Who’s on Your MS Health Care Team?
Make the Most of Your MS Doctor Visits
It’s important to be able to discuss any concerns you have about your multiple sclerosis. Do your best to find a doctor who you're comfortable with -- someone who respects and listens to you. Think about other factors, too, like travel time for office visits and insurance coverage.
Once you've found a doctor who works well with you, hold up your end of the bargain. Be as prepared as you can for your appointments. Some steps to try:
- Keep track of how you’re feeling in a notebook, but remember that your symptoms may not all be due to MS. Note how often the symptoms happen, when you have them, and how bad they usually are.
- Give your doctor an updated list of all your medications and contact information for other doctors. Bring a list of your top questions to each of your visits.
- Ask your doctor about your biggest worry first. Are you feeling more depressed or anxious? Having trouble staying focused? Your doctor won't be able to guess what's on your mind.
- Speak up, even about issues that are hard to discuss, such as sexual changes, mood problems, or bowel troubles.
- Be as clear and concise as you can, but don't be afraid to ask for help understanding or for more information.
Let your doctor know if:
- You feel hopeless or like you can’t handle the disease.
- You’re afraid of any part of treatment, like needles or side effects.
- You’ve had a bad experience with other health care providers.
- You’re confused by different messages from members of your health care team.
Stay on Top of Things
If you have more than one specialist on your team, make sure they stay in touch. This is especially important if you have another health condition besides MS.
Use only one pharmacy if you can. Remember that your pharmacist is a good person to go to when you have questions about your medicine.
If you ever feel overwhelmed, reach out to a member of your team for support. You don’t have to go it alone. It may also help to focus on what you can do now to stay as healthy as possible.