Doing All We Can Do (with Multiple Sclerosis)

Mind Matters in MS Decisions

When it comes to having MS, I am wondering if each of us are doing all we can do to help improve our condition?

Mind Matters in MS DecisionsEach of have similar symptoms yet each of us do experience different symptoms as well.  Two of the main questions that I continue see being asked from those with MS to others with the same disease is whether or not they are experiencing the same type of symptom that they are or if they are on the same type of treatment or medication.   The answers always vary and usually will because everyone experience different degrees of symptoms and responses to treatments depending on how many lesions are present and where they are located.

So it is not a one size fits all here.

This is why I wonder just how much stock we put in to what other people recommend to us.  I’m not saying to stop asking the questions because I too also ask those type of questions, but what I am saying is don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Leave your options open to trying different things. What works for one may not always work for others and an example of this is when I see someone talk about how well stopping treatment has worked for them. Experiencing less side effects may be the benefit but if the lesions continue to progress is the outcome really worth it? We all need to remember that just because you may not be experiencing an exacerbation that lesions aren’t still forming or growing in size. On the flip side not all exacerbations mean that are medications are working either.

I have heard so much about having MRI’s or not having MRI’s, starting treatment and stopping treatment, and realizing that yes what might work for someone doesn’t mean that it is appropriate for everyone else. What is important is that you openly discuss all options with your physician before making a decision on what to start and stop.

The relationship with your physician and you should be one of a “Team Approach” where you have a say in what is decided for you and your disease. One of trust that he/she is providing you with all treatment options along with the positive and negatives of each option.  If you don’t have that type of relationship then I suggest you change to a physician whom you can have this with.  We all need to have faith that with the type of MS that we have that everything that can be done is being offered. If you make a suggestion to your doctor that sounds reasonable and you are not given a satisfactory reason why it would or would not work for you maybe a second opinion may be needed.

We need to be open to change with our treatment course and try new things.  There are research treatments being offered that are bringing successful results to many people. Hopefully your physician is providing you with information on what these are and whom maybe offering them. Many are provided at no charge to you as well which is great for those who have no health insurance or limited income.

Don’t stop asking questions especially to others experiencing MS. Remember to take the answers you receive and talk them over with your physician before starting them.  What helps someone could actually harm you. Doing all you can do for you and your MS is important by keeping a great line of communication between you and your doctor.

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.