I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis in December 2008. This is my blog about my life living with the roller-coaster world of MS with a little humor and advice thrown in!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Health Care Team?

I was reading the Momentum monthly magazine today and an article made me really think.  For anyone connected with MS, Momentum is the The magazine of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.   It has great articles on pretty much anything MS related.   Anyway,  this article was about your health care team.  Team?  I have a neurologist that is a 2 hour drive away and a local primary care physician (and actually I just see the Nurse Practitioner) who is only open 4 days a week.  Listed is the recommended team you should have when dealing with MS.

1.Neurologist (obviously!)
2.Primary care physician (who takes care of minor issues whether MS related or not.
3.Physical therapist (for strength, fatigue,mobility,balance)
4. Occupational therapist (improve motion, suggests tools to help in everyday living)
5.Psychologist or psychiatrist (counseling for emotional changes that come with dealing with a chronic disease)
6.Social worker (helps with community resources)
7.Speech pathologist (for communication problems)
8.Vocational counselor (employment questions)
9.Urologist (treats bladder issues and urinary problems)
10.Ophthalmologist ( for vision impairment)
11.National MS Society MS Navigator (refers health care providers)

Wow.  I have actually had a need for most of these at least once in the last few years.  So, before I need any of these types of doctors or care givers I am going to be pro-active and first start with my insurance company and see what Dr's. are available in my area.  Then I would like to narrow it down by calling them and seeing if there are any who are familiar with MS.   Then if possible make a consultation appointment to discuss what my needs may be.  Now, I certainly won't be able to do this with all these types of care givers but maybe a couple that I see I might be needing in the future.  But, having the names and descriptions of these professionals handy would probably be smart. 

So, my suggestion is to assess your health care team.  If your not happy with any of them CHANGE.   I have had that issue and was much happier when I changed them.  It's hard enough dealing with symptoms but paying and being frustrated for a Dr. who doesn't meet your needs in any way is not acceptable.

I have actually just added one more thing to my weekend by assessing my health care team but, I would much rather be prepared for the future and I hope you will to!   Have a fabulous weekend!

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