FROM OUR EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS
We asked our expert contributors what they wish they knew when they were first diagnosed. Here’s what they had to say:
“I wish someone would have told me that I’d be able to do everything that I wanted to do. I just might have to do it a little bit differently.” —Jessica T.
“I wish I knew that not every new symptom is related to multiple sclerosis (MS), and some of the things I experience happens to people whether they have MS or not. For example, I’m over 40. And, like people my age, it might be time to get some reading glasses.” —Ann Marie J.
“I wish I knew how important it is to talk to my doctor about choosing and beginning a therapy right after diagnosis. There’s no time like the present to take control of how you manage this disease.” —Gina F.
“I wish I knew that I shouldn’t be afraid to try things on my own.” —Herb L.
“I wish I knew to accept help from family and friends, help from the beginning, rather than pushing myself past my limits. Flare-ups can be difficult to handle on your own.” —Karen B.
“I wish I knew that living with MS would make me more patient, kind, and empathetic, and that I would learn to not take things for granted and focus on the things that really matter the most.” —Jessica T.
“I wish I knew the importance of keeping all my doctors in the loop.” —Ann Marie J.
“I wish I knew that avoiding processed, high-sugar foods may be beneficial to your overall health. Once I changed my diet, I changed the way I feel.” —Gina F.
“I wish I knew not to be shy about my MS—that it is better to be open and up-front about MS with those you trust." —Herb L.
“I wish I knew that family and friends are not the only support systems. Sources of support can be found during the least likely times—at the doctor’s office, with other patients, or even help from neighbors with carrying your groceries.” —Ann Marie J.
“I wish I knew to put my physical and emotional health ahead of my job. Exercising and eating right can be more difficult to start the longer you wait.” —Karen B.
“I wish I knew that I would not be alone, that there’s an entire MS community out there that wants to educate, inspire, and support people like me.” —Jessica T.
“I wish I knew that once you start accepting help and support from others you won’t feel so alone. Most people want to help. And sometimes it’s just one little thing that makes a world of difference in my day.” —Gina F.
“I wish I knew to advocate for myself, take control of my situation, ask tough questions, do my own research, and stand up for myself.” —Herb L.
“I wish I knew that although MS is unpredictable you still have control over how you choose to live. Choose a happy, confident life. You just might surprise yourself with how strong you really are and what you’re able to do.” —Ann Marie J.
Keep in mind, everyone’s situation is different. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about your MS.