My name's Jo Bloomfield

My name's Jo Bloomfield
and I've had MS for four years.

After the birth of my son four years ago
I started to drag my left foot

and started to trip over a lot

and decided it wasn't quite right

and went off to the doctor's

and got referred to a neurologist
in Bedford

who gave me an MRI scan,

and that's how we found out I had MS.

When I was first diagnosed
I was shocked.

The symptoms are loss of mobility...

My left leg tends to drag quite a bit
so I walk with a stick.

I've lost... I've have pins and needles
in my hands, so the fine motor skills.

MS does affect the whole family.

Things like playing football with
the boys I can't do, that sort of thing.

And I think it affects them
maybe emotionally,

but we can talk about that,

and I'm still mum, I'm still wife,

and do their normal things

because I won't let it affect me
in that way.

We'll just carry on family life
as it should be.

We've adapted the bathroom
to have a shower

with handrails and things like that,

so at least I'm safe when I'm showering.

Also we've bought a transportable trike,
called a Zappy,

which can go into the car,

which is useful for holidays
and shopping centres

and travelling round the hospital
should you need to.

In March 2008 I started on an injection

called beta interferon, the rebif,

which reduces the relapses,
or severity of them.

I do that three times a week myself.

And I'm on baclofen,
which is a muscle-relaxant,

which I take twice daily.

I went into hospital on 8th September

with a relapse
that had happened at home,

completely paralysed
from the hips downwards,

and my hand started to close up,
my right hand,

so I couldn't hold a toothbrush
or a hairbrush, nothing.

And then I lost my speech.

I went into hospital, had the steroids

and eventually I did get a bit better,

only to go and have a second relapse
in hospital.

Since I've been at home I've been
on the neuro rehab team here in Bedford,

which has been fantastic.

They've got me
doing things at home

and I also manage to get the boys out,

take the boys to school on my trike

and they come with me
and have a shopping trip,

so they're there
just to see how I get on

and be there to support me, really.

Personally I'd say
it's not actually a death sentence.

There are a lot worse things
that could happen to you

and you just find the tools
and the way to get around it

and get on with your life,

because life is short and
sometimes this puts it into perspective,

and to remain positive.