Once you are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, it is important to take an active role in your healthcare by seeking the best and most appropriate medical care for you and by taking care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and socially.
We spend so much time learning about MS - choosing treatments, surviving relapses, combating symptoms, and trying to maintain as normal a life as possible - that we might forget to look for joy and inspiration in simple things.
A friend of mine, who lives with secondary progressive MS and advanced disability, shared with me an inspired list of recommendations for anybody faced with a life-changing disease such as MS.
1. Eat healthy
2. Exercise any part of your body that you can
3. Reach out to people, family, friends, strangers
4. Discover YOU. What makes you laugh? What are your fears? What is fun?
5. Laugh, educate your fears into remission, and have fun!
She makes taking care of yourself sound so simple, but it’s amazingly easy to forget to take these steps to making your own life better. And, you don’t even need to have MS to benefit from them, too!
Since I earnestly started exercising last fall and watching what I eat, I’ve lost 50 pounds, gained muscle tone and endurance, and dropped a couple of dress sizes. My MS has been doing really well. If these are directly related, I don’t know, but it’s certainly encouraging. Or it could be that my medication is also doing it’s job well and that my MS is staying in the ‘remitted’ stage.
Despite knowing simple steps we can take to live better, we might ask ourselves…besides my MS medications, what else can I do? That’s the topic of a special webinar being conducted by** iConquerMS™ on Thursday, September 17th at 8PM EST** which will be co-hosted by Marc Stecker and Dr. Deb Bates.** Please register at http://svy.mk/1KiYxNq.** ** Marc Stecker**, author of Wheelchair Kamikaze blog, has a special interest in cutting-edge MS research with a focus on outside-the-box, potentially paradigm-shifting ideas and hypotheses. Marc has previously been a guest at MSHealthCentral discussing life with primary progressive MS, NYC, relationships, and experimental research.
Dr. Deb Bates, naturopathic doctor at Tisch MS Research Center of NY, specializes in natural treatment options for improving wellness, such as nutrition and botanical medicine, and believes in empowering patients to take positive actions for their health and well-being.
iConquerMS™ is the largest patient-powered research network to focus on multiple sclerosis with approximately 2,500 registered participants who are sharing their health data and ideas for MS research. To learn more, please visit iconquerms.org.
More Helpful Information:
MS and Cholesterol: MS Diets and Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes
Effectiveness of Rehabilitation for Improving Multiple Sclerosis
Clutter Management for MS Patients
Maintaining a Strong Relationship Despite MS
9 Things to Know When Your Partner Has MS (slideshow)
Lisa Emrich is a patient advocate, accomplished speaker, author of the award-winning blog Brass and Ivory: Life with MS and RA, and founder of the Carnival of MS Bloggers. Lisa uses her experience to educate patients, raise disease awareness, encourage self-advocacy, and support patient-centered research. Lisa frequently works with non-profit organizations and has brought the patient voice to health care conferences and meetings worldwide. Follow Lisa on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.