I am Chinese and live in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, with my parents. My sisters moved to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur for work. I was diagnosed with MS in 1998, when I was 26. My first symptom was loss of dexterity in my hands. I could not write, brush my teeth or use cutlery. I had to defer my university exams. I also lost control of my bladder.
It took a while to get an MS diagnosis, but I finally saw a neurologist and had an MRI and steroid treatment, which made my hands and bladder better. My initial reaction to being diagnosed with MS was shock and denial, but slowly I have come to accept it.
Recent relapses have affected my bladder and the strength in my legs, and now I cannot walk properly. I also have to think carefully before I do something and make sure I do it slowly and carefully.
Many people with MS here have vision problems. There should be more visual aids and larger print fonts available to help with this. There is also a shortage of accessible facilities so we need to raise awareness of MS among the public. My advice to other people with MS is to try to be positive.
My relationship with my family is good, despite my MS. In fact, my sisters and I are closer as they have tried to find out more about MS and help me get to meetings at Persatuan Multiple Sklerosis Malaysia.