Coping with a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis: How to avoid panic and adapt to continue living your best life
Collaborative Post | Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is a surprisingly common condition that affects as many as 130,000 people in the UK alone. The condition, which affects the central nervous system, has no cure and can lead to a wide range of symptoms.
In some cases, your MS can be in remission, which means that you won’t see many issues. For others, you might find that you struggle with your mobility and mental issues such as memory problems or depression.
It’s unclear why MS occurs or why the body attacks the nervous system during attacks, but the problems can be incredibly debilitating. As such, being diagnosed with MS can be a scary and frightening experience for anyone.
If you’ve just been diagnosed with MS, it’s easy to panic and shut yourself down. However, there are some simple practices you can try to make the process easier, as we explain in this latest blog post.
Inform yourself about the condition
MS isn’t a commonly-discussed illness, so it’s understandable that you might not know much about it. It’s easy to be scared by something you don’t understand, so you need to learn about the condition, its symptoms and the treatment options available. There’s a lot of misinformation online, so talk to your doctor and other healthcare professionals to get accurate information that’s tailored to your symptoms and condition. Get recommendations on books and sites that offer clear, concise information on the condition and what can happen to your body and mind. With accurate information about the condition, you’ll be able to feel more confident in making decisions about your future life with MS.
Invest in a rollator with additional features
One of the most significant changes most people who’ve been diagnosed with MS notice is that their mobility starts to decline, and they become lethargic when walking or standing for too long. This could be a side-effect of any medication or a symptom of the illness itself. Whatever the reason, you need to make sure that you always have a mobility aid on hand in case you find yourself struggling to stay upright. Consider a multi-use mobility aid, like a rollator and wheelchair in one, like the Rollz Motion from Rollz Mobility. These handy tools can be used as a rollator for walking, or you can convert them into a wheelchair if you really struggle to stay upright. Having a multi-purpose mobility aid will help you to do the things you enjoy without having to worry about issues with your stability or feeling dizzy.
Consider your living situation in light of your diagnosis
Getting around outside is important, but it’s equally vital that you feel comfortable in your own home. As your condition attacks your central nervous system, you will find that your mobility may become reduced in particular areas of your body. That means that you might have to think about adapting your home or moving to a new property if yours isn’t suitable at all. Flats on high floors with no access to a lift or properties on steep hills might not be ideal, so you might want to look for somewhere new that’s easier for you to access as your MS worsens. If you love your home and feel you can make it work, then consider home adaptations such as accessible bathing options, handrails and possibly even stairlifts. These solutions can help you stay independent and safe at home with MS.
Discuss the condition with others
When you get a major, life-changing diagnosis like this, it’s easy to clam up and avoid talking about it. However, that can be the worst thing that you do. If you don’t tell your friends and family, then they won’t know what’s wrong and might become frustrated with you. Also, they might be able to help you and offer advice. You never know who’s relatives or friends also have MS, so it’s worth chatting with others around you and sharing this important news. For those who don’t have any friends or family members with MS, there are many online forums for patients with the condition, so you can chat to those who understand what you’re going through.
Take things one day at a time
As much as you need to be informed and communicate with others who have MS, it’s important to remember that everyone’s experience with the disease is unique. As such, what happens to others might not happen to you, and you might find that one symptom is more challenging for you. It’s easy to get ahead of yourself when you’re conducting research and adjusting to your new life, so it’s important that you try to ground yourself and take things one step at a time. Whatever the future holds, using these tips and relying on your support network will help you to enjoy your life with your new diagnosis.
Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post.
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