This is my first post on a wonderfully supportive and extremely helpful forum. I have taken the time to read through the posts to find support and advice on how to deal with our current situation. I wish I had come to view this forum a long time ago when things started to change.
My wife was diagnosed with MS around 8 or 9 years ago after having periods of numbness on one side of her body and prolonged attacks of what she described as pins and needles. After her diagnosis she seemed to improve and life went back to normal. That was until around 3 years ago when she started to become argumentative and would verbally lash out for no apparent reason. This could be aimed towards our daughter and I, or at complete strangers. She once shouted, quite aggressively, at a whole bunch of students in a pub to shut up singing as she was trying to have a conversation. It was completely out of character and she couldn’t see that she had done anything wrong. Many of our friends started to give her a wide berth and would avoid inviting us to anything. We even ended up getting marriage guidance counselling at one point.
2 Years ago was the first time she became physically violent. A simple disagreement about a lunch venue turned into violence towards me, in front of our daughter. She blamed everyone for the outburst and couldn’t see that she had overreacted. Later she apologised for the violence but still blamed us for it. Over the next few years things have become worse. I have been physically attacked several times and a few weeks ago she tried pushing me over the bannister down onto the stairs. I’m a strong bloke and managed to push her off before I went over.
She constantly goes off in these “rages” and it usually ends up in some sort of destructive temper tantrum. It has been everything from taking some meat out of the microwave and stamping on it, or throwing food across the kitchen, to throwing clothes out of the window or smashing plates and mugs. Tonight I had things thrown at me and my dinner tipped out of the pan and onto the worktop. She did consider throwing it at me when I went out to my van to let things calm down a bit, she even followed me out there with it on a spoon, but she had second thoughts thankfully. Curry is not the easiest thing to clean out of car upholstery!!
I noticed that a few years ago she was becoming less steady on her feet while out walking in the hills around our house. I put that down to not being used to the steep ascents and descents on the path we were using. She is physically active and is often out running, gym and doing martial arts. One day she came home after a run and she had fallen “for no reason” and skinned both her knees. Alarm bells started to ring with me but she just brushed it off. A few months ago she started to have walking issues and was getting “jumpy legs” and aching all the time. Exhaustion would take over and she found it difficult to do a whole days work. She put it down to a stressful job and possible burn out. She was talked into going for a scan by her doctor as he suspected her MS. The scan showed up massive plaques on the cerebellum and frontal lobe, in her words “they lit up like a Christmas tree”. It wasn’t until we sat down and researched the types of symptoms she could expect, that things started to fall into place. She is currently on reduced hours and looking at a possible partial career change that will more easily accommodate the MS. She has decided on Lemtrada as a treatment. She is currently going through a series of tests to establish her suitability. They expect to start the treatment in the next few months if she checks out OK.
Things have changed in our house since the scan results but she still gets these outbursts. Tonight was the first time in two weeks since the last one, which is pretty good going. Its been nice not to feel like I’m walking on eggshells all the time or Inspecter Clouseau waiting for Kato to jump out on him. Although, I am going to speak to the MSS and see if we can set up some sort of counselling for her, our daughter and I. We have a good friends network who have been informed of the situation and they have offered support should we need it. I have also managed to get some really good advice from this forum and I can see me being a regular visitor in the future. Thanks very much, sending all of you my best wishes.