who do I call?

I am confused who I should call. I am in quite a bit of pain It is always in my feet,and more so in my right hand. Now has gone up to my knees.It is worse at night,m and am having problems sleeping.Who do I call for painkillers, as the stuff off the shelf does not seem to be working for this pain.Do I call the ms nurse, or make an appointment to see the local gp?

Many thanks for taking the time to read this.


Hi Neila, if it was me, I’d speak to my MS nurse first, then my GP who would be able to prescribe something to help.

If you’re in pain now, speak to someone, you don’t have to suffer in silence.

Good luck

Rosina x

Hi Neila,

The choice is yours! Who do you get along with best, or have the most faith in? Or being more pragmatic about it, who’s it easier to get an appointment with?

I’ve got to say, I’ve never bothered with the MS nurses. I don’t know them, they don’t know me, and it’s not convenient for me to get to (though more accessible since they moved hospitals, as I don’t have as far to go).

I have found the GP quite helpful in prescribing things when the hospital either didn’t have any ideas, or prescribed stuff that didn’t work.

For example, I found quinine helped with cramps, even though the hospital had never suggested it, and it was my GP’s idea.

I don’t mean to sound anti MS nurses - I can’t form an opinion either way, as I’ve only ever been offered “a cup of coffee” with one - which I certainly didn’t think was worth a trip all the way to the hospital!

I just don’t think it’s a critical decision who you approach first, and you won’t get “told off” for picking he wrong one. GPs are licensed and qualified to treat everyday symptoms, and I have found that in many ways, the hospital expects them to. Not all day-to-day management needs input from a specialist.



Now I would go the other way:

GP first - because this is probably the quickest route
MS Nurse second - because unless it is clearly neuropathic pain, he/she will suggest the GP route. If it is neuropathic pain, then the nurse will probably request that the GP prescribe anyway.

I have found that asking for a telephone consultation is teh quickest way to get a GPs attention.

But i do agree with Rosina - do it now!



Yep, agree with all the above - and the reasoning.

Telephone consultation is often the quickest. I’ve sometimes tried to get a GP appointment, only to be told: “Hmmm, soonest she’s got is a fortnight?”

“I don’t mind phone…”

“Right! She’ll call you lunchtime!”


Many thanks for all the replies. I am going to call my gp surgery and ask for a telephone consultation.

Hope your phone consultation goes well. My MS nurse told me when I last saw her in December was that if I thought it was MS related to ring her first at the hospital before GP and they would get me into a relapse clinic to see either MS nurse or Neuro asap. This is a new strategy at the hospital. Obviously if it was not MS related as such ie flu for example then go to GP. I have not had to use this new strategy yet touch wood but it makes sense as at the hospital they have more knowledge of MS rather than my GP- however I am also lucky that my hospital is 10 minutes drive away and I can still drive. I guess if I lived an hour away it would be easier to go to my GPs.


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sorry! but i cant add anything to the excellent advice u have already been given and hope u have managed to speak to someone by now.


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I suffered for two years untill it reached the tipping point.

Defornatly the MS nurse.

I tried my GP and was sent to the pain clinic.

They tried hard but nothing worked.

You need the MS nurse and she should get you an emergency appointment with your specilist who will understand what tyoe of pain you are going through.

I use Gabapentin but there are many others.

There is no need to suffer

I was advised of another option, which is illegal and begins with C, it works for some people.

Best of luck.



i agree with ellie - ghostbusters obviously!

good luck with your gp and ms nurse,

between them they should be able to offer you treatment.

carole x

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I was advised of another option, which is illegal and begins with C, it works for some people.

Hi Ronin,

I was at a party a couple of weeks ago, and was give some. I slept really well, and the pain nearly disapeared. I have had another couple of goes. Downside is I already feel woolly headed, and hard the feeling of being more out of it.

Upside is it has made me take realise how much discomfort I feel all the time, and has made me do something about it.

Yep, agree with all the above - and the reasoning.

Telephone consultation is often the quickest. I’ve sometimes tried to get a GP appointment, only to be told: “Hmmm, soonest she’s got is a fortnight?”

“I don’t mind phone…”

“Right! She’ll call you lunchtime!”


Hi Anita,

I took your advise and called my gp this morning. I said for a telephone consultation, which was so much easier then trying to get an appointment. The doctor phoned back within twenty mins. I have a prescription ready to be picked up for codeine. I am going to phone my ms nurse now, as has been going on now for more than two weeks. x

Thanks carole,Ronin,ellie,Cathy,Tina,Geoff, Rosina,

I think stress has bought it on. I went to the opening of the new ms building. For me this was a mistake, I should have left it for a normal day. My 10yr old son’s school was on a teacher training day, so took him with me.He kept asking me “mum are you going to be like this”. All I could say was “I don’t know, ms affects different people in different ways. I am not to badly affected at the moment and it could stay like this”


It’s amazing how if you say you don’t mind a telephone consultation, they suddenly seem to be able to pull rabbits out of hats, even when they’ve said they didn’t have anything for days.

I suppose they just wait for a no-show, of which there are many, and use the slot to phone somebody.

Whether the codeine works or not depends on whether the pain is neuropathic (nerve) pain. Not all MS pain is, so it’s definitely worth a try. I have found codeine the most effective painkiller I have in my armoury, so I can only conclude my pain is mostly non-neuropathic.

I’ve just done a one month trial of Gabapentin, but it did diddly squat, and I was still resorting to the codeine anyway, so for me it is the best. I get a little sicky and headachy if I take it too frequently (but still within prescribed limits), so it’s a bit of a balancing act between enough to help, but not enough to cause the headache, but it still beats anything else I’ve tried.

Hope you have good luck with it too!



Good one Ellie,it took me a little while to get it!!

Hi all,

I went back to ms therapy centre today -without son. I still felt nervous, but not as bad as first time. It was no where as busy today. i was congratulated on having the courage to go back, as I looked like a “deer caught in the headlights” Going back next week for a pre assessment next week to see what treatments will help me.


brill-you have done the hardest bit-making the effort to go (mentally and physically)

enjoy and learn…


I just noticed this title. Nothing to add to the great advice but straight away I thought ‘ghostbusters’ then I read ellie’s comment.

What a relief

Good luck with the therapy centre, hope you find it a positive experience.

Sorry, thought I better make a comment after crashing thread