Being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis can be a devastating event. It is important to understand, first of all, that your life is not over!
There are new treatments and advanced therapies coming to light for this illness every day, as we grow to understand the disease more and more. In order to make sure you receive the best treatment possible, it’s vital to work closely with your MS healthcare team.
Communication is Vital
Always remember, there’s one person who is an expert at how MS is affecting your body, and that’s you. You are the one who experiences symptoms. You are the one who knows how and where it’s hitting your body and mind and emotional health. It is therefore vital that you communicate in as much detail as possible what you are experiencing. Your healthcare team can’t help you if they don’t understand clearly your personal experiences.
Understanding Your Team
An MS healthcare team will include a variety of healthcare professionals to address the different symptoms you may experience. Together they form an experienced group who can efficiently address your issues while adopting a big picture approach to keeping you healthy, slowing the progression of the illness, and restoring mobility and control. This team can include:
- An MS nurse, who acts as support and coordinator for the entire team
- A physiatrist who designs your treatment plan and coordinates rehabilitation activities
- A physical therapist who helps you to improve balance, coordination and strength
- A psychologist, mental health therapist or social worker who can help you deal with the emotional trauma of the
- illness and connect you with disability options and other community resources
- An occupational therapist who can help you with maintaining your independence
- A nutritionist who will help develop dietary options to improve your lifestyle
- A neurologist who can address the physical and neurological conditions you face
- Your PCP, who will address your day to day healthcare needs and prescribe medication and other treatments as required
- Speech pathologists, urologists and other professionals as required by the severity of your condition
Maximize Your Treatment
With so many different aspects to your treatment, it’s important to make the most of each visit. Keep track of all of your symptoms — what, where, when and how long. Keep your team updated with all information on your symptoms, medication and where you are with every aspect of your treatment. Be open and honest about your biggest concerns — nothing is too small! This especially rings true if you experience emotional issues such as depression, hopelessness, nervousness or fears of unclear communication amongst the team.
The more you can stay on top of your treatment, the better off you will be and the more efficient your treatment will go. Never be afraid to communicate or let your team know if you think there’s a communication breakdown at any point in the chain. You are the boss of your body, and you are the only expert about you. If you live in the Las Vegas area and have need of neurological services, take a look at our neurology page and feel free to get in touch for an evaluation of your condition today!