Milton Man Living with Multiple Sclerosis
(MILTON, Del.) - March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness month. According to the National MS Society, nearly one million people in the United States have been diagnosed with the disease. One victim in Milton shares his experiences to help others feel less alone.
"We often say that it's an invisible disease,"" says Devin Garlit.
Based on his appearance, it's hard to tell that he is living with Multiple Sclerosis.
"Essentially the immune system begins to attack the lining around the nerves. We start to have trouble with the signal going from our brain to different parts of our body so we sometimes have trouble talking, trouble walking, we can experience pain, fatigue, tremors, spasms,"" Devin says.
Devin says he was diagnosed 19 years ago and the disease eventually forced him to retire from his position as a software engineer. "I tend to have a lot of cognitive issues because of it,"" he says.
He now goes to the hospital once a month to receive a medication called tysabri.
"It takes about two hours, I get it through an IV. I'm usually pretty tired the rest of the day, but after that I kind of have a little pep in my step."
That pep in his step is enough to care for his 13-year-old Doxon named Ferdinand.
"I got him from a rescue about two or three years ago. He's only got two teeth. He's got a hole in his mouth. He's blind in one eye. I guess I kind of felt like he's a little beat up and I'm a little beat up,"" says Devin.
Both owner and dog take care of each other. "He's also developed the ability to kind of know when I'm not feeling well and sometimes almost before I realize it,"" says Devin.
MS changed his life and now Devin uses his experiences to advise others. ""I don't have an answer for it but, if you're going through this, you're not alone.""
He shares that advice by writing bi-weekly articles for multiplesclerosis.net. In these articles, Devin shares his experiences and offers up his knowledge on symptoms and treatments so that those who are living with the disease and their loved ones feel less alone.
In addition to his articles this month, Devin will also post a question and answer forum to connect with and better inform his readers during the awareness month for the disease.