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

5. Clear Any Negativity Associated with Caring

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In a great number of cases, the caregivers of patients with multiple sclerosis are family members. In some cases, patients may feel guilty or sad for the situation. However, there is no reason for associating caring for a loved one with anything negative. Caring for a loved one who suffers from a chronic disease like MS can also be satisfying. It may draw people more closely together and it can be an opportunity for family members to share concerns and efforts. This doesn’t mean that caring isn’t difficult. Being a care giver can be physically and emotionally exhausting, but it’s important to avoid any negativity from caring and seek help when needed.

6. Isolation is Always Harmful

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Multiple sclerosis is a rare disease, but there are 400,000 patients in the United States alone and many others willing to support and help. There is no reason for patients to be isolated, which can lead to sadness and depression. In addition to the support of family, there are support groups for either or both MS patients and family members. In these, people can share their thoughts and feelings and ease the burden on the family. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society also offers Tips for People with MS and Their Partners – Planning for the Future Telelearning Recording.

Learn more about multiple sclerosis here: http://bit.ly/1PBLn0c

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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