Courageous Christine: MS sufferer cocooning in Limerick during pandemic

Courageous Christine: MS sufferer cocooning in Limerick during pandemic

Christine Murphy was diagnosed with MS when she was 24-years-old and has moved back to Limerick after living in Dublinl

WHILE we all have had our lives changed due to Covid-19, none have been more affected than people with underlying health conditions, like MS.

Christine Murphy from Dooradoyle has underlying health conditions and as such is deemed high-risk and must cocoon during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Cocooning has been tough, like it has for everybody as it's so isolating but I've been lucky that I have supportive family nearby who helps me with my shopping and I've company with my partner”

Christine Murphy was diagnosed with MS when she was 24-years-old. The now 45-year-old works in banking three days a week in Limerick, which has been paused during the pandemic. Christine worked in Dublin prior to her diagnosis, she was later transferred to their Limerick branch.

Christine is heavily involved with MS Ireland in Limerick, taking part in their weekly ‘Finding the Balance’ classes over the last number of years as well as taking part in creative writing workshops and the many meditation workshops MS Ireland have been providing during lockdown.

As Christine has underlying health conditions she is high-risk and must cocoon during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I have supportive family nearby who help me with my shopping and I've also been lucky that MS Ireland has provided a lot of online classes, like our physio class that we were doing once a week before lockdown; which they seamlessly moved online,” she said.

Although Christine cannot physically be with her friends at their physio class, she enjoys the fact that she can still see their friendly faces over Zoom.

“I love the social aspect of seeing friendly faces. I know it's through a computer but it's still psychologically beneficial to see.”

Christine started a reflective writing course that Limerick Clare Education Training Board (LCETB) and MS Limerick provides.

“I really enjoy that class and I never would have had the opportunity before lockdown.

While the isolation is so tough as we're cut off from everyone and worried about what the future holds. It managed to keep me sane,” she added.

The topic of the reflective writing class changes from week-to-week.

The classes are run through Sheila Quealey from LCETB in collaboration with MS Limerick.

“She’d focus on a poem, piece of pros or a song and then she would ask us to write about a different topic each week, we didn't have to.

It would be around 300 words in any format we wanted. Not everyone read out their piece every week but it was fascinating to hear people's poem and pros,” Christine said.

Christine urges newly diagnosed with MS to be as positive as possible.

“There's a lot of negative information out there but there's also a lot of positivity out there too.

You might not know how the illness will effect you but you'll see that you can still do a lot of things for yourself like exercise,” she concluded.

More than two-thirds of the 9,000 people living with MS in Ireland access these resources. All those affected by the condition rely on MS Ireland to advocate on their behalf on any issues which will impact their quality of life.

Members of the public with any queries relating to MS are invited to call the MS Information Line 1850 233 233. Open Monday- Friday 10am- 2pm. Calls are strictly confidential.

MS Ireland and Novartis launch video series to support the wellbeing of those living with multiple sclerosis (MS) during Covid-19 pandemic.

Multiple Sclerosis, meaning ‘many scars’, is the most common neurological disease of young adults and affects more than 9,000 people in Ireland.

It affects the motor, sensory and cognitive functioning of the body and is usually diagnosed between 20 and 40 years of age.

A recent survey undertaken by nurses working with people with MS nationwide shows that the ongoing pandemic is resulting in increased levels of anxiety and low levels of happiness in those living with MS in Ireland.

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