Living with multiple sclerosis – tips about driving, money and relationships!

Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis

Relationships, support and care

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Coming to terms with a long-term condition such as MS can put a strain on you, your family and your friends. It can be difficult to talk to people about your condition, even if they’re close to you.

Dealing with the deterioration of symptoms, such as tremors and increasing difficulty with movement, can make people with MS very frustrated and depressed. Inevitably, their spouse, partner or carer will feel anxious or frustrated as well.

Be honest about how you feel and let your family and friends know what they can do to help. Don’t feel shy about telling them that you need some time to yourself, if that’s what you want.

Support

If you have any questions, your MS nurse or GP may be able to reassure you or let you know about the other support that’s available. You may find it helpful to talk to a trained counsellor or psychologist, or to someone at a specialist helpline.

Some people find it helpful to talk to other people who have MS, either at a local support group or in an internet chatroom.

Care and support services

It’s worth taking time to think about your specific needs and what you might need to achieve the best quality of life. For example, if your balance and co-ordination are affected, you may want to think about equipment and home adaptations.

It may be useful to read your guide to care and support. It includes information and advice on:

Want to know more?

Having a baby

Being diagnosed with MS shouldn’t affect your ability to have children. However, some of the medication prescribed for MS may affect fertility in both men and women.

If you’re considering starting a family, discuss it with your healthcare team, who can offer advice.

Pregnancy

Women with MS can have a normal pregnancy, deliver a healthy baby and breastfeed afterwards.

Having a baby doesn’t affect the long-term course of MS. Relapses tend to be less common in pregnancy, although they can be more common in the months after giving birth.

You may need to continue taking medication throughout your pregnancy. However, some medication shouldn’t be taken during pregnancy, so it’s important to discuss this with your healthcare team.

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Money and financial support

If you have to stop work or work part-time because of your MS, you may find it hard to cope financially. You may be entitled to one or more of the following types of financial support:

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Driving

If you’ve been diagnosed with MS, you must tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and also inform your insurance company.

In many cases, you’ll be able to continue driving, but you’ll be asked to complete a form providing more information about your condition, as well as details of your doctors and specialists. The DVLA will use this to decide whether you’re fit to drive.

Want to know more?

[Original article on NHS Choices website]

Living with Multiple Sclerosis – the 7 best exercises

Living with Multiple Sclerosis - the best types of exercise
Living with Multiple Sclerosis – the best types of exercise

Health Central have produced this excellent guide to Multiple sclerosis and Exercise entitled Living with Multiple Sclerosis – the 7 best exercises. We are sharing because we think it is an excellent overview.

We have covered the general area before . We looked at yoga for people with multiple sclerosis here. And general exercise options for people who suffer from chronic pain.

People with Multiple Sclerosis face ‘disturbing’ levels of workplace mistreatment says recent research! Was this true for you? Take our poll!

Types of multiple sclerosis
Types of multiple sclerosis
According to the UK’s MS Society “24% of people with MS say their employer has treated them badly as a result of their condition, and a fifth say their colleagues have.” This is according to their latest survey findings, which investigated discrimination at work for PwMS.

And “Of the people who say they have faced mistreatment from their employer, 91% say their employers knew they had Multiple Sclerosis. And 85% who faced mistreatment from their work colleagues say their colleagues were aware of their MS.

In the survey, people shared many distressing experiences of mistreatment. These included facing offensive and humiliating comments, feeling bullied and being accused of looking too well to have an illness or disability.

People also say they have lost out on promotions, been forced out of work unfairly and had requests for reasonable working adjustments denied.”

Michelle Mitchell, the Chief Executive of the MS Society shared “Our survey clearly shows the need for a shift in attitudes to better support people with long-term conditions and disabilities to stay in work. It’s disturbing to hear so many accounts of people being bullied and mistreated at work because of their condition, especially as people with MS are protected against discrimination under equality law.

“We know that some people with MS absolutely won’t be able to work because of their condition, but for those who can, simple adjustments and supportive employers can make a huge difference. We want to see more positive workplace cultures that value the important contributions that people with MS can make.”

So what about you?

Have you suffered from discrimination in the workplace because of your multiple sclerosis? Why not take our poll below.

Common Hidden and Invisible Illnesses Explained – Please share to raise awareness

If you saw a person in a wheelchair or on crutches struggling to move, would you accuse them of milking it for attention? Not unless you were a truly malign, cold-hearted individual. If you saw a seemingly healthy person climbing out of a car that’s just been parked in a disabled parking spot, would you accost them and insist that they park elsewhere? Quite possibly, but before you do, it’s worth taking the time to consider whether that person actually does need the spot, even though they seem healthy.

There’s a little insight into the world of the hidden illness sufferer. Aside from the crippling physical pain they courageously endure on a daily basis, there’s also the frustration and torment of unsympathetic observers who take their exterior appearance at face value and believe that there’s nothing wrong. It doesn’t have to be a physical illness, either. Depression is also classified as a hidden illness, as it is a medical condition which might be highly concealed but has an enormously damaging impact on a person’s day-to-day life.

For people living with hidden illnesses, a basic degree of understanding and empathy from others is greatly appreciated. If you hear someone saying profusely that they’re feeling unwell, don’t just brush their words aside as the attention-seeking whines of a serial complainer. Ask them if there is anything you can do to make them feel a bit better. A person without a chronic illness just does not know the extent of the suffering of those with such illnesses.

This infographic from Burning Nights neatly summarises 10 of the most common hidden illnesses so that we can all obtain a small level of understanding. This include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, depression, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Lyme disease, Lupus and CRPS. Maybe the next time we see a seemingly healthy person occupying a handicapped parking space, we won’t be so hasty in our judgement.

Common Hidden Illnesses Explained [Infographic]

The Ultimate Guide to Multiple Sclerosis Valuable new resource from GeneFo for the Multiple Sclerosis Community

Guide to Multiple Sclerosis
Guide to Multiple Sclerosis

A valuable new resource from GeneFo for the Multiple Sclerosis Community.

GeneFo has recently created a useful free resource for the MS community. A guide that offers expert advice on nutrition and exercise best practices, tips for the newly diagnosed, innovative treatments you need to know about, daily hacks, parenting issues, clinical guidelines, and social/emotional recommendations. You can get a sneak peek by clicking here, where you can also sign up to get your free copy!