My wife and I used to enjoy going to concerts and the theatre. My wife has had progressive ms for a number of years but over the last 3 years it has taken a significant toll on her mobility. Trying to attend a concert or the theatre is just too much. The exhaustion that comes with any attempt has just taken all the enjoyment out a visit for her. Parking, Steps, seating, going to the loo. I don’t think I’m a selfish person but I’ve finally booked to see local gigs on my own. It will be strange being on my own. Most of my friends live a distance away so going with them isn’t easy and they are mostly couples. Just wondered how people who have partners with MS enjoy a social life. It will be the first time I’ve attended anything on my own but thought I can’t just give it up. My wife and I have been together for nearly 40 years and going to things together for that time. It’s very strange knowing how to feel.
Hi Simon, I am wondering if using a mobility aid has been discussed? It could be a walking stick, a rollator or a fold up wheelchair…all to be used as and when.
I often try to help people whose mobility is poor…when they are at the crossroads of deciding which is best ie to get out and about, without cutting an outing short through fatigue, to enjoy life again, or to stay home and miss out on so much.
What do you think?
Theatre I have found is very accessible, They have accessible loos, get a blue badge and a radar key for the toilets (useful for everywhere) theatre, you may have to 'phone for accessible seats, usually get a carer seat free. Got a box for Hamilton a few years ago, usually 2 seats at the end of the row, in more modern theatres they will remove a seat for wheelchair access if you need that. All of which reminds me I must try and book to see Six, For gigs, give the venue a call and ask them, because they need to be aware if they don’t already have policies.
Just do it, Simon!
You’ll feel like a square peg in a round hole as billy-no-mates in a pub on your own, at first, but being at a gig with people who appreciate the same music as you is a fantastic ice-breaker. I love gigs but my wife can only stand so many, so I go alone and particularly if you follow particular local bands, you’ll bump into some of the same people and they’ll give you that flash of recognition next time they see you
I’m the one with the disability and I have encouraged my wife to keep doing the things she wants to do e.g. skiing, shopping trips, musical theatre (!) and she now does. That said, she persuaded me to go on a cruise and it was excellent: we didn’t get off the ship but there was loads to do and accessibility for electric chairs & scooters was top notch.
Sounds to me like that you have been everything but selfish. You and your wife have enjoyed many things together. Going solo to begin will feel strange but may also help you to refuel too.
I know that feeling of being bothered to do something if the exhaustion out weighs the joy. Perhaps, discuss less challenging activities that you can do together…
On a recent cruise, I managed 15 minute trips off the ship at a time. Not much but it still meant we did something together. On one occasion we just got off the ship sat by the sea had a cold drink and returned. Doing a little together meant that I didn’t mind my husband going back off the ship to venture further. I now have 100s of photos to go through with him .
Maybe, ask if your wife if she would like any of the gig recording, or photos taken… it doesn’t matter really whether she does or doesn’t but at least you would have included her and made her part of what you are doing.
I know in the past when my husband was out for meetings, I would enjoy the quiet, watch something he wouldn’t enjoy and eat chocolate .
Take care, I’m sure you will work things out, in ways that will benefit you both.
Hi. Yes my wife uses a stick but finds the hustle and bustle of public events off putting. Also cobbles and uneven surfaces are difficult. We can do small things that my wife has confidence in doing. I think going to more adventurous events are just a little too daunting. But we can just take things carefully now this sudden slump in Mobility has occurred.
I hope you’ll give a thought to trying a scooter, maybe from Shopmobility to see how it feels.
I promise you, your lives would be so much better for it.It’s what I did and found a new meaning to going out.
Much love B
Hello again Simon
Predictability is the key.
I know my home environment and am safe. Likewise other places. I now know cruise ships are safe for me too but these days my “thing” is a preoccupation with the location of the nearest loo as my bladder has all the subtlety of a switch.
Apologies if this sounds patronising (not intended) but if you find (or know) your wife’s preoccupations when going out, you can work to them. Cobbles and an excess of people are already de-merits but things like blue-badge spaces, short walk, accessible entrance and quiet ambience may put pubs & restaurants within reach that you’ve not tried before. Perhaps you’ll need to “case the joint” ahead of a booking to convince her it will be OK?
Thanks for the advice. We do a lot of forward planning. Occasionally this has its negative sides as we rule things out as just too difficult. As I’ve said anything which constitutes a crowd of people is too much for my wife so we look for quieter pastimes. If I want a crowd I’m having to do that one myself. I just hope for something that reverts the core symptoms but I know that’s unlikely. We have discussed mobility scooters etc but my wife feels she’s not ready for that just yet so she’ll continue with her stick. Cheers.