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Woman in a wheelchair sitting in front of a computer with emojis and chat bubbles coming out of it

Being Lovable Through ‘Sick’ and Thin

I am 49 years old and will soon be 50. That isn’t ‘old’ – especially once you’ve entered the 30+ age bracket. I mean, I think I’m doing pretty well at hanging in there. I feel fine…most days, I love shopping for clothes, jewelry, smell goods, and sunglasses because when I step out, I like to look good doing so. I keep my hair cut, and though I’m not much of a makeup person, my lipgloss is always poppin’ and I even wear a little eyeliner on occasion. I’m just saying that I’ve received no complaints. Most importantly, however, I consider myself an intelligent, strong, resilient and persevering woman with an exuberant personality…most days. I have a positive, humble, and optimistic attitude with a healthy sense of humor. I love to laugh and I am seldom speechless on any subject. Not to mention, I am compassionate and caring, courageous and creative, loving and loyal.

I have MS, but I’m still me

And another thing about me… I have Multiple Sclerosis. So many facets of this affliction are horrible: suffering pain, unpredictability, fatigue, declination of mobility, lack of dexterity and strength in my hands, the loss of a great majority of my independence, living with the progression, and all of the consequences of severely damaged nerves for so long are a challenge …most days (because some days are actually ‘ok’ – considering). YET… I still love shopping for clothes, jewelry, smell goods, and sunglasses – it’s just online shopping. And even though it’s not often, I still like to look good when I step out – although I’m not literally stepping, I’m in a wheelchair. Oh, and I still love my stylishly low, fly ‘Caesar’ haircut – it just also happens to be a plus for me since it’s more manageable with the loss of dexterity and strength in my hands. My lipgloss is still always poppin’ – though someone may have to screw the top off for me. And I still like a little eyeliner on occasion – though I just count on my daughter, the little diva that she is, to put it on for me. My condition has changed quite a bit of the semantics in my life, but it’s enhanced and strengthened my attributes and outlook because if they were skewed, I might just fold… quit… give up… give in – none of which are options for me. At all.

Finding the right person

Considering all of the above, I reflectively ponder how likely it is for me to find romance at this juncture in my life. How likely is it to find that wonderful, patient companion, that understanding mate that will love and care for me through thick… or ‘sick’…and thin? Because I still am open to the concept of being ‘in love’ or ‘in like’…most days. Albeit, it’d be different and sometimes even difficult, but definitely doable. We can take a stroll in the park… if you push me in my wheelchair. We can ‘Netflix and chill’… if you can get past the fact that I may fall asleep because I’m suddenly tired or in pain out of nowhere. We can make plans to go on a date… if you’re patient with me should I have to change plans at the ninth hour because of the unpredictability of MS.

And that’s when all of my attractive attributes come into play. All of those characteristics that make me, me – and in spite of MS – very much lovable through ‘sick’ and thin.

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

Comments

  • Tonyh
    3 weeks ago

    Thank you for your story. I am a gay male and sometimes ponder what you do. I sometimes think for me it’s not even worth trying. I am more scared of denial because of my MS than anything. I hope we can all get where we need to be and those of us who do want to get back out there and romantically meet people, Maybe it will happen when we are not even looking and when we least expect it.

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    3 weeks ago

    That’s right, @tonyh… As they say ‘A watched pot never boils’ right? At any rate, I thank you for reading and appreciate your sentiments. Best of luck to you in love, health and everything within and in between.. Hang in there, my friend! Warmly, Dianne♡

  • Marla
    3 weeks ago

    I, too, have been experiencing the same problem. I am 51 was diagnosed with MS five years ago. Since my diagnosis, I haven’t dated anyone. I felt like I had too much “baggage” and that no one would be interested in me because of it. Unfortunately, I still feel that way. However, I finally took a big step and signed up for online dating. At first I was completely open about my disability, but the only response I received was from a guy who said he admired me for being so open about my disability. Other than that one reply, I didn’t get any. So, I decided to revise my profile and omit my disability. Finally men were contacting me! However, when I told these men about my MS, they stopped talking to me. That really hurt, so I decided I wouldn’t say anything to the next man until we had corresponded for awhile. That backfired on me as well. This one man was eager about meeting up with me, but when I told him about my MS I never heard from him again. I didn’t know what I to do. I’m am happy to say that I finally went on a date, actually two. The first date knew about my MS. Before we met he told me about his health issues, so I felt comfortable telling him about mine. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a romantic interest for either of us. I didn’t tell the second date I had MS. So, when I showed up with my cane in hand (I was embarrassed about showing up with my walker) I saw the look on his face and I knew right then that I should have told him about my MS. However, I still couldn’t bring myself to tell him the full truth; I only told him half truths. I told him that I had been suffering from severe vertigo (which is true) and that I needed the cane for balace until my vertigo was resolved. Although he was polite the whole time, I could tell he was relieved when the date was over. Now what? What do I do the next time, if there’s a next time? Am I ever going to meet that special man who doesn’t care that I have a disability? Dating is hard enough, but adding a disabilty makes it even harder.

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    3 weeks ago

    Hi ( @engprof95 ) Maria,
    I understand your frustrations and confusion first-hand. I don’t have the answers, but I do know that if a potential suitor opts not to involved due to your disability or otherwise, let him go as opposed to wasting your time. You are valuable and prayerfully someone will come along to sweep you off of your feet – both figuratively and literally (should you need it)!
    One suggestion that I thought of is since you are open to online dating, perhaps you could research online dating services that are designed for those with disabilities. I understand there are some out there. At any rate, best of luck to you in your quest for love and companionship. Thank you for reading and sharing..
    Be encouraged,
    Dianne♡

  • artwoman
    3 weeks ago

    Greetings everyone coping with disability and love. I’m in my early 50’s and would like to find a companion that will accept me as I am. From previous experiences w another diseases unrelated to MS, I know that some men will literally walk out the door when they know something is wrong, even if it’s not a visible illness. I believe in being straightforward after the first couple of dates and laying everything on the line.
    I’m frightened about returning to the dating market. I’m dated since my divorce in 2006 (nothing to do with MS since I wasn’t diagnosed then), but ironically found men that wanted to date me, but I found them boring or just repugnant. As an aside, my MS is still pretty invisible. I’m completely mobile, and attacks of fatigue can be hidden if I don’t go out. I know that some men will run when hearing about any disability because, basically, they are frightened. Or so I tell myself. Still I would be very hurt when/if that happens. I’m considering a dating site which matches people with disabilities. I’m sorry that I don’t have the website, but if you search “disability” and “dating site”, I’m sure it will come up.
    Having written all that, perhaps I’m the frightened coward b/c I’m not at all sure that I want to cope with my MS as well as someone else’s physical disability. But I try to keep in mind that my father reminds me that at “my age,” nearly every man will have some physical issue, if not a ton of psychological baggage, which is sometimes as bad as a physical disability. Oy, I could tell you stories…

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    3 weeks ago

    Hello @artwoman,
    I’d definitely be here for some of those stories..Lol! I do hope that companionship is in your near future whether from an online dating site or a physical chance encounter. Thanks so much for reading and commenting..
    Best wishes,
    Dianne ♡

  • Kissey91
    3 weeks ago

    I was 35 when I had my 1st episode of MS. Of course they called it Tranverse Myelitis at the time (1977). MS was a “diagnosis of exclusion” at the time. I had been dating this guy for only 2 months at the time. Well fast forward 7 years and he asked me to marry him. I felt things were so unpredictable with me I wanted him to meet with my neurologist before a final decision. The meeting was unbelievable. It was the 1st time I nn oh I’m so glad it yeah I don’t think there’s any other no matter what the right in the middle so no matter what side the track is on it’s going to be around from your dad I am asleep think she does this manner of not really much of an issue because we have to come off the door frame yet anyways so it’s maybe like quarter of an inch difference if you have to move it it’s the same going down the side yet but it’s a tad studio another post down there at the bottom need to move it but will give it your own college try and plug it in it’s going to be ventures p ever heard those words MS. And we both heard it together. When we got home I went over everything with him again. I told him bluntly that he might have to wipe my bum for me someday. He just went home quietly. I thought it was over. Well didn’t he show up with a ring the very next day. A year later we were married I was 42 at the time and he 47. It was the 1st marriage for either of us. We were married 27 years. And he died very suddenly 9 years ago. I am in a wc and and 2 dogs now and am 76. So really not looking or longing any more.
    Just a long way of saying hang in there. You will meet that special person. I just know it!!

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    3 weeks ago

    I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s passing. It sounds like you’re hanging in there.. I thank you so much, @kissey91, for sharing your story and for your encouragement. Take care..
    Warmly,
    Dianne ♡

  • Kissey91
    3 weeks ago

    Hang in there I met my husband when I was 35 and wasn’t even looking any more.
    We were married when I was 42 and he was 47. It was the first time for either of us.
    In the end he died very suddenly 9 years ago. We had 27 years of a wonderful marriage. I was indeed blessed.
    So hang in there. You are still young. That special person will come along for you when you least expect it.

  • Jbrown38
    3 weeks ago

    I just turned 46 and I’m wondering the same thing. I too shop online a LOT. Because of the strength in my hands, I now have Locs and love to put on lip gloss, eyeliner and sometimes eye shadow. OH, and I LOVE to smell good. I actually dated a guy for 1 1/2 year and he was VERY patient; even did research on MS. BUT, we had been friends for over 20 years and still are. He wasn’t ready to settle down. I’m certain that there’s still someone for me, I just have to wait for GOD to send, “THE ONE HE KEPT FOR ME!!!!!” Thank you for your post, be BLESSED.

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    3 weeks ago

    Well hello @jbrown .. The person that shares so many commonalities with me! I enjoyed reading – and appreciate – your comment. I, too, am waiting “GOD to send “THE ONE HE KEPT FOR ME!!!!!” Thanks for reading.. Hang in there, my friend.
    Best wishes,
    Dianne ♡

  • SilverSais
    3 weeks ago

    Don’t give up, please. My first wife left me at the point that my MS appeared, although our marriage was dead already. However, aged 56 and nine years after I was diagnosed with MS, I started a successful transatlantic relationship that blossomed – despite my MS and wheelchair. We got married and ten years later, we are doing everything we can together as we are both retired.

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    3 weeks ago

    Awwww @silversais.. So happy to hear your story and so appreciative of your encouragement! Thank you so much for reading and best of luck to you and your wife.. Take care.
    Best,
    Dianne ♡

  • Shelley D.
    4 weeks ago

    OMG, Dianne, I could’ve written this article, except that I don’t have any children!! (Kudos to your daughter!) I am also 49, in a wheelchair, & single. I keep telling myself I am fine (I have a dog & 2 cats for company), yet daily I long for a relationship like I had before this MonSter reared it’s ugly head! The last couple of relationships I’ve had, my partner has been handicapped as well, because “what young, healthy man would waste their time on me!?” That has been my thinking…and not worked out so well! Thank you for the positive spin! Best wishes!!

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    3 weeks ago

    Hi @shelleyd … Remember that your ‘vibe attracts your tribe’ so I wish for you positive thoughts to bring you all great things – including love/companionship. Thank you for reading and contributing! Hang in there, my friend..
    Best,
    Dianne♡

  • gingersnapp276
    4 weeks ago

    Thank you for posting this important issue. I have experienced each emotion.

    I also have tried to post a reply three times so I apologize if this is a repeat.

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    3 weeks ago

    You’re welcome, @gingersnapp276 … and thank YOU for reading and taking the opportunity to comment!
    (No worries about the blender… We don’t see the other attempts!) 😉
    Best wishes to you,
    Dianne♡

  • katbow420
    4 weeks ago

    I hear you Sister! It is difficult enough to find the right partner, but throw multiple sclerosis into the mix and I think it makes it nearly impossible to find that person. Typically I am a very optimistic, positive person but in this respect I have come to the realization that I most likely will finish life’s journey alone. And I’m okay with that! However, if God grants me the gift of a life mate I am more than ready! Since I don’t leave the house much, I’m going to have to meet him either at a medical appointment, or he will be working for UPS or FedEx! As long as we can face this with a smile, along with the other challenges MS delivers, we’re doing great. So put on that lip gloss and continue fighting!

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    3 weeks ago

    Well @katbow420 .. In your words, “… I have come to the realization that I most likely will finish life’s journey alone. And I’m okay with that!” and “…As long as we can face this with a smile, along with the other challenges MS delivers, we’re doing great.” Yes! I couldn’t have said it any better myself! Thanks so much for reading and leaving a comment AND some encouragement, my friend..
    Warmly,
    Dianne ♡

  • Tom Bellas
    4 weeks ago

    Thank you far sharing.

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    3 weeks ago

    You’re welcome, @tom-bellas, and thank YOU for reading and leaving a comment! Take care, Dianne♡

  • hk7468
    4 weeks ago

    My husband has primary progressive MS and is a full-time power chair user. I am also disabled with chronic daily migraines and fibromyalgia. I think, that in many ways, dating while disabled, or dating someone who is disabled, can actually strengthen your relationship. There is very little “faking it,” as disability requires that you express your needs just to be able to function. Honest, direct communication from the start is often the result, which is a key part of any successful relationship.

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    3 weeks ago

    Your points, @hk7468, are very logical and your thoughts – and reading the article – are appreciated. Best wishes to you and your husband.. Be encouraged, my friend..
    Warmly,
    Dianne♡

  • Jbrown38
    3 weeks ago

    So true, definitely no need to fake it. Glad for you and I’m expecting my GOOD thing one day. LOL, !!! I’m hopeful.

  • Shelley D.
    4 weeks ago

    I am so glad you have that in your relationship! Maybe I won’t give up yet! 😉

  • Cutisis
    2 months ago

    I have so many issues right now it’s not even funny, they say I have major depressive disorder also severe anxiety I’m bi polar and I constantly am In pain, my brain dont want to help me think of what I was trying to say and at times I’ll be talking about one thing and proof it’s either completely gone or I’m just on a totally diffrent subject..On the 4th I met my granddaughter and her other grandma up on main street for the parade well I parked at the bottom the hill by the time I got up to the top I thought yup I’m dying but, then met up with them we sat down on the curb well huge mistake I could not get up from there at all we had to ask a guy if he’d help me and he did, my legs were jelly the rest of the night and omg did I hurt the next day

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    2 months ago

    Hi @cutisis,
    It may sound cliche, but I am indeed, sorry to hear of the plethora of health perils you’re experiencing. I know that it’s so not easy, but I encourage you to credit yourself when even accomplishng the smallest feat, don’t stop, but be careful about pushing yourself too hard and just hang in there. And please don’t forget that we are here to hear you and understand.
    Thanks for reading and sharing. Keep fighting, fellow warrior.. You’re not alone.
    Warmly,
    Dianne (Author), Team Member
    Multiplesclerosis.net

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