I'm sorry to welcome you to our "exclusive" club Lamchops. But if you've been officially diagnosed, you're not leaving -- we won't let you. :)
(And if you find a way to leave, please take me with you!)
I'm a little overwhelmed.
If you're only a little then you're doing better than I did when I was first diagnosed! :)
Seriously, you're going through the thundering shock of the diagnosis and initial attack(s). It sucks, but like many MS issues, it'll pass. You'll go through the various stages of grief -- one or more times. :) Some claim it takes two years to fully wrap your head around MS. But since we have no choice, we might as well make the best of it.
There is something of a debate about whether to aggressively treat MS for new patients or not.
I -- an MS patient not a doctor -- am with the side advocating the aggressive treatment. Each attack we get can cause "lesions" which to me is a fancy euphemism for literal brain damage. Thus, we want to avoid more brain damage as much as possible.
So I like your neurologist's approach. Many of the DMT (Disease Modifying Therapy) drugs' basic approach is to suppress our immune system. They're serious drugs that can carry various side effects, but are the best approach that science/medicine has come up with to deal with MS.
Since knowledge is power, some info: Here is a PDF file
from the Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle which is a nice summary of DMT drugs. That file breaks the DMTs down into 3 categories: pills, injections, and infusions.
In addition to reading various things about MS, I'll suggest watching some YouTube videos. But be careful about YouTube videos: Some are great, informative and useful. Some suggest alternative treatments which may be good or bad. Many are from MS patients themselves of varying qualities. But some are from flat-out crackpots or sleazeballs looking to scam sick people out of money.
(a mainstream MS-specialist neurologist in Ohio, Dr. Aaron Boster, who likes making YouTube videos) has a bunch of great advice about various drugs and MS in general -- highly recommended.
He's got a video specifically for newly diagnosed patients that I'm pretty sure you'll find interesting and reassuring. And there are a wealth of other tips and information that you're likely to be interested in.
And this video
from a presentation at the Rocky Mtn MS Center
talks about Ocrevus. It has a nice table at about this point
which summarizes some of the popular DMT options and their effectiveness, impact on brain atrophy, and side effect ratings.
Don't feel too stressed about all the terminology and medical buzzwords. (After all, stress is something we with MS want to avoid -- seriously!) Yes, sorry, I know that is easy for me to say after you recently got this hammer-blow of the diagnosis.
The various DMT drugs have both common or trade/marketing names, and also scientific/medical/technical names. Those various names can be confusing to new patients. In reality, there are not that many DMT drugs.
My own view: I could care less about the particular drug -- I want science and results so I'll use any drug based on its effectiveness and risk/side effects. And with me having been diagnosed with MS for 30+ years and having had all sorts of bizarre issues and tried many drugs and alternative treatments, I'm not a cheerleader for anything except what works for me.
You mentioned Ocrevus above which is also the DMT I'm on. The doctor mentioned above also has a playlist of videos on Ocrevus
, but I'd watch some of his intro videos first.
To close and summarize this too-long message, a thought: So you've just been handed a life-altering medical diagnosis, right?
Heavy-duty stuff! Take this time to rethink life. And if need be, change and alter things. I mean from the way you think to the what you're doing in life.
You just got a big incentive
to revamp your life and focus on health -- everything from exercise to eating healthy to reducing/finding healthy ways of dealing with stress to paying more attention to your mental health...to everything.
Most people never have that opportunity -- they're bogged down in the daily grind of life and many tend to stay there. But since you have had this earthquake of a diagnosis, spin it as a positive and use it (it beats the hell out of viewing it entirely as a negative, trust me:).