MS management strategies and some things I've learned over the years...

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uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 5/18/2008 6:52 PM (GMT -6)   
...in no particular order of importance:
 
1.  Find out from the doctor (any doctor -- specialist, your family doctor, dentist, whoever) -- who you can call to ask questions.  You KNOW that whenever you go to the doctor..and go home..you'll have a dozen questions that you SHOULD have asked when you were there, and forgot.  Or got intimidated. Or just didn't have time.
 
So find out who you can call.  And then DO it.  Realize that you may not be able to talk to the doctor all the time (would you really like it if you were in the middle of a doctor visit and he left you to answer a phone call from another patient??  I didn't THINK so!!) But if there is a designated nurse, or nurse-practioner that you can call, then she (or he) will be able to take the time to answer your questions and relieve your anxiety.
 
2.  Remember your friendly pharmacist!  Find ONE, and stick with him (or her) for all of your prescriptions.  If they're good, they'll be keeping track of all the meds you're taking (by prescription). Don't hesitate to call them, or stop by and talk with them: "I'm taking these meds..are there any problems with taking all of them?"  "I'm taking these meds and these over-the-counter things. Is there a problem?"  "Since I started taking this med, I've noted this problem...is that typical?"  They can answer all these sorts of questions..and more..and are glad to do it.
 
3.  Try to stay with ONE family physician.  Let him do what you're paying him to do -- be a "gate-keeper". What does that mean?  Let HIM decide when...and who..you might need to see as a specialist.  Let him make the phone calls, and set up the appointments.  Expect that tests done by the specialists will go back to the family doctor, and he -- the family doctor -- who KNOWS you, who has "seen" you as a patient for awhile -- will be able to interpret those test results based on what he KNOWS about you.  And if he can't, he can refer you back to the specialist, if that's necessary.
 
4. Make LISTS. Lists of symptoms, when they occur, when they seem to fade away.  List them in order of importance -- which are MOST troubling to you, and then the least troublesome at the bottom of the list.  Keep it SHORT, and DEscriptIVE.  Remember..the doctor has maybe 20 minutes to meet with you, and won't have time for a long rambling description of symptoms and how they might affect you. They want short and sweet and to the point.  If you have it written down, you can keep it short and sweet.
 
5. If you really feel intimidated by the doctor, take someone with you. Give THEM a copy of your list of symptoms, and have them interrupt your rambling and read the list to the doctor.  Have them take notes for you: you're likely to be bombarded with tons of information, all of it scary, at a doctor visit. If you have someone with you, they can keep track of some of that..
 
and then if you have indeed asked who you can call back with questions, you can do that the next day.
 
6.  Do your homework.  The internet is a wonderful thing.  When I was first diagnosed, 25+ years ago, my only resource was a dusty old medical journal I found in my local library, that described MS as "a serious neurological disorder, leading to severe disability, and eventually death".  A LOT has changed since then (thankfully!), and THESE days you have a whole "world" of information at your fingertips. Literally!  You DO need to know that information off the internet is "raw data" -- you have to be willing to interpret it accordingly, double- and triple check it's accuracy with other sources, ask questions, find legitimate sites, ask questions...and ask again.  But you can find TONS of solid information here, starting with the basic sites (like www.nmss.org ) and then branch out from there.
 
So this is a start.  Feel free to add your own things...I'm sure some of you have learned a lot....

Post Edited By Moderator (Gretchen1) : 5/19/2008 6:24:57 AM (GMT-6)


Gretchen1
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3532
   Posted 5/18/2008 7:18 PM (GMT -6)   

Wow Uppitycats!!!!

This is so nice!! Well done and thank you very much. The only thing I have to add is do ask your doctor(s) if they use and respond to email.  My neurologist responds to my emails in just a few hours every time.  That seems to be a new thing; doctors using email.  Boy do I love that!!!

Uppity,

I would love it if you would think about changing your subject bar so this becomes a permanent tool for newbies and others to use.  Maybe something about "some MS management strategies to consider" ??? This is really good and people need to find this!!! Thanks again.


Gretchen       co-moderator MS board       diagnosed with MS July 2006


calicorosie
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 5/18/2008 8:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks uppity, that is awesome info. I really appreciate you taking the time to do that :)

uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 5/19/2008 4:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Gretchen1 said...

Wow Uppitycats!!!!

This is so nice!! Well done and thank you very much. The only thing I have to add is do ask your doctor(s) if they use and respond to email.  My neurologist responds to my emails in just a few hours every time.  That seems to be a new thing; doctors using email.  Boy do I love that!!!

Uppity,

I would love it if you would think about changing your subject bar so this becomes a permanent tool for newbies and others to use.  Maybe something about "some MS management strategies to consider" ??? This is really good and people need to find this!!! Thanks again.


Hi, Gretchen...hey, feel free to change it however you wish. I'm glad it might be helpful.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


D'awesome
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 343
   Posted 5/19/2008 5:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Uppity, your timing is uncanny!  This is my week to finally see the neuro after waiting 2+ months for the appt, today I see my GP after waiting 2 wks for her appt... it's just a followup but nonetheless it's whole keeping my thoughts straight so I don't forget what I'll remember when I leave the offices!
 
Thank you for the great note, I'm printing it to keep with me as a reminder to keep myself organized! Awesome info and very very uplifting for me! (It's been a very funky several weeks here).
Fear knocked ~ Faith Answered ~ No one was there! :)
 ~ Ephesians 6:13 ~  * ~ Psalm 27:1 ~


rhondab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 5/20/2008 9:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Uppity!

Wow...i agree with the others! This is a great resource! This needs to be kept at the top at forum resources for quick viewing! Thanks for all u'r hard work...here and otherwise friend. ;)
rhonda
Co-Moderator, MS Forum
 
*~*Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.*~*
 
Things that make u go hummmm......
*I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.*
*One day without sunshine is like...um..well...night?*


rhondab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 5/20/2008 5:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Uppity!

This is such a great thread! I hope u don't mind that i put it in resources. Thanks again for taking the time to put this here for us!
rhonda
Co-Moderator, MS Forum
 
*~*Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.*~*
 
Things that make u go hummmm......
*I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.*
*One day without sunshine is like...um..well...night?*

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