Partner of MS Sufferer

Hi, my husband has just been diagnosed with MS after suffering optic neuritis last year and recently a cold sensation in one leg. Follow up MRI has shown a lesion in the brain not present last year. He is unwilling to mention it to anyone as doesn’t really believe the diagnosis. He is the only wage-earner in the family as I gave up work to look after our children. I am terrified and I can’t share our issues with anyone as he wishes to keep it quiet. Currently he is well, and I have suggested he read the OMS book to get some ideas of how to support himself. He doesn’t want to consider medication. I am so worried how our life is going to change moving forward, we had grand travel plans for when the kids are older and really are each others best friends. I don’t know how to cope with this bombshell and all the info on MS is so scary to read. Are there any support groups or help out there for the partners of MS sufferers, I want to support him but i need to get my head around it too. Thanks for reading.

There is a carers forum on this site, but it’s not very busy, so you might be better off asking for help and experiences on this or the Everyday Living part of the site.

Your husband does seem to have done something more men than women would do, ie put head in sand and hope the nasty MS thing goes away.

Which it won’t. And you of course are terrified of the future and want to help him to stay strong and healthy.

The sad truth is that you can’t make someone face up to MS. And unfortunately you can’t make him take disease modifying drugs (DMDs) unless he wants to. Taking DMDs is the best way that a person can stave off potentially disabling relapses.

You can find more information about MS, symptoms, drug therapies, physiotherapy, on the ‘About MS’ section of this website. I do understand that it seems terribly frightening to read all about what symptoms your husband may face. But honestly, many people live for a long time disability free with MS.

You could also hit the button marked ‘Get Involved’ at the top of this page, scroll down near to the bottom where you’ll find a box labelled ‘Find support near you’. You may well find a local group where you could find out more.

Best of luck.


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To be honest I would be a bit shocked to be diagnosed with MS on such findings. Usually you have to go through a lot more but obviously he has been investigated before he has had a follow up MRI with a new lesion.

It sounds like he has a good chance to keep this at bay or at least try to stop it from progressing.

He needs to realise that there is nothing wrong in fighting this with DMD. It would be for his family too. Ask him, if he was diagnosed with cancer would he refuse treatment or fight it. See what he says. I bet he would fight it. Having MS is no difference you can fight it. If i had the chance to fight mine when it first started believe me i would have.

He has to process it in his own time really. Most people wait years to be told. It took me over 10 years after i went blind twice in 2000 and in 2008 they realised from VEP tests I had optical neuritis,and it still took until 2016, so he has been given it very quickly, and i expecting he is hoping its wrong, you cant blame him for thinking that way.

BUT he needs to start to fight this. He has a good chance of staying sort of healthy.

Dont look too far forward you need to get him to accept this diagnosis first and get him on the road to treatment.

Being diagnosed with MS some people go through grieving. The five stages are.

denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. He is on stage one DENIAL, he has to process this through himself.

All you can do is support him for now, keep well informed, find out about the treatment options for him.

Make sure he eats healthy.

Life will change but he needs to deal with this.