MS sufferer Anne thought she was imagining things

TEN years ago Anne Armitage, of Honiton, started suffering from blurred vision and dizziness.

TEN years ago Anne Armitage, of Honiton, started suffering from blurred vision and dizziness. Occasionally, she thought she was "dragging" one of her legs."They were tiny symptoms that came and went, but I thought I was imagining it," she says.Eventually Anne, who is now 56 and lives in Moor Park, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis."Ten years ago, it was an illness doctors didn't know much about, and they still don't know what causes it," she told the Herald."I'd only vaguely heard of MS when I was diagnosed. In my mind, I thought there was something wrong but couldn't be sure."It was a gradual thing over the years but, one day, I couldn't move an arm and a leg. I felt as though I was trying to walk with cement legs."When she was diagnosed, Anne imagined quickly ending up wheelchair-bound.That hasn't happened and she recently discovered, through a hospital trial in London, that her condition had slightly improved.She believes she has benefited greatly from therapies and support provided at the South West Multiple Sclerosis Centre, in Exeter."It's so wonderful; it's like a little oasis," said Anne. "The more help you can get, the better."The oxygen treatment has made a huge difference and my husband, Ken, has been in the chamber with me."I think my condition has improved because I go to the centre."Ken developed the Musmate, a walking aid, for his wife and now hundreds of MS sufferers are using the device.Anne says she's lucky to have Ken as a husband."When some people get MS their partners leave them. The MS centre provides support for partners."I think it's a very calming place and easy to access."There's always someone to chat to."n A 'picnic in the park'-style concert is to take place near Honiton to raise funds for the South West MS Centre.Music for a Summer Night will take place beside a lake in the grounds of Coryhill, Combe Raleigh, on Saturday, June 20.Bring a picnic supper, rugs and chairs. Entertainment will be provided by The Sheldon Singers, The Merry Monks of Lyme and Puttin' on the Ritz.Tickets cost �10 on the gate or �7.50 in advance from hosts Caroline and Chris Padget (01404) 46452.Gates open 6pm.