Just been diagnosed with cis

I was diagnosed in june spent a week in hospital and had steroids drip fed into me for 3 days.One doctor said it was ms and another said it was cis. Im in the army and guess that will be the end of my career. I was very fit but cant walk properly now and my feet and lower legs are completely numb,went back to see the doctor last week and he wants me on ssri as an adjunct to therapy (irrespective of whether any depression is suspected) and that is quoting his entry on his letter. Is this correct,can he do this and will it help.

Any input would be great thanks. Iain

Hi Iain

Taking an SSRI is your choice, not the doctors. He can suggest you take them, but if you would rather not, and haven’t been experiencing any depression, then don’t. I can’t see that taking an antidepressant in itself will help with symptoms. On the other hand, a drug called Amitriptyline is used as an antidepressant but is also used at a lower dose for some symptoms of MS. It is a tricyclic drug rather than an SSRI

I don’t know about ending your army career, I would have thought not as it might be that you can’t remain in your current role, but could move to a different one which requires different physical fitness levels. But you really will need to talk this through with the appropriate department (is there an army equivalent of occupational health?)

In any case, you could still have more recovery from the relapse which brought on your diagnosis. You should be having some physiotherapy which could help with your walking, and there may be other things which will help with the residual damage.

I would expect that you’ll be offered a disease modifying drug (DMD) which should help to ward against further relapses.

Have a look at for more information about CIS.


Thanks for the quick replies. I had a letter this morning from the neurology rapid access clinic saying its transverse myelitis and im now awaiting the results from an MRI scan which was done a couple of weeks ago. Im not sure where there going with this. My MO (medical officer) looks like a rabbit caught in the headlights and is now trying to find out all the info he can. He was shocked when he saw me shuffle in like a 90 year old man lol.

Me im not scared i just wish they would take the bull by the horns and say its ms …so then id know and can try and get on with my life as best as i can. The MO has read up on transverse myelitis and seen the words no cure/ seen the state of me and is now ina bit of a panic lol … first case ever to come through his door by all accounts.

Im just fishing for info and getting things off my chest sorry about this but my head is swimming at the moment.

Regards Iain

Hi Iain,

My husband is in the Canadian Army or as the I’ve heard it called in the U.K., the Overseas army. Here is what he said:

  1. You’d be put on a temporary medical category while they investigated which lasts 6 months but can be renewed until which time you have a definite diagnosis.

  2. Once diagnosed they may release you if you can’t satisfy the universality of service requirement. Or they may try to accommodate your situation by employing you in a suitable position like a desk job until you have enough years served to receive a pension.

  3. You would be released under a medical category which means you have a medical condition that cant be solved. However it may allow you to apply for a medical pension.

  4. You can discuss medication with your MO but there may be repercussions( for your health or career) if you don’t comply with the treatment outlined.

My 2cents on your crappy situation is that you find guidance within your military system ( padre, priest or non religious equivalent) and put them to work on your behalf for your stress, your physical rehab and your career management. In Canada Members are also referred out to specialists an idea especially if you think MO is out of their depths. Lastly in an attempt to control our health we started the ketogenic diet 6 weeks ago . It is a way to get your body to metabolize fat instead of carbohydrate and requires therefore a higher intake of fat moderate protein and carbohydrates from only low glycemic vegetable and fruit sources. There have been studies on the brain and traumatic injury in military personnel, epilepsy, cancer and Ms that have indicated this diet MAY help. I say let’s get it done and the best of luck to you in this.

Hi kimbo.

Well i saw the MO he knew i was coming in to see him so had tried to gleam as much info as he could.Bottom line is ive been put on another chit called a P0 which means your unfit for any sort of duty,he was nice enough about it but very blunt,and said to me you will never wear a pair of combat boots again,the fact i walked into his office in my socks helped him lol .

Anyway he said as far as the army was concerned ive got ms the military wont insure me to be on unit and ill be sat at home on full pay until my discharge.Im kind of pleased the army are going to take this stance with me ive completed 26 years and it will take the military 18 months to discharge me,on a full pension.

The army are going to send me to hedley court early next its a rehab unit supposedly the best in the country,but thats a case of the army saying they have done all they can for me and have tried everything.

Im not upset and consider myself lucky in the fact im in the army and will sit on full pay twiddling my thumbs at home then we discharged on a full pension.

Im back with my ms doc on the 5 Oct so we will see what he says.

As a side note there was an article in the Daily Telegraph paper saying after a 30 year test they had proof that twice as many military contracted and died from ms than civilians that could cause the military some problems with financial claims if proven.



That’s a really positive attitude to have Iain.

Hopefully you’ll have a decent DMD offered to you while you are waiting for discharge. That could well halt things where they are physically.

Make the most of the rehab unit. You should get some good physiotherapy, and starting out from a position of having a good strong musculature will pay you dividends.


Hi Iain,

Now you know where you stand so to speak. I have already had cancer and am in queue now for a MS diagnosis. I’m sharing this because it’s important to know you have a future. The transition is difficult. You and your full pension get to dream and decide what comes next. It’s likely twiddling your thumbs will drive you crazy in your first retirement. I am so glad you won’t have financial stress but Is it possible to apply for an additional medical pension? Do you have a veteran affairs department to continue administrating health benefits/supports such as yard care/house maintenance/meal provisions?My FIL benefits from this now.I understand from injured veterans that it is often important how the MO documents " injury" and that there is a causality between " injury" and compensation. I’m not sure how this will work with your diagnosis although the article you mentioned sounds interesting! Perhaps in your future rehab you could make sure the MO documentation was amenable to future compensation. You could see during your 18, or after discharge,if you’re eligible for career retraining when you are interested. Lastly both my husband and BIL retired and really missed the culture/brotherhood, so stay in contact with your army friends and let them be a part of the transition.

Take Care

…keep us posted on how your doing and the rehab unit in fancyville

Hi Kimbo.

My MO said he thought i would be entitled to (AFCS) Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. It works on disability and injuries ilness and how bad they are and how much it will affect you in future. Now i have no idea the figures its a case of the MO saying " hes this bad it will severely impact on any future employment " i know the chart says 4k for loss of a finger to a maximum of 570k for severe loss of limbs and blast damage,ive no idea how they work out how or even if they compensate for ms,i mean they cant prove it was or wasnt caused due to military life. I do know they pay out compensation without admiting liability though.

My MO has stressed there are several lines of compensation open but the important one is the monthly income which will be needed if future employment becomes difficult.

As ive said im very very lucky to be in the armed forces and sick as they will pay me and care for me while ill which is always a relief when bills need paying. I think im going to be his project for getting any monies i might be entitled too lol.

Its fantastic getting things of my chest and talking to people who are inthe same boat as im only a newbie.

I wish you and your husband a fantastic life in your beautiful country.


Iain x