Help me help her


My mother was diagnosed with late onset MS about 5 years ago. Over the past 5 years me and my sister have seen her symptoms progrees and a scary rate. She now has to walk with a stick, has started forgetting words and having problems talking, experiencece grat fatigue and sometimes her legs are so bad she an’t even drive. Also she has started having pretty bad falls (just last week she fell and broke her hand).

I am an immunology student, and now that there are medications out there for treating this condition, and i’ve told her over and over that she should ask her doctor about them, but she insists that there’s nothing that anyone can do for her. infact, she hasn’t even been to see her doctor in 3 years.

Neither me nor my sister live at home, and i’m getting really worried about her, and she’s all on her own apart from the cat. She’s so tired that she doesn’t leave the house much, and she’s recently lost her job, so I’m worried that if something happens to her at home, no one will notice for a while.

Basicly, I need some advice about what me and my sister can do for her. How do we help her deal with something that she almost refuses to admit is a problem? Can anyone recomend possible treatments, and tell me how they helped (either medication or some other from of therapy)

any advise would be hugly welcome.

Thank you

Trudy Kweller.

Hi Trudy,it is lovely to see how much you and your sister care and worry about your mum.

It is all the more worrying when you know she is on her own a lot and doesnt get out to see anyone.

You say you are an immunology student and know there are drugs to help your mum`s condition.

Not sure what you mean by that…I dont think there are drugs to treat a malfunctioning immune system which has caused MS.

Do you think your mum would allow an OT in to assess her and her home, in an effort to reduce her falls? Other things may be available via the assessment.

Is your mum under an MS specialist or neurologist? As she hasnt seen a doctor in 5 years, maybe she is missing out on possible treatment, eg anti-spasticity drugs.

You could try asking her about this in a way that doesnt make her think she is being told what to do…if you get what I mean.

luv Pollx

Hi Trudy

You seem to be in a fairly difficult situation and I hope that I can add some light. Poll has given some good advice, but a part of what you say has suggested another area that you need to consider; you say that it is proving hard to get her to accept that she has a problem. I’ve had about 30 years of experience in the local MS community and this is a recurring theme. It has been my experience that this denial is often a way people (irrationally) try to deal with something that they are scared about. With an illness like MS that can be any number of things but until you tease it out and deal with it you are going to struggle to get your mum to accept help.

It might help if you explained that people like the Occupational Therapist and also any local rehab services are there to help her to continue to live the life she has at present in her current environment, rather than her going into any form of residential care - which might be (only) one of the things she is scared about.

I hope this helps and that you and mum can get past the problems.