MS Family and Relationships: 6 Tips for Patients and Loved Ones

3. Keep the Relationship Balanced

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While MS affects the all family, in the case of partners MS is experienced by both. In a relationship, it’s normal for the partner of a MS patient to care and worry about the other. However, the society also recommends everyone tries to keep their relationships healthy and balanced. In order to do so, it’s important that both partners give and receive in the relationship, regardless of the alterations that MS brings to the family. It is also determinant to preserve communication and intimacy.

4. MS Patients Can Be Parents Too

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Patients with multiple sclerosis are often concerned about the future, including the demands of having children. This can bring additional stress and even sadness to the relationship. However, “women and men with MS can be successful parents of happy, healthy children,” state the National MS Society. The best option is to seek a physician and discuss an eventual pregnancy. The organization also offers resources for patients to learn more about conception, pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding, and the impact of childbearing on MS, as well as about parenting and discussing the disease with children.

Patrícia holds her PhD in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. She has studied Applied Biology at Universidade do Minho and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work has been focused on molecular genetic traits of infectious agents such as viruses and parasites.
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Patrícia holds her PhD in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. She has studied Applied Biology at Universidade do Minho and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work has been focused on molecular genetic traits of infectious agents such as viruses and parasites.
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6 comments

  1. Michael Springer says:

    I told my family that I was diagnosed with MS. Five years after I told my wife about my MS she filed for divorce stating that my medical bills would bankrupt us. My sisters thought MS would kill me and convinced my mother to take me off of her will. The reason? They told my mother that it would make everything simpler but their goal was to keep my children from receiving my share of the inheritance. Not only do we experience rejection from our family members but exploitation as well.

  2. My Mom was with me when I was diagnosed and my family has shown me support and love the entire journey with this MonSter. It breaks my heart to hear of others who do not have support from their loved ones because its not like we asked for this illness. I guess it shows their true colors in the end.

  3. JJ Steiner says:

    I have never had a close relationship with my sisters.. My mom and dad were with me when I was diagnosed and through this trip.. no inheritance to worry about, but, once mom goes, good riddance to sisters

    • Michael Springer says:

      I did not give many qualifiers when I wrote my OP – just did it on the spur of the moment. The inheritance will be based on the valuation of our family home. It will appraise for about $350K. It is bizarre to me that my sisters would want to destroy our family for whatever my share would have been. Take out all of the fees and related expenses and that amount will be closer to $280K. Their goal was to split approximately $70K that would have been mine (or my children’s). Knowing my sisters they will probably brawl over the rest of the money and mother’s personal items.

      I do have the option of challenging them. My mother has dementia. One sister left a recording on my voice mail several years after I disclosed that said “…you should be dead by now.” And another wrote a letter and forged my mother’s name on the letter. The letter said that my mother had lied to me – which is not true. The DA has all of the information and will probably charge them with fraud.

      The primary reason I wrote the OP was to provide an example of how bad things can get when we disclose that we have been diagnosed with MS. I am glad to see that some MSers have supportive families but for those who are not sure you might want to think about how you approach the subject with your family.

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