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A Nurse’s Perspective on MS patients’ self-care

A Nurse’s Perspective on MS patients’ self-care 

It is very important to educate patients on ways to live a healthy lifestyle with MS.  I was very intrigued when a patient brought to my attention an article on things MS nurses wish their patients would do and why.

Here are my favorites from that article.

Exercise, exercise, exercise! Doing an appropriate form of exercise on a daily basis can significantly improve patients’ wellbeing. Many patients from fatigue or some level of physical disability and thus feel they have to avoid or not able to exercise. This should not be the case. There is always a form of exercise that you will be able to do. Exercise helps to maintain a person’s capability, boost energy, improve mood, and reduce stress. There are many forms of low impact exercises for MS patients, including aquatic therapy, waking and strength training. Find a form of exercise that works for you.

Find a purpose and make it fun! People who can no longer work at what they were doing sometimes find themselves in an identity crises. Give your own meaning to limitations by finding a new purpose. Be a part of a support group, do community based activities. Spend time with people who make you happy. Be the best you! Be compassionate to yourself. Do not rush through and make yourself unhappy. Make a list of chores and prioritize. Now that you might have more free time, plan a balanced meal, eat healthy drink lots of water, practice relaxation techniques such as mindfulness and again exercise within your limits.

Mental health is as important as physical heath. Pay attention to it and take care of yourself.

Stay hydrated, your bladder will thank you. Many people with MS shy away from drinking water due to frequent bathroom trips and the inability to control their bladder. The truth is they need to drink even more than others to flush the bladder. Incomplete emptying is risky, as it may lead to urinary tract infection. See your urologist for periodic evaluation.

The article also state that MS patients tend to do better by sticking to a routine and educating themselves as much as possible about managing MS.

Quinn Phillips, Everyday Health 6 Things MS Nurses Wish Their Patients Would Do — And Why 2016 Sept https://www.everydayhealth.com/multiple-sclerosis/living-with/things-ms-nurses-wish-their-patients-would-do/

 

Stacyann Foster, RN, MSCN

Weill Cornell Medicine Multiple Sclerosis Center 1305 York Ave., Second Floor New York, NY 10021