For many people that are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis one of the first things that comes to mind is, are they going to be able to continue working with MS? This debilitating disease can cause a person to suffer physical disabilities that can come and go with little warning along with bone numbing fatigue that can last for days on end. This can make it difficult for some to hold a job while for others it may simply mean that accommodations need to be made to help them work around their symptoms.
One of the first decisions that has to be made when you decide to keep working with MS is whether or not to tell your employer and the people you work with about your medical condition. This can be looked at from two different angles. Consider the type of work that you do and what effect your symptoms may have on your job performance, many people with multiple sclerosis suffer only minor exacerbations on a very infrequent basis and are able to continue working for years with no problems. Others have symptoms such as extreme fatigue or sensitivity to heat that can make working on regular basis difficult at times.
Consider this study completed by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society; it reports that 43% of adults who have been diagnosed for at least 12 years with MS are working and plan to continue. Before talking to your employer you should ask yourself a few simple questions. Are you seeing any symptoms that may affect your job performance or cause you to start having to miss work? Are there any new symptoms that may require changes in your work environment or the type of work that you can do? What can I do to make it easier for me to continue to be an asset to the company I work for?
Many of these questions are ones that only the person with MS can answer. Once you have thought them through and decided it's time to talk to your employer, approach them in a positive way. The more positive your attitude the more likely your employer is going to be understanding and willing to help you keep working with MS. Remember most people still do not understand multiple sclerosis and its symptoms, it is up to you to explain them clearly.
To help you stay as healthy as possible and stay in the work force consider becoming involved in an exercise program. Studies are now showing that regular exercise coupled with a healthy diet can reduce the amount of fatigue and other symptoms most people with multiple sclerosis experience allowing them to continue working for many years.