Monday, December 05, 2005

Effectively Communicating with your Neurologist

Many people who I speak to don't know what to ask their doctor after they have heard the words "You have MS". They are in a state of shock or feel "a bit" (to say the least) overwhelmed by the news!

It definitely can be very "mind-blowing" to hear any news of a diagnosis of a chronic health condition but it is EXTREMELY important that you get ALL your questions answered by your doctor. The relationship with your doctor is very important. If you do not feel comfortable with the answers you are getting or the way you are being treated or addressed, speak up or find another doctor! Get a second or third opinion. Take an action step that is going to make you feel satisfied. This is your life ... you need to arm yourself with all the information that will help you to live fully, even with a chronic health condition.

Doctors are people too. Sometimes, patients have that "white-coat" syndrome. They are afraid to ask their doctor a question or two. Many of the people I speak to always take their doctor's word for it (because he or she is the expert), WITHOUT asking any questions (even if their gut is telling them that something doesn't feel right)! YOU are ultimately in charge of your life. Yes, medical experts are a very important part of our overall health and wellness. However, YOU are the ultimate decision maker. If something does not feel right, say so. The doctor is not living in your body --- YOU ARE.

When I was diagnosed with MS, I composed a list of 23 questions that I had for the doctors. I asked all the questions to ALL 3 Neurologists that I saw. I made sure that I got all my questions answered by multiple doctors before I made any decision on how to proceed with the treatment of the disease.

If you are choosing to go on a drug therapy, it is very important to pick the drug that fits your lifestyle. I chose a drug therapy that had the least side effects and would ensure that I could maintain my usual HIGH ENERGY lifestyle.

Whatever you do, do not be afraid of asking the questions that you have. If you don't have any initially and then as the weeks and months go by a few questions arise, just write them down and bring them the next time you visit your doctor OR do what I did ... I typed up that list of 23 questions and faxed my questions to my Neurologist. He actually wrote all his answers on the document I sent to each and every question I asked. I must admit, initially I thought "yeah, right, like he's going to answer these questions real soon" ... but... I chose to send the questions to him, despite my doubt and HE ACTUALLY ANSWERED ALL OF THEM! Now, I am not saying that all doctors will do this. But, hey... you never know. If not, make an appointment JUST TO ASK YOUR QUESTIONS.

Empower yourself! Gather all the information that you need to make the best decisions for you.

FYI … I will be one of the guest speakers, along with a Neurologist from New York University, at a teleconference hosted by Shared Solutions on December 13th (8 PM EST) and December 14th (9PM EST). The topic of the teleconference will be on “Communicating with your Neurologist”. If you are interested in registering for this FREE teleconference, call 1-800-823-1880.

P.S. Visit my website at and download the questions I asked my Neurologist and use them as a starting point to figure out what the most appropriate questions would be for your specific situation. (You can find these questions under the Resources section of my website.)

Warmest Regards,

Maria C. Lesetz,
Lovin' Life
Motivational Speaker & Life Empowerment Consultant
Statistical Consultant
(541) 686-1326
(541) 484-4146 FAX

America's #1 Motivational Speaker & Life Coach for People with MS!

And SOON-TO-BE "America's #1 Certified Life Coach for Doctors!"

Lovin' Life's mission is to inspire & empower people with Multiple Sclerosis to reach for their full potential in every aspect of life and to LIVE LIFE FULLY... NOW!

Specializing in Stress Reduction, Career Transition, & Environmental Design Consulting to enhance overall health and well-being.


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