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Partner with Your Neurologist to Battle Multiple Sclerosis

Part of the Multiple Sclerosis For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Your neurologist is the key member of your healthcare team. As a specialist in diseases of the nervous system, he or she provides treatment options to manage your MS and the symptoms it can cause. The neurologist can also help you engage other healthcare professionals on your team — the nurse, rehabilitation professionals, and mental health experts who can work with you to optimize your health, daily functioning, and quality of life. If you have a neurologist, keep these tips in mind to make your partnership as strong as possible. If you don’t, check out the first bullet to find a qualified specialist.

  • Call the National MS Society (800-FIGHT-MS or 800-344-4867) for a list of neurologists in your area with MS expertise.

  • For each visit to the neurologist, do the following:

    • Be prepared to describe and prioritize problems and symptoms.

    • Write down any questions you have so you don’t go home without the answers you need.

    • To catch everything the doc says, bring your partner or a friend or a tape recorder.

  • Make sure your doctor has an up-to-date list of all the medications (prescription and over-the-counter) and supplements you are taking.

  • Take your medications as they have been prescribed for you and be sure to talk with your doctor about any concerns, problems, or side effects.

  • If you don’t understand something, ask (the goal is to know more rather than less when you leave the doctor’s office).

  • If you need a long consultation (to discuss family planning decisions, employment decisions, sexual dysfunction, and so on), schedule a separate appointment or phone call.

  • Don’t wait for a crisis — see your MS doctor on a regular basis.

  • If you feel you need or want a second opinion, don’t hesitate to get one.

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