MS and the Army ...

Having recently been diagnosed as having Optic Neuritis in the right eye and the possibility of it being a harbinger of MS, I was wondering what the implications could be of being / remaining in the Army whilst suffering MS? I'm aware that ON can occur without it developing into MS and that MS can affect people differently. I would appreciate it if anyone who has experience could let me know how they cope with it.
Boogieman, We had a Major where i worked who was in the RAMC who developed MS whilst serving, he was medically discharged, although as you said, it affects people differently and it was clear to see in his case.

Have you discussed this with your MO? Just my opinion, and i'm sure there are others on here who will know more? but i can not see a MD being on the radar just yet as you hopefully won't ever develop it.

Hope things work out thought mucker.
A family member of mine developed MS while in Afgh working as a SIMIC. She had early signs (bell's palsy) pre-deployment, but the MO decided it could be due to any # of illnesses. When in theatre, she became very, very ill and was RTU'd.She was then medically discharged. The docs said that the extreme heat/stress likely exacerbated the diseases progress.At that point, untreated, she could hardly walk. She is doing quite well now with treatment. I'll tell you the same as I told her pre-deployment. If you think it could be serious, (wo)man up, and take yourself off deployment list by whatever means you can, peoples' lives depend on you and your ability to function at your highest level. Best of luck. It'll be hard, but you can soldier through it. I've seen it happen. MS is not a death sentence.
PM me if you like. I can put you in touch with her. Mind, this is the CDN Forces we were in, so can't help with navigating admin of HMF.
Thanks for the replies. Since diagnosis, I have spent as much time with MO appointments, Opthalmology appointments and Neurology appointments as I have in work. It's frustrating as even with all these different 'specialists', none are able to give a definitive answer and none are able to do anything other than offer painkillers. The light sensitivity issue and double vision has passed and despite constant headaches the sight has improved slightly but the most frustrating aspect is the time it has taken. 6 months and very little improvement doesn't give a warm fuzzy feeling unfortunatelyAnother deployment is well off my radar at the moment. After 20 years without a single day off due to sickness, 3 months on the sick has been a real pain in the ass and quite frankly, the Army has taken 2nd priority and it's very much 'me' first now.I realise that it is not a definite sign of incoming MS but as the MRI showed no signs, there is still a 10-12% chance as opposed to an 80% chance, thank god.
A bloke at a previous Unit of mine has MS, although I'm not sure in what form.

He is deploying soon so it obviously doesn't automatically mean you will be MD'd.


There is an RAMC Lt Col still serving who has MS so must be scope somewhere.
Optic Neuritis can quite often be an indicator of Multiple Sclerosis. One of my ex wives has MS, and it was identifying the ON which finally allowed us to pin down the cause of her increasing disability.
MS can be a career stopper depending upon which variety you have,
Remitting/relapsing - crack on (with caution).
Secondary progressive - time to find a new job. Heat and stress both accelerate the development of demyelinating white matter lesions. Keeping cool and calm will keep you on your feet for years longer.
For those already suffering, and who aren't aware of it, check out FES.

Functional electrical stimulation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hi Boogieman,

I do hope that you are not diagnosed with MS but if you are, Mutual Support stands ready to help and answer your questions. Mutual Support is a tri-service charity supporting members of the military family affected by MS. We can answer questions regarding continued service, medical categories, medical discharge, War Pensions and the AFCS and much more. The charity is run by volunteers with direct experience of MS and the military. See Mutual Support | for serving and ex-serving members of the Armed Forces affected by Multiple Sclerosis

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