How did your friends / employers react to your diagnosis?

Hi guys,

I’m just wondering how your friends and employers or people at work reacted when you told them you had MS. So far I have only told my family, I’m afraid the people I work with won’t understand and will either 1) act like it’s no big deal because they don’t know how serious the disease is or 2) overreact because they think it’s deadly.

I’ve been afraid I might go through a bad relapse again soon and will be unable to work and want to let the people I work with know but I’m scared it will backfire. They’ve made jokes a few times about how I’m always tired so I want to be able to explain why but I’m also scared they’ll just think I’m making excuses. I’m also afraid they’ll get angry at them for hiding it from them for so long.

I thought of maybe asking my boss for coffee one day and telling him then, but I don’t know how he’ll react. He’s a pretty understanding person but again I don’t know how much knowledge on MS he has.

hi rena

stop worrying about how other people will handle it.

you’re the one who has to handle it.

good idea to ask your boss to go for a coffee with you.

what he doesn’t know about ms, he can learn! (as we do)

i’m sure he wants to do the right thing.

do not allow stress in your life!

it makes the ms worse.

carole x

Hi Rena

I remember soon after diagnosis, I was working in London and had to go out to visit a client with a colleague. I was suffering quite a lot with fatigue and after the meeting, my lovely colleague insisted we get a cab back to the office rather than the tube. For which he paid.

Most of my bosses and colleagues were pretty good. They knew the sum of bugger all about MS, but then neither did I (then!). But they asked what I needed and helped me when necessary.

It never even occurred to me not to tell people.

My friends have always been pretty good too. They too generally ask what I need from them. I have now trained most of my good friends to check for disabled access, loos, etc. Even when they go abroad, they’ll check whether I could go to that city or that location. I’m lucky in my friends.

And I know I can call on certain of my friends to fly to my rescue if needed. One of them literally did when my husband was suddenly taken into hospital a few years ago. She got a plane booked and flew down from Edinburgh to help me (I live on the South coast). She was here by 10am the next day.

So choose your moment when and who to tell. You might be happily surprised by their reaction.