Taking Charge of Your Situation
- by Elisabeth N.
- October 16, 2017
Elisabeth N. is a paid employee of Teva Neuroscience, Inc.
A few tips to help manage your relapsing MS
Living with a chronic illness like RMS can be a bumpy journey filled with many uncertainties. There may be feelings of anxiety, anger, denial, depression and frustration. These are all entirely normal feelings to experience. What is important is how to respond to these feelings and take charge! The following suggestions are ways to help manage RMS:
- Be informed. The better informed you are about your RMS, the better you will be able to cope with all the stresses that may accompany it. Stick to reputable sources, such as the National MS Society, The MS Foundation or the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. These organizations provide a plethora of education and support for people living with RMS and their Care Partners.
- Be your own advocate. Everyone’s RMS is different. It is important to be aware of your symptoms and what triggers your RMS. Some people find it helpful to keep an RMS journal to track their symptoms or how they feel on a day-to-day basis. This can be helpful when talking with your physician about your RMS management goals. Another Shared Solution® Nurse wrote a blog post dedicated to providing tips on self-advocacy that may be a helpful resource.
- Learn about treatment options. It is important to know that RMS can cause damage even when you aren’t experiencing symptoms. Early and continued treatment with one of the approved relapsing MS therapies is important. Discuss treatment options with your doctor to decide what is right for you. Research ahead of time, write down questions to ask your doctor, and discuss the benefits and potential risks associated with any medication. Teva has created a list of suggested questions to ask your doctor to help get you started!
- Maintain overall health. In addition to treatment, it is vital to take care of your immune system and overall health to help manage your RMS.
o Eat a well-balanced diet, including low-fat foods that are high in fiber and antioxidants.
o Stay active. Talk to your doctor about a safe exercise regimen.
o Get plenty of sleep.
o Manage your stress. Stress can be an RMS trigger and affect the immune system. Find ways to manage your stress, whether through light exercise, yoga, meditation, listening to music or a favorite hobby. As always, we recommend speaking with your doctor before trying any new fitness routines.
o Stop smoking. Studies have associated smoking to the development and worsening of RMS. Discuss smoking cessation programs with your physician.
- Find support. RMS can be challenging for those living with it, as well as their Care Partners. Your loved ones may be going through similar emotions. Try to find someone to confide in and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes, it’s the little things — like asking a family member to help with the chores when you’re too tired. Look for local RMS support groups in your area. Be patient with yourself and others and maintain open lines of communication.
Living with RMS is a long journey, and there may be good days and bad days. Stay positive, surround yourself with support and maintain realistic goals. Only you can make the decision to take charge and manage your RMS!
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Shared Solutions® Nurse
About The Author
Elisabeth N., RN is a registered nurse, who works for Teva’s Shared Solutions®. She has been a nurse for nine years, and has more than two years of experience with multiple sclerosis.
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