Forum

Advice sort

Hi,

I’ve only recently been diagnosised with MS, so it’s all a bit new to me. I started with optic neuritis back in Jan in my right eye, which has by in large cleared up now (thankfully). I’m (un)fortunate enough depending on your point of view to already be under a neurology as I have epilepsy, so after going to the local eye casualty the diagnosis came about quite quickly. However, over the last week I’ve had what I’d descride as ‘Vertigo’. I feel sick and my head is all a fog, and the room and everything in it isn’t quite as it should be. I wouldn’t quite go so far as to say it’s swaying - if I stop and look at any one object, then I can see that it isn’t. But it’s that kind of a feeling. I’ve had it before, but for none medical reasons - I’ve been sailing, and you get it when you come back ashore. It’s that kind of feeling.

Anyway, I was firstly wondering if anyone else has had this kind of thing? How long does it last for (guessing it’ll be different for everyone, but it’ll be good to know your experiences)? And what did you do to combat it?

Also, I’m a student nurse. So I’m a little worried about how all of this is going to affect my placements (not to mention my work in the future). If anyone has any inside into this, or any advise (you don’t have to be a nurse / student nurse), then I’d really appreciate it. Also, how would you advise I manage the vertigo with my next placement (rapidly advancing on me) - and whilst the uni know about the ms, because it’s so knew to them and me, there’s nothing in place for it at the moment. No-one thought there was any need. Is it possible to do nursing with MS? I go back to see my neurologist in a couple of weeks, but that is only 4 days before I start my placement - no time to change anything. And I’ve got a very busy ward.

Sorry to go on, but thanks for any advice that you can give me,

Forest

Also, I thought I’d just add that I posted this here as opposed to in the ‘new to MS’ forum as it won’t let me post there for some reason. I don’t know if there’s a problem with it at the moment, or if I’m doing something wrong?

Thanks

Hello Forest,

Welcome to this forum. You’ll find lots of help and advice and a warm welcome on here. I can really empathise with you as I was in exactly the same position over 10 years ago, except that I was working 4 days a week during my training to become a cardiac techician and 1 day a week at college. As I worked in a very busy hospital department in Leeds I knew that the best thing to do was to be completely open about my situation. I got Occupational Health at work involved so they always knew how I was doing and I also informed my course tutor so that if I was having a bad spell with fatigue etc, they could make allowances for things like extensions for essays. I was never made to feel uncomfortable by work or college and had lots of support. I guess you will have placements in various different areas, but if it is at the same hospital, get OH on side and keep them updated. If you are seeing your neuro soon, make sure he knows that you are doing your course so that he can suggest suitable drug therapy that will help you, if indeed you are willing to go down that route.

I too have had vertigo from time to time, and was prescribed both Stemitil and Betahistine which really helped. The betahistine always worked a bit quicker for me. All the best with your course. Don’t be put off, with the right support from work and Uni and from your neuro, hopefully you will have a very rewarding career.

Take care

Alison x

Thanks Alison - My tutor, OH and the head of my course all know, though they don’t know about the vertigo, only about the optic neuritis I had to start with. For the most part they’ve been pretty good, though as I say I’m a little concerned about this next placement as it sounds hectic + if I’m still feeling like this, that’s not good news. But fingers crossed.

Thanks again, Forest

Hi,

Glad you felt able to share with all those involved. As well as your neuro, I hope your GP is helpful too. If you can get to see him/her before your neuro appointment, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t prescribe something for the vertigo so you have chance to get it settled before your next placement. They should hopefully by now have communication from your neuro re your diagnosis. A good GP is worth their weight in gold. If yours falls short, see one who doesn’t. Mine is fab and over the years we’ve got a good relationship going. A mixture of good old mutual respect and a sense of humour has worked wonders!

If you need to PM me, please feel free.

Alison x

Thanks again,

I went to the GP’s the other day, but I don’t know any of the docs there as I’ve just chnged having come to uni. The doc I saw was lovely + we spent 10 mins chatting, but she wasn’t sure what to do about the vertigo. She has given me some anti-sickness tabs called prochlorperazine, but so far they don’t seem to do a lot so I may try without today.

Thanks Forest x

Hi alidad,

Yes I went to the GP’s a couple of days ago. I’m new to that GP’s because I’ve only just started uni so I don’t know any of them there. The doc I saw was lovely, though wasn’t at all sure of how to help. She gave me some anti-sickness tabs in the end called prochlorperazine, but they haven’t don’t a lot so am gonna try without today.

Thanks again,

Forest x

I was a student nurse when I was diagnosed. I had about 3 months off because my first relapse was a really bad one. I was very upset by the whole thing. The uni I was studying at weren’t very helpfull or supportive. I didn’t get supported back to my course and I was in so much debt that I had to take a bank postion at the hospital to earn some cash. My advice to you is stick at it and don’t give up or be fobbed off. You can do it just plan your time well and rest when you can. I still nuirse now and work fulltime so there is no reason for you not to. This all happened in 2005 and I am trying to get back on a training course after having a daughter, buying a house and getting my confidence back. Everyone deals with it differently and if I knew then what I know now I wouldn’t of let anything get in my way especailly not this bloody MS. Go for it!!!

Interesting physio technique for vertigo!! Something to do with sleeping with your head at a certain angle??

Thanks alidad and lollypop. Do you know what the physio technique is? I always feel worse in a morning + find I’m struggling to sleep. I have been to the GP’s, and they’ve given me an anti-sickness tab, but it’s not really doing a lot. I’m new to that GP’s with just starting uni, so don’t really know them there. I’ve had other things going on with the uni as well which is how they came to find out so soon (not through choice completely). So I think they’re just waiting for me to have a relapse + to be able to say ‘not fit for practise’. But perhaps I’m just an old sinic. Anyway, hopefully it won’t come to that.

Thanks Forest

Hello and welcome :slight_smile:

The physio technique for vertigo is the Cawthorne Cooksey exercises. You have to stick with it and do it religiously, but it can help loads in some people.

There should be someone in your department who is responsible for making sure that they support disabled students (and a diagnosis of MS automatically gives us that definition, if we choose to use it). I can’t see why (with some effort) that your placement can’t be changed to something more suitable for now. Hopefully you’ll be fine before the next switch happens and you can do the one you missed.

There was a thread on here some months ago that was all about nursing - it seems there are a lot of nurses on here! Some have given up work, but I remember that many were still working. So never say never - there’s no way of knowing with MS and some people manage to do incredibly stressful and demanding jobs right up to normal retirement age.

Your GP can give you a referral to neurophysio, btw. You could always look the exercises up on-line, but it might be better to get some expert help?

Karen x

Hi Karen,

They look good (I looked them up online) - thanks. Indeed, the uni should be doing more, but I know they won’t and it’s not something I could push with them at the moment - they would just make me take time off the course which isn’t a practical option for me, and would just add further stress, so I have to stick with the placement I have. So I’ll try the techniques and see if they bring me any joy.

Take care,

Forest x

Hi Karen,

They look good (I looked them up online) - thanks. Indeed, the uni should be doing more, but I know they won’t and it’s not something I could push with them at the moment - they would just make me take time off the course which isn’t a practical option for me, and would just add further stress, so I have to stick with the placement I have. So I’ll try the techniques and see if they bring me any joy.

Take care,

Forest x

Well done karen, I couldn’t remeber the name of the technique for love nor money. My friend tried it for about a month and shes cured now. Well worth the effort. Not all physios teach the technique so a little research may be needed. My friend went to our occupational health physio and she new all about it