colon; This article examines the narratives of 16 individuals diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). Before diagnosis, the participants had experienced disparate and transient symptoms. Diagnosis itself involved numerous tests and health practitioners, varied responses to the diagnosis, an inability to assimilate information about the disease, and a view of MS as being the lesser of two evils. Immediately after diagnosis, participants revealed concerns about the unpredictable progression of the disease. Patient narratives reflected both negative and positive aspects of living with a chronic illness, such as shifting roles, discrimination, reevaluation of priorities, reinvestment in the family, and positive lifestyle changes. All aspects of the narratives revealed fear and anxiety in relation to the unknown.
(C) 2006 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses