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S5E21 Phil King: An MS nurse with Multiple Sclerosis

Listen to S5E21: Phil King: An MS nurse with Multiple Sclerosis

Welcome to Living Well with MS, where we are delighted to welcome MS Nurse, Phil King, as our guest! Phil offers a great perspective: as a Multiple Sclerosis nurse who also has MS himself, he has been following the Overcoming MS Program for more than a decade. 

Watch this episode on YouTube here. Keep reading for the key episode takeaways and Phil’s bio. 

Questions and Timestamps

00:54 Can you tell us about your personal MS journey and professional MS journey?

05:35 Did you become an MS nurse before or after your diagnosis?

11:36 Do you recommend Overcoming MS to your patients?

17:09 Would you say that your patients are typically keen to add in lifestyle modifications?

20:41 How does smoking affect MS? 

25:06 Medication is a pillar in the Overcoming MS Program.

26:07 How does having MS yourself help you in your role as an MS nurse?

29:43 What are your tips for us as patients for interacting with nurses and neurologists?

38:48 Meditation can take on many different forms. 

40:15 If you could give some advice to someone recently diagnosed or just starting the Overcoming MS program, what would it be?

Selected Key Takeaways

Be honest with your nurse about your symptoms, even if you think they are embarrassing.

32:19 “I’ll be honest, I’ve had bladder issues before. If I’m talking to a patient and they say, ‘I’m having to get up two or three times a night, and it’s embarrassing. Sometimes I don’t make it to the toilet in time. I don’t really want to speak to a nurse about it, and I don’t want to go into the bladder and bowel clinic about it,’ I say, ‘Well, why not? I’ve been [to the clinic].’”

Work with your healthcare team to manage your condition for life.

37:25 “[MS is] not a condition that is going to end your life very quickly. This is a condition for life. We’re now seeing that people with MS have a near-to-normal lifespan, [just like] any other person. So, it’s about managing your condition, [and] it’s about being honest with your nurse. If your nurse or neurologist asks you to keep a diary [of] how often these symptoms occur, it’s really helpful to us because we want you to live the best life that you possibly can.”

You can live a very good life with MS.

43:17 “MS is frightening when you’re newly diagnosed, but it does settle down, and there is hope. There is a life to be lived with MS. You can live a very good life. I would say that I look at MS as a gift, which I never thought I’d say. It’s shown me so many different things, different ways of living, [and] different friend groups. If I was told tomorrow, ‘Phil, we’ve made a big mistake. You haven’t got MS,’ I wouldn’t change my lifestyle at all.”

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Phil’s bio:

Phil’s journey with Overcoming MS and fitness

Phil King has been following the Overcoming MS program for 11 years. He discovered Overcoming MS through Rebecca Hoover’s site An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Beating MS while he was scouring the internet for help just before diagnosis. 

Phil still runs, cycles and lift weights (he admits, “I’ll never be Mr. Muscle but I’m working on it!”) 

Phil’s MS and career as an MS Nurse

Phil has only had 1 relapse since diagnosis and follows the Overcoming MS program strictly. He works as a multiple sclerosis nurse for England’s National Health Service and contributed his story to the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Handbook.