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Today woke up with really bad abdominal pain after having a flare resulting in urinary incontinence. Ended up in a+e for 6 hours and have left with a catheter fitted… Feeling very tired and down about being 24 and having to reply on catheter and incontinence pants. Still no MS diagnosis although this would technically count as my second big flare. Neurology appointment now booked for middle of October (after 7 months on an urgent waiting list). Now have a busy week ahead; GP review, urology review, lumbar puncture and MS nurse review. All feeling like quite a lot to take in! Does anyone have any good strategies for keeping stress under control? Stress seems to be my biggest reason behind a flare and any advice would be much appreciated! Thankyou in advance :)

'Stress' such a small word but boy does it have a huge impact @Flwatts and very often stress is overlooked but it can be so detrimental to our health and especially so when we're dealing with so much already with our MS. It's good to read that you do at least have a neurology appointment booked, even though you've spent 7 months on the urgent waiting list! You're dealing with so many things right now and all of this at just 24 years old. Yes, a busy week ahead and an awful lot for you to process. One appointment at a time. My advice, write your appointments down on a calendar or simply a piece of paper. Then when each one is done give them a big tick. It's a way of both physically and mentally acknowledging that you're making your way through the appointments. Simple but it can help. Also, any questions that you think of for any of your appointments, make a list and take it with you. Better to be prepared and this will also help to put your mind at ease that you won't forget to mention anything on the day. Take care and remember we're here for you xx


I'm so sorry to hear that you're not doing well. My only advice, having gone through my diagnosis over the past year, is that: 1. you need to prioritise yourself. This isnt easy. There will be lots of things coming at you. Make sure you make time for the people that love you, dont isolate yourself, make sure you talk to people about your troubles so you dont feel alone. 2. It is ok to retreat and regroup from personal ambitions - because such decisions are not necessarily forever. I'll give you an example. When I got diagnosed, I was a speech writer for a European Commissioner - my dream job. She later left for career reasons, and i took about 6 months without pursuing new opportunities because it was just too much. This doesnt mean I will never write for anyone again. I am getting better. Things improve with the right treatment. Medicine isnt magic, but it kind of works. You just need to take care of yourself, think positive, and find activities that make you happy. I took up painting miniatures (warhammer 40k) and video games because I just needed something to focus on that wasnt stressful. Escapism works, lowers stress, and helps cope as long as it is only a part of your life - not the whole thing. Now that I have been under treatment for 9 months, Im feeling considerably better and I am pushing myself more at the gym and at work. I really hope you feel better. And remember, this is a shitty period, but if doctors do their job, and if you take care, crisis mode doesnt last forever! Best A