Monday, December 10, 2007

MS may stand for Mood Swings

Multiple Sclerosis attacks every area of your life. It affects your daily life, your work life, your family life and your spiritual life. It doesn't seem to have any boundaries and no remorse for what it does or how it does it. As a husband, I am always watching to see how my wife is doing. Her MS is sometimes very sneaky in how it works itself out in her life. For instance, she will start to develop knots in your shoulder muscles that are aggravating but not anything too bad. Over a few days those knots can develop into major pain and severe headaches. With all of the physical issues of MS, no wonder my wife has mood swings.

When my wife is having MS problems, it can manifest itself in a lot of ways. One way that it usually comes out is her need to cry. She will cry at puppy commercials and pretty flowers and anything else that remotely touches her heart. I know it frustrates her to no end because once she starts crying, she has an extremely hard time stopping. I guess I have gotten used to it now, but it seems so make other people nervous when she starts crying for no apparent reason. We have sat in teachers meetings for our daughter and my wife just can't help but cry due to the subject of our daughter. It embarrasses her and frustrates her, and I feel helpless watching her body expressing everything built up inside of her.

Along with the crying can come other emotions, like anger or joy or excitement. As a young girl, my wife hated surprises. She would have to know what she was getting for Christmas or her birthday, and she really hated to be startled. I have heard that a Multiple Sclerosis patient feels everything a normal person would feel at 10X the intensity. I know for my wife that more often than not, this rule applies. Early on in our marriage I would playfully chase her around the house. One day very early on, I caught her on an emotional day and she was in a great mood until I chased her. All of the sudden she fell to the ground in a ball just crying and asking me to stop. I had no idea what was going on, but I quickly found out that she didn't like to be chased or startled or surprised. It physically hurt her.

I don't know that I understand the physical hurt, but she feels things so differently than I do. The intensity, and the extent of the feelings she has are so much more powerful than what I feel. Sometimes her moods swing so much that I am not sure what to do, but I have learned that many times she doesn't even realize that it is happening. To be honest, I really love the fact that she cries when something touches her heart, or she feels so strongly about something. Back when we would go see Dr. Swank, he described MS patients as one of the most alive patients he had ever treated. He would say that they were vibrant and full of life and beautiful. I can attest to that. My wife is vibrant, beautiful and full of life like no other woman I have met. MS may stand for mood swings sometimes, but I am OK with that. It also stands for my sweetheart.

13 comments:

Kenny Scott said...

Another good post, buddy. I've nothing specific to say other than I enjoy reading your posts each time they appear in my reader.

Anonymous said...

My husband was diagnosed three years ago. The first year we didnt talk about it. He avoids emotional things so he buried himself in work. The past 19 months he has told me he doesnt want to be married, doesnt like who I am and that I am an embarrassment to be around. He doesnt talk to me, engage emotionally and treats me as the enemy. I want to help him but when I make any suggestions he tells me I dont have the knowledge to back up my claim. He is cold, disregards any attempt I make to be in relationship and avoids talkig about our marriage in general. He works 15 hour days and now works on weekends as well. I often think he is havin an affair but friends tell me he is just avoiding talking about our future. Someone please help me to know what I am supposed to do. How can I care for a man when he doesnt even want me around while he is still physically healthy. Do others see such a drastic change in their spouses personality. I am living with him but dont know him anymore!

Cory said...

Anonymous, I am so sorry to hear about your struggles. The stress of MS can cause so many issues, and marriage is hard enough without any other problems. I know that my wife was worried about telling me she had MS when we were dating because her past experiences told her that I would break up as soon as I found out. We all handle stress differently, and I know that I bury stress the same as your husband. I have my "man cave" that I hide in so that I don't have to deal with the issues, but I also know that my wife and I have really worked on communicating, especially about her MS. We will be in prayer about your situation and maybe someone on the blog can speak from personal experience on how best to help you. Please don't be afraid to email my wife and I at mywifehasms@gmail.com if you need anything.

Anonymous said...

i believe that MS destroys any relationship. Better off with no one

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!I was just told I have MS and always wondered about my crassness.Lately I have become very short and quick you anger with my kids to the poin I am feeling like a abusive parent. (Verbally) I am going to talk to my Dr about it. Again Thank you for showing me I am not crazy going to go cry in releaf now. Carrie Bailey

Ms. D. said...

Today my ex-boyfriend told me that the waitresses in a restaurant we used to frequent had been asking where I was. He explained that he advised them of our having parted ways,they questioned why and he advised "She has MS and some major medical issues AND she has mood swings." Funny,I don't have mood swings any more severe than any woman and even told him how thankful I was because most of my friends with MS have told me that they do suffer from them. Due to so many making the assumption that everyone with MS suffers from them it has become an assumption that is quite commonplace.This saddens me because I fell in love with this man who told me MS didn't matter but continually became annoyed if I did not feel well enough to go out in the heat or understand my severe fatigue. How many times did he tell me "you look fine!" and "some of us have to work!" As a result of my ending the verbal abuse by ending the relationship I am now labeled as someone with mood swings...it is enough to make me feel like actually having one...(lol.)

Anonymous said...

I lOved the entry by the husband who labelled his wife his 'sweetheart'. What a rare gem you are. I live my life as full as I can I am vibrant I laugh and I have a lot of joy. My husband hates it. He'd prefer to see me sleep or watch movies. I'd love for my husband to see the joy I can feel with knowing that MS can take it away at any time.

Anonymous said...

My name is Christopher and my wife was diagnosed last thursday with MS, and I thought everything is cool, because we pretty much knew, but in your experience, when did reality set in for your spouse? When did she realize that this was going to change her, and how did she take it. I think my wife is scared and is taking it out on me, and I feel physically and emotionally exhausted and it has only been a WEEK! Maybe I could get some advise from you on someone who I can talk to, and how to decifer what is MS and what is not. Thanks.

Eric tx said...

I appreciate what u said. I'm going through the same with my fiancé. She's gotten very emotionally distant. Snaps at the drop of a time with incredible anger. I try to talk her through it staying it calm but when I stay calm it angers her even more to we're she wants to emotionally hurt me then moments later she's trying to dance be cute and loving. Also on a daily basis she says things such as take me home I'm done w u you are a pos. etc etc then a couple hours later she apologizes. I know this is mood swings but I'm at a loss how to handle help please?

Stephanie Inman said...

Thank you for this post. It helped me to better understand myself and my MS symptoms, and I hope it will give my fiance some insight into the lesser discussed issues associated with MS as well.

True Adventst Education said...

Hey..Just found this after googling because I am sooooo angry with everything and I have been dx for 25 years...It is like trying to hold onto your senses without killing someone. I know however that it is not a particular thing I am mad at, but nothing is right..nothing...so, I figured it must be MS and yup..It is...and I know as all things with MS, this too shall pass even before I do...

Anonymous said...

I am not sure if anyone reads these anymore. But my boyfriend has MS and he goes through what I call 'episodes'. He flies off the handle at the most minuscule things. Usually lasts a few days of him saying horrible things to me, acting completely irrational, and sometimes gets very aggressive. After about 24-48 hours he calms and becomes more rational and apologizes for his behavior. But this is never ending. It can be as common as once a week and that isn't even accounting for his regular mood swings a instability. It's reaking havoc on our family life. We have a small child together and I am left with a decision to make. He refuses to get help or any kind of treatment and I am starting to think that leaving is my only option. For my son's well being as well as mine. I feel like I'm on an emotional rollsercoaster constantly and it's affecting me both mentally and physically at this point. I'm just at a loss on what to do. I love him and I worry about him and I don't want to leave but I'm at my wits end and I just don't think it's good for our son.

Diane Smith said...

Hi
I am glad I found this thread my fiancée has been diagnosed with MS for nearly five years now although we figure she has had it for approximately 15 years in total. She has recently been retired from work due to ill health and has become much more stiff and disabled in the past 6 months. We are waiting to see the neurologist in a few weeks who has already hinted to us that he is going to change her diagnosis to secondary progressive and recently she is becoming more and more paralysed. She is very angry with her illness and devastated about no longer being able to work and this has now manifested in very violent aggressive outbursts and suicidal thoughts. I am quite a tough person and deal well with changes but I am at my wits end as to how to cope with these emotional outbursts as they are ruining our relationship but she refuses to let me get any help in or to speak with her doctors I am stuck what can I do:[