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MS and You

Living with MS

Living with MS can be hard. You might feel scared, sad, angry, or all alone. You may feel frustrated or embarrassed that your body isn’t always doing what you tell it to do or that you have trouble with some activities.

Other people might not understand what you are going through and may not be that patient or helpful. Sometimes you might ask,
“Why me?”

But you do have people who are trying to support you along the way. Your doctors know a lot about MS, how to treat it, and how to help you manage symptoms. Your family and friends love you just as you are and want you to feel accepted and included, even if sometimes you have to do things a little differently.

Still, MS can be challenging for everyone, so you may need to help others understand how you are feeling and how theycan help you by telling them about how MS makes you feel and what you can or cannot do, depending on how you are feeling that day.

Whether you tell your friends and teachers is up to you. Many kids and teens with MS have found that people are understanding and helpful when they share their story. Start my telling a few people you feel comfortable talking to. They’ll probably have questions, so just be honest. It’s okay if you don’t have answers to all of them. They can learn more here or from the National MS Society or Mr. Oscar Monkey.

Visit Mr. Oscar Monkey for more information about going to school with MS.

What Are Some Things You Can Do to Take Care of Yourself?

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Take the medicines that treat MS or your symptoms.
Follow the instructions your doctor gives you. Give them a chance to start working – sometimes it takes a while – and tell your doctor about any problems you have before making any changes.

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Pay attention to how you are feeling.
Do you have new symptoms or old ones that have gotten worse? When did it start? Can you describe it? It’s a good idea to keep a journal so you can share this information with your doctor and parents.

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Listen to your body.
It’s okay to slow down and rest if you are feeling tired or crummy. Even though you may miss out on fun things sometimes, you’ll feel better with some downtime – and then you can enjoy your activities when you return to them.

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Try not to be alone all the time.
Even if it feels easier to stay home, spending time with friends is important for your health! Invite friends over and go out and enjoy activities at school and with friends as much as you can. Staying connected with others will help you feel happier and healthier.

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Are you feeling new or more symptoms?
You might want to write them down in a journal so you can discuss them with your doctor.

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How about sleep?
Are you getting enough? Try to get a full night’s sleep and rest when you need to so your body can heal and restore itself.