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Never Apologize

Never Apologize

I’m Dying!

Or at least that’s what I feel like.

MS tends to put me in a fragile wavering psychotic state.

Between the optic neuritis, numbness, fatigue, dropping things, tripping and falling I think I may be losing my mind.

My dream for normal used to be so strong but now it is slowly withering away. Each passing day brings me less confidence that I can get my former life back. I always keep a little hope alive but that may be because I can’t face the reality that I will never get back to normal again.

MS just makes everything suck sometimes. Like when I can barely push my wheelchair two feet without getting tired. Sometimes I can only do two rotations before my arms begin to give out. I don’t think that hardly being able to move about is a good sign at all.

Despite that limitation, since my home is small, you would think that making it to the restroom would be easy even for someone who occasionally has trouble maneuvering around. But that’s not always the case.

On one of my particularly bad days, while trying to stand, my right leg decided to give out and make me better acquainted with the floor. I was trying to go to the restroom and ended up on the restroom tile, only a few feet away from the toilet. To further humiliate myself, while face down on the floor, I could no longer stop myself from urinating. It began to trickle and I knew I had only seconds left before I was at the point of no return. I crawled and actually made it to the side of the toilet but that was about as far as my arms could pull me. Then my bladder could not hold it back any longer. Suddenly the urine broke free and it was a full-blown gusher. I began to cry.

Yes, I was lying down on the bathroom floor crying and peeing at the same time.

The worst part was that I could hear my husband, Tommy, coming into the front door. He was back from a 30-minute workout at the gym. He rarely leaves me at home alone for more than an hour. I knew he would be heading straight to the restroom to cleanup after his workout so I only had a few moments. I quickly tried to close the door by kicking it shut but my legs would not respond. Before I could think of a plan b he had turned the corner and was standing over me.

The funny thing about Tommy is that he always appears so stoic.

He asked me, “Are you alright?”

Totally embarrassed, I shook my head yes and continued to softly cry.

He lifted me to my feet and walked me over to the toilet. I sat there while he helped me get my clothes off and then assisted me as I got into the bathtub. I ran the water and he got me towels. As I sat in the tub soaking he cleaned the urine off the floor. It was taking him a while as it had spread throughout the bathroom. I sat in the tub watching him. I started to think that he didn’t sign up for this. If I were only normal again this would have never happened.

I just kept saying, “I‘m sorry. I‘m sorry. I‘m sorry.”

From his hands and knees while crouching in urine, he looked at me and said, “Don’t ever apologize for having MS.”

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Jean
    6 years ago

    I have been re-reading this article over the last couple of weeks. It so touchingly addresses the fear and shame that underlies the diagnosis of MS I’ve been getting my head around since February. Always the strong person, the one who is leaned on, who am I if my strength is gone? Well, reading your words shifted that perspective. Your sharing of this shows your strength, the strength of your relationship and the guts to look at things in the eye. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  • PegLeg
    6 years ago

    I had tears in my eyes, when I read this,,it sounds so much like I am going thru right now, my husband my tough farmer, has stepped up the plate, and took care of things for me,,

    6 years ago

    When I was diagnosed with MS and learned all the possible consequences, the first thing I did was to push everyone who might have to take care of me as far away as I could get them. I didn’t want anyone having to spend their lives taking care of me. Of course, I was wrong and realized that I didn’t have the right to do people’s thinking for them. If someone could not cope with my problems, I just had to understand and move on. Nicole, you are fortunate to have an husband that supports you and loves you regardless of your medical problems. Good for you both. I truly hope your situation gets better.

  • Cindy
    6 years ago

    Your husband is great! I am that small percentage of people with MS who has diarrhea instead of constipation. When this happens I cannot for the life of me get to the washroom in time. My husband always says it’s o.k. I will love you no matter what.

  • Dawn Hiller
    6 years ago

    Definitely made me cry! Sure wish I could have someone as good as your husband/family by MY side! My “discrepancies” are not shown for others to see – I do my best to crumble when no one is around. And if I do crumble with others present, I do apologize and exit as fast as I can at that moment. Education is not out there & what folks have heard or seen in the past is what they believe.

  • ThisBSMS
    6 years ago

    This almost made me cry. I could totally relate to these types of situations. What I have to say is that you have such a nice guy by your side. Yes, he did not sign up for this, but neither did you. He keeps you strong. I remember when I had a nasty attack a couple of years ago, that got me from running one hour to a wheelchair in a matter of hours (with the loss of sensation, nystagmus, non-stop puking, etc….well enough details)and sent me to a hospital, I did not want my husband to see me like that when he came to visit. He told me ‘you will be ok, not a big deal, still sexy’. He said it so matter of fact, like nothing happened! He was so calm about it, like he almost wasn’t getting it! Anyway, you got a nice person by your side. Cherish that!

  • RichG
    6 years ago

    Tears as I read this. I have been right where you are. The humiliation of MS is so hard to deal with. I said the same to my wife, she did not sign up for this. I feel exactly as you do but I keep looking for answers outside mainstream medicine if possible. Look into botox injections in your bladder, I hear they work wonders. I am looking into it. I fall all the time now and it is terrible and humiliating. Get a pendant to push when you need help… from “5 star”, they work great. Do not get caught by yourself again in that situation. We can not give up… ever.

  • Aubri328
    6 years ago

    Your Tommy meant what he said- “for better, for worse…”! We all have the same fears and they never seem to focus on our actual problems. Sure pain stinks, sure being tired is a drag, but being a burden on someone or letting anyone see our superhuman cape isn’t available is just to overwhelming. It’s so hard being vulnerable, and worse having the people we care about having to tend to our needs. We are blessed to have people in our lives that love us and see beyond the hick-ups in the road.

  • Karen
    6 years ago

    Your Tommy is a gem! I have the exact same thing, but no Tommy to clean up and tell me “no apologies”.

  • Nick
    6 years ago

    I have got to say, That is the sweetest thing I have read in a long time. Thank you that story made me feel happy for a moment. I am glad you have someone awesome, I hope you let him know.

  • Alison
    6 years ago

    Oh my goodness. I have had almost this same situation happen to me. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is such a lonely moment when that feeling of helpless defeat overcomes you and you feel you can do nothing but cry. It somehow provides comfort to know there are others with similar problems.

  • rmdanielsom
    6 years ago

    Nicole, your Tommy is absolutely correct. Never apologize for having MS. Your first two words in your blog are also absolutely correct. You, I, anyone that has MS is dying. MS is killing our brains and our central nervous systems; the system that runs our entire bodies. That is why I never state that I am “living with MS.”

    You “live with” your family, friends, or pets. You do not “live with” a killer.

    Do not give up, do not feel sorry for yourself. Do continue writing your blog. Do get angry. Until people get angry and start demanding more than just drugs that only retard the inevitable and prolong the agony, you, I, anyone with MS, will never have a “normal”, or a life.

    Like you, I want my life and my body back.

  • Marcia
    6 years ago

    I agree with you, it is killing us. I hate when people and doctors tell you that this disease won’t kill you. When I am having a new attack and the symptom is my brain to give the signal to pull out in front of traffic, I am very sure it’s not a good thing…I’m so happy for those have Tims in their lives.

  • Laura Kolaczkowski
    6 years ago

    Nicole, thank you for continuing the intimate look into your life. There is so much we can learn from the sense of helplessness – I am just sorry that you are the teacher for this lesson. Here’s to a better day, Laura

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