(BPT) - At the young age of 24, Savana Sadler received both the most exciting and terrifying news of her life. Within just weeks of each other, she learned she was about to become a mother for the first time, but she was also going to be embarking on this exciting journey while living with multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic disease of the brain and central nervous system that leads to some level of disability in most people.
Due to complications with her condition, Sadler spent most of her pregnancy in doctors’ offices and hospitals, constantly worrying about the well-being of her unborn child. Bringing this new life into the world became her top priority, so she decided to put her disease on the back burner and did not start treatment. However, once she successfully delivered a healthy baby girl, Sadler came to realize it was time to be more proactive in her MS care.
With the support of her doctor, Sadler started on an MS treatment, but she continued to have relapses throughout the year that impacted her ability to do everyday activities. Sadler knew she needed to try something different to reduce the frequency of her relapses and hopefully delay disability progression. Her doctor explained that a disease-modifying therapy may offer greater impact in delaying disability progression. While working closely with her doctor, she determined a treatment option that fit her needs and lifestyle. “When my neurologist noticed I wasn’t responding to my previous treatment as well as we had hoped, we reassessed my priorities. He presented me with all the treatment options available. We decided on the best path forward for my needs, and I’m so thrilled that we did.” Sadler recommends that all people living with MS research their treatment options and work with their doctor to make an informed treatment decision that fits their needs and lifestyle.
Sadler is one of an estimated one million U.S. adults living with MS, which often strikes in the prime of life when people are just starting careers and families. The average age of onset for MS is 34, and over the next 10 to 15 years, most newly-diagnosed people with MS will be in the millennial age range. Delays in diagnosis and treatment can negatively impact people living with MS, in terms of their physical, mental and emotional health. Luckily for Sadler, she has found a medicine that works for her.
If you’ve been recently diagnosed with MS, it is important to be proactive in your care and speak with your doctor about treatment options. Below are a few questions to ask your doctor.
- How soon can I begin treatment? What’s the process?
- What treatment options may slow disability progression and reduce the frequency of relapses?
- How often will I need to receive treatment?
- What are the possible side effects associated with the treatment options?
“I’m extremely appreciative of the supportive system I’ve had since my diagnosis, including my family, friends and the MS community,” said Sadler. “I’m also thankful that my doctor worked with me to find an effective medicine that will potentially help delay my disability progression.”