Making Treatment Decisions with Your Team By the LEMTRADA Team • August 7, 2018
There is no best treatment for relapsing MS. It simply doesn’t exist. But for each person living with relapsing MS, there is an opportunity to find an appropriate treatment for their particular case. After all, there’s often a big difference between being on a treatment and being on a treatment that’s right for you. These days, having to choose from all the treatment options can be a little overwhelming. It may take several before you find the right fit for you. But remember, on the journey to the right treatment for you, you’re not alone. You should have a strong team with you to help guide the way along the treatment path. Make sure you have all three parts to your team in place—your healthcare provider, your family and friends, and you; the captain of the team. Each part of the team has strengths, perspectives and insights you’ll find valuable as you consider your treatment options. Let’s discuss the three parts of the team a little more.
Your Healthcare Provider
Let’s start with your healthcare provider. He or she is a vital part of your team, so you should be comfortable discussing options together. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and if you don’t understand something, it’s okay to keep asking for more of an explanation until you do. Be honest about how you’re feeling and what your priorities are. Your healthcare provider can’t read your mind, so tell him or her about any symptoms you’re experiencing and any worries you have. You will probably discuss a few different relapsing MS medications. You may even have questions about a treatment you’ve heard about. Work together to find a treatment option that is right for you.
Your Personal Support Team
Through all of the ups and downs of living with relapsing MS, your personal support system can be invaluable. Maybe this is made up of your significant other, family members, a close friend, or even a combination of all three. If you have a Care Partner who is already by your side most of the time, he or she could be a good sounding board when you’re trying to make a treatment decision. Talk it out. Thinking out loud could help you sort out your thoughts and solve problems.
Together, you and your Care Partner can answer some questions. Have I weighed the risks and benefits? Am I comfortable with the method of administration? Are there monitoring requirements to consider? How does this treatment fit into my day-to-day life? Is this treatment right for me? You each might have a different perspective that could help you make your decision.
Think of yourself as the captain of your team. Everyone plays an important role, but you get to call the final shots. Do some homework to make sure you’re familiar with your options. You can do research online, and some websites even allow you to register for emails, updates, and educational events. And as you’re looking into different treatments, if you find you’re not comfortable with one of the options, that’s okay! Don’t be afraid to speak up and let your healthcare provider know. Keeping lines of communication open with your team is encouraged.
Remember, in the end, the relapsing MS treatment you pick is your choice. But don’t be afraid to learn more and to get your team involved in making these decisions. They’re all there to support you, after all. So do your research, be honest with each other, and know you’re not alone. Then you can go back to your healthcare provider and together, choose your treatment, knowing that you’re armed with plenty of information.
What advice do you have to share about building your team and making treatment decisions? Leave a comment!
- LIVING WITH RELAPSING MS
- THE DECISION
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