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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Multiple Sclerosis

   
Author Topic: Multiple Sclerosis
Armoth
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Sigh...

My fiance's father-in-law has M.S. and I am trying to help her and her family navigate their way through the disease. He is very depressed and is stuck at a job that gives him a ton of abuse, but doesn't think he has the capacity to do anything else.

I'm looking for resources or other people who have MS or loved ones with MS that I could just talk to and get a good picture for how he, and the rest of the family should face the disease.

If anyone knows anything, I'd greatly appreciate a conversation.

Thanks

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Shanna
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Was he recently diagnosed and how progressed are his symptoms?

My dad, my uncle, and his daughter all have MS but to very different degrees. My uncle was diagnosed before I was born and is now wheelchair-bound. My dad was diagnosed a decade ago after an MRI scan for a neck injury. He was immediately put on medication and is non-symptomatic and so only told my brothers and I about his condition last year. My cousin was diagnosed after she began to lose her vision in one eye but she's now getting medical treatment and is doing well.

My uncle has struggled the most not only because of the physical strain, but because our extended family has not always responded well to his declining health. It makes them uncomfortable so they avoid him or treat him like glass (my willingness to get a screaming political debate with him at a family reunion is one of reasons we get along alright despite being on opposite ends of every spectrum.) And now he's dealing with the guilt of his daughter being diagnosed despite the fact that MS is not hereditary. She actually gets along quite well with my dad and he's been a big resource for her as she learns about medication and treatment.

I hesitate to give any advice just because MS can vary so much from one person to the next. I'm very close to my dad but like I said, he kept it from me most of my life because he was never symptomatic. Now its just another autoimmune box I check on medical history forms and its another argument I hear every time I'm home because my mom wants him to eat better and exercise more.

If you have any particular questions, I'd be more than willing to pass them along to my dad and tell you what he knows.

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Armoth
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Thanks Shanna, it is very much appreciated.

My father-in-law was diagnosed 5 years ago. He is experiencing some symptoms - mostly tremors, difficulty in walking long distances, or taking stairs, extreme sensitivity to heat, and slightly slurred speech. His cognitive function is unimpaired, but he also experiences tremendous fatigue in the middle of the day.

What is most frustrating for him is that he worked mostly in operations in event-planning, and although the value he added to the company was mostly in the cognitive and planning realms, it was always paired with a lot of running around which he can no longer do. He has lost a lot of confidence in his abilities and I think he needs to be inspired by others with his condition who are making their lives work. I'm have a really hard time coming up with resources and connections for him and he is (or was) a very proud man and is very stubborn.

I know he is capable of rebuilding his identity. I just wish I could show him how.

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ambyr
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Does he have disability insurance? I wish I had better things to say, but both my relatives with MS had to leave their jobs. They're now working part-time gigs that allow them to use their old skills, but with much more limited and flexible hours, which helps keep their sense of self-worth strong, I think. But maintaining full time employment just wasn't a possibility.
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Armoth
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No disability insurance. Right. I wish he could continue doing what he was doing. I think he probably could if he got an assistant. I just think he doesn't believe in himself, and I don't know how to change that.
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