Tag: <span>MS support group</span>

Have you ever listened to a doctor’s advice and thought, “Quack!”?

It happens.

Perhaps his medical skills were impeccable, but his advice failed to consider you and your non-medical needs.

One of my wife’s neurologists pushed her to consider having a third child. “Pregnancy reduces the symptoms of MS,” he stated.

“It also results in another child!”, my wife countered. “And I know I won’t have the stamina for that when the MS symptoms return!”

I was reminded of the pregnancy and Multiple Sclerosis issue while reading the latest issue of the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation’s Support Group News, a newsletter promoting participation in support groups. (Free subscriptions are available at http://www.msfocus.org).

“Moms with MS Form Online Community” describes an online community founded by Kristin Bennett exclusively for mothers and mothers-to-be who are diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The “Moms with MS” website requires registration – which I didn’t do because I’m not a mom.

However, based on the information in the Support Group News article about MomsWithMS.com, if you’re a mom or “mom to be”, I suggest you explore the MomsWithMS website. This online support group has 450 members and is doing great things to provide support and information for moms with multiple sclerosis.

Resource: MomsWithMS.com

MS Support Groups

My wife’s local MS Support Group held an MS Awareness event at our local library. The event started with a style show of clothing designed for ease of use. This was followed by a discussion about healthy eating which was led by a local Registered Dietitian. Finally, a young family practice physician (who is also an MS patient) answered questions for the participants. It was an excellent morning and is a fine example of the value of participating in a local support group.

As I recall the conversations I overheard during the event, I noticed common themes. In order of frequency, first was the concern about doctors who do not listen, second was a concern over medications, and third was the common concern about the cost of medical care. With good reason, these three themes seem to be common undercurrents when patients gather.

I’ve said it before: every person I’ve met with MS has been tenacious, determined and tough. They make most of us without MS seem like whiners. While they may be slowed physically, I’ve not met anyone who let their MS symptoms or their experience of Multiple Sclerosis stop them.

It’s sadly ironic to me, then, that the most common complaints I heard were about issues that are out of the patients’ direct control and are related to medical care: doctors who will not listen, medications and side effects, and the cost of care.

Assuming the stories of helpful doctors who made housecalls and treated patients like they were extended family are actually true, the medical professional has taken a left turn somewhere along the way. I know that’s a generalization, but it seems to be the experience of many.

When the practice of medicine as a profession is turning into a business for profit it must become bottom-line focused. The doctor can’t listen because she has too little time, medications are a two-edged sword solving one problem but causing others, and costs are structured so shareholders receive the best returns at patients’ expense. That’s the world we live in.

The Value of an MS Support Group

The issues I overheard the group members share are actually one of the many reasons an MS Support Group is a good thing for patients and caregivers. A good support group is an oasis where one can relax in the presence of others who share their experiences, advice, knowledge and (most importantly) their support.

Caregiver Tip: Become involved in an Multiple Sclerosis Support Group. It may be one of the wisest things you and the person for whom you care do.

MS Support Groups