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Keep on keeping on

Posted 3/05/2016 1:00:00PM by Jackie Chugg

I had symptoms for around 6 months before I was diagnosed with MND. There is no one test, instead it’s a process of elimination. I had MRI’s, a lumbar puncture, nerve conduction studies, muscle and nerve biopsies, an EEG and more.

I was diagnosed in February 2006, at the age of 25. My husband Shane was with me at the time.
My immediate reaction was strangely calm and courageous. I don’t remember crying or falling into a heap, that happened about half an hour later when I had to tell mum outside a coffee shop. I rang my twin sister and told her over the phone, it was hard to get the words out without crying.  I worked with her so I didn’t have to break the news to everyone myself. 

That was the hardest thing, telling people you have MND and they assume that it can be treated and you’re going to be alright. What can you say! ‘No, I will be very lucky to make it to my 30th birthday.’ No one could comprehend the shocking news.

I can cope quite well if I keep on keeping on. In other words, I make myself do things because I know that I cope better when I’m busier.

I am generally a positive person, but the stress and the disease is slowly taking a toll on my emotional health. I am no longer able to carry out a conversation with someone, I am restricted to a wheelchair, I am constantly exhausted.

But on the other hand, I’ve never felt so much love.  The support from family, friends and strangers is overwhelming. 

I hope they find a cure and I hope it’s simple and people living with MND can be treated quickly to stop the loss of life.
 
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Jackie at Coral Bay in Western Australia.


Would you like to read more from Jackie? Visit the Motor Neurone Disease Association of Tasmania website for her Story of an Enduring Smile.


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