Dating someone with multiple sclerosis

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The image showed a cup of tea and the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle with the caption #teatime.

And in a subtle nod to one of Harry’s great loves, the teapot in her picture is in the shape of an elephant.

Even for someone like Jane, who is famous for her role as the no-nonsense matriarch in the TV reality show Made In Chelsea (in which she stars alongside her daughter Binky), the news was hard to take in.

Shock: For more than two decades, Jane Felstead, 65 (pictured left, and right with daughter and MIC co-star, Binky Felstead), believed she had fibromyalgia because of chronic aching joints and fatigue.

One in ten was told they had depression or anxiety.'We hear all the time from people with MS who have gone through numerous misdiagnoses,' says Susan Kohlhaas, director of research at the MS Society.'A GP won't see that many cases of MS and the symptoms, such as fatigue, are so generic there is too much hesitation to refer on to a neurologist,' adds Dr Schmierer.

Typically, diagnosis is done using a brain scan for signs of damage, or by taking a sample of spinal fluid to check for inflammation. 'I had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia more than 20 years ago,' she says.'At the time I had three young children, a husband, two houses to run, horses to look after — I was busy so I didn't have time to give much thought to my health.'I was exhausted and was having pains and the odd weakness in my joints, but there's no cure — I was just told to get on with it.'Soon after my fibromyalgia diagnosis, I went to the ballet with my husband and I wasn't able to get up off the loo. And a few years ago I went to the doctor with weakness in my leg and the GP thought it was just muscular weakness because I wasn't exercising enough because of my fibromyalgia.'I also had pains in my eyes and was found to have an inflamed optic nerve but, again, this was put down to fibromyalgia.'Yet this year she decided enough was enough.

They work in different ways, but most aim to reduce the action of immune cells — typically B cells — which are thought to play a part in the attack on the nerves.'Without treatment, within eight years, on average, people develop limitations to their walking range, and after 30 years are in a wheelchair,' says Dr Schmierer.

However, he says after using the drug alemtuzumab, for example, 'about half of patients stay disease-activity free'.

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'The doctor said amazing drugs had been developed in the past few years and assured me I wouldn't be bedridden.'There are 12 drugs available on the NHS that don't cure MS but can help halt its progression.If I walk too far, it feels as if my legs won't support my body, and sometimes my eyes feel painful, but it's not too bad when you consider I've had this for more than 20 years,' she says wryly.'I make a point of walking 6,000 steps a day.If I get exhausted and have to sit down, it doesn't frighten me any more.But neurological tests this year showed Jane had multiple sclerosis'I was terrified,' says Jane, who as well as Anna-Louise, 37, and 27- year-old Binky (real name Alexandra), has a son, Oliver, 36, with her now ex-husband Roger.'My maternal aunt had MS and was bedridden for the last 12 years of her life, so the moment the doctor said 'MS', all I could see in my mind was a wheelchair.'I was too shocked to cry.The tears came later that night when I went home and was on my own.'MS is caused by the body attacking the protective coverings of nerves called myelin.

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