AFTER being diagnosed multiple sclerosis (MS) at the height of the pandemic a Solihull woman has broken the silence as part of a national campaign.
Hannah Connor has been struggling with some of the symptoms of MS, including vertigo, numbness and vision issues, for the past seven years.
The 38-year-old decided to speak out about her condition as part of MS Awareness week, which ran from April 19 to 25, and this year’s theme was Lets talk MS.
Hannah was given her life-changing diagnosis after being admitted to hospital.
She said: “I was constantly back and forth to my GP but unfortunately always come away with no answers.
“It was a tough time to get diagnosed because I was on my own and couldn’t have any visitors at the hospital. I just wanted my husband with me.”
MS is a condition that damages nerves and makes it harder to do everyday things, like walk, talk, eat and think.
The Marston Green resident believes being open and honest about her MS is essential to help others understand her experiences.
Hannah said: “The way I see it is, how can I expect people to understand what I’m going through if I don’t explain it to them? People want to care for you and support you, but you need to let them.
“I have a photography business, but after receiving my diagnoses I made the decision to cancel my shoots.
“I felt so guilty about letting people down and upset that I couldn’t do what I loved doing.
“I decided to post on my Instagram page explaining that I had received an MS diagnosis and that I was taking some time out.
“I had been carrying so much guilt but by opening up a weight was lifted.”
In September Hannah went into a relapse and she was struggling to see out of her left eye, her balance and coordination was completely off, she began to slur, and she had intense burning sensations on her thighs any time she moved her neck.
Because of her treatment for this she had to shield for 12 weeks over Christmas.
Although she has recovered from her relapse she says she is still suffering from some effects.
Hannah said: “I get really fatigued and struggle with concentration, coordination and balance, as well as problems with my vision in my left eye.
“I’ve started to go out and about a bit more but I still can’t do all the things I was able to do before, for example I still can’t drive, and when I go to the shops I can barely make it round without getting fatigued and being in pain.
“I’ve still not been out alone yet since my diagnosis. I feel like it’s really impacted my independence.”
Although Hannah is generally very open about her MS, she admits that it’s not always easy to be honest about how she’s feeling.