I am convinced my partner has MS but he is terrified of anything to do with hospitals or equipment. As far as I am aware the only conclusive way to determine if his host of symptoms are related to MS is for him to have an MRI brain scan, but he point blank refuses to have this done. In the meantime I am expected to live with his multitude of symptoms and constant moans and groans of everyday living. It is impacting on the entire family. His symptoms include - Forgetfulness, lack of co-ordination, dizzyness, weakness (mainly in legs), shooting pains in feet, weakness in fingers, random chocking (even on liquids), high blood pressure, type II diabetes, high cholesterol, eye sight problems, watery eyes, itchy skin.

GP puts everything down to his diabetes, which I could understand whilst they were trying to get this under control, but now his levels are satisfactory and he is still experiencing all of these symptoms. Albeit he did refer him to neuro but he did not attend the MRI due to intense fear on the day.

Most recently his lack of geography is the most worrying symptom. Before he was able to navigate with no problem but now he is showing a lack of understanding of his surroundings (i.e. not being able to determine which town is nearer when he has lived in this area all of his life).

Looking for tips to manage this situation. Has anyone else cared for someone who was not willing to address their symptoms who can give me some guidance?

Thanks in advance

Hi Karen .

Believe me i dread hospitals i really really do , i had all the symptoms but point blank refused toget help .

One day my legs stopped working when i was out with my dog and i had to call my daughter to come and get me , believe me that was the wake up call i needed , plus the fact i was incontinent .

That was June 4 months later i was diagnosed with ms .

If hes as bad as those symptoms im gobsmacked his GP hasnt refered him to a neuro specialist , its not going to get better and wont go away , the tests dont hurt at all and it will at least tell you one way or another whats going on .

Please tell him to see his GP asap and book in to see a neuro doc .

Regards Iain .

Hi Karen

So the GP referred him to a neuro, the neuro arranged an MRI but he didn’t keep the appointment? Do I have the sequence right? Or did the GP refer him for the MRI?

Regardless of which it is, if he’s having cognitive problems to the extent of losing his geographical knowledge of the local area, he must be very quietly terrified that he’s losing his marbles, got early onset Alzheimer’s or another serious cognitive problem.

So the way to persuade him to get tested is to convince him that regardless of what it is, diagnosis of MS might actually be a good thing, because there might be treatment which can stop his cognitive decline. And even if it’s not MS, there might be something that can stop any further damage.

Meanwhile, if his physical and cognitive problems get worse, he risks damage being permanent. And it’s possible that this can be avoided by seeing doctors, including a neurologist, having tests, including an MRI and getting some answers. And maybe even treatment to make things better, or at least arrest the damage.

Also, that you’re not running away from him even if there is a serious problem.

And there are ways of addressing fear of MRIs and other issues related to hospitals, such as sedatives, even hypnotherapy. But the impetus to be tested has to be there first.


Karen, have you tryed the simple thing of asking him why he does not want to have a mri ? We can all guess at reasons, but sometimes uncomplicating things can help. You clearly have a belief re the cause, but to get to find the cause & have tests that he is reluctant to have, you need to understand how he feels. Good luck, you clearly care loads which if fab, but… Ask & lisen. And then hear. In my world I am the one. Sometimes I feel… I don’t want to say, just, try to find out / understand how he feels.


sue, I was typing my message while you were posting yours ! Lol. After I finished writing mine, I read yours, your post followed by mine reads a bit ‘wrong’ (my post that is)

It doesn’t. It’s just as valid as my thoughts. And we don’t know any of the people concerned. So we use our own experience and knowledge to address what we believe to be the situation.

And Sarah, just the fact that you are concerned about unknown people says a lot about you and your care and belief in their experience says absolute volumes about the person you are.

Sue x

I like Sarah’s suggestion of simply asking him why he doesn’t want the mri. And if he says he’s scared of getting diagnosed with something, say (in a very gentle way) that although he doesn’t want confirmation of something, he’s symptoms are real, and they are affecting you all as a family; not having a diagnosis isn’t stopping that happening. But then affirm him that yes, it is scary, BUT you’re here with him, and will hold his hand & walk with him through it.

I think things are less scary when you’re not alone. So knowing he has your support may help him to face up to it.


Hi Karen,

You say, “I am expected to live with his multitude of symptoms and constant moans and groans of everyday living.”

I agree with Dan. But I’d go a step further, I think it’s time for some tough love. Which means that you have got to get tough.

Stop pandering to his childish behaviour and tell him that you are not going to put up with his self pity. If he wants your help and support then you’ve got to make a deal. It’s not right that he’s a drain on you.

Either he gets the tests on offer or shut up.

Best wishes,


I really appreciate you all taking the time to respond. Some of the thing suggested I have tried and tried and tried… Thanks Grandma - I have suggested a sedative and he is giving that some thought. I wrote to his then GP and made quite clear my concerns and she actually called him and asked to see him. She referred him to a Neurologist and he suggested an MRI scan which was quite quick in coming around. I took the day off to go with him and he decided on the day that he was not going to attend. He is finding it increasingly difficult to manage his physical job and spends most of the weekend sitting on the couch and then struggling to get up. I fear it will be the case that his legs will buckle and he will be forced to get help. He is terrified of the claustrophobic element of the MRI. I think albrecht durer’s suggestion may be the only option left to me because believe me I have tried everything. I have now started to ignore all his moans and will do until he gets further help. I will keep you all posted. Thanks Karen