Multiple Sclerosis For Dummies

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Overview

Your trusted, compassionate guide to living with MS

Being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) doesn't mean your life is over. Everyone's MS is different and no one can predict exactly what yours will be like. The fact is, lots of people live their lives with MS without making a full-time job of it.

Multiple Sclerosis For Dummies gives you accessible, easy-to-understand information about what happens with MS?what kinds of symptoms it can ...

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Overview

Your trusted, compassionate guide to living with MS

Being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) doesn't mean your life is over. Everyone's MS is different and no one can predict exactly what yours will be like. The fact is, lots of people live their lives with MS without making a full-time job of it.

Multiple Sclerosis For Dummies gives you accessible, easy-to-understand information about what happens with MS—what kinds of symptoms it can cause, how it can affect your life at home and at work, what you can do to feel and function better, and how you can protect yourself and your family against the long-term unpredictability of the disease. You'll learn how to make treatment and lifestyle choices that work for you, what qualities to look for in a neurologist and the rest of your healthcare team, how to manage fatigue, the pros and cons of alternative medicine, why and how to talk to your kids about MS, stress management strategies, your rights under the Americans with Disabilities act, and so much more.

  • Covers major medical breakthroughs that slow the progression of the disease and improve quality of life for those living with MS
  • Helps those affected by MS and their family members understand the disease and the latest treatment options
  • Helpful and trusted advice on coping with physical, mental, emotional, and financial aspects of MS

Complete with listings of valuable resources such as other books, websites, and community agencies and organizations that you can tap for information or assistance, Multiple Sclerosis For Dummies gives you everything you need to make educated choices and comfortable decisions about living with MS.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118175873
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/8/2012
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 147,166
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Rosalind Kalb, Ph.D., Barbara Giesser, MD, and Kathleen Costello, ANP-BC, have over 80 years' combined professional experience in working with people living with multiple sclerosis. For each of them, MS was, is, and will be their chosen career.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xxi

Introduction 1

Part I: When MS Becomes Part of Your Life 7

Chapter 1: Meeting MS Face to Face 9

Chapter 2: So, Doc, What Do I Have? Getting a Diagnosis 25

Chapter 3: You Have MS — So Now What? 37

Chapter 4: Getting the Right Players on Your Healthcare Team 53

Part II: Taking Charge of Your MS 67

Chapter 5: Developing a Plan to Take Charge of Your MS69

Chapter 6: Managing the Disease Course and Treating Relapses 77

Chapter 7: Managing Fatigue, Walking Problems, Visual Changes, and Tremor 99

Chapter 8: Handling Problems with Bladder and Bowel Function, Pain, Speech and Swallowing, and Sex 119

Chapter 9: Getting Your Head around Problems with Mood and Thinking 141

Chapter 10: Considering Complementary and Alternative Medicine157

Part III: Staying Healthy and Feeling Well 171

Chapter 11: Paying Attention to Your Health — It's Not All about MS 173

Chapter 12: Handling Stress without Giving Up Your Life 185

Chapter 13: Coping with Progressive Forms of MS 197

Part IV: Managing Lifestyle Issues 213

Chapter 14: Presenting Your MS Face to the World 215

Chapter 15: Making MS a Part of the Family 227

Chapter 16: And Baby Makes Three, Four, or More: Planning a Family around Your MS 247

Chapter 17: Parenting: It Wasn’t Easy Before You Had MS! 257

Part V: Creating Your Safety Nets 273

Chapter 18: Keeping Your Place in the Workforce 275

Chapter 19: Getting a Grip on Insurance 289

Chapter 20: Planning for a Future with MS 303

Part VI: The Part of Tens 315

Chapter 21: Ten MS Myths Debunked 317

Chapter 22: Ten Questions about Exciting Leads in MS Research 321

Chapter 23: Ten Tips for Trouble-Free Travel 325

Glossary 329

Index 343

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Interviews & Essays

Cheat Sheet for Multiple Sclerosis For Dummies

From Multiple Sclerosis For Dummies, 2nd Edition by Rosalind Kalb, Ph.D., Barbara Giesser, MD, Kathleen Costello, MS, ANP-BC, MSCN, MSCS

Whether you've recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) or you've been living with this chronic illness for years, you want to live your life as fully and comfortably as possible. The good news is you can. The symptoms of MS are manageable with medications, and rehabilitation strategies and treatments can reduce disease activity and slow progression. This Cheat Sheet provides insightful information about what you can do to stay active and feel your best.

Ways to Feel Your Best When You Have Multiple Sclerosis

Some days you may feel pretty lousy when you have multiple sclerosis (MS). Other days you may feel okay or just so-so. If you're oh-so-tired of feeling way below par, not to worry. You can improve the way you feel. These helpful tips can start you on your way to feeling healthy and well in spite of MS.
• Talk with your neurologist — as early in the disease process as you can — about treatment with one of the approved disease-modifying therapies to slow disease activity and progression and reduce further nerve damage as much as possible.
• Work with your MS team to manage your symptoms, avoid complications, and maintain your quality of life.
• If you're feeling sad or down more often than not, contact your medical doctor or neurologist to make sure your mood gets the attention it deserves.
• Make time for rest, exercise, and healthy, balanced meals.
• See your general medical doctor routinely for physical exams and screening tests.
• Use the following effective cooling strategies:
 Avoid hot showers, hot tubs, and saunas.
 Limit your time in the hot sun.
 Exercise in a cool environment.
 Drink iced fluids
 Check out cooling vests and scarves.

• Call a friend — there's no need to go it alone.\
• Don't wait for a crisis — tap the resources that are out there to help you.
• Stay focused on your goals — you don't need to make a career out of MS.

Hints to Managing Your Energy Bank with MS
When you have multiple sclerosis (MS), your energy may be in very short supply. Some days you feel like taking on the world and other days you feel like taking to your bed. You're not alone. When you experience energy ups and downs, you can be proactive and manage your energy bank in the following ways to help you get through each day:
• Set priorities to ensure the best use of your daily energy supply.
• Make deposits (naps are great!) in addition to your withdrawals.

• Use your energy supply efficiently by doing the following:
 Using the right tools/mobility devices
 Making your home/work spaces accessible and convenient
 Asking for help when you need it

• Do the most difficult tasks when you have the most energy.
• Pace yourself instead of pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion.
• Talk to your doctor about symptoms that disrupt your sleep.
• Stay cool — literally and figuratively.
• Review your medications with your doctor (some have sleepiness or fatigue as a side effect, while others are prescribed to relieve it).

A Snapshot of Your Healthcare Team When You Have MS
A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) means developing a strong relationship with your doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. They can work with you to manage your symptoms, slow the disease course, and cope with day-to-day challenges. The following are the important members of your healthcare team:
• Neurologist (or in some situations it may be a nurse practitioner or physician assistant): Diagnoses and treats MS and other neurologic diseases.
• Nurse: Provides education and support for all treatment issues.

• Primary care physician: Manages non-MS health issues and preventive care.

• Rehabilitation specialists: Promote independence, safety, and quality of life. For example, consider the following:
• Physiatrist: A physician specializing in rehabilitation medicine.
• Physical therapist: Promotes strength, mobility, and balance through exercise and training in the use of mobility aids.
• Occupational therapist: Promotes function in activities of daily living via energy management, assistive technology, and environmental modifications (may also treat cognitive symptoms).
• Speech/language pathologist: Diagnoses and treats problems with voice quality, speech, and swallowing (may also treat cognitive symptoms).
• Vocational rehabilitation counselor: Assists with career planning and retraining.

• Mental health professionals: Provide diagnosis, treatment, and support for a wide range of emotional issues, as well as education for stress management, goal-setting, and problem-solving strategies.
• Psychiatrist: A physician specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems.
• Psychotherapist (psychologist, social worker, counselor): Provides counseling, information, and support for individuals and families.
• Neuropsychologist: Diagnoses and treats cognitive symptoms.

• Additional medical specialists: Provide specialized expertise in medical areas that may be impacted by MS or are of particular interest to folks with MS.
• Neuroophthalmologist: A physician specializing in neurologically related visual symptoms.
• Urologist: A physician specializing in urinary problems and male sexual function.
• *Obstetrician/gynecologist: A physician specializing in women's reproductive care.

Partner with Your Neurologist to Battle Multiple Sclerosis
Your neurologist is the key member of your healthcare team. As a specialist in diseases of the nervous system, he or she provides treatment options to manage your MS and the symptoms it can cause. The neurologist can also help you engage other healthcare professionals on your team — the nurse, rehabilitation professionals, and mental health experts who can work with you to optimize your health, daily functioning, and quality of life. If you have a neurologist, keep these tips in mind to make your partnership as strong as possible. If you don't, check out the first bullet to find a qualified specialist.
• Call the National MS Society (800-FIGHT-MS or 800-344-4867) for a list of neurologists in your area with MS expertise.
• For each visit to the neurologist, do the following:
• Be prepared to describe and prioritize problems and symptoms.
• Write down any questions you have so you don't go home without the answers you need.
• To catch everything the doc says, bring your partner or a friend or a tape recorder.
• Make sure your doctor has an up-to-date list of all the medications (prescription and over-the-counter) and supplements you are taking.
• Take your medications as they have been prescribed for you and be sure to talk with your doctor about any concerns, problems, or side effects.
• If you don't understand something, ask (the goal is to know more rather than less when you leave the doctor's office).
• If you need a long consultation (to discuss family planning decisions, employment decisions, sexual dysfunction, and so on), schedule a separate appointment or phone call.
• Don't wait for a crisis — see your MS doctor on a regular basis.
• If you feel you need or want a second opinion, don't hesitate to get one.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted January 5, 2012

    Perfect book for the newly diagnosed.

    This book helps with all the question you have and the one
    question you were too embrassed to ask.
    A must have, for all those diagnosed with MS.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 4, 2012

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    Posted June 27, 2011

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