Feeling helpless

Apologies in advance for the rambling post!

My mother in law was diagnosed with primary progressive ms 9 years ago and since then her deterioration has been marked. Her mobility is practically non existent, she often falls,cognition has been affected and she is becoming more and more isolated and depressed.

i am finding it all sI difficult to deal with as my husband’s family have always been the head in the sand types and so there is no thought for planning for the future etc. my mother in law will not speak about the condition and will not let anyone attend appointments with her. She constantly cancels her physio appointments and I worry that she has just given up.

My husband has tried to speak to her on numerous ocassions about the situation and also to my father in law but it’s like banging your head against a brick wall.

i know that the illness is not mine but I am aware that it is affecting the whole family now and I really feel that my in laws need some serious support. I just don’t know where to begin or even if it’s my place to get involved. My husband has contacted my mother in law’s gp to try to get access to medical notes s we have no idea on prognosis Because My mother in law can’t/won’t about the situation. However this is the lengthy process and support is required now!!!

Can a anyone offer advice about where to begin? Unfortunately, my in laws live 2 hours from us and we have two small children which adds another pressure.

thanks in advance

I sense the frustration of someone who sees herself as the only sensible grown-up on a ship of fools. And maybe you’re right. But you aren’t going to get much thanks for trying to get involved without invitation.

My suggestion would be to let your mother and father in law know that you are happy to help with such practical and emotional support as they choose to accept and as your own circumstances allow. In practical terms, living a couple of hours away and with young children means that this will be practically limited, but I am sure that you will do what you can. Then relax. In some families, things need to reach crisis point before action is possible. Not ideal, maybe, but there it is. I do not think that general anxiety on your part (and that is affecting the mood in your home too, perhaps, and making your husband anxious as well), isn’t going to help anyone.

Please try to cultivate a capacity for sitting on your hands, biting your tongue, and letting our nearest and dearest get on with it. We all need to do a bit of that at Christmas-time. :slight_smile:



Thanks Alison. I appreciate your comments. Will try to take a step back and see how things pan out. You are right that worry doesn’t help anyone and the decisions are not mine to make!