Margaret Blackstone is a graduate of Yale University. She was awarded the Murray Fellowship and wrote and translated poetry in Mexico for a year. She is the author of several books on a variety of medical topics, including Beat Diabetes and Recovering from a C-Section, and a poet and an award-winning author of children’s books. She lives in Greenwich Village with her family.
Saud A. Sadiq, MD, is the Director of The Multiple Sclerosis Research and Treatment Center and Chairman, Department of Neurology, at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital in New York.
Contributor residences: Blackstone: New York, New York; Sadiq: New York, New York
The First Year: Multiple Sclerosis: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosedby Margaret Blackstone
One of the most widely recommended guides to living with multiple sclerosis, now completely revised and updated, including the latest research, the most recent information on treatments (including the news on Tysabri®), and new tips for managing MS. Multiple sclerosis is as much a mystery as it is a disease, but this chronic and often disabling condition of
One of the most widely recommended guides to living with multiple sclerosis, now completely revised and updated, including the latest research, the most recent information on treatments (including the news on Tysabri®), and new tips for managing MS. Multiple sclerosis is as much a mystery as it is a disease, but this chronic and often disabling condition of the central nervous system affects over 400,000 people nationwide. From the moment of her diagnosis in 2000, Margaret Blackstone took charge and educated herself on every aspect of her condition. Now, as a "patient-expert," she guides those newly diagnosed step-by-step through their first year with MS. She provides crucial information about: The most up-to-date treatment options Effective alternative therapies Choosing the right medical team Discussing your condition with family, friends, and co-workers Current medical research Stress management and exercises Extensive online and community resources Strategies for accomplishing necessary lifestyle changes
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I was recently diagnosed with MS and picked up this book to get a quick overview of the disease process. I am a medical professional but I do not work in Neurology so I thought that this book would give me a nice view from a patient perspective. The first few chapters were somewhat helpful, however, the authors recommendations become laughable. She goes as far as to recommend going through your sock drawer and throwing out any single socks that you have (what does this have to do with MS?). She also recommends having someone else iron your clothes because the heat from the iron could exacerbate your symptoms. Although I don't work in neurology but I do know enough that this is a ridiculous statement. I can't tell you about the second half of the book because I didn't want to waste my time reading such useless information.
This book takes you almost day by day through the process of understanding your diagnosis and what to expect during the first year. It deals with all the various ways MS appears in peoples lives and teaches that a diagnosis does not mean the end of your career or life. The information is educational and motivational, a kind of step by step instructional guide to help the reader with all aspects of the diagnosis and how others deal with the emotional feelings associated with the diagnosis. It is very informative, answers lots of questions about treatment, finding the right doctor and more, while still giving you lots of support and encouragement. Information is key in handling MS and going forward with your life.
I found this book very helpful. I was very recently diagnosed, at the age of 22. I found her book extremely helpful, putting names to the signs and symptoms I am experiencing. The author has reasured me that life can go on almost like normal and it is ok to feel some of the emotions that I am feeling. I liked the author's plan having the reader read day by day and month by month sections. This really helped me not to get overwhelmed by large amounts of new information. I found this book really helpful.
This book was highly recommended to me -- a 'must have' for the newly diagnosed. Margaret Blackstone's approach to taking charge of your own care and forming your own medical team is excellent. She provides clear and concise descriptions of the medical terminology -- such as 'demyelination' and 'axons' for the newly initiated. The medical information as well as exercise and diet suggestions are worth the price of the book. However, Blackstone should have limited her discussion to these topics. When dealing with emotional states related to MS, Ms. Blackstone is quite directive -- telling the reader how to feel and in what timeframe. Her chapter for Day 7, 'Living: Coping with Fear', for example, takes a very oversimplified approach to a very complex issue. Throughout the book, Blackstone comes off as the 'superwoman.' I can't imagine many readers would have found her experience with a brain MRI very helpful. As expected, she didn't have any difficulties with that test and was able to complete a children's book she had been writing during the MRI! (I thought I was doing well taking a mild sedative!) For one who has been newly diagnosed, I am still trying to understand the disease and the steps I will need to be taking. Being told how I should feel by someone who seems to have captured the title of 'superwoman' was not at all helpful.