I thought that I might take a brief moment to tell other folks about the help I am getting from the National MS Society.
Several months back I had a relapse and during that time I grew desperate for help and answers so I called the National MS Society to see how they could help me. I was looking for help with free counseling services. Although at the time they were not able to present me with such a resource, they said that if I completed an application for assistance they could assign me a "care manager" who would be able to more directly identify and help me meet my needs.
Shortly thereafter I completed the paperwork. It was not long before I got a call from an outsourced care manager who helped me with getting confirmation of my diagnoses from my neurologist. All I had to do was to submit paperwork stating that his office could release that information to the MS society. The neurologist's office was slow to respond to the request for information but throughout the process, the woman initially assigned to my case stayed in touch and kept me posted.
Within about two months of my initial application, the lead care manager at my local chapter had gotten a care manager assigned to me. I just met with her and another care manager for the first time on Thursday. Their approach was great. They come to your home and visit with you. First, they talked to me about what I needed. They took almost an hour just to listen to me and to take notes. They offered several good short term suggestions and made notes about what services I might need now and in the future. They also made a list of things they would look into on my behalf. They were kind and caring and did a great job of listening and asking questions. My official care manager stayed on after her companion left to complete all my paperwork.
The whole initial experience with my care manager was very good and I am excited to learn how they may be able to help me in the coming weeks and months. I will continue to blog about my experiences as the process unfolds so that perhaps other MSers can benefit as well. From what I can tell, they can help with a variety of services including transportation, counseling, meals, assistive devices etc... Please feel free to send me questions about my experiences and/or their services and I will try to help you out.