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Andrew Paul Buttigieg – Living with Multiple Sclerosis

Published 27 May 2021

 

Family photo, including Mr. Andrew Paul Buttigieg, his wife, and two young boys

My name is Andrew Paul Buttigieg, I am 36 years old and I was diagnosed with MS in June 2017.

I started to have symptoms in May and these mainly affected my balance. After visiting my family doctor, he advised me to take some pills for the balance but, after three weeks, it got worse and the right side of my body was not functioning well. I could not walk well and my right hand was numb. I knew something was not right so I visited my doctor again and he advised me to take an MRI.

The MRI results were not promising as I had lesions in my brain and back which were caused by the condition. The type of MS which I was diagnosed with is known as relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RMMS) when you get attacks (relapses) that can affect you permanently or temporarily. At the moment, the symptoms which are affecting me most include limited strength, numbness in fingers, walking difficulty and mood swings.

Till now, there is no cure for this condition but there are treatments that can slow down the process of deterioration/ minimising relapses. From my end, I have tried three different types of therapies and changed my diet to a healthier one (dairy-free and wheat-free), hoping to decrease the MS relapses.

I am a father of two beautiful boys and sometimes I do not have enough strength to wash them or carry them and my fingers are so numb and without strength that I find it difficult to dress them. I work in IT and MS has affected my hands-on operations; nonetheless, till now, I am handling it pretty well. My employers know about my condition and take good care of my needs. My wife was devastated when she got to know about it and this affected her life drastically, as I am quite limited in helping her at home.

I am a very positive person but this condition has made me quite nervous as I try to accomplish something or do something physically which should take minutes, but takes me hours, as I need to push myself to do it and this also affects everyone around me.

I thank God for having my wife and family who help me out when needed because without them I would not see life as positive living with this condition.