When you first learn that you have multiple sclerosis, you will likely experience a range of emotion from relief to fear. Then come the questions.
One of the first might be “What is my prognosis — what is a typical case of MS like?” The hard answer is that prognosis is all but impossible, but along with that uncertainty comes hope. Undoubtedly, you will hear horror stories about MS as well as uplifting stories about people living strong, healthy lives. The fact is, life with MS is unpredictable. That’s about all one can predict about it.
The trick is to share and learn from other people with MS without falling into the trap of comparing yourself to them. If you’ve just recently been diagnosed with MS, waste no time in putting yourself in the driver’s seat.
Self-educate. Make sure you understand what MS is — and what it isn’t. Don’t wait for someone else to tell you everything you need to know. It is your responsibility to learn all you can about MS. (Related Reading: Basics to Understanding Multiple Sclerosis)
When in the doctor’s office, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Do some research on your own. There are many national MS advocacy groups, books, and reputable websites that provide information and guidance. This education should be ongoing — always be open to new information.
Decide who you will tell. There is no rush to make this decision, so take your time. You need to consider your spouse and other close family members whose lives may be affected, but reaction will be varied and unpredictable. They, too, will need time to adjust.