A&E - when to go?

Hi all,

Maybe this is a silly question, but…

I’m new to MS (or reasonably so, only started with def symptoms in Jan + only Dx in April time ish). I’m waiting for an appointment with the MS team (am under another neuro for epilepsy, thus the speedy Dx). Since the first symptoms though (ON in Jan), I had a relapse in June - August, and now I’m having another one (basically the same symptoms, though this one only started about 1-2 weeks ago). I’ve already seen my GP (emergency appointment last week, when nausea really took hold), so have completed a 5 day course of Steroids already. However, over this week, the fatigue has just gone mad (it was building already, but now it’s crippling) + then today I’ve had the wonderful MS ‘hug’ back (I had it last time too, but mainly down my left side). It feels like I’m having a heart attack when it first hits, and my whole neck, face and upper body feels like it’s burning / on fire (I’d def scream if anyone touched me when it’s at its worst). Anyhow, I got another emergency appointment for today (telephone), however, the GP never rang - I’ve been back in bed for almost 8 hours today (since 12 noon ish). So now I have these increasingly worsening symptoms of another relapse (though at the moment, I seem to be having some light relief in terms of the pain / symptoms), having already finished a course of Steroids, and have no idea of who to contact / where I should go / when I should go there? Maybe I’m just over-tired (though how, having spent so long in bed, I don’t know), but I’m totally fed up, and whilst I can put up with the symptoms as they are right now, I don’t want to be back in the pain I have been earlier today (and more so, for days on end during my previous relapse). Is there a point at which I should go to A&E rather than wait to see if I can speak to my GP again tomorrow, and if so, what’s that point + how do you know (I know it sounds silly - sorry!)?


Forest x

hi forest

theres no such thing as a silly question if u dont know the answer! unfortunately theres no answer thats fits all when it comes to ms.

a and e is just that. and unless its immediately life threatening which ms usually isnt then u could sit there for hours to be told to see ur gp asap-despite how difficult that may be. as u get to know ur own version of ms then u will get to how how to manage it for you. however u say u r newly diagnosed and i can completely understand ur concerns as u describe. some neuros dont understand ms so i doubt that an a/e dr would. this is sounding all negative as i write it-sorry-its not meant to be! i am trying to be realistic and save u more frustration about a/e. someone else may come along with another suggestion that will be helpful. make urself as comfy as u can knowing what works for u and give yourself time for ur diagnosis to sink in.

take care and ask away-u may not get an answer but be reassured that u r not alone-far from it-we all share similar questions/frustrations.


Thx Ellie,

I’m a bit calmer now - think I just needed to rant. I have a lot of other stuff going on as well (which probably isn’t helping re any relapse etc…), and this all just seemed like one thing too far today. But you’re right - I would have to be in something a little more than absolute agony first before I’d go to A&E (given I was in absolute agony last relapse and didn’t go even when suggested). I hate feeling like I’m wasting other people’s time, so it is pretty much the very last place I’d ever go. I know what you mean about the neuro’s not having a clue - I’m already under a neuro for my epilepsy, and originally he said ‘oh, it’ll be nothing to worry about, you’ll probably not get any other symptoms’ - or something similar, … (this was following the ON I had in Jan, and he basically said that that’d probably be all I’d ever have). I wasn’t as convinced + tried even then to get him to refer me to the MS team, but it wasn’t until I had the relapse (a couple of weeks after that), and had to go back to see him via an emergency appointment when he revealed that actually he knew next to nothing about MS as he was just an epilepsy specialist, and yes now he would agree to refer me (next time, maybe just do it in the beginning?). Rant rant rant… sorry…

Forest x

If you are desperate though but don’t feel you need a&e (as I agree it is exactly that) there is your out of hours gp. If you don’t know the number phone your surgery when its shut and it either is directly rerouted through or the ansaphone will the number on. You can be seen and treated by them or just get some advice Take care A xx

Thx Arwen,

That’s good advice - I’ll try them as my next port of call if it comes to it, though (touch wood) things seem to have settled down somewhat now this evening, so think I’ll make it through to tomorrow now.

Take care

Forest x

Hi Forest

Sounds like you are suffering a bit.

The hug does feel as if you are having a heart attack but I find that deep breathing really helps.

If you panic it makes things much worse so try and relax.

Hope you feel better soon and if not contact your out of hours GP, probably faster than waiting at A & E for hours eh?

Take care.

Shazzie x

After my dx at end of jan and experiencing a relapse I thought I was well on the way to recovering and starting to think about going back to work. I was one evening suddenly hit by loosing the use of my legs completely I was round a friends house. They called 999 as didn’t feel there was any other option, I couldn’t get out of the chair and had a sharp stabbing pain in my head. The paramedic questioned my friend for calling for them when they said I had MS. But didn’t know what else to do I couldn’t move. I spent hours in a&e and was finally admitted and spent two weeks in hospital. When I saw my MS nurse after I had been discharged I asked her did we do the right thing and she said in those circumstances we did the right thing. If you could speak to your out of hours GP service I would recommend that, as being in a&e was horrible and as previously said they don’t know much about MS. Even when I was in the hospital they wouldn’t do anything without it being approved by a neurologist first. Hope you feel better soon sending you a virtual hug a nice one not the horrible MS version. Barney