I have have this going on for about 2 years. It first started out with blurred vision. I then was referred to a Neurologist and I had an MRI done. I had small lesions on the brain. I then had a LP done and that came out fine. Due to the hospital and my insurance fighting over who was going to pay for it, I got fed up and did not go back for another MRI. Well I went to my GP for a physical and he pushed me into getting another MRI completed. I got the MRI and went to a Neurologist and he stated that there has not been much change but possible growth in lesions. He stated with the symptoms that I have, it is probable MS. He want me to start taking Betaseron immediately. I am hesitant to take it so soon. I know I have lesions but they are not many and they are not progressing at a fast rate or at all. So do I need to start the medication or should I look at some alternative treatment first?
I think that the decision you make is a personal one that you must make for yourself. If you feel meds are not right for you, then they are not. If you feel meds are right for you, then they are right for you. Whatever your choice, as long as your choice was made with all the information known, then you will have made the proper choice for you.
If you start meds, you need to be careful of any possible interactions between alternative therapies and your prescribed meds.
Lastly, no matter the choice you make, keep coming here for support. You never need to feel you are in this alone.
MS diagnosed since October 3, 1982
MS onset circa 1977
Proud to be MED FREE!
Eternally blessed and eternally optimistic!<><
Although I agree with Jayhawk, taking meds, or not taking them - is a very personal decision. I think, if you are truly unsure, you should do more research on the issue.
For me, starting meds was the only way I was going to be able to control my MS and not allow my MS to control me. I also experienced some really bad nerve damage, which probably could have been prevented, had I gone on MS drugs sooner. I lost the ability to use my left hand and fingers, due to this nerve damage....
Since starting Rebif, almost 4 years ago, I havent had a single relapse, no new lesions on my MRIs and no new symtoms. I feel that being on Rebif has been a wise choice for me. Yes, the first few months are awful, while your body gets used to the drug; but it was worth it for me to stick it out. Once the side effects stopped, they never reappeared. Betaseron is NOT your only choice. You can use Copaxone, which has no side effects...Avonex, or Rebif...both are newer on the market then Beta, and have proven to have better results....however, Betaseron is a tried and true drug, which has been on the market longest, and also shows reducting in MRI activity and future relapses....
Talk to your doctor further, resesarch it on your own, and ask all the questions you can here- from MSers who have been in your shoes.
This is scary stuff - I went through it this summer - I have several lesions and my LP was positive, so the neurologist put me on Rebif in August 2009. I have not had any relapses and feel great. Educate yourself and do what you feel is best for you. I am very thankful for the Rebif and am doing awesome...
Getting the diagnosis is just awful, but almost just as equally bad is when the neurologist then hands you the long list of side effects of the medications for M.S. I started with Copaxone, but it did not prevent a bad attack on my eye. I haven't been taking any DMD since then, but have had 2 more attacks in the last 5 months. Doctors and family are leaning hard on me to take Avonex. I don't mind the injection.. needles don't bother me. It's the stuff in the shot. My body doesn't do well on medications and this seems to be a pretty powerful one. At the same time, if I don't start and then I get an attack that leaves me unable to walk.. I'm scared friends and family will blame me for not taking the medication. So... ugh!
It's okay to feel confused about all of this when you are first diagnosed. Heck, people who have known for years still struggle with what treatment plan they want to use. My neurologist told me when I was first diagnosed that it takes about 12 months for it to really sink in that you really have M.S. So take your time.. do the research.. then decide what you feel is best for you.