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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Live Your Best Life Together- Explaining Your MS

Forward to this Email to Family and FriendsLearning to live with this hard to pronounce, let alone hard to explain, chronic disease can be a slow process of acceptance and understanding. Since MS affects people so differently, we’ve put together information to help you describe your MS with loved ones, family and friends. So that together, you can move forward and live your best life!

Just the FactsMultiple Sclerosis is often misunderstood and confused with other conditions. Share the basic facts, as well as information about what causes and doesn't cause MS!

“But you look so good!”
Many people living with MS experience “invisible” (or not outwardly visible) symptoms. This can create a unique set of issues. Some people assume that you don’t really have a disease. This can undermine your confidence and your relationships, and discourage you from seeking treatment or help for problems. Add in living with all the other things that other people can’t see — like feelings of anger, uncertainty, frustration, and fear. Still, people will look right at you and say, “But you look so good!” 
Here are links that explain many of MS’s invisible symptoms:Fatigue


Couples and MS
A satisfying, intimate relationship rests on a foundation of trust, open and honest communication, shared goals and expectations, and mutual respect and concern. A chronic, unpredictable disease like MS can challenge a couple’s relationship in a variety of ways including b
arriers to communication, shifts in the partnership, added stresses and strains, as well as changes in sexual feelings and responses.

Fortunately, a disease like MS can also bring people closer together. Many couples report that facing the challenges of MS has allowed them to connect with one another in new and powerful ways—finding an intimacy that was stronger than any they shared before. Find resources on how to face MS as a strong team, here.
Talking with Children about MS 
Kids tend to worry when they know something’s up — even if Mom or Dad has no visible symptoms. Get some hints about how and when to begin talking about MS with your children and check out the special resources for young children and teens.

Keep S’myelin A colorful newsletter for children, 5-12. Articles, interviews, games, activities, and a special pullout section for parents.
Someone You Know Has MS: A Book for Families For children, 5-12. A story about Michael and his family explains MS and explores children’s fears and concerns.
When a Parent Has MS: A Teenager's Guide For older children and teenagers who have a parent with MS. Discusses real issues brought up by real teenagers. 

Support is Just a Phone Call Away
The National MS Society can provide a variety of additional resources to help you deal with the emotional aspects of MS, including support groups, workshops, and other programs designed to help you live your best life. Our MS Navigators are skilled professionals equipped to respond to your needs. Whether you are a person living with MS, a friend or family member, the National MS Society is your partner every step of the way.

Call MS Navigator today at 1-800-344-4867 (press 1).

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