WHEN Alison Wolfenden’s thumb started tingling it was the start of a life changing diagnosis.
She first noticed the strange sensation in 2002, but it wasn’t until September 2003 that she found out what was causing it – and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).
By that time the tingling numbness had spread from her thumb, up her right arm to just below her ear.
She was given treatment, but after that Mrs Wolfenden has suffered several relapses which left her feeling fatigued and unable to walk long distances.
By the end of 2010 she was relapsing every 12 weeks, but since starting new treatment in January last year has not had a single relapse and is now preparing for a trip to Manchester to meet other MS sufferers.
Mrs Wolfenden, of Lowfield Road, Dewsbury Moor, said: “My life just felt like it was stop-start. I could not get on with living my life, but it has been easier for the last year.”
MS can affect different people in different ways. It attacks the body’s nervous system and can cause fatigue, damage eyesight and impair mobility.
Sufferers will go through spells where their condition does not affect them as much, followed by periods when their symptoms are particularly severe.
Mrs Wolfenden’s condition left her feeling so fatigued that she decided to stop working in August 2009.
“Looking back, I don’t know how I managed for so long, but I had reached the point where I was struggling with the fatigue and it was too difficult to continue to work,” she said.
This weekend Mrs Wolfenden will be attending the MS Life event in Manchester, which is organised by the MS Society and gives sufferers the chance to get advice and information from experts and each other.
Mrs Wolfenden, 32, is already an active member of the MS Society, attending weekly meetings of the Huddersfield branch.
She said that meeting regularly with other MS sufferers had made it easier for her to deal with her condition.
“I can talk to my ‘normal’ friends, but they don’t understand my condition. My MS society friends understand what it’s like to live with this condition.”