Hi Carly, and welcome to the site
Hearing the words “multiple sclerosis” for the first time is usually a complete shocker because most of us don’t have a clue about it, apart from what we’ve seen on TV or read about. Unfortunately TV shows, magazines and books seem to be put together by people who know nothing about MS so we have some very weird (and wrong!) ideas about what’s going to happen to us. The fact is that there are far worse things to be diagnosed with. Not only are there some really great drugs these days, there is a lot of support from physio and occupational health etc, that didn’t used to be available. So, yes, sometimes we have to deal with stuff that we really rather wouldn’t, and sometimes it’s really hard, but MS is NOT the end of the world!
When you’re ready, have a look at this website and at the MS Trust website to find out more about MS. When you’re reading, please remember that MS is massively variable - no one gets all the symptoms and the ones that we do get vary in severity too. Every MSer is unique.
Just thought of this - someone told me about a video that an international MS society has launched. Have a wee look: it might help. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJzyfR6dbT8&feature=youtu.be
The number of relapses (attacks) that people have varies a lot. Some people have a lot of relapses; some have very few. The severity of relapses also varies a lot. The same person may have a period with nothing happening at all, then have a really busy period when their MS gets very active. It’s fairly common for people to have a lot of relapses in the years around diagnosis, but for their MS to settle down for a while after that.
Relapses cause damage which builds over time, increasing the amount of everyday symptoms and disability. So preventing relapses is a pretty good idea! That’s why your neuro is talking about medication. The drugs that reduce the amount of relapses (and reduce the severity of relapses that still happen) are called disease modifying drugs (DMDs) or disease modifying treatments (DMTs). The best place to get information about them is the msdecisions website - when you’re ready, why not have a look and see what the options are? They aren’t a cure, but they will help to keep your MS from becoming really active.
A constant headache is not nice Have you spoken to your MS nurse about it? He/she might be able to recommend something for it.
You should see an optician (or better, an ophthalmologist) about your eye. It could be MS, but it could be something else - so best to see an expert and get it checked out. Your GP can refer you to an ophthalmologist.
Emotions can be all over the place in the early days. It’s unpleasant, but normal. As you learn to cope with the diagnosis, things should improve. People say that getting a diagnosis is like suffering a bereavement; losing someone close to you, which you have: who you thought you were, who you thought you would be. Learning to accept the diagnosis is not a quick process, and we mostly go through the same emotional stages as in bereavement. Maybe reading about these will help you? Just google “stages of bereavement” for info. If you find that you are struggling, please ask to see a counsellor. Some of the MS Therapy Centres have MS counsellors, so they could be somewhere you could investigate. I saw a counsellor in the early days and it helped me loads. And of course there is this forum - it can help a lot!
The other thing to try and remember is that, while you have been diagnosed, your husband’s wife has also been diagnosed. He will be going through some very difficult emotions too. Try and talk. Don’t shut each other out. Some people find it hard to do that, and that’s fine - we are all different, but don’t hide from each other. A problem shared and all that…
There’s a heck of a lot to try and take in. Hang in there. You’ll make it through.
MS is NOT the end of the world. Promise.