Girlfriend recently diagnosed - Belfast

my partner,39, has been recently diagnosed with ms. It manifested itself through optic neuritis in November 2016. She has had a yearly review and is doing fine despite another small lesion on the brain. She does not like to talk about it believing denial is the best way to deal with it. We don’t currently live together and she cares for her mother who is also unwell. I would like to read more to know how to help her more, even just to be better informed myself. We’ve only been going out for 14 months but I love her very much and want to spend the rest of my life with her. For that reason I want to be prepared for what’s potentially to come. Can you recommend any books? Or local groups I could go to? She may not want to go with me but I’d be happy to go along to see what advice I can get. Thanks you

she needs space to come to change with this life changing diagnosis.

be there and keep an eye on her but don’t push.

most people have been used to being capable individuals then in a flash they have to understand that they are not invincible.

it’s so very hard.

this forum is a life saver because it enables people with ms to have a good vent.

her hospital where her neuro is based may run an information day.

the ms society has local groups in most towns.

carers are always welcome.

it is very difficult for her but just as hard for you.

when she is ready, she will open up to you but until then you just have to wait.

you sound like a treasure.

maybe you could offer to help with her mum to give her a break.

wishing you both all manner of good things. xx

Hi, In addition to Carole’s very good advice I’d like to say, MS is a huge and complex subject so you’ll need to be very selective in what you pick up. If you get too much information at once it’ll be easy to become overwhelmed and you won’t be able to see the wood for the trees. Even a public library has a bewildering range of books on the subject. If you phone the MS Society on 0808 800 8000 and tell them what you want to achieve they’ll be able to get you the right material of the right level for your needs. It would be a good idea if you knew which type of MS your girlfriend has. Best wishes, Anthony


The advice from Carole and Anthony is great. I’d just add that you can find out more about MS by hitting the tab at the top of this page marked About MS. Alternatively the MS Trust is another very valuable and trustworthy website.

What you could do of course, when the time is right, is to gently tell her how you feel about her, make sure she knows you’re there for her, and if she wants to talk at any time, you’re open to that.