Warren was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in May 2013. Warren was just 41 years old at the time. MS causes damage to nerves in the body. Nerves in the brain and spine send messages to parts of the body. These messages help with bodily functions e.g. Flexing and straightening muscles; for bladder function; for the mechanics of speech etc.
“I knew what MS was because my mother had MS. The doctors sent me for tests after I had suffered three episodes of bladder retention. I had an MRI, a spinal tap and lots of other tests”.
“My mother had the progressive form of MS, so I wondered what form I would have. When none of the MS treatments worked, I knew I had the progressive type. It hit me hard. I was in a wheelchair within a year and given the diagnosis of Primary Progressive MS”. Doctors say the rapid progression of the condition and Warren’s disability is worse than usually expected. It is predicted that Warren’s life expectancy will be limited. As the nerves deteriorate more, then so does basic functions such as: the ability to breathe, cough, and swallow. Thus Warren will be prone to infections.
Nerve pain, muscle spasms, and muscle tightening impact Warren’s quality of life.
“I’m constantly in pain. The pain is getting so bad. I feel like the muscles are tightening so hard that they are pulling away from the bone and going to burst”.
Recently Warren was interviewed and filmed by TVNZ. “I heard my voice and it was a shock. It’s not the voice I remember”. MS has impacted in other ways too. Warren used to work in a busy supermarket. “I enjoyed the simple things in life. Going for walks and riding my mountain bike. I can’t do that now. I gave up so many things. I’ve had to give up work, my home, my cat, and my relationship. I’m now in fulltime care. I have to really concentrate to use two hands to hold a drink or I end up dropping it. I can’t walk. Sometimes I’m so fatigued and having a bad day that I can’t feed myself”. However Warren still enjoys watching movies and reading, when he is able to. Warren receives a benefit. He can’t afford the cost of the Sativex spray he has been prescribed to help with the pain and muscle tightening. He has tried all other options without relief.