Living with multiple sclerosis

By Brandi Bailey

March 14, 2013 Updated Mar 15, 2013 at 1:00 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Vikki Callazo has good days and bad days. But every day, she lives with multiple sclerosis.

Callazo is sharing her experience to raise the awareness on what can be a debilitating disease.

Callazo was diagnosed with MS 10 years ago. She thinks back to the time when she first questioned her health.

"The red flags, quite honestly, were what I thought was a migraine and I had visual disturbance and I couldn't see clearly out of my left eye," Callazo said.

MS is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. In MS, damage or scarring occurs to the tissue that surrounds the nerves.

"It also depends on where your scarring is at, it can occur in your brain or on your spine. If they're on your spine, then you'll probably have mobility issues," Callazo said.

MS can affect both men and women, but according to PubMedHealth.com, it's much more common in women.

Collazo has what's called relapse and remitting MS, which means her symptoms are not constant.

On good days, Callazo says she often forgets she has MS. But the bad days bring a harsh reality.

"Fatigue is a huge part of it," Callazo said. "Sometimes it's not being able to find the right words. The brain is not necessarily connecting with the other parts of your body, or even how you want to say things. Sometimes I feel like I process things slower."

Callazo says the key to managing MS is not only through medications and a positive attitude; it's becoming aware and learning from others with the disease.

March 11-17 marks National MS Awareness Month.