Creating Your MS Support Network
- by Susie W.
- March 12, 2018
Susie W. is a paid Advocate for Teva Neuroscience, Inc.
Five years ago, on the long ride home from my relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) diagnosis, my husband and I were both trying to absorb what it meant for our future. We knew we wanted to be proactive in finding the information and support that we were going to need. At that moment, I realized my biggest supporter was going to be my husband and we were going to be a team when it came to managing my RRMS. We became aware that a full support team was going to be needed to support me in managing my RRMS.
I searched for a local neurologist when I got home. This was important since I was going to have a relationship with my doctor for the rest of my life. Luckily, I found a neurologist who was a good fit and someone I felt comfortable with. My doctor told us that the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) recommends "finding a treatment and staying committed."
Through it all, friends and family surrounded and supported my husband and me on “our” journey with RRMS. My mother and sister tag-teamed as my Care Partners while my husband was working. Friends rallied around us, too, bringing over MS-friendly meals and simply coming to visit. Those visits were so meaningful to me, because I have always been very social and they brought me a sense of normalcy.
Emotionally, I was also going to need some help. So, I reached out to a counselor whose specialty is helping people go through major transitions in their lives and my RRMS definitely “fit the bill.” The counseling sessions were a place for me to release my deepest fears and also recognize them for what they were–fears. It has been empowering to have counseling support in place.
Before my diagnosis, I didn’t really know anyone with MS except for the woman who worked at the local dry cleaners. I remember having an urgency to go to see her when I was diagnosed and soon after she became my mentor. I also wanted to meet more patients living with MS, so I looked on the NMSS website and it is there that I found support groups and patient programs, like Teva’s Shared Solutions®. I didn't feel alone anymore after I became included in the MS community.
Finally, I leaned on my faith more than ever before in my life. It has brought me comfort and the ability to look at things differently. I now see things more positively and beautifully. Faith has given me hope and peace.
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Christine ( “ Eddy”) | March 18, 2018Susie W’s blog is so amazing. Her description of her journey from diagnosis to treatment to lifestyle is clear, concise and heartfelt. It surely will help others making this life transition into unknown territories.
Thank you Susie for sharing your story with others. I applaud you.
Teva's Lift MS Team | March 19, 2018Hurray! We love hearing that Lift MS has been helpful – that’s just what we intended! We appreciate your part in those efforts, Christine.