Me, My MS and I



5 Top Tips For Those Newly Diagnosed With MS

I wrote this short blog post for Wego Health’s September blog post competition, and it’s been warmly received, so thought I’d post it here too.

I wanted to write these tips with those newly diagnosed with MS as part of the September Health Activist Blog Carnival. I was diagnosed with MS over a year ago, and fortunately took it all in my stride, but everyone’s different, and I felt these tips would help anyone newly diagnosed with MS.

Stay positive! : ) – often, a diagnosis of MS can be upsetting, and seem awful at first, but life is still fab with MS. The negative points are often thought of first, and can swim through your head, but MS can be well managed and there are many medications and treatments such as physiotherapy which help a lot. Your life continues; just along a slightly different path, and you learn to adjust to achieving the same result through different methods. There are also some amazing MSers out in the world of the internet who’re a great support, lovely people and very positive and informative.

Tackle your feelings regarding your diagnosis – a diagnosis of MS can sometimes come as a shock, out of the blue, and there are a range of emotions to be tackled. Don’t ignore them: tackle them head on and acknowledge them. The only way to deal with these emotions and move through them is to recognise them and give them their place. Talk to people about them; your family and friends, and as they say, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’! Vocalising your feelings also helps.

Research – the more you know about your MS and the options avilable for management or treatment, the better placed you are to understand your MS and what treatment and medication may be available to you. There’s a huge amount of information on MS available, and it can be overwhelming at first. Stay calm and work your way through it, approach the information clinically to decide what is relevant to you and what is not. It’s empowering to know what’s happening to your body, and what’s causing it. You feel more in control, and this helps a great deal when living with MS.

Keep in close contact with your healthcare team – your healthcare team is an incredibly valuable resource, and they can help you with many things. Apart from the obvious prescribing of medication and providing treatments, they’re also a great source of information and advice, and can be very beneficial to you, especially during the early days post diagnosis. They’re also very supportive, and can often point you in the right direction of resources, support, or fun things to do. Decide with your healthcare team how you want to manage your MS it’s your body and your choice to choose from the appropriate options provided to you.

Start a blog – writing down your feelings, what’s happening, charting your progress, or anything you want to talk about can help you to organise your feelings and thoughts into a neat bundle for you to process. It’s cathartic to write what you’re feeling and thinking, and what you’re experiencing, and providing information for others not only helps them, but it helps you too. I found a sense of purpose from writing an informative blog, and learned a lot myself in the process. Blogs can be kept private, so nobody in the world can read them except you. If you don’t want to share your thoughts and feelings with the world, it’s a very handy option to keep your blog private but still reap the benefits of writing it.

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