What resources are available to support you on your journey?
This presentation, Resources for MS, was inspired by one of the questions in our self-help group regarding how to apply for disability. The person who brought it up didn’t even know where to start. And the second was because a local company, LifeSpan, wanted to come to the group and do a presentation so that people would know what kind of help is available locally. And so, this blog and presentation, is focused on what resources are out there for MS.
Get the Right Resources
If you want to get optimum results and if you’re going to have quality of life, you need to know, “What is my support system? Who is on my team?” Knowing you have support is actually good for your health. One of the things that influence health negatively is the feeling that you’ve lost control, are feeling helpless, hopeless, and alone. Thus, having a strategy, having resources and support, knowing who is there for you when you’re having a bad moment, is good for your health. And there are a lot of different resources out there. These resources will build your personal health team. Just as any successful company needs to have strong teams with plenty of resources; you too need to have a strong team behind you supporting your journey into healing multiple sclerosis.
You can download the powerpoint here: Resources-for-multiple-sclerosis.pdf
The National MS Society (NMSS) has what is called the Navigators. Navigators are trained professionals that can help you navigate any of your concerns and questions regarding living with MS. They are there if you have any doubts, employment conflicts, want to get disability or have concerns regarding insurance. Even questions, such as “Is this an MS symptom?” Navigators are also there to support you when you have a really bad day, to help you find healthcare providers, and walk you through insurance options. They’re even there to help you when you have financial challenges.
NMSS also provide wellness strategies. They have begun to focus on quality of life programs, and that is a good thing because removing a symptom but worsening your quality of life is not an acceptable treatment. Right now, they are starting to do a lot more research on wellness, diet, and nutrition, and even stem cells.
Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (MS Focus)
The MS Foundation has great grants. The MS Foundation has a lot of assistance for those without insurance. For example, assistance to return home after a hospital stay, and grants for mobility devises, and vehicle modifications. They can also asist you if you are uninsured and need a visit and follow up and can help with copay. They even have emergency assistance grants if you can’t pay your rent. If you are in a stressful pinch, they are there to help.
The MS Association of America (MSAA) can also provide help with some equipment, like cooling gear. They can also provide MRI funding for those that have no medical insurance or cannot afford their insurance costs and require the exam to help determine a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis or evaluate current MS disease progression. They offer a free App – the MS Manager. The app is a good way to track how you’re doing, symptoms, check activity levels, and store health information.
The MS Can Do was initially called the Jimmy Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis. What I like about his work and what this association does is that they are all about whole-person health. They don’t only look at physical health but also psychological as well. That have many webinars. They even have a webinar on cannabinoids, gut health, and leaky gut. Additional they have live two-day programs.
The Rocky Mountain has updated information on MS. They have a a monthly newsletter, eMS News, that contains the latest research and information on clinical trials. They offer many educational programs. One is there programs is MS 101, which gives you a lot of information for those recently diagnosed regarding multiple sclerosis that your doctor, in your short meeting, just cannot appointments.
Your Medical Team
Additionally, you need to think about your medical team. Who is your doctor? It’s essential that you feel supported. Think about this – if you are a project manager and the MS consultant on your team is saying things like, “This isn’t going to work. You will only get worse. There is nothing you can do.” is that the kind of consultant you want on your team? Is that going to make your team think outside the box and figure out what you need to successfully heal your MS?
If your doctor is very negative and is not giving you any hope, any resources, and any support in researching options out there; you might want to find another doctor.
MS Support Groups
“The proliferation of support groups suggests to me that too many Americans are growing up in homes that do not contain a grandmother…”
— Florence King
Support Groups are like grandmothers. They can be there for you, listening and without judgment. They’ve been there; they’ve seen it all. And that is what Support Groups, like the MS Support Group of Santa Cruz that provides these Creating Health classes, can do for you.
An Integral Team
With MS, there is a lot that is going on in your body and mind. And there is a lot that you can do. If you only have one doctor using standard medical procedures, you aren’t going to have many options open nor address all that can be affecting your body. There is so much more than you can do to help your body feel safe, healthy, and energized, and help your mind mentally stay on track, release stressors, and stay motivated to succeed. These include functional medicine doctors and nutritionists, acupuncture, massage therapists, home & caretakers, and coach, therapists, or hypnotherapist that can help you stay on track, motivated, and work through the psychosocial factors behind the disease.
Your Support Buddy
Ultimately, who is your support buddy? You don’t need to have your whole family on board, but you do need to have that one person or those few people in your life – a friend, a neighbor, your aunt, your sister – someone in your life that, when you’re down, they are there for you. Someone you don’t feel like you can’t tell them how bad you feel because they wouldn’t be able to take it. You want to have that go-to person or group of people you can speed dial and say, “I feel crummy!” Know who that person is. Put them on speed dial and don’t think you are the only person in the world that doesn’t need anyone (that’s an MS personality trait!)
Have a Strong Resource System
“If you strive to make a big change that other’s haven’t made; you’ll need to take greater steps than others have done.” Eva M Clark
This quote was inspired by one of the people I interviewed that had been successful with her MS. She commented, “You know, everyone talks about it. Oh yeah, I want to heal this; I want to cure this…but no one takes the steps.” If you strive to make a big change that others haven’t made, you are going to have to have the resources and support you need – the team you need – to take a much greater step than most, and be successful.
As a medical hypnotherapists, I am all about the strength of the mind and how it leads the body to self-heal. If you believe you have the tools to bring your body back to health – you have resources, researched strategies, learned what can be needed – and feel that, yes, I am going to keep going until I figure this out, congratulate yourself. You are ahead of most people and already halfway there!