I have PPMS, wheelchaired, diagnosed June 2012.
Was a very active athletic woman; swimming, skiing, volleyball, badminton, softball. While taking walks, starting trip falling and dragging right foot. Lower back, hip and knees problems and using a cane in 2009. Thought when I made Dr appt I was going to hear I needed back surgery but was told I had Primary Progressive MS, not what I thought I was going to hear but was ready to start treatments of Avonex and switch from cane to a walker. Had a great job of 30 years as an emergency responder. Unfortunately, I progressed quickly to a powerchair, no longer walking, little usage of right hand, problems with bladder/bowel functionality.
Dr labeled me permanently disabled, no longer working, and now have assisted living but still independent. Dr took me off Avonex, prescribed PT and offered pain meds which I will NOT do. Basically I'm on my own. What I struggle with is people aren't familiar with the 4 stages of MS. They think when they hear you have MS you should still be able to take medication and; walk, travel, and entertain normally. "Why can't you dance like the one person who has MS on Dancing with the Stars--running marathons anymore? People and Drs need to be more educated on the MS types, how MS effects different people, and all the different treatments to be offered, even if there isn't a cure yet and not say I can't do anything for you. As an MS person, you will be your own advocate, spend your own money, and be the most educated in MS because you will research everything and everywhere. So you will be helping others.