Teacher who woke up after big night out in Greece with blurry eyesight opens up on MS diagnosis

Teacher who woke up after big night out in Greece with blurry eyesight opens up on MS diagnosis

A young primary school teacher has recalled the moment her world turned upside  with a devastating diagnosis during an European adventure of a lifetime.

Gold Coast woman Elise Osmand, 28, was travelling around the Mediterranean with friends last year when she first noticed her deteriorating eyesight.

When she woke up one morning unable to see out of her right eye, Ms Osmand blamed her vision loss on jet lag and a big night out on the town.

By the next morning, she has gone blind in her right eye with only 20/20 vision remaining in her left.

She immediately sought medical advice when she reached Athens, where an eye specialist initially feared a brain tumour or cancer before Ms Osmand was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, also known as MS, a chronic condition that affects the central nervous system.

Elise Osmand's life has changed forever since being diagnosed with MS in June 2019

Elise Osmand’s life has changed forever since being diagnosed with MS in June 2019

 ‘At first I got upset about it … it was a really confronting moment. It felt like my world had come crumbling down … a death sentence,’ Ms Osmand told news.com.au.

Doctors confirmed the devastating diagnosis when Ms Osmand returned home and began treatment.

Her vision returned four months later but has since suffered other symptoms such as fatigue, hypersensitivity to touch and crippling nerve pain which often leaves her unable to get out of bed.

A very active and social young woman before the diagnosis, Ms Osmand said MS has changed her life forever.

She listed fatigue as the most frustrating symptom, where she’s often forced to cancel plans at the last minute.

‘I have always been very active and would do a lot of exercise. Now, while it’s still really good for me to do, it can trigger symptoms and drain me to a point I can’t recover from,’ Ms Osmand said.

‘I can still go out and have a great time, but going out for drinks and having fun is now just having one or two [drinks] and preparing myself for a three or four hour sleep afterwards.’ 

An eye patch and a cannula in her arm didn't stop Elise  from exploring the Greek capital of Athens. She pictured shortly after her diagnosis

An eye patch and a cannula in her arm didn’t stop Elise  from exploring the Greek capital of Athens. She pictured shortly after her diagnosis

Elise Osmand (pictured) had extensive treatment when she returned home to Australia

Elise Osmand (pictured) had extensive treatment when she returned home to Australia

She remains hopeful of not ending up in a wheelchair. 

More than 25,600 Australians have MS, which continues to rise with ten more cases diagnosed every week.

Ms Osmand shares an eyeopening insight into personal MS journey on her Instagram page MS Breaking Barriers, where she also aims to raise awareness about the condition.

‘Through this journey of being diagnosed with MS it has changed my world, but by doing this, I have met so many incredible people from our community and I have grown as a person, understanding my mind and body more each day and finding a strength that I didn’t know I had,’  she posted earlier this month.

Elise still tries to remain active but admits crippling nerve pain often takes a toll on her body

Elise still tries to remain active but admits crippling nerve pain often takes a toll on her body

‘Knowing that people can connect or relate to my story pushes me everyday to want to be as honest and real as I can in the hope that it will continue to create awareness and help those with MS who feel lost and confused about this journey to know that they are not alone.’

Ms Osmand also hopes to inspire other MS sufferers to also live their best lives.

‘Learn to use this disease as a way to better yourself,’ she wrote.  

‘Most importantly trust your gut and reach out when you need help. It can feel like a very lonely road, but it doesn’t have to be.’

Elise Osmand tries to enjoy and lead a normal life as possible, despite having MS

Elise Osmand tries to enjoy and lead a normal life as possible, despite having MS

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