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Photo: MS Nurse Emmaand Elaine

Me and My MS nurse: Emma and Elaine

Frances Whinder

Since Emma moved to the Isle of Wight, she’s been grateful to have MS nurse Elaine looking out for her.

Emma on Elaine

When did you first meet Elaine?

When I moved to the Isle of Wight at the end of 2013.

Did you have any concerns about the appointment?

No, I was just happy and thankful that I’d have someone looking out for my welfare. I’m always appreciative of the NHS for that.

What were your first impressions?

How relaxed and at ease Elaine made me feel.

Although you were already on treatment, did you discuss other treatment options?

We did, but I was more than happy to remain on Avonex as it seemed to be working for me with no major relapses.

How was the appointment?

Every appointment I’ve had with Elaine has been fine. There was an issue with my bloods on one occasion, which Elaine quickly picked up on and had me back in for more tests. That’s why I’m so grateful for my nurse.

How often do you see each other?

We see each other every 6 months, or sooner if there are any issues.

How helpful have you found having an MS nurse?

It’s very helpful having someone who understands what you’re going through. With relapsing MS, it’s sometimes difficult for family and friends to recognise or acknowledge the condition.

Sum up your MS nurse in three words?

Warm, welcoming, witty.

What difference has your MS nurse made to your life?

Elaine has made a huge difference – I'm certain not just to my life, but to all those living with MS on the island. She’s such a busy lady but always has time to fit you in. I want to say ‘Thank you so much’ to Elaine.

Elaine on Emma

When did you first meet Emma?

In 2013. She made contact with me directly, as she’d recently moved to the Isle of Wight and was already established on treatment.

What was your first appointment like?

Very informative. Emma came prepared with a copy of her last clinic letter, so I was able to quickly focus on what the priorities were. Our main aim was to achieve a smooth transition so as to avoid any disruption in treatment.

What were your first impressions?

I was impressed by how well organised Emma was, providing as much information as she could at our first appointment. She was knowledgeable about her MS and any difficulties. She seemed relaxed and motivated.

Has your relationship with Emma changed over time?

Over time, I’ve been able to engage with Emma well. She always calls in with any concerns and keeps me updated if needed. This ensures we address any difficulties as they arise.

How important is it for somebody with MS to have regular appointments with their nurse?

It’s essential. It ensures monitoring and treatments are reviewed and symptoms are best managed. It also helps in building a good relationship with your nurse – so you’ll feel able to discuss anything, and know you can call with any concerns.

Sum up Emma in three words?

Knowledgeable, confident, friendly.

How can a person with MS make the most of their appointment?

By keeping a record of any symptoms or concerns, which helps get the most from the time. I feel it’s important to make the appointment around the person as well as covering the monitoring.

What changes would you like to see for MS treatments?

All people with MS to feel in control of their MS and be able to make informed decisions.

Your treatment choices

  • If you have a relapsing form of MS, there are 13 different disease modifying therapies available on the NHS. Take a look at the options available
  • Finding treatments for progressive MS is our number one research priority