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Does this sound familiar?

Hi. I am new to this site. I am 39 years old. I have 5 kids and a lovely wife. I was diagnosed in October 2010 with relapsing remitting MS and have been lucky enough to have only 1 major relapse since. I am on Techfidera (not sure that’s spelt correctly) and its doing great things for me.

My family life is very hard going at times. I have 4 kids that live with me full-time. My wife works full-time from midday until 8pm. I work full-time but get to work from home 1 or 2 days a week. Our life is incredibly busy and i do struggle to keep all the plates spinning. That said i know most people have to do exactly the same (albeit usually with not as many kids).

I am on anti-depressants to help me cope with the mood swings that MS brings. This has helped a lot and i feel i have a better balance now. My wife suffers from Crohns disease and this was very bad a few years ago, she has just been told she is in remission. These years took a lot out of us as we were looking after the kids and trying to hold it all together. We are in quite a lot of debt due to this period but are just coming out of the tunnel now as we both work full-time.

I find myself numb to a lot of emotional feelings. My sex drive has decreased massively. My wife says i do not give her the support she needs as a partner sexually or emotionally. I feel i should be getting more upset that I am not being what i need to be as a husband or a parent and be making more of an effort. I do my best but by the end of the day i am so tired that i have little left to give in the way of compassion, emotion and intimacy. I do feel like a failure a lot of the time, but even so i don’t get as upset as i should and feel numb to it. This upsets my wife and i am really not surprised. I wonder if i am different to many other MS sufferers? Sometimes i don’t have the drive to make the effort to mend things that are really important to me. Its so depressing when i do this as this is so different to the old me. I feel i am a good person but these things don’t look the actions of a good person.

My kids don’t get the best of me though i do make the effort and take them out a lot. One of my kids is very hard work with behavioural issues. This i find very, very hard to deal with. I have been as patient as possible but i feel i have reached my limit. This creates arguments with my wife and damages our relationship.

All in all, i feel that i am struggling to keep things in order and wonder what i can do to make my life less stressful? MS and stress really breaks me down and whilst i love my family to bits this life is becoming very difficult to maintain. I would welcome any feedback on whether these things i am feeling are normal and any tips on how to reduce stress in my life with MS.

I feel like i am losing a battle here against MS and life in general at times. Sorry if i sound very self pitying, its just been very tough and i haven’t reached out like this before to a group. Maybe this is something i should have done a long time ago.

Hi,

That sounds really tough. It sounds like you have a lot to cope with. Sounds like you both need some support. Do you get help from your family? Have you been to see the Doctor, you could try CBT. I think you have done the right thing with opening up. Life is tough and you need to share with people.otherwise it just becomes too much. Take some time out with your wife and talk about it.

I hope that you manage to work something out.

hi hud247

is there a children’s centre close to you?

they ought to be able to help with your child with behaviour issues.

welshboy is correct saying that you need to talk about how you are feeling.

well respect to you for being such a good plate spinner.

good luck and i hope you get the help that you need.

carole x

Not much help from family to be fair. I’m trying to work things out. Thanks

A friend of mine, who does not have MS and who had always been a hard-working, cheerful, positive person, took some hard knocks some years ago and was put on anti-depressants. The depression was fixed but was replaced by a new ailment, named by my friend as ‘give-a-shit-itis’. The symptoms were that this warm, active, task-focussed person stopped - well - stopped giving a shit, basically. Recovery took time (but did come), but it takes its toll on personal and work relationships, that sort of thing. That temporary but distressing change in personality really did seem to be the anti-d drug at work.

If this strikes a distant chord, it might be worth talking to your GP about whether the anti-d you are on is numbing your feelings and emotions in an unhelpful way. I have a vague notion that there is a popular class of anti-d drugs that is well-known for doing that, but they don’t all do it and there are other ones to try - they work in different ways and do not have that side-effect. And another thing, some anti-depressants - maybe the same ones? I don’t know - are well known for depressing sex drive. If a meds review with your GP helped you even a tiny bit with the stresses and strains, that would surely be an easier win than most.

You do not sound self-pitying at all, by the way - just a person who is having tough times and is doing his best to keep the show on the road.

Alison

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Thank you Alison. Some good advice here. I need to make the time to do these things, which is often hard to achieve. I’ll get something booked this week and put myself first. The anti-d may be the cause as you say, i just don’t know which way is up most of the time. There must be a better way to manage this.

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Dear HUD247

Firstly… your post doesn’t sound like you are pitying yourself. If anything, it sounds like you expect too much of yourself.

Each of us has our own set of symptoms to contend with and i personally have zero kids (primarily because i didn’t want to have to deal with those aspects of parenting that you have described) and so it is difficult for me to convincingly say i know what you are going through. Frankly it sounds like you deserve a medal!

For what it might be worth… my recommendation would be for you to concentrate on budgeting your resources… specifically your time and your energy. MS invariably places constraints on what we are able to do, physically and mentally. The key is to adapt our expectations and therefore our behaviours so that we can prioritise our efforts accordingly.

I would hope that your #1 priority would be to stop arguing with the missus. Sometimes, even when you know your opinion trumps her’s you just have to fold your cards and concede ‘defeat’. Banging heads will not solve anything but it will likely add to stress levels and that only fuels the MS demons. You clearly make for a good team, so embrace that once again and stop pulling in opposing directions.

As for everything else, at the risk of using a dismissive, ‘broad stroke of a brush’, you sound burnt out! Your ‘numbness’ is perhaps due to the fact that you have been running on vapours for how long now? Imagine what a vacation somewhere warm and sunny, with no kids for a month would do… impossible perhaps, but if you can envisage a happier scenario, then all hope is not yet lost.

Anyway… the best of luck. I apologise if most / all of the above is worthless; i make for a crappy Agony Uncle!

Thanks Paolo. Not crap at all. I appreciate your support and advice.

Just a quick question - have you considered asking your GP to check your testosterone levels?

Eeeee love! No wonder you are feeling so low. With all the family issues, illness, money problems and top that with MS, it’s no wonder you need to do something.

I think maybe a talk with your GP and MS nurse if you have one, might help.

There’s not gonna be a quick fix, as I’m sure you already know.

The good news is that you feel to be tackling the financial problems…But that can only continue so long as you’re both working. Reading how bad things are in the bedroom department is bound to cause further trouble between you and your wife.

I hope just airing your feelings on here and receiving replies of understanding and support helps.

Pollsx

Thanks Polls. Haven’t been on here since Feb and things are getting better in some ways but i am still struggling to see how i will support my family when my MS gets worse. I am also such a grumpy git i’m not sure how long they’ll put up with me :slight_smile:

I think you are just tired out. You have such a busy life. Take care x