Sarah is sitting on a sofa. She's smiling at the camera.

Getting support to talk about my MS diagnosis

I was diagnosed with MS in July 2019. My hand and arm started off going numb. Doctors carried out tests but were unsure what was causing my symptoms.

My symptoms continued to get worse and at times I would lose my balance. One of my friends asked me if I had been tested for MS, which made me go back to my GP and ask to be tested.

My life had been turned upside down

I had heard of MS but I didn’t know exactly what it was. After being diagnosed, the only appointments I had on the medical side were about what medicines they were going to put me on.

I had lots of MS symptoms including mobility problems, tremors, bladder issues, and cognitive issues but nobody went through how to manage these or my emotional wellbeing.

Getting the support I needed

The brilliant thing that happened was that my neurologist took me round to speak to MS Society staff at Ninewells Hospital. So we talked and that’s where I heard about the My MS, My Way: Tayside Project.

I was offered support really quickly. After speaking to MS Society staff, I was called back within a few hours and was offered counselling sessions the following Tuesday. Getting seen that quickly was absolutely amazing.

Through the project, I also joined virtual Living Well with MS sessions. I was a bit nervous about starting these, however I thought if there was a one percent chance of them helping then it was worth trying. I’m truly very thankful for the MS Society because I feel I was left in limbo.

Talking about my diagnosis

I really struggle with talking about my health and how living with MS has affected me. It’s been really hard going from being fine and active one year to trying to manage many challenging symptoms in such a short space of time. Having the counselling sessions were really helpful for working through how I’ve been feeling.

Because my health has continued to deteriorate and I’m newly diagnosed, my neurologist is unsure if I have relapsing or primary progressive MS. No one else in my family has MS and I think it has been hard for my friends and family to see me deteriorate the way that I have.

Sharing with others in a similar situation

Joining the virtual Living Well with MS sessions as part of the Tayside Project gave me a chance to share how I felt without having to worry about what I was saying impacting on them. Everyone who joined the sessions was really friendly and in the same boat as me.

If you’re thinking of joining the sessions, they’re a great way of helping someone else in a similar situation, and finding help yourself. MS affects everyone differently but the sessions open a doorway to finding help and understanding

Have you recently been diagnosed with MS and are living in Tayside?

Find out about the My MS, My Way: Tayside Project