How Suddenly Can Severe Problems Appear?


I've just been told (following MRI and Lumbar Puncture) that I have MS. I've had problems for years that make sense now but the most recent thing happened overnight (facial nerve issue leading to double vision).


My question is (and I know it's different for everyone):

How quickly can severe problems occur? (is it usual for nerves to be seriously affected in hours/days?)

I am worried that if motor/cognitive functions can be lost quickly I'll need to put plans in place to deal with long-term, short-notice absense from work (I have employees that would be out of work if I don't have "hit by a bus" plans in place). I know I should already have plans in place, but MS concentrates the mind...

Thanks for any help.

Really sorry, but there just isn't a straight answer to your question. However, I agree with you that you need to have plans in place to ensure that your employees aren't affected by you having to go off sick suddenly. The other thing I would say is to not become complacent - it might be years until the plans have to be put into action, so make sure they are kept up to date.


I would also just like to say that it is highly unlikely that a relapse would leave you completely unable to communicate with your second in command and stay involved at least a wee bit in the business. Cognitive problems are for the most part relatively mild in MS and can be supported with diaries, electronic reminders, planning, etc. Mobility problems can be debilitating, but there are a load of mobility aids to help people stay active. Whether or not you ever need these remains to be seen of course. A lot of people with MS never do.


Karen x

Hi Anon,

I'm not self employed but my job is one of those where the firm could grind to a halt in more ways than one, potentially causing some serious knock on effects if I didn't have contingency plans lined up......It's not happened yet and the chances of my not being able to guide my 'stand in' through procedures over the phone if needs be is unlikely, but the measures are there just in case!!

There are loads of small ways to try & stay on top of things - I have diaries, calendars, noticeboards - you name it I use helps me so much on a day to day basis. The same for at home too. 

Try not to overload yourself with the worry of it all because the stress alone can make you feel so much worse. Do one thing at a time and you'll soon have 'back up plans' in place.

Good luck

Debbie xx






I am not self employed or running my own business, but in my job I have identified over the years to have contingency plans in place for unexpected absences. I was dx 9 years ago and have been lucky to have no sickness for the last 2 1/2 years (touch forehead/wood).

I have written a continuity plan for my office (200+ staff) to cover all eventualities (loss of systems / staff / premises / processes). It was a bit of a ball-ache to devise. I just review it every couple of months to see if things hav changed.

I also use Microsoft outlook at work (I do not know if this is applicable to you). I use the tasks / notes and contacts sections to note daily,weekly,monthly tasks, record names and contact numbers and et reminders of jobs to do with details of how to do it.

Using this and the telephone would really help in the worst case scenario.

Regarding how quickly problems can occur really does depend of which part of the central nervous system is affected. The same can be said of recovery.



Thanks for the comments, I've had a few days of thinking about lots of things and - in a strange way - it's easier to make plans as I know there will be limits to my working hours and I should plan for that (and getting time to enjoy myself outside of work).