Building a New Care Team Is Tricky, but It’s Going Smoothly

Shawna Barnes avatar

by Shawna Barnes |

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Yee-haw, what a wild adventure that was!

If you’ve read the last few columns I’ve written, you’ll know that starting in February, my husband and I were preparing for a cross-country move from Maine to Wisconsin. We officially landed in the Great Cheese State on April 2.

The drive there was full of bumps in the road, but we are settling into a new rhythm and temporary routine. Now the fun part truly starts: becoming Wisconsinites!

One thing that can cause great stress for people with myasthenia gravis or other complex medical concerns is establishing a new care team. I absolutely loved my care in Maine. The healthcare providers I had at Veterans Affairs (VA) clinics and elsewhere in the community were amazing. It took me nearly a decade to build such an amazing care team. I’ve since faced some anxiety while looking for a new care team that is equally good.

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Why Is MG Such a Large Part of My Identity?

Shortly after arriving in Wisconsin, I had my first appointment with a new VA primary care provider in a community about 20 minutes from home. This made me very happy. Thanks to all the planning and prep work I did, the transition was painless. The primary care doctor and her nurse took their time and asked questions, including about what I needed them to do for me, such as testing and referrals to specialists.

When I told her I was complicated, she quipped, “Referral! Referral! Referral!” It was comforting to know she isn’t afraid or unwilling to send me to the specialists I need, and that she is putting my care in my own hands. My first visit went very well, and I’m pleased with how my care team is starting to stack up.

Many of us patients have had negative experiences with medical providers who dismiss our concerns, so when we find a good one, it can be hard to let go. We’ve established a bond based on trust, and establishing a new care team can cause anxiety. But I’m doing my best to stay optimistic and focus on the positive aspects of what a new care team can bring to the table. So far, I haven’t been let down.

Here’s to continuing to build a new foundation and an amazing care team!

Note: Myasthenia Gravis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Myasthenia Gravis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to myasthenia gravis.


Mary Jo avatar

Mary Jo

Welcome to Wisconsin. Hope the adjustment isn't too difficult. I am just outside of Madison. I have Congenital Myasthenia (CMS) .

Shawna Barnes avatar

Shawna Barnes

Thanks Mary Jo! I used to live in southern Wisconsin in my youth so for me it's like coming home. I am familiar with Madison. We relocated to an area about 4.5 hours north of there.


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