Struggling with new diagnosis and career.

Hello all, This is my first post. I think I have avoided posting because then it’s real and I have to face up to it or I will read something that will scare me even more than I have been. I was diagnosed last October and have had one round of DMD in December. Thankfully it has reduced my symptoms significantly for now. I’m a registered adult nurse and when COVID hit us all I was told by my consultant and MS nurse I need to shield because of the dmd I had had. I haven’t been to work since end of March. I don’t know when I can safely go back and I’m scared now to return to my role. I don’t mean to sound like a wet blanket but I’m so angry. I had got my head around the MS and was determined it wouldn’t control my life. But for the past 12 weeks it has more than ever. I don’t feel like a nurse anymore. How do.Inever safely return to my role? I feel like changing careers at the moment and I am dreading going back to work as it’s a completely invisible illness for me at present. I’m worried staff will be horrible and not understand. Anyone else in healthcare and feeling similar to me? Thank you


I’m sure staff colleagues wouldn’t be horrible … if they work in healthcare, they are likely to be more sympathetic because they will have understanding of what you may be going through. I am not directly involved in healthcare but I have dealing with health professionals on a regular basis through work for over a decade and I was a carer to my wife Kym who suffered with MS for over 20 years.

Can you get in touch with your Consultant and MS Nurse to see when the shielding could come to an end ? You might also find it useful possibly to talk to your GP about how you are feeling. Do you have a line manager you could talk to, to voice your thoughts about coming back ? There may be other roles in the profession other than the one you are currently in which would be of interest and might take account of the physical challenges that MS might put in front of you in the future.

When my wife Kym was diagnosed with MS, she was still working and wanted to carry on, but she eventually had to give it up. I think you should talk to your line manager about your fears and anxieties if you can, and maybe look to plan a future career that would allow for the MS and reduce the physical demands on you, and if you can face colleagues, I’m sure they will be understanding and will want to help you if they can.

I’d be happy to hear how you get on if you feel up to it.


I am sorry that you have had such a jolt to your life and your plans.

Please do not worry too much about what your colleagues might think - many people cannot work at the moment for all sorts of reasons from lung trouble to shielding an ancient parent or an ill child. That’s not to say that you might not get a look from an over-stretched colleague who is run off her feet and wonders where you have been all this time - people are human and very tired and stressed people especially so - but actually I think you just have to be a bit tough about that and not feel guilty or wrong-footed - this isn’t your fault. So don’t be apologetic and don’t be put off by self-consciousness.when the time comes for you to return to work. Any discomfort will be fleeting and then you’ll be back to doing the thing you trained for and have devoted so much energy and commitment to. Live is long, d.v. and you will have plenty of time to show people what you can do.

So please hold your head high and don’t let yourself be too discouraged. Things are tough right now, but they won’t always feel like this.