Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. George Bernard Shaw
Sometimes it can be frustrating trying to develop a health care support team for yourself to help you navigate your wellness. In order to seek out doctors who can help me to do that, I volunteer for any group or study than I can to meet medical professionals. A couple of years ago, I was part of a group of neurologists and family doctors who were meeting for a year to try to come up with methods to improve communication between generalists and specialists. I was one of three patients with MS to provide them with feedback on what was lacking in the system. One of the things I highlighted that I felt was insufficient was the difficulty with finding help or resources for any type of mental health issue. Often specialists respond that the area is not their area of expertise and it is hit or miss if you have a family doctor who has experience or knowledge in the area. It takes some strong advocating and searching on you own behalf to find options. That is a big feat for most when you are feeling at your lowest.
After a year, the group was over. It is rare to ever find out what comes of these investigations. It is for that reason that I was pleasantly surprised to have come across a new trial/study into the use of nurse practitioners to be an extra resource for patients starting new medications. The nurse I met with Shantha, was kind and very resourceful. After meeting her, she asked if I would fill out a questionnaire. Lo and behold, it was a study being done by one of the neurologists who was in the group with me three years ago. The questionnaire asked tons of questions on mental health issues such as anxiety and depression and the goal was that the nurse practitioner could be an extra resource to help patients through this time.
I told the nurse how happy I was so see that this was happening and asked if I could write about it as a highlight for our blog. She was very positive about me doing so. Sometimes moments like these make me feel that all of the time and energy it takes to do studies is really worth it and helping.