Living with Multiple Sclerosis

July 17, 2020 Posted in: Health & Wellness , Patients & Providers
Living with Multiple Sclerosis

Harrodsburg resident Abigail Elvers does not let Multiple Sclerosis (MS) define her.

Abigail Elvers recalls the first time MS made its mysterious presence known. It was February 2003, and although Elvers felt like she needed to urinate, she was unable to go. Seeking answers, she went to a nearby hospital in Danville, Kentucky, where a urologist recommended the use of a catheter.

The next weekend, Elvers experienced unusual challenges again. Unable to feel her left leg, she woke her husband up in the middle of the night to drive her to the emergency room. Once she arrived, the medical team administered tests, including MRI and a spinal tap, which revealed that Elvers had MS.

“My first thought was that I was going to be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life,” Elvers said. “I had never known anybody with the disease.”

A Provider of Hope

Greg Anderson, MD, CPE, who is a neurologist and serves as medical director of quality and provider engagement and chairman of the board of directors of CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group, was working in Danville when Elvers presented with her symptoms and was the neurologist who diagnosed her with MS.

“Dr. Anderson made me not so afraid of the unknown,” Elvers said. “He told me, ‘We are going to get through this.’ I just felt safe.”

Dr. Anderson’s treatment plan for Elvers began with an injectable medication to treat her MS symptom relapses, which Elvers gave herself. Then, Elvers was given the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial that would eliminate injections from her life.

“Abigail wanted an aggressive therapy and the convenience of a once-a-year infusion,” Dr. Anderson said. “The clinical trial was a good choice for her. There are a variety of options now that are effective at reducing relapses and slowing disease progression, which is why I encourage patients to work with a neurologist they trust.”

Today, Elvers feels that her disease is under control and is grateful to receive care at CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group.

“Everyone is so kind and professional and makes me feel safe and comfortable,” Elvers said. “I am no longer afraid of the future.”

Strength in Partnerships

When it comes to multiple sclerosis, having multifaceted support structures in place is key. That is why CHI Saint Joseph Health has a variety of partnerships with specialists in our community, including occupational, physical and speech therapists to help address functional challenges and psychiatry professionals to help manage issues related to cognition and emotional wellness.

Click here to learn more about multiple sclerosis care at CHI Saint Joseph Health or call 859.296.1922.

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