Diagnosis: Multiple sclerosis
Treatment: Medication and exercise
Sixteen years after Diane Messing had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the disease was increasingly affecting her mobility.
“I needed to find a different kind of care,” she says, “because the care I was getting wasn’t taking me anywhere.”
So Diane turned to the MS Center at EvergreenHealth.
“I’d heard wonderful things about EvergreenHealth’s MS Center, and that they were doing good things for people with MS.”
Diane's care was handled by Dr. Ted Brown, the center’s director of neurorehabilitation.
“Diane has moderately severe MS from a mobility standpoint,” Dr. Brown explains. "That’s where she benefits from our very comprehensive approach. We don’t just prescribe a medication. We prescribe a whole wellness program that also includes targeted exercise to address the person’s specific impairment and help maximize their independence.”
The combination of medication and exercise – along with Diane's motivation – has stabilized her condition and helped her maintain her flexibility.
She utilizes both physical and occupational therapy to cope with the challenges of MS – and even takes a weekly therapeutic yoga class at the MS Center.
“If I’d had this type of guidance early on,” she says, “it would have made a huge difference in the progression of the disease and my disability.”
The MS Center is ideally positioned to provide this comprehensive approach.
Specialists are housed under one roof at the expansive DeYoung Pavilion on the EvergreenHealth campus, all part of EvergreenHealth Neurological Care.
Leading-edge medical services, innovative therapies, rehabilitative services and clinical trials are all conveniently located for people living with a variety of neurological diseases and disorders.
But it’s not just the direct and convenient access to expert providers that sets EvergreenHealth’s MS Center apart.
“Our state-of-the-art facility is also conducive to pioneering research and clinical trials,” Dr. Brown notes. “We have well-designed rooms, we have the equipment, we have a lab, we have a research pharmacist – all those are critical in carrying out our work.”
So are willing patients like Diane Messing.
She eagerly agreed to take part in a study on a new medication to see if it might improve walking speed for people with MS in their everyday lives.
It’s a study being conducted only at EvergreenHealth’s MS Center, and nowhere else.
“Because Washington has one of the highest rates of MS in the nation, the research that we’re conducting and the fact that we’re a comprehensive MS Center is a real magnet for patients,” Dr. Brown says.
We have two neurologists with great expertise who are solely involved in diagnosing and treating MS. People know that they can come here and get cutting edge treatment, information and comprehensive care.”
Diane Messing continues to receive leading-edge medical services and innovative therapies, and her participation in clinical trials could ultimately benefit people like her in Western Washington, and around the world.
“I feel so very blessed to have found the MS Center and all the resources that it offers,” she enthuses. “I can’t imagine any place where I’d be in better hands.”