Daily News for Neuros, Nurses & Savvy MSers: 208,152 Viewers, 8,368 Stories & Studies
Click Here For My Videos, Advice, Tips, Studies and Trials.
Timothy L. Vollmer, MD
Department of Neurology
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Professor

Co-Director of the RMMSC at Anschutz Medical Center

Medical Director-Rocky Mountain MS Center
Click here to read my columns
Brian R. Apatoff, MD, PhD
Multiple Sclerosis Institute
Center for Neurological Disorders

Associate Professor Neurology and Neuroscience,

Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Clinical Attending in Neurology,
New York-Presbyterian Hospital
You'll get FREE Breaking News Alerts on new MS treatments as they are approved

HERE'S A FEW OF OUR 6000+ Facebook & MySpace FRIENDS
Timothy L. Vollmer M.D.
Department of Neurology
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Co-Director of the RMMSC at Anschutz Medical Center
Medical Director-Rocky Mountain MS Center

Click to view 1280 MS Walk photos!

"MS Can Not
Rob You of Joy"
"I'm an Mom has MS and we have a message for everyone."
- Jennifer Hartmark-Hill MD
Beverly Dean

"I've had MS for 2 years...this is the most important advice you'll ever hear."
"This is how I give myself a painless injection."
Heather Johnson

"A helpful tip for newly diagnosed MS patients."
"Important advice on choosing MS medication "
Joyce Moore

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?



An Unexpected Side Effect of My MS Advocacy: Self-Empowerment

By Regina Boyle Wheeler

Teresa Wynne shares her “can-do” attitude through support groups, fund-raising, and MS advocacy.

In 2003, Teresa Wynne was 42, an avid runner, and working at a job she loved. But in May of that year, the Texas resident began feeling numbness in her fingers and toes. At first it would come and go, but eventually the numbness took over the right side of her body. Things got so bad that Wynne couldn’t even write her own name. Tests revealed the diagnosis: MS.

Today, more than a decade later, Wynne has a positive attitude about living with MS: “Though I do have to consider my limitations when planning my day’s activities, I am a firm believer we can still do most anything we want to — we may just need to modify how we do things,” she says.

To help others with MS follow her motto, she advises them to, “Choose to do things in a way that allows you to be successful. Completing a task by asking for help or using an assistive device is still achieving the goal. Applaud your success!”

Support Groups Offer Understanding and Information

Wynne shares that can-do attitude with others diagnosed with MS by leading a local MS support group and a Yahoo online group.

MS support groups are important because they can help people with feelings of depression and isolation, says Maureen O’Reilly-Landry, PhD, assistant clinical professor of medical psychology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

“Even if you have supportive people in your life, they're not sharing the experience, and they really don’t understand what it’s like,” Dr. O’Reilly-Landry says. “Being able to connect to people who say, ‘I know exactly what you’re talking about’ is really helpful.”

Wynne says that in addition to creating a safe place to talk, MS support groups provide vital information for MS management. “We help people adjust to the new normal of living with MS by sharing personal stories and information,” she says. The groups talk about symptoms, new drug therapies, alternative treatments, and fitness tips.

For newly diagnosed people, Wynne’s MS support group provides advice on how to explain MS to family, friends, and employers. And, perhaps more important, Wynne says she stresses that people need to learn how to be their own best advocate.

“Be knowledgeable about your health and how choices you make each day impact you," she says. "We may not be able to control everything about MS, but we can control life choices we make each day.”

Support Group Caveats

Still, O’Reilly-Landry says support groups aren’t for everyone, especially around the time of diagnosis.

“There may be some initial denial or difficulty accepting the diagnosis, so the person at that point may not want to be in a group," she says.

But people go through phases in adapting to MS, she says, so they shouldn’t write off support groups forever.

“A group of peers struggling with the same issues may be much more appealing at another phase, when there is a little more acceptance,” O’Reilly-Landry says. “Everyone is different, and the feelings are often complex and may shift. It's important for people to understand that this is normal.”

Wynne adds, “I encourage people to visit several groups before deciding groups are not for them.”

Empowerment Through Volunteering

In addition to running support groups, Wynne is captain of a fund-raising team that participates in the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Walk MS in Fort Worth, Texas. Funds raised go to research and to programs and services for those affected by MS.

“The walk goal of each team member is different,” she says. “Some of the most common goals are fund-raising, fitness, or just having fun.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, Wynne was inducted into the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Advocacy Hall of Fame in 2015.

“I advocate for issues that impact people with MS and other disabilities with our local and federal elected officials,” she says. “Being an MS advocate has allowed me to help elected officials put a face with multiple sclerosis and gain a better understanding of what MS is and how it can affect our daily lives.”

O’Reilly-Landry adds that getting involved in such a way not only helps others, but also benefits the volunteer.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by EVERYDAYHEALTH
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length

Go to Newer News Go to Older News