My name is Lauren and I have been a member of the Samson Centre since 2009. I enjoy coming along regularly and meeting others as well as being able to join in with activities and have access to treatments which help me to manage my condition.
I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when I was 16 and just about to do my final exams at school. My first symptoms were sensory, itching and numbness and also loss of sight. I have aggressive Relapsing Remitting MS which affects me in lots of different ways but I always try to stay positive and cheerful. I think this helps me a lot. People usually know when I arrive as they hear my laugh first!
For me the biggest issue is that I have extreme problems with my memory and linking bits of information. This means I am often confused and I struggle to access social events because it is too hard to remember who people are or follow what is being said. However, I love being with people and getting involved in whatever I can, so I have a busy weekly schedule including swimming and sailing with disability groups and meeting up at a resource centre once a week.
At the Samson Centre I have been doing oxygen therapy twice a week for the last few years and it helps to give me more energy and ‘zing’ . I listen to my music in the oxygen chamber (my favourite is 80’s tunes) I also enjoy coming to do the seated pilates class and take my physio sessions very seriously, carrying out the exercises at home every day.
People don’t always understand MS or how it affects people in different ways. My symptoms can vary from day to day and are not always visible to others. I am very grateful for all the support I get at the Samson Centre from people who truly understand and dedicated staff who want to help. Myself and my family feel very fortunate that we have access to this wonderful resource close to home.