My Dad has MS and i’m really trying to understand it more so I can support him

Hi there. My name is Charlotte. My Dad was diagnosed with MS about 6 years ago and it has really affected him, mentally and physically slowly over the years.

MS is not something I ever thought i’d have to deal with (as an outsider) and seeing him suffer is breaking my heart entirely.

He has been staying at mine for the past week as his wife went away on holiday with a friend, and although I knew he was struggling before he came to stay, It has really opened my eyes to how badly he is dealing with his diagnosis both mentally and physically. I want to help him the best I can, but I don’t know where to start.

I’m looking for some advice and/or help so that I can improve my Dads frame of mind.

Thank you x

Hi Charlotte

Firstly welcome to you and your Dad to the forum, lots of lovely people always willing to offer advice when they can.

The MS society have lots of different booklets free of charge which maybe of use to you both, iif you get in touch with them I am sure they will send them to you.

Hope this helps

Pam x

He is dealing with his diagnosis exactly as well as he can do. The people around us sometimes give us a good score for ‘dealing well’ with MS and a bad score for ‘dealing badly’ with MS) and by ‘dealing badly’ they often mean ‘making me feel uncomfortable’. I’m not saying this is you, just that it’s an easy error to fall into and please avoid it if you can.

What I would suggest is that you offer a listening ear and that you listen carefully without jumping into problem-solving mode. Just listen.

Most of your father‘s problems are probably insoluble, and besides they aren’t your problems to solve. A kind non-judgemental listening ear can be worth the world and is certainly worth 1 million unsolicited suggestions about what he should do (says she, offering unsolicited suggestions right here, and you’re probably asking yourself who the heck I think I am and what the heck do I know about it, which sort of makes the point! :-))

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That is a tough call Charlotte. Alison makes a great point, it is so easy (as an ex techie bloke) for me to immediately start to try and offer solutions, when they are not often viable. But by listening and being there you will be able to make things a bit less crappy. His “frame of mind” will vary depending upon any issue that is impacting on his life. it is too easy to disappear into the bad areas of "what if "and “if only” I am getting a bit better at the “here and now” living in the moment, enjoying the tiniest of victories and learning from any struggles. Knowing that someone cares enough to just be there is quite powerful.
I wish you & your dad all the best.
PS this is a good place to get info and empathy from people who have an inkling of how we might feel.

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