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I care about your MS until I don’t

I was diagnosed with MS on 9/11/2001. Since I was diagnosed my wife has been a companion along my ms journey. From 2001-2021 my ms symptoms have been somewhat under control. During that 20 year span I was still walking, driving, cooking, and helping out around the house. My wife knows/understands how stress has a negative effect on my ms ( at least that is what she says). In 2017, my wife and I decided to serve as foster parents for children in need. In six months we were foster parents for 6 different children and I told my wife that I couldn’t handle fostering any more. We talked and she asked me to foster one more child and I agreed. Shortly after we began fostering the last child , the child’s biological mother had another child. My wife felt we needed to foster this child as well. I reluctantly agreed and we fostered the two children. In 2019 my wife wanted to adopt the two children. I said no because we already had two biological children and had our hands full. The choice of adoption was up to the family and I was out voted 3-1. In 2020, the biological mother had another child and again my wife believed we needed to care for this child as well. I expressed my concerns about my health/stress and said that this was too much for me to handle. My wife believed/said that it wasn’t too much and that I could do it. In January of 2021 I woke up one morning unable to move the right side of my body. I was in the hospital for two months and when I came home I had a Suprapubic catheter and was in a wheelchair. I had a similar ms attack in 2022. An MRI revealed that I had several new lesions on both my brain and my spine. I have been able to start using a walker to get around but due to the lesions on my spine I must have bowel care now. My wife and I have been married for 22 years and she said she understood the connection between ms and stress. However, we she had to choose between my stress levels and the three little children she chose the children. Prior to the adoption of the children my MS was manageable and I was independent. Since adopting the children I am more dependent on others. I have a great deal of resentment towards my wife because she disregarded my feelings/thoughts along the way and chose the children over me even though I said I couldn’t do it anymore. Anyone have an opinion/idea on how to get family members/spouses to listen to and understand the correlation between MS and stress. I’m angry, not because I have MS, but because my MS worsened because someone who said they understood the dangers of stress and MS but decided to add stress to the situation anyway. I don’t know if I needed to vent or what? Does anyone have a suggestion on how to deal with my anger/feeling of betrayal?

  1. hi there. I am brand new here. Don’t have my diagnosis yet. Pretty sure that’s what we’re looking at though. I’m also sure that mine has a lot to do with stress as well. I do not have direct suggestions for you but I would recommend for you to seek a therapist, I know they will be able to help you. There are ways I would as a woman do it. I will tell you those ways and maybe they will work. I would take my spouse on a walk, on the porch or to a special spot that WE go to when there is a discussion that WE need to have alone. I would show her the medical information from before the children were there, explaining your independence, how you felt and then after the three children began being fostered/adopted and your medical condition worsening, the lack of independence and the way you are feeling now. I don’t know if you are a believer, but I am and as such, during this time, I will be praying for your strength for you to be able to have the right words to say to your wife.

    1. Mommaof6 thank you for your reply and great suggestions. I am also a believer and even though I said I couldn’t do it anymore the three kids are now part of my family. I am at a loss on how to interact with my wife going forward. She saw how I was being affected by the stress from the three kids but ignored my symptoms and continued moving forward in spite of my physical limitations. Thank you for your prayers.

      1. ,
        I'm glad you found this community and appreciate you reaching out.
        I'm saddened to hear you are facing these difficult challenges.
        First and foremost, please know you are not alone. This community understands how life with MS affects the family.
        It's most important that you focus on your health, (having the support and understanding of your wife/family is essential as well).
        Perhaps, finding a way to improve the communication between the two of you would be a great start. You certainly need to be heard and you need to express how you are feeling and what you need. Always know this community is here for you and we will be keeping you in our thoughts.
        Warmly, Doreen (Team Member)

        1. , my heart really goes out to you. It is extremely admirable and commendable that you and your wife have given these children a stable home and upbringing, but what a large price to pay. I can completely understand why you are angry and resentful. I definitely think a therapist, maybe eventually a couple's therapist, could help you navigate and unpackage the feelings of betrayal. Do you have access to an MS psychologist in your area? It might be a good start to connect with them as they will understand the specific nuances of how the new progression is affecting your well-being. As far as couple's therapy goes, it has done wonders for my long-term relationship in the areas of betrayal. It offered a place to safely explore those feelings without blowing up my relationship.

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