Q&A : Quality of Life After an MS Diagnosis

Posted by Gosia Kowalewska, January 20 2021

Following on our recent Wellspect's and Emilyn's MS webinar, here we present the answers to the questions we received from the audience. The questions were addressed to Wellspect Ambassadors: Kerry and Jane.

MS Webinar Blog Post

If you missed the first blog in this series, where we shared some highlights from the webinar, you can read it here. At the end of our recent webinar, we gave the audience an opportunity to ask questions to Wellspect ambassadors Kerry and Jane. 

How long do your symptoms last? Do they last for weeks? 

Jane:  

For me, each relapse can vary, but generally when I have a relapse the symptoms can last about a month before I am fully back to something like I was before it started. Often when I have a relapse, I am given steroids, either IV or oral, and these can help speed up the recovery. 

Kerry: 

My symptoms have varied in duration over the course of my MS. Yes, they have lasted for weeks. Some symptoms have come and gone within no time at all, for example, I had an eye problem which lasted only days. On the other hand, some of my MS symptoms improved from the onset, and I manage any residual left by relapses with medication or appropriate therapies. 

How often do you use a catheter and is it difficult to learn? 

Jane: 

I get a sort of pressing sensation telling me it is time to empty my bladder. Generally, I will do so 5-6 times every 24 hours - one of those being during the night.  

I didn’t find it difficult to learn how to self catheterise; a few days really. It is important to use a cleansing wipe first and then it is a bit like inserting a tampon except you are aiming for a much smaller hole! 

What are you using for constipation? How do you cope with your bowel issues? 

Kerry:

I use transanal irrigation to manage my constipation, the best option for me is Navina systems. It did take me some time to get to grips with managing my bowels but was well worth the effort. 

To cope with my bowel issue, I first had to acknowledge it was not only a physical barrier, but a mental one too. Once I could see what I was doing was improving my quality of life, it really helped me cope with things much better. 

I have mobility issues and poor hand function. Do you think I could handle this Navina? 

Kerry:

Most definitely yes! I feel that is why Navina smart is here, as I too have similar issues. The one I use is the Smart version, it is an electronic pump no bigger than a large walkie talkie. It’s great, it does all the hard work for me! 

We would like to thank Kerry and Jane for sharing their experiences with such honesty and sincerity. We would also like to thank Emilyn for their support with this webinar

To learn more about bladder and bowel dysfunction when you have MS, you can download our handy guide using the button below:

Guide: Bladder and bowel dysfunction when you have multiple sclerosis

Topics: Bladder and bowel interaction, Men's Health, TAI, ISC