Imagine you have weights on your ankles and wrists, thick gloves you cannot take off and your vision is blurred.
That disorientating feeling can amount to everyday life for many of the 100,000 people in the UK who live with multiple sclerosis (MS) and now a campaign charity is urging Fifers to put themselves in their shoes.
The MS Society has created a simulation kit to raise awareness of how people are affected by the debilitating neurological condition and North East Fife MSP Willie Rennie was the latest to try it out.
Weights were strapped to his legs and arms and he wore ‘beer goggles’ and gardening gloves as he undertook a series of tasks, including making a cup of tea, drying his hair and going shopping.
The Scottish Liberal Democrat leader said it was a sobering episode.
“I have never experienced anything like it,” he said.
“I was bumping into people, bumping into aisles and tripping on kerbs.
“I could take the glasses off after an hour but if you had that for days on end you would be exhausted, you just wouldn’t go out.
“It reinforces the need for policymakers, like MSPs, to be fully conscious of the needs of people with disabilities and other debilitating conditions.”
Mr Rennie was invited to take up the challenge by Amy Newton, who lives in in Dairsie and has MS.
Amy, branch coordinator for the MS Society, said: “It was a real eye-opener for him. He wore the kit for an hour and said he couldn’t imagine wearing for any longer.”
The 42-year-old, who was diagnosed in 2011 and suffers extreme pain, impaired balance and speech and muscle fatigue, regularly uses her kit to teach people about MS.
She said: “People are shocked at how debilitating MS is actually is.
“What gets taken for granted is suddenly taken away.
“Simple things like pouring a cup of tea become dangerous.”
Amy also campaigns against the “unfair” Department of Work and Pension PIP test for personal independence payments, which includes a 20-metre walking assessment.
She said: “This disease is incurable and it’s only going to get worse.
“You might be able to walk 20 metres but that might be the only thing you are able to do that day.
“We have a diagnosis from a doctor, we shouldn’t have to prove we are ill.”
MS is a lifelong condition in which the immune system attacks the nerves, affecting the brain and spinal cord.
Symptoms vary widely but people can suffer problems with vision, balance, walking and emotions and the condition can cause serious disability.