Today, I would like to talk about MS (Multiple Sclerosis). I have been the team captain of the Westfall Walkers MS Walk team since 2004. Instead of an interview with the MS Society, I want to bring you the information based off a conversation I had with Cheryl Neama. Cheryl has MS and also has a daughter with MS. I hope this information is helpful and remember that if you are the parent or caregiver of someone with MS or going through a new diagnosis, you are not alone!
I spoke to Cheryl Neama recently and asked her for some help on knowing what information is important for a parent or caregiver of someone recently diagnosed with MS. Cheryl has a family history of MS and is no stranger to it and all that it entails. Here are common questions people have asked her over the years.
What is MS?
Cheryl- “Understanding MS is difficult as everyone has different symptoms. The top 3 things I like to remind people to know are:
1- Always remember you have MS, but IT DOES NOT HAVE YOU! If you give up you are giving in.
2- Stress causes flares. Try to keep away from stressful situations to the best of your ability.
3- Rest when you get tired. Even 15-30 minutes of rest makes a difference.”
Cheryl, what questions are you asked most often about MS?
Cheryl- “What is the best treatment for their type of MS?”
Cheryl - “When treating your MS, make sure to take your medicines as directed, and eat healthy and on a regular basis. Try to keep tripping hazards to a minimum with things like loose rugs, high thresholds and such.”
Cheryl - “Why do I have pains that move around?”
Cheryl - “Why am I always tired?”
Cheryl - “What can I expect?”
What other advice can you give to people newly diagnosed with MS?
Cheryl - “Don’t be afraid of MS and most importantly be patient.”
Here is some additional resources on MS.
Resources and Support - https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Resources-Support
Newly Diagnosised - https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis/Newly-Diagnosed
Living Well with MS - https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Living-Well-With-MS
Guide for Caregivers - https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Programs-and-Services/Resources/A-Guide-for-Caregivers-(-pdf)?page=1&orderby=3&order=asc
MS Society Colorado/Wyoming Chapter main page - https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Chapters