New Year is often greeted with resolutions on ways we plan to improve our lives. It could be finding a new job, doing a better job of saving money, or the traditional 'how I might lose weight in the coming year'. This year, I propose instead of making resolutions, we just decide to do a reset. Set aside the temptation to look at our flaws and instead start the year with a clean slate and positive attitude and look ahead at ways we can make a difference. Here are just a few of the new changes I am looking to experience this year.
I’m going to remain positive about the changes in my health care coverage, thanks to the age mandated transition to Medicare. We worked with a health care insurance planner and trust that we made the right choices for 2020. This is really a fresh start for us because we had previously been on the same private insurance through my employer for over 25 years until October. They made all the decisions about plans and coverage, simplifying the process.
The transition to Medicare looks good on paper
On paper and after consulting with the patient assistance programs for my disease-modifying therapy, it appears my own out-of-pocket costs for the twice-yearly infusions will be down to nothing and paid entirely by my new healthcare coverage. This is a great fresh start. I look forward to seeing if this is correct.
Doctors and more doctors
My MS neurologist for the past 11 years is now establishing a private practice. During the transition time, I needed to find a new doctor in case I needed MS care. I now have two neurologists – the old and the new one. For many people, finding just one MS doctor is hard enough, and I am in the enviable position of having two great ones. The new doctor was trained by my first neurologist and has very similar attitudes toward disease-modifying treatments. The big difference is the new doctor is located ten minutes from my house while my old neurologist is a 90-minute drive, one way. By the end of 2020, I will likely need to decide on one doctor, but for now, I’m happy to know I have in sight two of the best for my MS care.
More than MS
Multiple sclerosis won’t dominate my life, and we have made some exciting plans to travel this year. Late spring, we will be traveling to Barcelona and cruising the Mediterranean for a week. Just saying this out loud gives me something to anticipate beyond the winter months in the Midwest. Planning this trip involves lots of research on how someone with mobility challenges (me!) can navigate the ancient cobblestones of Rome and more. I look forward to sharing more travel tips in 2020 as well as learning from you if you have your own tips.
I want to find more ways to help advance MS research. I am already involved with iConquerMS and the people-centered research we do collecting data to help understand the big picture of living with MS. While participating isn’t new for 2020, there are exciting new opportunities to help via iConquerMS. If you don’t already belong, please consider signing up so you can also hear about new ways to contribute our ideas about life with MS. I have been accepted to a natural history study of MS being conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH), and I will be traveling to their clinic in Bethesda in early spring. They are still recruiting more people with MS, so watch for my updates and perhaps you will want to volunteer, too.
Taking pen to paper
There is much I want to accomplish, and there is plenty of room on the year’s calendar. I want to fill in some of those open times with writing and more time with my family, both of which give me great joy. So, these are just a few of my thoughts for the coming year; I hope you also have a vision of 2020 and what we might accomplish.
Wishing you well,
Do you have a fear of needles and take medication that requires injection?