Maintaining ability and talking to your doctor

Over 90,000 Canadians have multiple sclerosis (MS) – about 1 in every 400 people. Your neurologist's practice is full of MS patients, and working with your doctor to help them focus on the key aspects of your condition is critical. So be a partner, and be prepared with your personal information on hand and have your questions ready.

By making your MS management your priority, you can help ensure that you and your doctor's time are well spent during your next appointment. Be prepared to discuss any progress in your condition, including current medication and your reactions to them since the last visit – be they physical or emotional. Are they working, how do you feel about taking them, is there an improvement?

Here are other MS questions to ask your doctor:

  • What is the current status of my EDSS score (Expanded Disability Status Scale – the scale your neurologist uses to measure the severity of MS disability)? Has there been a decline or an improvement?
  • Is there anything I can do to improve or maintain the score (e.g., exercise, physiotherapy, or medications)?
  • Should I have any test to monitor the disease, and what are the risks associated with the tests?
  • What do I do if I am in remission? Can I still exercise – will this help reduce the symptoms or could it increase them?
  • What signs should I look for or be immediately concerned about?
  • Are there any new clinical trials that I may be a candidate for?
  • What treatment options are there? (If you are starting medication for the first time, click here for a list of medication questions to ask your doctor.)

A strong partnership between you and your doctor is the key to maintaining ability in MS. Together, you'll work toward your mutual goal of delaying disability though an agreed upon course of action, tailored specifically for your needs.

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