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Are local MS groups useful?

Hello everyone

My partner (in his mid 30s) has just been diagnosed with MS a couple of months ago. This obviously is a shock to us both. But I am determined to stay strong with him.

I want to know if anyone has joined their local MS support group and attended events please? Are those groups useful?

My partner is still in denial of the condition. I want him to know he’s not alone and life can still go on in a fabulous way. So on one hand I want him to be able to share his feelings with people in the same boat but on the other hand I don’t want him to fear about the future if he sees people in the group with disabilities at this moment in time as he is so new to this illness.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

kate

Truth is local groups can vary immensly. But do look on the MS Society website and see if there is anything near you. Also they may have FB page. Just reaching out to someone in the same boat can help.

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I was diagnosed four years ago over a weekend. Without warning or history, to say we were shocked is an understatement. I didn’t attend our ms group for the first year. I was in denial too. But as my progression moved at speed and I was using a crutch by the end of the year, I went along for the ride. Tea and coffee, scones and a laugh. A great exchange of info and advice and free reflexology or massage etc. The people there are at various stages of the ms and it could be a bit daunting for him. I’d say give him time to accept it and do a bit of research. Joining here is a great start.

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Hello Kate

To be honest, it sounds like you want him to ‘accept’ his MS, to be able to talk about it and share experiences with others. Only without being frightened about what could happen in his future.

Those two things together may not be possible. Your partner appears to be in denial about the diagnosis. That’s quite common. It’s not such a bad thing early on. He perhaps doesn’t want to see the more disabled and/or feel disabled himself until and unless his MS progresses. Equally, you might not want to see the more disabled among us and fear for your shared future, just in case that future includes serious disability. That’s quite a reasonable perspective too.

Many partners of people newly diagnosed with MS, want their partner to open up, to discuss their disease. And yet people with MS have to be able to face up to the disease in their own time.

I suspect while lots of people find support groups and MS centres a great source of help, advice and fellow feeling, many people would prefer to stay well away. I’ve never been someone who wants to join local support groups. My former MS nurse used to run a women’s group, I went a couple of times but ultimately I hated it. It’s just not my kind of thing.

I get an enormous amount of fellow feeling and support from this forum. Again, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but we have to independently come to terms with our MS in our own way. We get support from family and friends, or from local groups, or from Internet fora, or indeed do without it altogether.

It’s great that you want to support your partner. But really, all you can do is find the sources of support available to him (and to you). Let him know they exist, let him know that you are there for him, and then allow him to choose what support he wants and needs, at a time that suits him.

Sue

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Hi everyone Thank you so much for the replies! Sue, thank you for sharing your view. I needed it. Yes I’m trying to help my partner to accept it. But your view has opened up my mind about it. I’ll let him choose the type of support he wants and at a time that suits him. This forum is great! Like you said, we can choose where to look and when to contribute or ask for advice. Thank you to you all for being here. Regards Kate