MS

Being diagnosed with MS can often be a very worrying experience. There is a lot of uncertainty about the future, as the way MS affects people is unpredictable. The diagnosis affects the whole family, and yet it is difficult sometimes to talk to other family members about it, because there seem to be only questions, and few answers. One of the ways in which the MS team at Royal Stoke University Hospital have tried to help is by setting up a Closed Facebook Group, which patients are invited to join. With specialist nurses making sure that only correct information is presented in the group, people feel confident in using it as a means of finding out what it is really like to live with MS. Ask a question, and several patients will usually reply. You no longer feel so isolated. The different drugs that are now used to manage MS can have side effects, and these are worrying, but less so if you know that others have also experienced the same problems, but they have settled down, or that alternatives are available. Online friendships have often progressed to actual meetings and ongoing support and encouragement. There is a video below of a nurse and patient talking about how the Facebook group works.

Taking the medication is a really important part of the management of MS, and Flo text messaging is sometimes used to remind people to take their tablets. Flo can also help with depression or fatigue by sending helpful messages of encouragement.

Sometimes it is difficult to get to a clinic, and Skype consultations are just starting to be used in some circumstances. It is likely that these will become more common in the future. There is a video below of a specialist diabetes nurse using Skype in a consultation with a patient about their diabetes.

There are websites which can suggest technology to help manage any condition where a little help might make life a bit easier for you. Here are some of them; Disabled Living Foundation, At Home UK, Independent for Longer, and Staffordshire.gov.