1. Educate yourself, your family, and your friends about multiple sclerosis. Seek out all the information you can about MS. Our Knowledge is Power series is an at-home education program that will provide a wealth of information.
2. Compare treatment drugs and make an informed choice. MS drugs are known as " disease modifying drugs" because they treat the symptoms of MS, rather than the disease itself. You should make your drug choice with your healthcare provider. Starting on a medication can be one of the most effective ways to slow down the effects of MS. Learn more about making this decision.
3. Make informed decisions about your healthcare by working closely with your healthcare provider. Obtain a list of specialists in your area.
4. Make smart career decisions. Know your company's policies and your own employment rights. Discuss your options with your family and your healthcare provider. Disclosure of your MS in the workplace is your choice.
5. Plan for your financial future. MS creates uncertainties, so don't wait to to reassess your insurance coverage, financial planning, and other crucial financial matters.
6. Connect with others in your community to build a support system. Reaching out to others who are affected by multiple sclerosis can have a positive emotional impact on your health and lets you know that you are not alone. Attend a self-help group meeting, attend a local MS program, or participate in or support an MS event.
7. Consider your disclosure options. Think about how, when, and where you'll tell your family, friends, and colleagues about your MS diagnosis. Multiple sclerosis affects not only your daily life, but also the daily lives of everyone who cares about you. Disclosure to the people around you is an important and often emotional topic that needs to be addressed.
8. Take care of yourself through healthy living. Exercise, nutrition and preventative care are vital elements to maintaining a satisfying life that minimizes the effects of MS.
9. Make your voice heard! Keep up-to-date on legislation that affects people living with MS, and let lawmakers know your thoughts. Join the Action Network to receive federal and state legislative alerts.
10. Register with the National MS Society. Your local chapter can provide you with the latest and most accurate information about multiple sclerosis. By registering, you will also receive publications such as MS Connection and Inside MS, plus ongoing information about new programs and resources. By registering, you will also help us keep accurate numbers of people living with MS that we can reference when applying for grants and doing advocacy work. All your information is kept confidential. Click here to register, or call 1-800-FIGHT-MS!