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Newly Diagnosed

Hi all,

I was diagnosed with MS on Sunday after visiting an ophthalmologist for greying in my right eye. Had various eye tests and an MRI which gave the defining diagnosis…

Ok, I’m 64 in 9 days and I live in Thailand, been here 21 years and I live in the very rural North East, there’s not a huge amount of MS in the Asian community so out here apart from the doctor there’s no-one to share with… still looking at local expat chat forums but so far a blank, hoping I can get some answers and feedback here, sure I will..

My next step is supposed to be a 3 to 5 day IV steroid course which is due to start on Friday, but both myself and my doctor are concerned, as you know the steroids drop your immunity levels and I’m yet to have had my first Covid jab… the area now has an abundance of Delta variant patients and cases are rising daily. I will need to drive 30 odd Kms to the hospital each day. So I’m not sure if the steroids will go ahead as planned.

Are there any members of this forum who reside in Thailand?


  1. Hi @Chriss121 and welcome the community! Thank goodness for the Internet and social media! I am not sure you will much support for MS in Thailand, but I am glad you found us. You will find lots of wonderful and supportive people here and some great resources. Is the Covid vaccine available where you are now? If so, are your symptoms mild enough that you could get vaccinated first , and then get the IV steroids a few weeks later? Unfortunately, there is still little information as to how well people taking immunosuppressive medications will respond to the vaccine. Many doctors are recommending that MS patients get the vaccine several weeks before or after MS treatments. I hope you hear back from others in the community and that you other MS patients in Thailand who can help you navigate the system there. Keep us posted if you feel comfortable doing so. I will be thinking of you. - Lori (Team Member)

    1. Hi Lori, Thank you for the prompt reply. Yes Covid vaccination is available here but it has been extremely slow to roll out especially to the expat community, there are either Sinovac or Astra Zenecca. I originally requested Astra Zenecca some weeks back when I registered. Last week I was offered Sinovac dose 1 and AZ dose 2, followed later by an AZ booster, seems to be a government driven norm for first time vaccinations. I asked only yesterday if it was possible to have AZ for both doses as the Delta variant has spread through the country, am waiting for a reply. I need to speak with my doctor today to discuss this further, to date my symptoms are just the greying of the right eye, its not completely greyed and is OK to drive. I want to put it to my doctor that I receive the Covid vaccine first and, as you say, return a couple of weeks for the steroids, or maybe even when I've received both doses, there will be 3 weeks between Covid doses. I wasn't sure if the eye would just degrade quickly leaving the treatment longer.
      Again, thank you for the response, its good to know there are people out there who have been through all I'm about to experience.

      1. Hi @Chriss121. I hope you come up with a solution that is comfortable for both you and your doctor. Has your doctor considered reaching out to an MS clinic in the U.S. for guidance? I am sure there are doctors who are willing to help other doctors, especially those who are working with U.S. patients abroad. Best of all wishes! - Lori (Team Member)

    2. Hi Lori, I had a long conversation with my doctor we have agreed that I should hold off the steroid course until I have had both doses of Covid vaccine, appt at the local hospital tomorrow for dose 1. My doctor called my local hospital to ask them to administer Asta Zenecca for both doses, explaining the steroid course I will have after. We will see tomorrow.. There will be 3 weeks interval vetween doses. Things are becoming clearer as to what will happen over the next few weeks..
      Thanks again for the reply. Chriss

      1. Hi! How did your first dose appointment go? How are you feeling? I'm glad things are becoming clearer for you and that you and your doctor have put a plan in place. I second Lori in saying that I'm glad you found us too. If you have any questions or want more information on anything, we'll be here to help! Please keep us posted on how your vaccinations go and your treatment after that! We're really glad you're here with us in the community! 🧡 Kayleigh, team

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