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Archive for ‘Living Well With MS

Feb 23 2014 Are You Taking Your MS Medication Regularly?

Treatment adherence (taking your multiple sclerosis medication regularly) can have a direct impact on how well you live with MS.  Not taking medication regularly has been associated with more relapses.   Many obstacles prevent medications from being taken regularly.  People with MS sometimes minimize the severity of the disease, forget to take doses, have needle phobia and/or experience treatment side effects.  Out-of-pocket costs and insurance issues can lead to a lapse in treatment. Partner with your healthcare provider(s) to find solutions to help you stay on path.

Specialty pharmacies are actually collecting data on whether you are refilling your medication regularly.  If you refill on time because your taking your medication as directed, you will have a high medication possession ratio.  As expected, low medication possession ratios on Copaxone and interferons have been associated with more MS relapses.

Educating yourself about MS and keeping long-term goals in mind will help you stick with your treatment plan.  If having side effects or injection site issues, talk to your doctor about ways to potential minimize these issues.  Alternative treatment options can be explored if desired.  Pharmaceutical companies that make the various MS meds can help with co-pay assistance and often provide free medication to uninsured or underinsured individuals if not on Medicare or Medicaid.  Patient assistance programs are available to help with costs for people on government insurance plans.

Jul 29 2013 What’s Your Exercise Plan?

Critical to living well with MS is exercise.  Finding a regimen matching your abilities is important.  Poor balance and leg weakness an issue?  Try a recumbent stationary bike.  Save some cash and buy someone’s barely-used bike sitting in the basement!   Yoga is great for balance.  MS classes for Yoga can be found in larger cities.  Otherwise, purchase a Yoga video.  Swimming makes balance less of an issue and keeps the body temperature cool for more endurance.  Confined to a wheelchair?  Leg stretches and arm weights can be very effective.

If you have little limitations, go for it.  Some of you are already marathon runners and triathletes!  Keeping a strong as possible is hard work, but the pay off is great over the long term.  Make your plan and stick with it!

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Dec 21 2010 Happy Holidays! Here’s to a Healthy New Year!

As we start 2011 together, it’s a great time to recommit to helping yourself and those close to you.  Got a plan?   Exercise is a great start!   Sign up for a class, buy a yoga tape, or join a gym.  If your legs are weak, consider a recumbent bike or focus on arms with weights.   The more you do, the stronger you will be.   Shake up your diet, if needed.  Skip the fried food and roll out the fresh fruits and vegetables.  Drink more water and ditch the sweetened soda.  Follow through on stop smoking.

You be the model for your friends and families.  The payoff will be great!