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Friday, February 26, 2016

MS and Your Social Life

Keep your social life going strong -- with a little planning and some support from your friends.
"We encourage patients to do as much as they feel comfortable doing," says Robert Bermel, MD, medical director of the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis at the Cleveland Clinic. "The good news is there are no absolute avoidances," he says.
The trick to staying social is to think ahead and prepare for the unexpected.

Plan Around Your Symptoms

Keep a diary for a couple of weeks to see when your fatigue and other symptoms tend to pop up and what makes them worse.
Once you know your MS triggers and what times of day you have the most and least energy, you can schedule outings for when you feel your best. For example, if you always have more energy in the mornings, make plans early in the day.
Before you go out, prep for any MS symptom that might pop up while you're away from home:
Fatigue. To work around it, break your activities into smaller chunks of time. Instead of going to a back-to-back dinner and movie, see an early movie, go home and rest, and then go out to dinner later.
Try to take it easy until it's time to go out. "Think ahead and curtail other energy-consuming activities earlier in the course of the day so you have enough energy for later, when you've planned the social event," says Dusan Stefoski, MD, director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Rush University Medical Center.
Ask your doctor whether you can take a stimulant drug or other medicines that give you more energy. Or just grab a cup of coffee or tea for a quick caffeine pick-me-up before you leave.

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