Managing your life with MS isn't just about dealing with the symptoms you have right now. It's about thinking through what could happen in future -- the possible effects on your job, family, and finances -- and preparing for them.
Even if your symptoms are mild, planning can make you feel better and be more confident in your future.
"It's not bad luck to think about what you might do if your symptoms got worse," says Rosalind Kalb, PhD, a clinical psychologist and vice president of clinical care at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. "That's not giving into the disease -- that's taking charge of it in a productive way."
Make sure your doctor is covered and that you have access to specialists, such as neurologists. Even if you don’t need other treatments now, like physical or occupational therapy, you might need them in the future, so check what's covered, Northrop says.
You can also get help from MS Navigators at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. They can help you understand your options. To talk to one, call 800-FIGHT-MS.
3. Talk to Your Family
"Most people don't really understand MS," says Kalb. Let them know how MS might affect you and how they can support you.
"A lot of family and friends want to help but don't know what to do," Kalb says. Be specific when you ask for help: a ride to a doctor's office on Tuesday, an after-school pickup next week. That helps them know exactly what you need and want.