HUSBAND’s Perspective: Living with Someone with MS

caregiver Steve's perspective on his wife living with MS

Living with a Loved One with MS

|| a husbands perspective

by: Steve, husband to MSlisaSAYS

As the husband of an MS sufferer, I have seen both the highs and lows. My wife was basically couch bound for several years. After receiving an experimental treatment, she was walking upwards of 4 miles a day. And now she is experiencing another flare up and losing all her stamina. I have had try to stay on an even keel. I was happy for Lisa when she was able to get out and about and do all the things she wanted to do. I am supportive during down periods.

You have to be patient, understanding, supportive, and loving. You must also make time for yourself.

Patience=> When your loved one is feeling bad, don’t rush them. They are probably moving as fast as they can, even if it does not look that way to you.
Understanding=> If you have plans and your loved one tells you “I can’t do this”, don’t get mad at them. Work around it. If you planned dinner out, go to the restaurant and get take out instead. If plans were with others, and they get mad for breaking plans, you may need to explain situation to them. If they continue to be mad, you may want to find other people to hang with.
You will need to understand the symptoms of MS. This will cut down on a lot of confusion and potentially strange looks when you don’t understand why your loved one is acting a certain way. Most times the loved one does not realize what is happening.

MSlisaSAYS and husband, Steve

MSlisaSAYS blogger, Lisa and her husband, Steve

Understand you can’t fix everything. Sometimes you just need to be there with a shoulder to cry on or just a hug. Sometimes, just being there is all your loved one needs. Realize everything will be ok.
Support=> Try to encourage your loved one to get involved in things that make them happy and they are physically able to do. You will need to watch to ensure they do not overdue it. However, once and a while, you will need to allow them to cut lose, even if you know that they will pay for it tomorrow and probably the next week. Do the tasks around the house your loved one normally does. This may allow them to use that energy to do something they want. Get them out of the house once and a while. Even if is nothing but finding a back road or a 15-20 mile drive down the interstate/highway. Sometimes, seeing something besides the same four walls can be very therapeutic. Find a support group in your area. Find people you can talk to. Get involved in a church. The power of prayer is amazing.

Me Time=> In order to maintain your sanity, you have to have time away. This does not have to be anything grand. It may be an afternoon in the “man cave”, if you are lucky enough to have one. It may be going out for a drink with a friend. You may get out of the house with a friend/group of friends for a couple of hours. Me time may be time in the shop working on a hobby. Whatever it may be, you have to do something to get away for a short period of time. You have to be in the right frame of mind to be able to help your loved one.

Probably the most important thing you can do is let them know how much you love them. If you love them, you will be able to deal with all the problems.

If things start to get bad and you need someone to talk to and nobody will pick up the phone, you are not alone. HE is always there to listen. HE will not give you any more than you can handle. If you feel you are at your breaking point, ask HIM and HE will be there to help carry the load. Always be thankful for the blessings you have and remember when things are the worst, the footprints in the sand are not yours. You are not alone.