The Importance of Establishing Care

For the longest time, I never prioritized the quality of care I was receiving because I thought the scope of my care was just the norm. It wasn’t until I connected with the MS community on social media that I realized I could be doing so much more for myself than I already was!

I realized something needed to change when I had brought up the pain I was experiencing and was told it was all in my head. I don’t know about you, but that automatically took me out of my safe zone.

Newly relocated in Virginia from New York, I was absolutely terrified to find a new neurologist. I did weeks of research (forgetting just how long it takes to ever book an appointment) and was still insanely nervous. I settled on a doctor, who was also an adjunct professor, with a hefty track record in medication studies. Okay—this could be a really good thing, or exactly like my old doctor, who was heavily involved in clinical trial studies and loved to speak in heavy duty medical lingo.
Fast forward to the day of my appointment, and I am twice as nervous because this office is in a hospital. So now I’m lost, I’m struggling to check in, and I have the jitters! Long story short, I was given a patient locator in case I got lost, I DID get lost, and I sat in that exam room for almost 2 hours.

Sounds great, right? But wait, this story has a happy ending!

I was able to meet two lovely nurses who actually went through the usual MS paperwork with me–family history, symptoms, etc.–so I didn’t have to fill out 15 pages of paperwork with a bum hand. Woo! After they left, another doctor came in who informed me that she works in a partnership with my official neurologist, and they were both from the university. Interesting, but also pretty cool because this woman was so caring, she made me feel like a rock star when I walked a straight line down the hall.

It was then that I was met with the almost 2-hour wait because my neurologist was tending to another patient. Can’t really argue with that, but as I was doing laps around the exam room, I figured out it would be weird to be standing when she entered, so, I played a lot of solitaire on my phone.

Overall, the consultation went well; she was young, she was insanely smart and listened to everything I had to say. I discovered I was getting way too much bloodwork in NY and don’t need as many MRI’s as I thought–what a win!

I left that appointment feeling confident in where I’m at medically. I am confident I could call that office with any qualms and they will be handled with care. It is a new and sensational feeling, my friends. Take note of where you want to be medically and be sure to form a relationship with your neurologist that makes you feel like you’re on the dream team; this is your journey, so own every aspect of it!
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Catherine

Catherine Weston

Catherine is a professional in the medical marketing industry from Long Island, NY. She aspires to show the world that MS doesn't hold her back. She was diagnosed in 2014 and has been striving to help others overcome their fears and limitations since (she also loves sheep!). Keep up with Catherine and her adventures in wellness through her blog!

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