Patient Blogs | Multiple Sclerosis
Why I Chose a Neurologist Who Specializes in Treating People With MS
photo of doctor talking with patient

Somebody told me once: ”Don’t forget that your doctor works for you.” At first, it sounded strange. Almost wrong. I never looked at my relationship with my doctor that way. But what exactly does that mean?

When you’re diagnosed with a chronic disease like multiple sclerosis it’s paramount to choose, not just a neurologist, but an MS specialist. MS is complicated, unpredictable, and not cool at all, if you ask me.

I’ve heard so many frustrating stories from other MSers who see a regular neurologist vs. one who specializes in treating people with MS. They range from lack of empathy and understanding to waiting too long to treat MS symptoms that a specialist could identify right away.

Your relationship with your doctor shouldn't be stressful, much less frustrating. You should be able to express how you feel, ask questions, address all of your concerns and most importantly, be listened to. All conversations should flow naturally and without extra effort.

To make sure you don’t forget anything important during your visit, write down all your questions and bring them with you to your appointment.

If you don’t feel completely satisfied with your doctor, look for a second opinion. It's your health that's on the line. Don’t be afraid to disagree with treatment options. You must have a say. Ultimately, you’re the one who goes home with your symptoms and has to live with MS forever.

And I’m not trying to belittle the capability or qualifications of any neurologist, MS specialist or not. All I’m saying is that you should feel comfortable with your doctor. And as a patient you should -- and must -- participate in your plan-of-care decision making.

Your neurologist is your “go-to” person. He’s the first one you should inform of any new symptoms. You should be in constant communication. A doctor who doesn’t answer your emails or doesn’t return your phone calls might not be the right one for you.

Take charge of your health under the supervision of your MS specialist. Always consult your doctor before you make any major decisions. Build a close relationship with him and keep an open communication at all times.

One day I understood what this meant: My doctor doesn’t work for me like an employee works for their boss. He works to preserve my quality of life. My needs and my concerns are his priorities. He looks out for my well-being and is available every time I need his advice or opinion.

 

 

Photo Credit: nortonrsx via iStock / Getty Images Plus

Tell us what you think of this post?
0 Like
0 Sad
0 Cheered up
0 Empowered
0 Care
WebMD Patient Blog © 2021 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Important: The opinions expressed in WebMD Blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Blogs are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD Blogs as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

Mayteé Ramos

Mayteé Ramos

Diagnosed since 2015

Mayteé Ramos was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in 2015. She is a support group leader for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, a member of the Buddy Network for Shift.ms, and has participated in programs such as the “Ask an MS Expert” series and the PBS American Portrait project. She enjoys traveling, watching tennis, collecting jewelry, and spending time with her three sons. Connect with her here.

Latest Blog Posts From Mayteé Ramos

My Favorite Gadgets for My MS

My Favorite Gadgets for My MS

If you live with multiple sclerosis, you probably have a collection of walking aids, assistive devices, and all kinds of gadgets. I’m no exception. I have ...

Read more
What I Wish People Knew About Living With MS

What I Wish People Knew About Living With MS

“Do you sleep well?” “Maybe you should change your diet” “Have you tried yoga?” We’ve all heard this before, right? The clueless suggestions and advice people ...

Read more