Living with any chronic illness can require patients and families to change certain aspects of their regular lifestyle, but it does not mean fun and adventure have to end. Multiple sclerosis can be an everyday challenge or go into remission for periods. The exact cause of MS is unclear though there are common diagnostic tells a doctor will look for. Once a conclusion has been made, it is easy to feel frustrated or upset. However, it is important to approach the determination logically and with as much positivity as possible. Here are five tips to help you confront the ailment strategically.
There is rarely a time in life when gaining knowledge is a bad decision. If you are faced with an MS diagnosis, stop for a moment and regroup. Then, start at the beginning and ask questions of experts, research findings independently and keep track of each piece of information. You may want to gain a clearer understanding of the warning signs you should expect when a flare-up occurs. Another area for you to focus on is what your doctors should be monitoring you for regularly. Because multiple sclerosis affects proper transmissions throughout the nervous system, you should be prepared for MS cervical spine lesions symptoms. Think of a lesion like you do a surface scar or scab that is left behind after it is done to tissue. Depending on whether the lesion is located on the brain or spine, you may notice feelings of fatigue or imbalance. The more detail you can gain on your own, the less intimidated or fearful you may be.
Join a Support Group
Regardless of if multiple sclerosis is new to you or if you have been living with it for quite some time, it can be incredibly helpful to join a support group specifically focused on the disease. You will most likely be able to make contact with local organizations as well as online communities that will welcome you. Some of the benefits of belonging to these sorts of collectives include the ability to talk to other families in similar situations and hearing what can be complicated terminology simplified to layman’s terms. On top of that, speaking with an individual about their treatment protocols may provide you with insights you had not previously considered. Perhaps most important is the creation of a reliable network that can empathize with you and empower you to become a self-advocate.
Rather than thinking you need to sacrifice the activities you enjoy, concentrate on modifying what you do to better fit any limitations or restrictions you encounter. For example, if you suffer from leg muscle weakness or pain while standing at the kitchen, purchase a stool that you can have on hand so you can sit and wash dishes with less discomfort. If you are an avid walker and find that your endurance is not what it used to be, an e-bike could be the perfect addition to your toys. As long as balance is not a worry, you will be able to get outside on an e-bike without the stress of getting tired quickly.
Eat Right and Exercise
A proper diet and workout routine are beneficial in perfect health and periods of illness. You want to remember that your body may have different abilities than what were are accustomed to before you got sick, but that is not a reason to forgo physical fitness altogether. Seek out a nutritionist or physical therapist that can assist you in putting together the right plan for you. You should try to incorporate cardio, strength training, and stretch and release programs such as yoga. No matter what you do, do not work to exhaustion as your body will struggle to recover, especially if you are amid a relapse.
Pay Attention to Mental Health
The connection between emotional well-being and physical well-being is documented. Taking care of the stress and anxiety that can accompany the burden of not feeling well is vital. You may need to get in touch with a counselor if you are struggling. Other ways to address concerns in this area are reducing common stressors, planning quiet time and developing a strategy to prevent negative thoughts from spiraling.
Keeping up with the highs and lows of a chronic illness is emotionally and physically draining. Understanding symptoms and treatments may make the ordeal more manageable. By staying informed and championing your cause, you may alleviate the most daunting obstacles.