You’ve Been Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis

You've Been Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis

A sentence, just six awful words

Here are six words you do not want to hear. Did you tick the box on the mortgage application form for life cover? I didn’t. Its too late now to insure your health, so you’ve just got to shrug your shoulders. Its even more important to plan for the future.

Yup, the phrase, ‘You’ve been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis’  happened to mew to 1996. It really is a life changer and you must man up to it.

Good news and bad news

There is good news, the toast lands sticky side up.

  • Only 15% of those diagnosed will need to use a wheelchair on a full time basis
  • Plenty of people who carry on their life as if they have not been diagnosed with MS
  • It can be a trigger to change your career and be much happier
  • MS doesn’t affect fertility

There is bad news as well, the toast lands sticky side down.

  • MS can make the future seem uncertain
  • No one can tell you how the disease will progress. They are not being stubborn, they do not have a crystal ball
  • The chances are that at some stage your life will change. You must learn to adapt your life to accommodate these changes
  • Develop a set of coping strategies
  • There is a small chance that MS can be inherited genetically

Acceptance

You will probably go off on an emotional roller coaster ride, I did. Anything that is life changing will need adaptations. Look up the Kubler Ross cycle, this explains the problems far better than I can.

Expect the worst but hope for the best

Ask yourself questions such as

  • What kind of work could I do if I’m unable to continue with my current career? You need to talk this over with someone you know and trust.
  • Can I survive unemployment? This is a tricky one.
  • Is there voluntary work
  • Thinking about the future. This can help you feel less stressed and more in control of your options.

It will be a bit like leaving school or university and starting out. Far too many of us drifted into a career because it happened to turn up at the right moment. Once again you could be at the same cross roads – exciting stuff.

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May 2013

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