The first thing we would like you to know is that if you or a family member discover you have MS, you are not alone, and you will never be without support on Guernsey.
A diagnosis of MS can bring with it a confusing array of questions and emotions. To help you start to understand your MS, your GP surgery and the MSG (Medical Specialist Group) have copies of an 'Introductory Pack'. If this is not offered to you, you can get one from the MS nurse (see below) or by contacting the Guernsey MS group.
Very shortly after a diagnosis of MS has been made, your GP should refer you to our Specialist MS Nurse, Debbie Robilliard. In the unlikely event that your GP fails to refer you to Debbie, don't worry, you can contact her yourself on the main Princess Elizabeth hospital switchboard 725241. Debbie's main role is to let you know about all the support and services that are available as well as providing emotional support to you and your family at this difficult time.
You may find the following video "Being diagnosed with MS" helpful.
The UK MS society has published a "Just diagnosed pathway" which is clearly set out and is full of helpful information. They also have a 'Just Diagnosed' booklet and most recently a Newly Diagnosed e-mail service. To go to the UK MS society web page, click here. Just remember the process in Guernsey is slightly different from the UK.
How might I feel?
It's common to experience a range of powerful emotions after being diagnosed with MS. You might feel angry, anxious or tearful. You may feel relieved, especially if you've spent years trying to find out the reason for your symptoms. You may feel shocked, especially if your symptoms started very suddenly and you're diagnosed within days. You may feel like it's unreal or happening to someone else. You may experience a lack of emotion.
Whatever you feel, it's OK. There's no correct way to react to the news of the diagnosis - being diagnosed with MS is a lot to take in.
What to expect
Now you've been diagnosed with MS, what happens next? It all depends on how active your MS is, what treatments are available and what you'd prefer to happen. Here some issues to think about, and discuss:
How active your MS is at the moment? Are there any symptoms that are troublesome and could be treated?
What you would like to happen? There will probably be choices that you can make.