“To become stronger than multiple sclerosis”: Actor Dmitry Kuklev on how he lives with a terminal illness

Dmitry Kuklev

- With multiple sclerosis, I live not so long ago. The first symptoms showed up when I was 22 years old. Then my professional life was only gaining momentum: I got the first role in the theater and was full of hope for the future, nothing portended problems.

A working trip from Tyumen to Saratov, where I studied, I, unfortunately, will now be remembered for a long time. It was then that I had the first symptoms of the disease.

At first I felt a slight fever, but did not pay any attention to it. I decided that this was a jerk after my first acting role. The next day, the symptoms began to manifest themselves more strongly: I had poor control of my hands, I could not even hold a teaspoon. And again he did not pay attention: he decided that he simply laid his hand out. After some time, similar problems began with the leg .

.. Then the symptoms intensified: I couldn’t fall asleep due to fever, the temperature rose, I was thrown into the heat, then the cold. One half of the body did not work, and the other did not feel absolutely anything: I could easily pour boiling water on myself and not understand at all what was going on. Already in Saratov, a friend helped me call an ambulance, but the doctors could not understand what was happening to me.

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Some of the doctors decided that I was pretending to be a disease, having learned that I was an actor by profession. But in the end, 10 days after hospitalization, I was finally diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Dmitry Kuklev

My father was the first to know about my illness when I was in the hospital, I told my mother later when I returned home. Of course, for them it was a very difficult emotional moment ..

. Friends are aware of my diagnosis: they support me, they try to cheer and please me. Colleagues are also always ready to help - both on the stage and outside it. It often happens that exacerbations happen right during the performance. In Romeo and Juliet, during the stage at the ball, my legs suddenly refused, and I could not budge.

My partner was not at a loss and quickly took me backstage to a chair so that I could catch my breath. The audience did not guess, everything happened quickly and quietly. At the premiere of the performance “Thunderstorm” I played without seeing with one eye, in “Profitable Place” - without feeling hands.

Dmitry Kuklev on stage

When the aggravation overtook me in public places, fortunately, I always had the strength to get to the house or to the center of multiple sclerosis. It happened that one eye gradually ceased to see for two days: at first a small dot in the eye, as if something was interfering, then it increased in size.

Then vision in one eye disappears completely. After such attacks, much depends on how timely the appeal for help was: not all functions can recover completely after an exacerbation of the disease.

Now I understand that these are a certain kind of obstacles, having stepped over them, you feel stronger. Overcoming yourself, as if you are becoming stronger than your illness. It really mobilizes.

And now I can say with confidence that I have adapted to life with the disease.

Dmitry Kuklev on stage

As for the treatment, I absolutely trust what the doctors prescribe to me. Such, you know, blind faith, because in my case they proved their professionalism. I am not afraid of adverse reactions and am willing to tolerate in order to achieve a result. Side effects are different: fever, cramps, migraine.

At first, to be honest, I was sleeping in the bath: it seemed to me that water relieves pain and tension. Then the body adapted and the adverse reactions came to naught.

This disease has greatly changed my attitude towards life. I believe that you can and should live in pleasure - despite the diagnosis. Multiple sclerosis is not a reason not to start a family, to withdraw into oneself.

Often I meet patients like me, but at the same time I am depressed, discouraged, and denying my illness. Many give up and believe that a diagnosis is a sentence. Some even quit work, close in four walls and live in their own small world. Now, in the age of the Internet, there are many support groups for patients with this disease, where you can talk about your life and support each other. It’s most convenient to search for communities by tags, for example, # RS # StrongerRS # Stronger than Multiple Sclerosis.

My story proves that with this disease you can live a practically full life. It is important not to give up, not to give up, not to lose heart - but to be, on the contrary, stronger than multiple sclerosis.

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