Online Resources Can Do Library
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Support is a Two-Way Street: Tips for Partners Who Care about Each Other

By: Rosalind Kalb, Ph.D., Can Do MS Programs Consultant

Every partnership has a rhythm of its own. Whether you are spouses/partners, relatives, or close friends, a healthy, balanced relationship relies on a variety of factors:

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Managing Anger in Your Relationships

By: Peggy Crawford, PhD & Susan Kushner, MS, PT

Feelings of frustration, annoyance and outright anger are common occurrences in everyday life. Add MS to the equation, and it’s even more likely that people will have differences of opinion and conflicts. Some examples of these conflicts can be about how things are done, division of responsibilities, activities and making decisions. Under these circumstances, it would be the rare person who never loses his or her cool.

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Traveling With MS

By: Can Do MS Programs Consultants: Linda Walls, OTR and Mandy Rohrig, PT, DPT

Don’t let your mobility challenges be the obstacle between you and a relaxing vacation. There are many available options to make travel easier and more enjoyable. Bon voyage!

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Talking to Your Employer About MS

By: Barbara McKeon, MA, CRC, LMHC & Steven Nissen, MS, CRC

Disclosing one’s Multiple Sclerosis to your employer is one of the most difficult decisions people with MS face. You need to consider carefully before making the decision to do so, as it has legal and job related implications that can be ongoing. When disclosing to an employer, there are many issues to consider. There may be good reasons to disclose and benefits from doing so. However, once information is given, it can never be taken back, so it’s important to make certain that telling does benefit you.

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Support for the Partner

By: David Rintell, Ed.D., Psychologist & Can Do MS Programs Consultant

Being a support person to someone with MS often involves many challenges, but can also be enormously rewarding. One of the most significant challenges is to take care of oneself, and meet one’s own needs, while at the same time helping to support and care for a loved one. But we know that if you do not take care of yourself, you may become unable to provide support to the people you love.

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Environmental Factors and MS

By: Pat Kennedy, RN, CNP, MSCN and Deborah M. Miller, PhD, LISW.

At the time of diagnosis, most patients are told that the absolute cause of MS and a cure are unknown. Hearing this makes most people feel a bit out of control concerning living with this disease. The reality is, however, that there are factors we know to enhance your health and to improve your quality of life. Knowing what some of these are gives you back some of that control and helps you to move forward by making some lifestyle modifications. We call that “control” empowerment and it truly allows you to make positive changes that will make a difference in your life.

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Managing Speech, Language and Cognitive Challenges

By: Pamela H. Miller, MA, CCC-SLP and Janet DeClark, MA, CCC-SLP

*Please note this library article has two parts, each answered by different MS medical professionals.

Difficulty with speaking clearly (dysarthria) may occur in up to 40% of people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Problems may interfere with how easily a person’s speech can be heard and understood. They are typically mild to moderate, or worsened intermittently by MS-related fatigue. Changes in voice quality (dysphonia) may also occur, resulting in hoarseness, breathiness, and/or reduced loudness.

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Keeping Your Relationship Alive: The Physical & Emotional Aspects of Intimacy in MS

By: Pat Kennedy, RN, CNP, MSCN & Rosalind Kalb, PhD

‘Intimacy’ isn’t just about sexual feelings and sexual activity – although that’s one important part we’ll talk about later. Intimacy is about effective communication, trust and respect, shared values and expectations, and a balanced give-and take. Maintaining intimacy can be difficult in any relationship, but the stresses of MS – its unpredictability, progressive nature, complex symptoms and financial impact – can challenge any couple. Feelings of loss, anxiety, anger and guilt can interfere with communication, connection and effective problem-solving; physical changes can interfere with everyday activities and sexual intimacy. So where to begin?

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Effective Parenting: Balancing Family and MS

By: Peggy Crawford, PhD

The demands of either MS or parenting can be challenging, but when experienced together, it is not unusual for people to feel stressed and overwhelmed. Add to this, unpredictable and fluctuating MS symptoms that can interfere with fun activities and make it difficult to carry out your daily responsibilities (even disciplining your children). The good news is that there is a lot you can do to limit the impact of your symptoms on your life and the lives of people you love.

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Flying Solo with Multiple Sclerosis

By: Peggy Crawford, PhD & Linda Walls, OTR

Some people with MS fly solo by choice, some by circumstance and others for a combination of reasons. In whichever ways people find themselves flying solo with MS, it seems to help if they view this unanticipated life event as a series of challenges (rather than threats). MS provides opportunities (and a kick in the butt) to pursue a healthier lifestyle, plan ahead and exercise more control over various aspects of life. Coping with MS in these proactive ways helps people maintain greater independence. During this process, many people discover strengths and abilities they didn’t know they had or they under appreciated.

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