Communication should be a give and take, but remember that you know best how MS is affecting your body, mind, and emotions. How well you communicate with your health care team will make a big difference in the quality of MS care you receive as well as in your overall well-being.
Likewise, expect respect from your health care team and don't accept glib answers. For example, this is not a response to settle for: "None of these meds cure the disease so, sure, you're going to have problems. ... Just stick with it." Instead, insist on clear discussions about your attack rate, progression of disability, MRI results, or intolerable side effects.
Bring your top questions to each of your doctor visits. Put your biggest worry on the front burner where your doctor won't miss it. Are you feeling more depressed or anxious? Trouble staying focused? Your doctor won't be able to guess what's concerning you most. Speak up, even about issues you find more difficult to discuss, such as sexual changes, mood problems, or bowel function. Sometimes these can become "don't ask, don't tell" problems. But bring them up, because they are treatable.
Speak as clearly and concisely as you can, and let your doctor know about any:
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Fears of needles or side effects
- Previous bad experiences with health care providers
- Mixed messages from members of your health care team
- Inability to cope with the unpredictability of the disease
This answer should not be considered medical advice...This answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.
Archived: March 20, 2014
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