Are We Listening?

Are We Listening?

What Others Are Saying Could Improve Our Life

When I read or hear about a major improvement with someone that has Multiple Sclerosis, my first though is what difference has this person made to accomplish this. We are constantly aware that time will bring about progression with our disease so it amazes me when someone who has lived many years with MS and lost a lot of function somehow turn things around.

Is it medication related? Could a different DMD be responsible for this turn around? Did an improved healthier diet be responsible? Or is it possible that this individual decided to gradually increase their level of activity or exercise regimen building muscle strength over time which produced this outcome? Maybe it is all the above!

Whatever the reason, I know how excited I am that he/she has reached a “new goal” or a level of independence that they may not have had previously. I feel like a cheerleader for them and wanting to encourage them to continue to their next goal. With me, it was a combination of a total life style change once I found a medication that was allowing me to improve. Pure determination that I never wanted to go back into a wheelchair has been my driving force. Once I could put my feet on the ground and take steps without the fear of falling put me in the mindset to keep moving forward.

The phrase, “I can’t do that” drives me crazy! In this day and time when there are so many different medication choices, my question is why are you still on one that only allows you to be just so-so? I have heard people say that side effects or what else could possibly happen from a new medication has scared them into not trying something that could be responsible for providing them with more mobility and independence. That crazy “what if” keeping people remaining in the same state makes me want to shout and say but what if it allows you to walk again, drive yourself around, or become totally independent? WHY IS IT THAT WHEN WE ARE TOLD THIS IS OUR LAST OPTION THAT WE MAKE THE DECISION TO FINALLY TAKE THE PLUNGE?

It wasn’t that far back when there were only a few options in medication choices. Now we have several that come from pills, shots, and even can be given IV. You can take these medications daily, a couple times a week, a couple times a year, to only once a year. I guess the only thing that probably makes me question someone even more is if they have stopped taking a medication altogether, WHY??? If it were up to me, the first medication after diagnosis would be one of the big guns that have come out in the last couple of years to see if it would possibly nip MS in the bud requiring no further future treatment at all. If a medication is working, what else are you doing to build/ strengthening up your muscles? I will tell you first hand, that stronger muscles assist you make through a relapse a little easier or has for me.

Making up your mind to make the necessary changes whatever the change/s are will be the first step. Don’t set back an observe other’s improvements, speak with your physician and the two of you come up with a plan to see changes in medication or lifestyle changes or both can provide a brighter future for you. Listen to what others are saying about what is helping them!

MS Blogger and Multiple Sclerosis Activist shares her journey living with MS, tips for others living MS and her husband, Steve, offers his insight as a caregiver for MS.