Can you tell me a bit about how you became a member of Pack Health?

Well, I went to an MS event you guys attended and I saw the brochures there. I was immediately interested! I didn’t quite understand what the program was initially, but after looking into it a bit more, I was so game! I was feeling pretty lost at the time with all these scary symptoms of MS – blurry vision, fatigue, foggy memory. So I figured this would help me! The brochure you were passing out specifically made me so hopeful, and it made me realize there might be someone out there that could help me not feel like a lunatic!

You know, I was an RN for 20 years, but I had to quit because of my MS. It got to the point where I really couldn’t think straight anymore. It was embarrassing but Alison, my Health Advisor, she really helped me.

I was a little afraid that the person would get onto me and fuss on me, but Alison was so patient with me and helped me get back on track. She even helped me get my insurance set up! She knew all the right questions to ask. You know all the medical professionals I was used to being around, speak medical lingo so it was really helpful to have a comfortable environment to talk, where I don’t feel like my questions are silly or go unheard. I cannot tell you how much I loved the program, it was wonderful.

That’s awesome, we’re thrilled to have you! Can you share a few of your tiny steps with us? And maybe a bit about your experience with Alison?

Well, Alison has been absolutely wonderful. For instance, when we decided I needed to try to get more exercise in, I thought I would have to start big! But she helped me realize that just a short walk to the mailbox counted! I also ran into the issue where I didn’t think I could be disciplined enough to eat all my servings of fruits and veggies in a day, but she suggested I could do one and build from that.

I thought I had to be perfect from the beginning, but those tiny steps really helped! When I would go to get a snack, that would be my opportunity to achieve one of my small goals. And if I fell off the bandwagon a bit one week, she understood and lifted me right back up.

One thing I had trouble with at first was keeping a log of my medication, it’s the same with keeping a grocery list – I lose it before I can even get to the store! It takes me a minute to get it straight in my MS brain, but Alison just really encourages me to stick with the tiny steps.

I’m starting to get more of a routine down for keeping track of things, but one time my pharmacy was messing up my prescriptions so badly that I was to the point of tears. Alison got us all on a call immediately and got me all hooked up! She was so thorough and made sure everything was straight, so I had nothing to worry about. It really is awesome to have someone that cares that much about you and that makes sure everything is going well along the way!

That’s amazing. What would you say was the most helpful part of the program for you?

Those tiny steps really helped! I had never approached getting healthier in a slow and steady way. I figured it was all or nothing. But the little things were really what she cared about.

She helped me with fatigue a bunch. We worked toward walking a little each day and doing a little stretching each day. It really got me ready to move more. It got me looking for activity each day! In terms of nutrition, she helped me to make a point of always having some sort of fresh veggies and fresh fruit every day, and keeping it right where I could see it which really helped.

I had a hard time being able to make healthy meals, you know going back to the whole forgetting my grocery list thing, so she helped me figure out ways to get around that! Also, with medication, she helped me stay on track with when to take certain things. And if they were missing from my pill pack, I’d know what I had taken at a glance. Otherwise, it’s hard to remember what I took and what I didn’t take!

What I’m finding is that now my pain is under much better control, and this new system has really helped with my anxiety. This is so important. I find when my brain is stressed, my body quits functioning too.

What advice would you give to people who are considering Pack Health or just starting out? Was the program particularly helpful for managing symptoms of MS?

Absolutely go for it! You just don’t know how much of a help it can be until you’re involved in it. It gives you someone who knows you and cares about you and is interested in helping you get better – that’s everything. It’s better than asking friends and family for help because it’s less embarrassing. And I know everyone else is so tired of helping me with this that and the other, so when Alison calls me, I know I can unload it all on her.

I just cannot say enough good things about Alison, she is sweet, smart, caring – truly such a gem. I have enjoyed working with her SO MUCH. I have a 16-year-old daughter and I hope she grows up to be just like her!

 

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