Murfreesboro Medical Clinic is proud to be a partner in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Care. Dana Carter, FNP-C of MMC Neurology is a Multiple Sclerosis Registered Nurse, which means she is specially trained to help patients with MS receive the care they need. Here, she gives some advice for MS patients and answers some questions regarding MS.
When a person is diagnosed with MS, what is very important for him or her to know?
“When it comes to Multiple Sclerosis (MS), education is key. Many MS patients do not realize that some of the mood changes, fatigue and cognitive issues can be directly related to MS changes in the brain. Some symptoms can also be related to medications we use to treat MS symptoms.
I also think that caregiver support is pertinent. Family and close friends need to understand that changes can occur from MS and learn how to better support their loved one through those changes. If a spouse or family members are not aware of potential changes that can result from MS, it can cause severe stress on marriage and close relationships. Many patients develop depression and anxiety. If they do not have a good support system, this makes coping with their disease even more difficult.
I recommend that patients bring a family member to their appointments to help family understand some of the changes that patient is experiencing. Also, please visit the National MS Society’s website for patient/family support resources.”
What does it mean to be “a partner in MS care?”
“It means exactly that! Patients need to feel that they are being heard and that they are not alone in their struggles. It is important to ask patients when they first noticed a specific symptom or when it seemed to get worse. This can help determine if what they are feeling is a direct result of brain changes or may be related to medication side effects. Also, it is important for patients to understand that most MS patients will have symptom fluctuations from day today. They need a reliable resource to ask questions and guide them through the distressing and frustrating symptoms they may be experiencing.”
What is a “pearl of knowledge” for your patients?
“Minor infections, such as urinary infections or viral infections can cause a temporary increase in their MS symptoms. Patients may have a temporary increase in their symptoms during times of increased stress and when they are more fatigued. Your brain and central nervous control all bodily functions and symptoms, so ultimately any new symptom you experience could be related to MS or changes in your CNS. This is why regular visits and discussion with your MS specialist is very important!”
MMC Neurology provides MS diagnosis and second opinions along with ongoing medical and symptom management. We offer physical therapy, self-care education, neuropsychological evaluation, complimentary therapies and more. MMC has all of your expert MS care in one location including state-of-the-art infusion services and radiology services. We work to provide you with the personalized care that you need to live life to the fullest. If you have any questions or if you would like to make an appointment, call 615-867-8090 or visit our website.