??
  • Mike | February 10, 2018
    Thank you for sharing. I was diagnosed with MS some months ago and I needed to read this. Bless you
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 12, 2018
      We’re so glad to hear our community has been helpful to you, Mike. You’re part of what makes this blog great!
  • L Cozart | February 10, 2018
    I was reading your story. I'm so sorry. I really pray things get better. I have a best friend daughter. That has that. God Bless you stay encouraged. Ms Cozart
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 12, 2018
      Your support is appreciated, L!
  • Ada | February 12, 2018
    I can relay to you i have me also and i am alway in pain forget a lot blurry eyes tingle burn sensation all the time but one thing I do know this is a beast but I refuse to let it beat me cause I drive this car and this beast must take the back seat so I wont complain cause one thing we know God got it under control just take one day at a time and watch God move be encourage
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 13, 2018
      We understand living with MS adds extra challenges to life, Ada. We’re so glad you’re here and hope you find helpful support.
  • Diane | February 12, 2018
    Is MS a genetic illness that's pssed down from parent to child?
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 13, 2018

      Hi Diane, if you have specific questions about your health, please reach out to your health care provider.
  • Sharon A Brandon | February 13, 2018
    I just keep it moving until I almost exhaust my energy and have to stop. I rest and regain energy. I try to keep fun in my life and NEVER allow depression to overcome me. I have always been a mover and still try to keep the momentum but I just go slower these days and do less. Instead of doing 100 things in one day I may be down to 50 or 30 depending on my energy level for that day.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 14, 2018
      We love your fighting spirit, Sharon. Thank you for sharing.
  • Paul  | February 14, 2018
    Thank you for the information you sent. I have a friend who has MS. I'm with her a lot and this helps me to understand some of the problems she has. Especially the forgetfulness. I did not realize that was one of the problems until now. I'm happy to report that I understand now and it will be a lot easier deal with.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 15, 2018
      That's great to hear, Paul! We hope you'll enjoy reading more of the posts featured on the blog. Let us know what you think!
  • Bart | February 14, 2018
    Wow !!
    You are right on the money. My wife, and kids, in fact everyone thinks I am fine. I am on permanent disability because of my MRI and neurologist. Cognitive issues are an every day struggle. Everyone "sees" a normal person, but I can tell the difference.
    Good luck, and best wishes with your struggle,
    Bart (RRMS patient)
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 15, 2018
      Thank you for sharing your experience, Bart! We hope you continue to lean on the community for support. Best wishes!
  • Neil | February 15, 2018
    I can identify with what you are saying. I have been dealing with MS since I was a teenager. I was diagnosed in 1984 at age 29, I am blessed to have been able to live and work thru most of the time. Much of the symptoms are not very visible to the public but those who are around kn
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 16, 2018
      Thank you for sharing, Neil!
  • Bonnie | February 16, 2018
    I completely understand! I have it also.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 19, 2018
      We wish you the best, Bonnie.
  • Esther Elliott | February 18, 2018
    Omg I can relate to all that u saying my god continue to bless us this story brought tears to my eyes my kids tell me all the time mom u always hurting lol if they only can see the pain and tired with in me I pray hard for myself and others luv how u been taking it like a champ u have a bless day
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 19, 2018
      Thank you for sharing and being a part of what makes this community great, Esther.
  • Carolyn | February 19, 2018
    I, too have rrms, and can relate well to all you experience. 20 after diagnosis most of my symptoms are not noticeable to others except for a slight limp in my gait. I often experience short term memory loss, numbness, tingling and fatigue.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 20, 2018
      We are so glad you’ve chosen to share your experience with us, Carolyn. Please keep us posted on your progress. We'll be thinking of you.
  • Patty | February 22, 2018
    It's frustrating when people treat me badly because they can't understand how I can look like I'm ok, but sometimes forget something, or become confused.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 23, 2018
      Thank you for opening up to the community, Patty. We wish you the best.
  • Janet | February 24, 2018
    I feel exactly what you said. I was diagnosed 20 years ago. It is hard to explain to others how you feel and be able to make others understand.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 26, 2018
      We hope you stray strong, Janet. You’ll be in our thoughts.
  • Andrea | February 24, 2018
    Stay strong. Thanks for sharing your life. God bless you. 😊
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 26, 2018
      We love seeing connections like these being made in the Lift MS community, Andrea! Thanks for sharing your positive attitude.
  • Dave | February 24, 2018
    My brother lived with MS and experienced everything you’re going through. God bless you and stay strong.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 26, 2018
      Thanks for sharing, Dave. Best wishes!
  • John | February 25, 2018
    God Bless...Keep up the good fight.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 26, 2018
      We love seeing how supportive you are, John.
  • Leslie  | February 25, 2018
    Thank you so much Melissa for sharing your story! It’s been very enlightening to understanding my sister’s situation so much more! Now I can empathize with her lack of energy whereas I thought she was always trying to “get out of helping with my elder parents” Now I understand! Thank you!
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 26, 2018
      We’re so glad to hear our community has been helpful to you, Leslie. You’re part of what makes this blog great!
  • Theresa | February 26, 2018
    This is dead on ,nice to have it confirmed 😊
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 27, 2018
      We strive to make Lift MS an informative and inspiring community, Theresa. Thanks for your part in making it so.
  • Rebecca | February 26, 2018
    Father heal her an so manybothers dealingbw this proverbs4:20-22 in jesuaname ps37:4 ps20:20 jer29:11 in jesus name we ask john15:7 matt7:7,8 amen
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 27, 2018
      Your support is appreciated, Rebecca!
  • Mary Ann | February 27, 2018
    Thank you for sharing your story. Parents raising children need to add this info to their already overstuffed bag of things they must teach children.
    We need to teach people again how to respect and be compassionate to those who may be suffering—especially with illnesses that may not be “visible.”
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 28, 2018
      Thank you for sharing and being a part of what makes this community great, Mary.
  • Karen | February 28, 2018
    Amen sister I have MS too
  • sam | March 01, 2018
    My loving wife has m.s. ; she is so beautiful it is hard to believe she is ill. She is so kind to everyone. I thank you for this article ; it reminds me how I am blessed.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 02, 2018
      It’s comments like yours that inspire us each day, sam! Thanks for helping nurture the Lift MS community.
  • Carrie Wright  | March 01, 2018
    Hearing your story is refreshing in a way to know that I'm not the only one out there suffering with these symptoms and as a mother with also a young child, there comes alot of guilt! The only difference is I have never been diagnosed even though it's getting to the point I'm forgetting my way around places, such sas stores, I have frequented for many of years. Or getting lost in route.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 02, 2018
      Hi Carrie, please reach out to your health care provider if you are experiencing symptoms. We wish you the best of luck!
  • Ann | March 02, 2018
    Thanks for doing this.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 05, 2018
      We’re happy to hear that you liked the post, Ann.
  • Just Me | March 06, 2018
    I have to remind my family a LOT because they often get angry at me for forgetting things or for being so tired and in so much pain that I can't do something. I also have several neck and spine problems that cause severe chronic pain all day everyday. I do hope to one day be able to afford the spinal neck surgery I've needed for about 17 years, but I know MS will always cause other problems.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 07, 2018
      We are sorry to hear that, Just. We hope you continue to work with your health care team. Please keep us posted on your progress.
  • sue | March 07, 2018
    you got it!!! I also talk to myself a lot, especially when I find I forgot, did something stupid, etc. to think I was once top of my class can make me cry.

    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 08, 2018
      We understand living with MS adds extra challenges to life, sue. We’re so glad you’re here and hope you find helpful support.
  • Donna | March 07, 2018
    Thank you, my daughter has MS. She is a lot like you. Busy with 4 kids, job and husband. She is going through all of these symptoms and more. She tells me she hates when people pity her or just don't believe she has this disease. Hearing it from you helps me understand a little better.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 08, 2018
      We’re happy to hear that you liked the post, Donna.
  • Pam | March 07, 2018
    I have just recently been diagnosed with rrms. I frequently find myself saying, "but I have a mild case ". The cognitive issues described in this article are exactly what I deal with day in and day out. It's hard at my age of 61, for myself and some others to see a disease, and not just an age issue. Thank goodness for my angel of a husband.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 08, 2018
      An MS diagnosis can be an emotional experience, Pam. It's great that you're here, and we hope you find others in the Lift MS community who can relate.
  • Isabel | March 08, 2018
    I have MS. The RRMS is the first time that I have heard of this. I am 45 years old. I was given the official diagnosis in January of 2000. I had been working continually until I was relieved of my duties at my job, in\on July14, 2017. No insurance. My Husband of 18 1/2 years Divorced me. My cognitive issues are MAJOR to me. They frighten me. It makes me think, early Dememtia. I am in a major rut.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 09, 2018
      We are sorry to hear that you are struggling, Isabel. Please continue to lean on this community for support. Best wishes!
  • Denise | March 08, 2018
    I admire all of you living with this awful desease. I don't personally have ms but know people who does. God Bless You All!!
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 09, 2018
      We love seeing how supportive you are, Denise.
  • Faye | March 08, 2018
    I understand drops dead fatigue. I've had it since I turned 40. I was tested for MS because of it. The tests showed no MS, but fatigue is worst. Some days I can do nothing but sit, other days I really push myself to do things. I can't afford lots of tests for this problem. I will pray for you. God bless.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 09, 2018
      Hi Faye, if you are experiencing MS-related symptoms, we suggest you reach out to a heath care provider to discuss your experience. Best of luck!
  • Bernadette | March 08, 2018
    I have finally read about someone that experiences MS like I have for 36 years. I have heard " you don't like like you have MS". What does it look like? It is frustrating to explain why I can't come to the summer BBQ on a perfect summer day that is HotI,Hazy, and Humid, 89-92 degrees
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 09, 2018
      We appreciate your honesty, Bernadette. Living with MS can have its difficulties, but we hope you continue to come here for support and a little lift.
  • Steve | March 09, 2018
    MS is a devastating health issue. My brother who played football in high school, my father was so proud of my brother. I never got to see him play, do to me being over seas in US NAVY. But now he is in a VERY bad stage. He cannot walk no more. Also his mind goes in different directions, he is a very tough man, and I thank God for my sister and brother in law who take care of him in there home
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 12, 2018
      We are sorry to hear that, Steve. We hope your brother continues to work with his health care team. Please keep us posted on his progress.
  • Cynthia  | March 09, 2018
    I have gotten those comments for years. I live near my parents but all my sibs live out of state. When they visit they would get upset because there would be times I just could not come over to my parents & visit. I hate it but, am sure glad this phone has spell check on it. I have the shakes today in my legs and arms today.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 12, 2018
      Thanks for sharing your story, Cynthia. We’re sorry to hear you are struggling.
  • Greer | March 09, 2018
    Well done at articulating how it feels for so so so many of us.
  • Ed | March 09, 2018
    Is there a blood test to determine if MS?
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 12, 2018
      Hi Ed, if you are experiencing symptoms, we suggest you reach out to your health care team for support. Best wishes to you!
  • John | March 09, 2018
    My prayers to you and your family
  • Dena  | March 09, 2018
    I have been recently diagnosed with having MS in February, reading these comments is truly helpful and knowing what others with MS is going threw on a daily basis helps me to know I'm not alone. May God bless all of us dealing with this and our family's.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 12, 2018
      An MS diagnosis can be an emotional experience, Dena. It's great that you're here, and we hope you find others in the Lift MS community who can relate.
  • Noemi | March 11, 2018
    I’ve been having symptoms forgetting little things and numbness in my fingers. Pain all over. The worst is feeling so tired
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 12, 2018
      Hi Noemi, please reach out to your health care provider if you are experiencing symptoms. We wish you the best of luck!
  • Carol | March 14, 2018
    I completely understand. I had a brain tumor resected in 2014..both before and after the craniotomy I heard/hear that I sure didn’t/don’t look like anything’s wrong. I found that recovery from this is measured in years and some have lifetime deficit.The ongoing fatigue is still sometimes almost disabling and the bad memory can get embarrassing. Some people have a different “normal” than others.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 15, 2018
      Thank you for sharing your experience, Carol! We hope you continue to lean on the community for support. Best wishes!
  • Elizabeth  | March 14, 2018
    OH I do understand all about this. I am in my 56th. year of MS.
    I have heard so many times, "oh you certainly don't look sick". I have a handicap car tag, but nosy well meaning people will remind me to put up my little blue tag. I do good to get out of the car and grab a shopping cart so I can walk. The burning, numbness, and tingling is really bad, but then comes the exhaustion.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 15, 2018
      We understand life with MS can be challenging, Elizabeth. We hope you continue to lean on this community whenever you need support.
  • Gina | March 14, 2018
    I'm having the exact symptoms you are experiencing. It first started with the numbness in my hands and feet however my vision and speech has also been effected.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 15, 2018
      We are sorry to hear that you are struggling with the symptoms of MS, Gina. We recommend that you reach out to your health care team for support. We wish you the best.
  • David | March 16, 2018
    Hi Melissa, I totally get what you're going through and although names like 2-time melissa can be a little funny at first after it persist they do hurt. After seeing 50 first dates I understood more what people meant by "10 second tom" I got occasionally. Well I just wanted to say you're not alone but you know already there are many people who so suffer. I just know help is on the way.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 19, 2018
      It helps when you find others who can relate, doesn’t it, David? Thanks for your contribution to the Lift MS community.
  • Linda R.N.  | March 16, 2018
    So true. Those with chronic illnesses seek understanding, not pity. The example of fatigue, common to many chronic illnesses/ autoimmune diseases, sounds so benign but, in reality, it can be quite debilitating. It is not a tiredness relieved by a good night's sleep, and it can affect every aspect of one's life. Frustrating to be viewed as "lazy" by some. (PS: Hope ur dog's not named Fido. LOL.)
  • Michele | March 16, 2018
    Melissa
    I know that feeling all too well! Now I'm older and my daughter thinks I'm nuts. She sees how forgetful I've become and worries. At times I don't know what I'd do without her. Other times, I think she's treating me like child.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 19, 2018
      Thank you for sharing your experience, Michele! We hope you continue to lean on the community for support. Best wishes!
  • Aleia | March 19, 2018
    Thank you so very much for sharing your story. You have actually helped me to have hope. Nobody in my family understands the magnitude of my tiredness or fatigue. The problems with my cognition seem to be starting to pluck my husband's nerves. But you relate. I'm not going crazy. Thank you again.

    Sincerely,
    Aleia Andrews
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 20, 2018
      We’re so glad to hear our community has been helpful to you, Aleia. You’re part of what makes this blog great!
  • Mark St. John | March 20, 2018
    You people don't know how lucky you are. My wife has had progressive MS since she was 18. She's now 59 and unable to do anything. Making it to the bathroom is a major effort. Spends her days in a wheel chair. Hasn't been upstairs in our house for ten years. Hands don't work anymore. Bathroom has been totally redone just so she can take a shower. Bladder is going. From the neck down nothing works.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 21, 2018
      It sounds like you and your family have been through a lot, Mark. Please check in whenever you need a lift.
  • Bev | March 22, 2018
    Very helpful. O am meeting with a friend who has MS on Monday. I will bear this in mind.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 23, 2018
      Hurray! We love hearing that Lift MS has been helpful – that’s just what we intended! We appreciate your part in those efforts, Bev.
  • Barbara | March 23, 2018
    Thank you for sharing. Was very helpful as a family member to understand better, a day in the life of a MS patient.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 26, 2018
      It’s comments like yours that inspire us each day, Barbara! Thanks for helping nurture the Lift MS community.
  • Veronica  | March 24, 2018
    God bless your family but especially you bc you are the glue that holds everything together, the strength that keeps everything moving and the love who makes it all worth it. Regardless to the challenges you may have, U put one foot in front of the other and continue moving forward. You r an inspiration to everyone who may read your post. All things r possible & miracles do happen with God’s help.
  • Linda | March 24, 2018
    I was diagnosed in 1982. People don't understand! Some want to, some don't. I am now almost 74. I have RRMS. All of the symptoms you have I have except I don't have eye problems due to MS, just old age. Mood problems, anger problems at anything! Also sometimes my body feels like it weighs 10,000lbs, maybe not quite! I have bladder & bowel problems, some due to MS some to getting older. I am on
    M
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 26, 2018
      It sounds like you are going through a lot, Linda. We hope you reach out to your health care team for support. We’ll be thinking of you.
  • Gail | March 25, 2018
    I was diagnosed in 1989 with RRMS. Finding it harder and harder to walk and the cognitive issues are pretty difficult to deal with. But still working full time because I enjoy it (insurance billing) even though I am 70!
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 26, 2018
      Thank you for sharing, Gail!
  • Chris | March 25, 2018
    I have been had MS since 1987 and it is so refreshing to hear someone say what I have heard for years. I try to keep up a front to appear "normal" and not be labeled. I work full time and have a had time explaining how at 2;00 i am physically done but I keep on going. My employers have been understanding. As I have gotten older it is getting harder to keep going and get back to exercising.

    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 26, 2018
      Thank you for opening up to the community, Chris. We wish you the best.
  • Johnathan lee | March 25, 2018
    Reading this has actually made me feel good.If I were to write what you have wrote it would be exactly what you have wrote. I have been living with my ms for ten years now and have really kept it to myself because when people find out I have ms some of them don’t believe me because they don’t see anything. Not even now my ex wife of 10 years. I want to say thank you for showing me I’m not alone!!!
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 26, 2018
      Johnathan, it’s great to hear you enjoy the community we’ve built here! We welcome your contributions to it.
  • Lisa | March 26, 2018
    I totally understand this. I often still put myself down calling myself dumb etc and then sometimes I try to make jokes about things that happen. It's Very frustrating to be" Lost "and no one understands or you can't explain it. Frustrations run high and so does doubt and depression getting a little bit more each day. Thank you for making me feel a little better.
  • Johnathan | March 27, 2018
    Wow I’m not alone reading this is me except I just lost my wife of ten years for not understanding or just excepting everything. I’m thinking it’s time to interact with others with ms. I’m ready to talk because I’ve have a lot to ask and say. I’ve kept myself almost private when it came to MY ms. Reading what you wrote is awesome!!! Thank you!!
  • Jodi | March 28, 2018
    I also have relapsing MS I know exactly what you were talking about my family is pretty good they get aggravated sometimes when I can't remember that I ate somewhere or did something I just don't remember it I forget birthdays which I never used to do so many things that affect me but I don't let it get me down there are people out there a lot worse than me
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 29, 2018
      If you’d like to further connect, we recommend visiting Teva’s Lift MS Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/liftms. There, you can find a community filled with MS patients and Care Partners that may give you a lift in your day.
  • Bernadette | March 29, 2018
    I have had MS a very long time, over 30 years, I am so tired of hearing " you don't look like you have MS" But we still have to go on, and we will.You are doing a great job
  • kaz | March 29, 2018
    Thanks for sharing. I can relate
  • DJ | March 30, 2018
    I feel u Melissa! I get the same thing, to the point they expect me to do things I simply don’t have the stamina to do. I been living with RRMS for 18 years, and in the beginning I would also forget I couldn’t do certain things and what a rude awakening. I discribe
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | April 02, 2018
      It sounds like you have been through a lot, DJ. We hope you find comfort in connecting with other members of the community.
  • Liliana | March 31, 2018
    I am sorry about your illness, I understand because I have some back problems and pain on my joins, also Migraines, I am very active like you and I know how frustrating it is :(
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | April 02, 2018
      Hi Liliana, if you are experiencing MS-related symptoms, we suggest you reach out to a heath care provider to discuss your experience. Best of luck!
  • Motu | March 31, 2018
    I have been living with MS for 30 years! I look great on the outside. I'm 55 years old and I mountain bike 30 miles each week, snow ski, lift weights and coach my son's sports. However I can tell by the increased tingling in my legs that it's progressing slowly. Nobody knows but my wife and doctor. I consider myself the luckiest MS patient on earth, so should you. I know an MS quadrapelegic!
  • Emily | April 03, 2018
    Thank you for writing this article. I was diagnosed with RRMS when I was 17. I am now 35. I have been experiencing a flare up for 3 weeks and had to explain multiple times why I have tremors and need to sleep after sleeping 15 hours. I have sent this article to family members and loved ones to try and spread some understanding.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | April 04, 2018
      We’re so glad to hear our community has been helpful to you, Emily. You’re part of what makes this blog great!
  • Ronnie | April 03, 2018
    Melissa,
    Thank you for sharing that , its a challenge for me also I was DX with RRMS in 1996.
    It is frustrating at times but I just keep reminding myself how blessed I have been for my symptoms could be a lot worse.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | April 04, 2018
      Thanks for sharing, Ronnie.
  • Robyn Terry | April 04, 2018
    Melissa, Thank you for sharing your life with RRMS. I have only recently been told I may have MS. I have so many symptoms, especially the Farigue you speak of. Thank you again.
  • Erika Fischer-Bacchia | April 04, 2018
    Thank you for sharing your story Melissa. It was very easy for me to relate to many of your experiences. Keep moving forward and living your life!!❤️
  • Rae | April 04, 2018
    I can relate to how you feel I've been diagnosed with it by one doctor and then another doctor say I don't have it because I only have 9 out of 11 things but I have all the same symptoms so even the doctors when I have a new doctor questions whether I really do or don't this is been going on for years I I think having an eye on visual disease is worse than being in a wheelchair nobody questions t
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | April 05, 2018
      It sounds like you have been through a lot, Rae We hope you find comfort in connecting with other members of the community.
  • Nancy | April 05, 2018
    My Son has MS. And I want to thank Melissa for this post he has all of the symptoms that was mentioned above. He's 38 years old he has had MS now for 6 years. It's hard for me as his mother to see him like this but We're a Praying family and He's doing well. In fact he is a Minister. Thanks again for this post .
  • Nancy | April 07, 2018
    Hope you live a long and healthy life even though you have MS
  • Dawn | April 07, 2018
    I experience all of those symtoms but i dont or have not been tested for MS.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | April 09, 2018
      Hi Dawn, please reach out to your health care provider if you are experiencing symptoms. We wish you the best of luck!
  • Glenda | April 08, 2018
    I feel like this on a daily basis.short term memory as well.lord knows what else.I feel and understand your situation.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | April 09, 2018
      Always remember that we are here to give you a lift, Glenda.
  • jeanna | April 09, 2018
    I thought I was reading something I wrote. My exact thoughts and feelings and NOTES everywhere. My latest flare-up knocked me off my feet for weeks. All numb & tinglely at base of skull down spine and across shoulders. 10 yrs ago Lost hearing & feeling left side of face. Ms mentioned for years but does not show on test. Same test over and over & nothing.. but symptoms. I am at a LOSS!
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | April 10, 2018
      We are sorry to hear that, jeanna. We hope you continue to work with your health care team. Please keep us posted on your progress.
  • Judy | April 10, 2018
    The symptoms for MS are similar to many other conditions, how do you diagnose MS?
  • Gerald | April 10, 2018
    I too understand what Melissa is experiencing as I have been living with RRMS for 10 years. Fortunately I have not experienced the cognitive issues similar to what Melissa has experienced but I also feel fatigued after a long day of meetings and activities. The symptoms I normally have are the stiffness (spascisity) in my muscles and joints that cause movement and walking somewhat problematic.
  • Andre m Jordan las | April 11, 2018
    Asked often what's the solution.always education,respectively.The truth its better too understand their situation.then to ignore.If you don't thier are deeper consequences.
  • Christine  | April 11, 2018
    I look normal so people don't understand why I am always so tired. I just let them think it's because I work 50 plus hours a week. I get embarrassed when I forget things. I feel like they think I'm kind of dumb. Even my grown kids don't quite get the forgetful stuff. At least they understand the fatigue.
  • Alicia | April 12, 2018
    Wow,

    This is my story to the tee! It's been twenty years and I will not give up the fight!! Sometimes you feel you are the only one. Fatigue is my big obstacle as well.

    All the best!
  • Loree | April 12, 2018
    I fully agree with this article. I moved from RRMS, to RMS. People are always saying to me, "Everybody gets tired.", "I forget things all of the time...", "I always trip over my own feet.", or the unwanted advice like, my friends, cousin has MS and they were cured by doing...
    It's hard when others are dismissing your symptoms like you are making it up.
  • Janet G. | April 16, 2018
    I was diagnosed in 2003 with Relapsing Remitting MS. While I am grateful that my flare ups have not been what I feel are severe, they have increased, and take longer to pass, I am talking to my doctor to see about restarting treatment for the MS.
  • Patty | April 17, 2018
    Thank you for sharing your story you are amazing strong and courageous you have helped a lot of people be sure and take care of yourself your family is blessed to have youe
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | April 18, 2018
      Thank you for sharing such kind words, Patty.
  • Gina Price | April 17, 2018
    My Daughter has MS. Past 3 months she has been so much worse. To the point of not being able to take care of her family. Thankfully she has a precious husband that not only works long hours, but helps pick up all the slack.
    She sees her neuro today, an we pray he can do something to get her in remission!
  • Rich | April 18, 2018
    I too have intermittent relapsing MS and I couldn't agree with you more it is a daily struggle that most people don't see