Ian and MS
MS is strange because it’s comparatively unusual, yet everyone seems to know someone who’s got it! So it was with me and there’s no history of MS in my family at all.
I grew up in a family of professional musicians with both parents teaching at the Royal Academy of Music. I started singing in the Temple Church choir and sang at the St Endellion Festival in Cornwall and the London Symphony Chorus. I ended University with no clear idea what I wanted to do. But through a chance conversation at St Endellion, I ended up working in financial services, after hours of interviews, in 1980. I was good at it and all was going very well indeed. Even better after I married a girl, I’d met at Leeds Uni’, in 1983.
All was going fine, professionally and personally, when a spell of double vision didn’t go. I went to my GP. He referred me to a neurologist who said it might be MS and sent me for a precautionary scan. The MRI scan at the Royal Berks’, in about June 1991, confirmed MS. When the neurologist confirmed MS, I thought my world had ended. I cried, we went back home, had a cup of coffee and I went to work. I felt fine, so why not? In fact I carried on working until 2001 when my insurance company decided to pull out of the UK. I simply took medical retirement. Life had been getting more difficult through the years and via elbow crutches and then a lightweight wheelchair, I became wheelchair-bound.
We moved house in June 2012. One of the criteria was to stay within easy reach of BMSTC. The support and advice, and humour there has been a great help for both Val and me. Luckily my MS has progressed quite slowly. I am sure that is at least in part due to the weekly physiotherapy. I know it could all change suddenly tomorrow. But I’ll just keep tomorrow at arms length!