Motor Neurone Disease (MND)

Martin - Interview 40

Male
Age at interview: 24
Age at diagnosis: 23

Brief outline: Martin was diagnosed about a year ago in 2006, after a year of weakness in his fingers and hands. Movement in his arms is now very limited, but his legs and speech are not affected.

Background: Martin is an unemployed former building worker, single. Ethnic background/nationality' White British.

Audio & video

Martin was in his early twenties when his fingers started to become weak, and he noticed he was having trouble doing up his shoelaces. Then he found his hands were shaking during his work as a builder. It took him a year to get a diagnosis, in 2006.

When he was told he had MND Martin tried to block it out. He finds the best way to cope is not to think about it as far as possible. He now has very limited use of his arms and is unable to work any more. He lives on his own because he likes to have some independence, but his family live close by and help out. He finds dressing, washing and eating hard to manage on his own. He walks round to see his mother and sister most days and enjoys walking his dog. The dog is great company for him, but his present landlord is not keen to have dogs in the building so he will have to move soon.

Martin still goes out with friends in the evening - he can't hold a drink any more but they help him. Eating out has become too difficult though. One friend goes fishing with him and helps with casting the line, then he can manage reeling in himself. He misses being able to drive, and other activities he used to enjoy such as bowling, go-karting and biking. The local MND Association recently provided funding for him to go on a trip to Amsterdam with some of his friends which was a good experience.

He receives disability living allowance but finds it hard to make ends meet. He feels people underestimate how difficult it is to manage with limited arm movement. 

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