A mum has told how she goes blind every time she has a hot shower.
Mother-of-two Samantha Stevens, 37, suffers from a neurological disease called relapse remitting multiple sclerosis.
This attacks the brain and spinal cord, and her sudden loss of eyesight was the first warning sign that something was wrong, the Liverpool Echo reports.
She said: “My daughter was a year old and I just lost sight in one of my eyes, I think MS can quite often present with visual disturbances.
“My auntie struggled with MS for a long time and she got to the point where she lost mobility in her arms and legs and I saw that growing up, so my first thought was 'oh no am I going to end up bedridden' as many with the condition do.
“I had an MRI scan and a lumbar puncture to confirm my diagnosis, there's a lot of invisible symptoms; if I have a hot shower, I lose my eyesight, in the summer if it's too warm, I lose my eyesight.
“I am fortunate that when my core temperature goes back to normal I do regain my sight.”
According to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, around 130,000 people have MS in the UK – more than 7,000 people are newly diagnosed each year.
Samantha Stevens, of Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, now needs a walking stick to walk, and states that as her situation worsens, her immune system is unable to repair itself should she become unwell.
She also has had to adapt her home, with extra rails and bathroom equipment being put in place.
However, she does believe that her illness has “strengthened” her relationship with her two, daughters aged 11 and 14.
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She added: “There are small things like struggling to fill in a form when my kids bring them home from school because I struggle to hold a pen.
“My kids actually help quite a lot with cooking, and lifting pans from the cooker to the sink and so on.
“They've almost taken on sort of a carer's role which is rubbish because you hope your children will have as much as a childhood as they can.
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“My older daughter understands the disease and its effect and she definitely worries, but I'd say it affects our relationship positively because I think they have a lot of admiration for me and what I have to do without the help of her their dad.
“"He left when things got bad to have a better life without the burden of me I suppose, so it is just me and the girls.”
She is now on an NHS waiting list for treatment.
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