Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Week, which takes place from 25 April-1 May, is a chance to provide an understanding on the misunderstood condition, currently affecting around 130,000 people in the UK.
MS is a condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation, or balance.
We have partnered with Natalie Gamble, Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Nurse Specialist, to provide an insight into her daily duties and to raise awareness.
Natalie has worked within the Walsall Community Neurological Rehabilitation team for over seven years, qualifying after receiving training from the MS Trust. Whilst symptoms can be unnoticeable, the main signs to look out for are:
- mobility problems,
- problems with cognition.
There are other neurological symptoms that people with MS experience, information about these can be found on the MS Trust website.
Most of the above symptoms are common in people in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
The 36-year-old nurse looks after an average 20-30 patients per week, treating diagnosed patients with disease-modifying treatments or medication for the management of symptoms.
She said: “I am community-based, and I tend to have either face-to-face or telephone clinics, alongside responding to patient or other queries.
“I provide information and education to patients and carers on how to manage their condition, whilst monitoring their treatment in conjunction with a GP and neurologist. Alongside this, I also support patients with making the decision about which treatment they would like.”
When we asked Natalie what she loves the most about her job, she replied: “I like that I can support a person and family members or carers to manage their condition and achieve a better quality of life.
“My aim is to educate them to become an expert in managing their own condition. As MS is a long-term condition, I review patients regularly and get to know them well.”
Thank you for raising awareness Natalie!