A man diagnosed with multiple sclerosis has described living with the condition – and revealed how he sometimes struggles just to get out of bed.
Greg Chatterton, 35, has been living with MS for more than a year after being diagnosed in September 2017.
He was just 33 at the time, with the condition taking its toll on his body and mind in the months since.
Greg lives with his wife Tamara, 36, in the city’s West End.
He had begun to feel unwell early in 2017.
He said: “It was my eyes basically, I noticed in my peripheral vision there was a blurriness in my left eye.
“I went to the optician and he referred me to ophthalmology at Ninewells and for a few months they were bringing me in to do tests.
“They couldn’t find anything wrong with my eyeballs. I lost vision in my left eye then my right eye when my left eye got better, then in September I completely lost all vision in my left eye.”
He was sent to neurology, where he spent a week before receiving the news he had MS.
“It was a relief because my wife and I thought I might have a brain tumour,” he said.
“I was put on very strong steroids to begin with and I also had a lumbar puncture where they stuck a needle in my spine.
“I’ve got remitting relapsing MS. My symptoms come and go, some symptoms stay constantly. My left eye has never recovered, I still have a blurriness in it.
“I can’t work at the moment because I have this fatigue which is the main symptom, because that’s just continuous. It’s being so tired you can’t think properly; your cognition basically goes out the window.
“Fatigue is beyond tiredness. It’s inability to concentrate, it is an inability to do what I used to be able to do. I can wake up after a 10-hour sleep and still feel exhausted.
“I get terrible migraines as well. They start first thing, they wake me up and they are there for the rest of the day, because even though the pain has gone there’s a numbness, I call it a bruising, to the brain which lasts all day.”
As a result of his diagnosis, Greg was forced to suspend studying for his masters in philosophy and literature in Dundee.
Greg said he was lucky to have such good care so close to home at Ninewells.
He added: “It is such a good hospital for neurology and MS treatment.
“The neurologist involved is one of the best in the UK, Dr O’Riordan, he is one of the top doctors for MS. He knows exactly what he is talking about.
“I always say I’m lucky I was diagnosed here. I’m not lucky I was diagnosed with MS but if it was going to happen, here was the best place.
“The care at Ninewells, all the nurses that were working there, the day staff, the night staff, they were just fantastic.
“I came up with this term, you have to normalise the abnormal because there is no escaping it – you have to do what you can.
“They always say you have MS but your MS is not you.
“I want to get people to know and understand MS a lot more.
“Just an awareness because I’ve heard lots of horror stories about people using their blue badge. It’s a hidden illness.”