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New to the forum and need some help

Hello everybody,

How are you all

I am new here. It’s been a year since I was diagnosed with ms. I am on avonex since the last relapse. It has been working for me but I do experience balance problems after walking for sometime. I needed help and thought this would be a great place for that. It would be really nice of anyone who could guide me with the kind of jobs that are available for people with ms . I am a recent medical graduate but think it’ll be hard to practice because of altered sensation in hands and inability to work for very longs hours as I get tired easily. I don’t know the nhs system very well as I have recently moved to uk. I would be really thankful if anybody could help.

thanks :slight_smile:

hi gupz

i dont suppose you’re in a trade union?

would you consider doing an admin role in a hospital?

you never know, your version of ms might be gentle and not interfere too much with work.

try posting on everyday living because its a much busier forum and you’ll have a better chance of getting a reply.

good luck

carole x

Hi Gupz, and welcome,

This is a deceptively simple question, but has no simple answer.

The reason being that MS strikes everyone differently, so there is no list of jobs that are/are not suitable for people with MS.

There are very few jobs that would be closed to you by law, although I would think soldier, firefighter or airline pilot would prove a bit tricky, as I doubt you could meet the required standards of fitness. But otherwise, you cannot be turned down for a job simply for having MS, and in most cases (except the few where full health would be crucial) you cannot even be required to disclose it.

So, the same as for healthy people, it’s all about considering what your own personal strengths and limitations are, and what fits in with your lifestyle. That might involve considering working part-time, where you had previously anticipated only full time, or more of a desk-based or research-based job, where you had previously envisaged being very “hands on”.

I do not think there is any such thing - or that I can produce - a list of “suitable” jobs, because I do not know in detail how you are affected, and I do not know what is available in your chosen sector. I think all you can do is look at jobs in your field, and take each on its merits. What do the duties involve? Could you do them? Might you be able to do them with certain help - e.g. computer voice recognition software, instead of having to type? Is it/might it be available part-time, or as a job-share?

I’ve got to be honest and say that up 'til 2012 I was very lucky in being able to work from home - nothing to do with health. I worked for a very large company, but they did not discourage home working, because it saves them a lot of money renting office space etc.

But then, in Summer 2012, I was made redundant, and have not seriously looked for a replacement. I am in the rather odd position of not really being unemployed (because I’m not seeking work), but not being “sick”, because I’m not bad enough to qualify for any state sickness or disability-related benefits.

I just about make it to college one afternoon a week, but do not drive, and know I could not accept any job with a daily commute, because I feel exhausted just doing it once a week for a couple of hours’ college.

I do not mean to discourage you, as this doesn’t mean there isn’t anything for you, but there are a lot of things to weigh up, not just about the work itself, but about whether you would be able to cope with necessary daily travel (I will also not go out when it’s at all icy, for fear of falling - as my balance, too, is not good - but I couldn’t just take the whole ofJanuary and February off.)

Employers do have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to help people with MS do their jobs - if you opt to disclose, which is not obligatory.

An organisation called Access to Work may be able to help with both practical suggestions for adjustments that may help, and possible help with your employers’ costs of implementing them. I’ve not used them personally, but many people here have reported positively.

I’m sorry not to be more specific, but asking what kinds of jobs are available to someone with MS is a bit like asking what kind of food you might like - i.e. there’s loads of it out there, but you know best what you like eating, and a stranger can’t tell you.

I think if you did a survey here of what everyone is doing, or used to do, you’d find it very mixed indeed. Probably few intensely physical jobs, but otherwise as varied as you’d find in any slice of population.

Tina

Hi Gupz, I showed this post to a friend who has suggested that you don’t need to opt out of medicine entirely if you you broaden your options. Consider a non-patient facing role, or at least think about something that doesn’t require procedural interventions? Public Health, microbiology, pathology, healthcare management etc. It might be a option to contact your local postgrad deanery? Hope this helps. VBSD.

Hi pigpen,

thanks for the reply…no I am not in a trade union. Well I have been considering switching to an administrative role because that seems more suitable . It’s all confusing because I’m still trying to figure out ms. But thanks for your reply

take care

good day

Hi Tina ,

Thank you so much for the reply.

i know that was not the appropriate question to ask and I’m sorry . You’re right, I need to figure out my strengths and limitations so that I know what exactly I’ll be able to do and what is going to limit me. I have moved to uk recently so I was confused about the options I have ,while still getting used to the place and to married life ;).

My ms is not very bad at the moment . I just get very tired and lose balance after a bit of walking .

Thanks again

take care :slight_smile:

good day

Hello VSBD,

thank you so much . :slight_smile:

good day

My wife is the Director of the Careers and Employability Centre at the University of Sussex. My thoughts are that as a “recent medical graduate” shouldn’t you get in touch with the Careers centre at your university? They are the experts in employability advice.

Regards

Rob

1 Like

Hi,

I didn’t mean to sound as if your post was “inappropriate”, it’s just that it’s not a simple one to answer, because I think your options are many, rather than few, and there’s no such thing as a list of suitable jobs for someone with MS, as that will depend entirely on the person, what their interests are, and how their MS affects them.

If it’s only balance that is affected, I’m sure there are lots of jobs where that is not really a consideration.

Sadly, I’m afraid we have to presume your illness will get worse, so I couldn’t in all good conscience recommend that you study to become a surgeon, or something like that, as it’s probably not going to be suitable long term. But certainly not everyone is suited to becoming a surgeon anyway, so if you were not in the small minority who would have been, you haven’t really lost anything. Just focus on what you can do, and look for jobs that exploit that to the full. Don’t pursue things that would obviously make demands you can’t meet - like having to physically lift patients, for example. It wouldn’t be good if you suddenly lost your balance whilst lifting someone. But there must be lots of work that doesn’t involve anything physical like that.

Tina

x

Hi Tina ,

I have graduated from outside uk so have to take the gmc test before i can get into this profession and the only reason I’m thinking twice about doing it because I’m presuming my health will either remain the same or become worse. In both cases It will be hard to undergo the foundation year training. I know I can do it if I work hard and push my limits but I’m not sure if pushing my limits is the right thing to do for me as it is going to affect my health.( the last thing I want right now) .

Good day :slight_smile:

Hi Rob,

I have not graduated from uk so I think I’ll have to figure out myself.

thanks for the suggestion

good day :slight_smile:

Just a thought: you are fairly newly dx and doing pretty well at the moment. Your health probably isn’t going to get very much better than it is now. If you are ever going to do the GMC test and foundation year training, now is probably the time. Even if you do not currently see your career playing out in the way you had planned and hoped, it might be worth doing that if you can. You do not know what opportunities will open up for you, and you have your life ahead. There is much to be said for getting as well-qualified as you can, while you can. Forgive me if I have misunderstood and this is not actually either possible or to be wished - it’s not my area, so I’m guessing.

Good luck.

Alison

Hi again,

In general stress is a bad thing for MS, so you are wise to consider how much of it you want to take on.

I do not think there’s any absolute medical proof it causes relapses - though many people will swear it can - but it’s pretty widely accepted it aggravates symptoms, at the very least.

I agree it’s very difficult to strike the right balance. You might remain relatively well for years yet, and regret not trying. On the other hand, you do not want to embark on a demanding course, but find yourself forced to withdraw, due to the effects on your health. I’m afraid I do not know the answer. It’s a bit of a gamble either way.

Is the training very expensive? I’m guessing it would be. In that case you have to consider the financial consequences of having to pull out without completing it, as well as the effects on your health. Can you afford to write off the expense, if things didn’t work out so well? Are there any concessions for students who are forced to withdraw for health reasons - i.e. can you get part of the money back, or can you at least pay by instalments, so you do NOT pay for modules never studied? If you were to have a big relapse in the middle of it, are there any arrangements for continuing your studies at a later date, or do you have to start again - and pay again? Perhaps you could have a chat with the medical school (I’m assuming it would be a medical school) you’re thinking of applying to, and see what their advice is?

Tina