Living with multiple sclerosis (MS)


Living with an unpredictable, long-term condition like MS is hugely challenging. Though an MS diagnosis often means making some radical changes to your life, it’s definitely not the end.

Staying positive is key to coping with MS. You can approach this in many ways:

  • Some MS sufferers devote time to helping others with the condition, either by writing blogs, running a community MS-focused project, or petitioning government bodies for improved awareness or assistance for people with MS.
  • For others, staying positive is just about living every moment in the best way they can rather than focusing on themselves as a victim.
  • A blog, entitled ‘I have MS, but MS doesn’t have me’ explores the virtues of living life proactively.
  • For many, the first step to moving forward with a life with MS is letting go of the past. It’s likely you won’t be able to do many of the things you used to do, at least not in the same way.

See ‘MS isn’t a stop sign, it’s a detour’ for more advice on coming to terms with your MS diagnosis.


There will be bad days, and there will be good days.
Try not to let the bad days dictate your life, and make the most of those precious good days. Plan for them and cherish them.

Making life a little easier


There are some simple steps you can take that may make living with MS that little bit easier:

  • Make memos – Leave notes on fridges, the front door, or anywhere you can’t fail to miss to remind you of important things in case your memory lets you down. Alternatively, create phone alerts to help you remember tasks and appointments.
  • Key habits – Put your keys and other essential items in the same place every day, so you’ll be less likely to forget them.
  • Medication list – Make a list of all your medicines and treatment regimens, along with contact details for your MS team, and leave it where someone else can find it in an emergency. 
  • Keep medicines close – Put your important medicines where you can see them and where you can access them quickly, e.g. by the bed.
  • Daily dispensers – Use pill organisation boxes to help you remember to take your treatment and avoid dropping your tablets.
  • Quick pick – Get a grabber to help you pick stuff up from the floor for when your motor skills are playing up.
  • Love it, do it – Whenever you get the opportunity, make time for something or someone you love.


There are also certain things you can do to help ease or avoid certain symptoms, which may help you manage your MS better long-term.


SymTrac MS app screenshots

SymTrac™ for MS

A symptom tracker is available to help you record your relapse symptoms and discuss them with your MS team.

SymTrac has been developed by Novartis in collaboration with healthcare professionals.

learn more about the app


Date of preparation: November 2015    MUL15-C020f

: 24-11-2015