Exploring Your Options for New Treatment
The good news is that if you need new medication, there are almost always new ones available to try. If your doctor recommends a new type of treatment, says Burks, ask, "Why this one? What can I expect? And what are the downsides?"
In addition, Giesser suggests questions like these:
- What are my other options?
- Why are you suggesting a change in therapy?
- What do you hope this change will accomplish for me?
- What are the potential benefits?
- What are the potential side effects?
- What monitoring is needed?
- Will I need to change anything in my daily routine?
As for treating symptoms, be persistent. "We now have so many new treatments for symptomatic management that we didn’t have just a few years ago," says Burks. These include drugs to help with walking or spasticity, for example.
Also, ask about physical therapy to help with walking techniques, cognitive rehabilitation to help with mental changes, psychotherapy, and complementary approaches such as massage, yoga, or acupuncture. Some of these improve function and increase independence while others prevent complications or provide emotional support. Together, you can find approaches that will work better for you.