Leonie: How can you explain that you’re not lazy and that it’s your MS?
Anne Armitage, Occupational Therapist: I think it’s going to back to saying, being open about, you know, you have MS, this is how it presents, this is how it affects you. So you do have days where you’re extremely fatigued, you’re tired, you may not even get into work and it’s acceptable for that to be the case.
And I think it’s about having the support systems around you. So if you’re looking at the workplace specifically, you know, looking at reduced hours, the support for days when you might not be able to get into work. So I think it’s, again, just adapting the environment around you appropriately to get the best from you and for people to be aware that, of course you’re not lazy, this is a symptom of a neurological condition.
And the same as it would, say, for somebody that’s got depression where, you know, it might affect their performance from day to day. This is sort of a medical condition that can have adverse effects on your productivity and engagement in day-to-day activities.
Leonie: Yeah. So, just to sort of conclude, would you say really that the common theme running through these sort of how to deal with hidden symptoms is, it’s about communication.
Anne Armitage: Yes.
Leonie: And how to communicate and when to communicate?
Anne Armitage: Yes, I think that’s key. It’s the communication; when to communicate, who to communicate to and what you communicate to them as well. And to feel that you have that support for those that are around you in your day-to-day life, I think that’s key, to work together.
This interview is part of a series called ‘Hidden MS’ which is supported by Roche. MS Reporters™ is a Shift.ms production. Roche has had no influence over the content.