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Struggling to cope

Hi I have recently been diagnosed with ms and haven’t yet seen ms nurse specialist but I have noticed the strain it has put on my marriage. I asked my husband how he is coping with it and his reply was that he is angry with the whole thing and that he feels sorry for the kids we have as they are going to miss out with me being poorly. I just feel low now and unsure what I can do to help the situation. I don’t blame him for the way he is feeling as I have been poorly and getting worst for nearly 4 years now but I am trying to find a way of coping with ms myself. Any advice would be grateful. Thanks

Hi Sarah, only yesterday I said to my hubby, ‘Eeee lad, it hasn’t turned out as we thought it would, eh?’ He shrugged and said, ’ it could have been worse’.

And this is after 20 years out of 45 years of marriage, living with a severe disability!

Throughout the years of progressive deterioration, I have managed to keep upbeat and not drag anyone down, but you know, we are all only human. Life can pile a load of sxxt on us and there is chuff all we can do about it. I think when we have a chronic condition like we have, we are entitled to a wobble now and then.

The best advice I can offer you is to enjoy the heck out of your children growing up. Don’t spend too much time on housework. Pace your activities and accept help from family, friends and professionals like OTs, Continence service ( if that is a concern), physios, and whoever else you can.

It isn’t your fault you got MS. Just a quirk of nature did that hun.

I’m struggling at the moment, with care needs, but I’ll get through and so will you sweetie.

Pollsx

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Hi Sarah

I’m not surprised he’s angry. There’s probably a bit of you that’s just as furious.

But sometimes, it might not feel like it, but it can at times be easier to be the one with MS rather than the partner of someone who’s diagnosed.

I feel really bad for my OH. He should be having a nice comfy retirement, be able to travel now he has the time, be able to live a really good life. Instead he’s shackled to me, disabled by MS.

This is my view of it btw, not his. He still thinks we have a pretty good life. It’s just not the one either of us had planned.

It will take time for you both to come to terms with MS. If you do. Hopefully you can get some decent drugs now you’ve been diagnosed. And that might help both of you. Don’t forget serious disability is not the inevitable result, especially not in the days of decent drugs.

Meanwhile, I think the best thing you can do is talk about it and how it makes you both feel (whilst remembering that he is a man and therefore more than likely not very good at that!) But also to be kind to each other. Keep in your minds that it’s your MS diagnosis, but that it affects you all as a family. And not one of you chose MS.

Sue

Hi Sarah,

You’ve been recently diagnosed after four years of symptoms.

That’s four years of strain for you, your husband and your children and now it’s come to a head. But you seem to be taking the responsibility for the strain all by yourself. That’s too much to ask from anybody.

You don’t say how the strain has affected your marriage, except that you don’t blame your husband for the way he is feeling. These feelings, which if left unresolved, can be poisonous in a relationship. So, aside from the physical aspect of MS you need to take control of the emotional fallout.

Here’s a publication that might help. It deals with sex and emotions.

www.mssociety.org.uk/sites/default/files/Documents/Essentials/Sex-intimacy-and-relationships-Jan-15_0.pdf

Don’t blame yourself for your illness and don’t make excuses for your husband’s anger.

If you explain this to your GP or MS nurse, when you see them, ask if you can you get counselling/talking therapy, because when someone gets a diagnosis of MS it often feels like grief.

We grieve for the life we have lost and everyone needs to grieve properly. It’s not something that the British do very well (never mind British men) but it’s important to get these feelings out of the way so you can get on with your new life.

It’s just not the life you were expecting to have.

Best wishes,

Anthony

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