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Thursday, December 20, 2012

"Helpful" Advice


I haven't been feeling well. What a loaded sentence that is from someone with MS.  It could, mean "I'm tired", "I don't have much strength", "my eyesight is poor", "my speech is off", "I have a UTI", or just simply, "I'm down in the dumps so leave me alone"  Many times it's a combination of one or more of these symptoms.

When I don't feel well, I feel the need to downplay how truly bad I am feeling.  Why? Because I don't want to burden friends and family with my problems.  I don't want to admit to myself that this is another relapse.  Mostly because I don't to hear the "helpful" advice from my well meaning family and friends.

After over 20 years of this crud, you would think I would know how to handle a relapse right?  Not according to my family.  "did you call the Dr.?" is always the first question, followed by "well why don't you just lie down and take a nap".  Bless their hearts, but sometimes I just want to shake 'em all.

My husband used to be the worst about this.  He used to tell me it's all mind over matter, Heor stop talking about it so much and it won't affect you so badly. We have been together for 25 years so he has been here since my journey began with MS.  This year was the most trying of our relationship. We actually went through about 6 months of counseling this year because communication was becoming such an issue with us and it came down to "Shit or get off the pot" for our marriage.   I didn't think he truly understood what I was going through and that he didn't want to try.   Another issue was when he came home from deployments, whether they were stateside or not he was a nightmare to talk to about anything and didn't think I really understood the pressure he was under in his position at the base.

Therapy was a eye opener because he told me how much he loved and respected me and was proud of all the things I still do. I was really stunned.

I learned that when he comes home I needed to just let him be for a few days.  I actually started a journal of daily happenings while he was gone on deployment that he could read at the best time for him.The counselor told him to just let me vent if I have to because he is the one safe person in my life that I trust the most.  We are partners in this and we have to be able to communicate with our partner.

Counseling was a great experience for us and my husband even asked what her normal rates were since our sessions were being covered by Military One Source, http://www.militaryonesource.mil/, at the time.

No matter how long a couple has been together there are always going to be new challenges to face and new growing pains to endure.




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