We’re not always ready for multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses, but relapses can happen no matter what you are planning or what is going on in your life. Most people with multiple sclerosis don’t want to think about relapses when they’re feeling okay, but living a life with multiple sclerosis can mean dealing with unexpected interruptions that can prevent you from doing what you enjoy or need to do. Becoming “relapse-ready” can help. Rethinkmsrelapses.com suggests 3 steps to help you:
Step 1: Learn about multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses
The first step in becoming relapse-ready is learning as much as you can about relapses and available relapse treatment options. Physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy may help to reduce symptoms and regain function. Take the time to review MS materials on this website and in other resources. This will help you provide accurate and timely information to your healthcare team. It will also make you better prepared to speak with your healthcare provider to determine the relapse treatment option that is most appropriate for you.
Step 2: Watch for signs and symptoms of a relapse
Keeping a log of your everyday MS symptoms can help you (and your healthcare team) more easily identify a relapse. Recording your medication history, and how each medication affects you, provides important information for you and your healthcare team to consider when making treatment decisions.
Step 3: Speak up about your relapse symptoms
Communication is key. Contact your healthcare team as soon as you suspect you are having an MS relapse. If you are given treatment for an MS relapse, stay in contact with your healthcare team both during and after your treatment to discuss any changes in your health. Make sure your friends, family, and coworkers know that you may need help during the relapse. And make new connections with other people living with MS—become a part of the MS community for support and shared resources. The Huntsville MS Support Group meets the third Tuesday of every month from 6:00 – 8:00.
Planning ahead can help you identify an MS relapse sooner, so that you can recover more quickly. It can also help you find others in your support network who can help you when you most need them. Remember, you are your best advocate. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for help.