News day! I am switching neurologists. I have been quiet on this transition with most everyone, but today I get to meet with my new neurologist for the first time, and I am both excited and nervous about this. I am thankful that my switch to a new neurologist is not a result of worsening MS, but simply a decision that needed to be made. Here are my thoughts on the change.
My excitement: I love talking to people about MY MS. I think that I have been lucky so far, so I never mind hearing others say that as well. I love talking about different opinions, and while I don’t believe that anything life changing will happen today, I do welcome the additional insight. I am excited for someone else to give me insight. My first two neurologists were both very smart, and I learned a lot from each of them. But I believe that in all situations, everyone has something to bring to the table, and I am eager to see what my new doctor has to teach me. My new neurologist specializes exclusively in MS. While I do not believe I need this level of care, I imagine that he probably has the time to dedicate to a lot of the same reading and research that I do. My old neurologist balances many different types of patients, and does not focus all medical expertise on my disease.
My Fears: I don’t love medicine. I want help with different things that are wrong with me, but I don’t want anyone to push medicine on me. I want someone who is open minded about multiple treatment options, and will listen to me when I give my opinions and feed back. I know my body. I know how things impact me. If I give a medicine a shot, and I don’t like side effects, or they are worse than what I am treating, I will not continue taking it. I have to hope that my new neurologist is okay with that. My old one never seemed to care when I would quit taking something he had prescribed. (important note, I have and will never quit my MS medicine)
I fear that he may think that I am crazy when I mention the benefits of clean eating and essential oils on, not only my MS Symptoms, but my life. I know this is all seen as a “fad”. Everyone is doing whole 30 lately, and hippies use EO’s. But the improvements I have had in my life since I made healthy eating and EO’s a big part of my life are undeniable. Sure, it could all be in my head, but if these “in my head” treatments mean that I am in less pain and overall feeling better, well that I am okay being a delusional hippie chasing the newest fads.
I am fearful that he may want to change my meds before I am ready. I am currently on Copaxone which, while annoying to have to give myself shots 3x per week, has been pretty easy to do. I do not have side effects, almost at all. I believe that it is controlling my disease, while not being a super intense drug. I feel like I can live a normal life, and truly do. Some days, more so recently, I completely forget that I have MS. That is pretty insane, given the disease that I have.
I am fearful that because my new neurologist is in St. Louis, I may run into hurdles. I hope that I never need a quick appointment, but if so, I hope that I can get one. I am not ignorant to the fact that if something serious happened, I have available healthcare here, but I do find comfort in being able to be seen by a doctor who knows me quickly, vs. an ER doctor who will never think about me again after I am discharged.
I hope that with how stable I have been, that he will only want to see me once a year, but I suppose I am not in charge of that. I don’t think that I need to see someone every six months just to report that things are just fine. I also hope that he is okay with how honest I plan to be on my thoughts about MS/treatments, medicine, alternative treatments, frequency of visits, and a host of other things that are flying through my mind today.
Again-I know it won’t be an earth shattering appointment, but I look forward to it none the less. Updates to come!
❤ MS Andrea Jackson