Choosing MS Treatment
First Things First
For people living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), treatment options are available. As someone with relapsing remitting MS, I know what it’s like to have to choose 1) if I even want to begin treatment, and 2) which treatment to go with. Luckily for me, I have a mild case (if there is such a thing) and don’t need anything more than a once a week intramuscular injection.
If you have recently been diagnosed with MS and now have to decide what you want to do, there are a few things you need to consider. You should always listen to your doctor’s opinion. I’m not saying that should be the deciding factor, but he or she did go to medical school for a reason. And goodness knows I have disagreed with mine before, but I do take his opinion into account. In addition to your doctor’s advice, you should do your own research. Shop around. Even after you have chosen one and began treatment, you need to continue to be on the lookout for other options. You definitely need to keep up to date with what’s going on in the world of MS. I probably shop around every few months. I like to see what’s new with the medicines out there, mostly because I’m waiting on the MS pill!
A really great website for anything MS related is the site for the National MS Society. In particular, click here: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/about-multiple-sclerosis/what-we-know-about-ms/treatments/index.aspx for treatment information. It's got all the current medications that are available on the market to help you decide which way to go.
Like I said before, I had to make the decision to even begin treatment. At first, it wasn’t so bad, but a few years into it, I started thinking ‘is this even doing any good?’ Of course it was! But that’s beside the point. Ultimately, I stopped doing my shot for a few months and for that short period of time, I was completely paranoid. Every hand jerk or ‘weird feeling’ I had was due to my MS. I was convinced I was days away from having another relapse. Ignorant? Possibly. But it let me know that I need to be doing treatment. I know that’s not the best way to decide whether or not to continue my medicine but it has worked for me. Some people don’t do any conventional treatment. Instead of the interferon, they may do alternative medicine. I wish I knew more about this side of things.
While it’s a personal choice to decide which kind of MS treatment to pursue, you do need to take everything you know into account as well as your doctor's opinion. You may decide that it's not the right medication for you and go with something else, so don't stress out over it too much. You'll get there!