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Talk to me about MS

(7 Posts)
PaulDacresButtPlug Tue 02-Aug-16 22:09:27

I don't have it, a friend does. I don't want to go into too much detail as she might be a MNer. She has had it for as long as I have known her which is 20ish years but has always been in denial (it was a misdiagnosis, it went away etc.) However, she now lives in 'a hospital' which I presume translates to very supported living and is on crutches and relies on daily help.

Her mental health, and this is what I am particularly confused with as I can't find much online, seems to have gone out the window. She's not depressed as such, that I know of, but she tends to go off on long rambling and bizarre FB postings and ring mutual friends in the middle of the night or order bizarre gifts for people. Is this also connected to the MS...? Also, does the fact that it remained untreated up until the last few years made any difference? I presume drugs slow it's progress and any deterioration is irreversible?
I am seeing her next month so want to know more about it and, if necessary, prepare myself (I have not seen her for 8 years but we used to share a flat 15 years ago.)
Thank you!

TheClaws Wed 03-Aug-16 06:55:04

There are different kinds of MS. The main types are relapsing-remitting and progressive. With replapsing-remitting, the MS flares up at times (relapses) and then the attack resolves (remits). This leaves scarring on the brain/spinal tissue. In Progressive MS, the MS is ever-present and worsening, over months or many years. Both types have different levels of severity.

What you're describing sounds like cognitive problems - these can be common. But other mental issues can co-exist with MS too.

Treatment for MS these days is very good, but again, is different for every person. I tried five different therapies before I found the one that worked for me. I'd be surprised if your friend wasn't on anything at all - even if it was just steroid treatment. Good luck - I'm sure she'll be happy to see you smile

TheClaws Wed 03-Aug-16 06:56:33

There are different kinds of MS. The main types are relapsing-remitting and progressive. With replapsing-remitting, the MS flares up at times (relapses) and then the attack resolves (remits). This leaves scarring on the brain/spinal tissue. In Progressive MS, the MS is ever-present and worsening, over months or many years. Both types have different levels of severity.

What you're describing sounds like cognitive problems - these can be common. But other mental issues can co-exist with MS too.

Treatment for MS these days is very good, but again, is different for every person. I tried five different therapies before I found the one that worked for me. I'd be surprised if your friend wasn't on anything at all - even if it was just steroid treatment. Good luck - I'm sure she'll be happy to see you smile

Starman16 Wed 03-Aug-16 07:07:02

The MS Trust website is an excellent resource for information on MS
www.mstrust.org.uk

BendydickCuminsnatch Wed 03-Aug-16 07:09:41

That's interesting. My MIL has had MS longer than I've known her and she's always done the rambling/strange presents/no idea what she's on about thing. DH doesn't even know if that's the MS or her personality, he doesn't remember sad

fassbender Wed 03-Aug-16 07:22:09

I have MS, diagnosed 22 years ago and have moved from relapsing remitting to progressive. Very rare that those with progressive disease are on meds, most treatments tend to be for those with RRMS.

As PP have said, cognitive issues can be part of MS but equally non-related illnesses can co-exist alongside. If your friend had had it for a long time, you might notice a big change, my friends say they do when I haven't seen them in years.

You sound like a lovely friend for wanting to learn more flowers

PaulDacresButtPlug Wed 03-Aug-16 09:55:58

Thanks for replying.
Bendydick she is very rambling now, possibly like your MIL and i previously thought it was a physical thing only. I am not sure what kind of MS she has, but she has always been clumsy, to varying degrees and also had a few episodes, years back, where she struggled to walk. However, she recovered from that and then, I'm presuming due to being in denial, talked about how it had 'gone away.' Up until about 5 years ago she was refusing to admit she had a problem (she and her husband came to blows over it one night as she crashed the car, he said she shouldn't be driving but she managed to find a doctor that signed her off as capable) and was certainly not on any medication then but I would have presumed that is not the case now. She also used to make out she was drunk when she fell over and had very little safety awareness (she nearly dropped my 3 month old DS on concrete, but seemed oblivious.)
fassbender I agree that I'm likely to notice a big change. Hence, I want to try and brace myself first (I hope that doesn't sound bad!) so I don't run the risk of looking shocked.

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