Friday, November 11, 2011

Emotional Stress of MS

My wife and I recently celebrated our 16th anniversary. Through those years, we have had some very tough struggles with MS and some joys that could only happen through the struggles. At this point, I know that my wife's MS has only made our relationship stronger because through the mess we have been forced to rely on each other and God. There have been moments when we have felt completely out of control, and other times we found specific treatments that helped us to feel like we had some control. The emotional roller coaster of this ride can be very draining, and there have been times when my wife and I have had to be intentional about taking a sabbath from Multiple Sclerosis.

For my wife, the emotional stress of MS can come out in days of being tearful, extreme headaches, mood swings, fatigue and a lot of other ways. There are times when she just has to sleep, no matter how busy we are or how behind we are in life. This can add to the stress, but we just see it as a necessary part of life with MS. There have been times when we put our whole life on hold because the stress on my wife's body has become too much. The stress can also come out in pain in her legs or other parts of her body, numbness in body parts, stiffness in body parts, sour stomach and general feelings of being ill.

Sometimes life can get so busy that we neglect the rest that my wife needs, and there are times that we pay dearly for it. The thing we have learned is to take action when we need to and not put it off, and try to be proactive and build in down time in our life. The problem is that we are both very driven people with a desire to do more than probably what we need to, so we get ourselves overwhelmed pretty often. I guess the morale of the story for our family is to be aware, be proactive, and know our limits. Emotional stress in life can be overwhelming, and MS just seems to add to the issue, so we try hard to limit stress and live life as fully as possible.


Patrick said...

Congratulations to you both on your anniversary and 'continuing to live life as fully as possible'.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog for some time. It is great to see someone so supportive. Most days I feel so alone in my struggles. I wish you and your wife many more years of happiness.

Bob said...

Congrats on your 16th wedding anniversary. My wife and I will be celebrating or 27th wedding anniversary, on Dec 7. Sue and I have a strong marriage before she was diagnosed with MS, and our marriage has gotten stronger but, I have been disabled for the past 18 years.

There will be days, when no matter what, it feels like life is out of control. That is when you must trust in the Lord the most. I know with Sue, when she stresses out, I like to take her to a small, quite cafe for drinks (coffee, soda, ice tea, etc. etc.) and that does help release her stress levels.

My wife has learned to slow down and not be so driven any more, as it was hurting her, physically and mentally with the MS.

Regardless, I'll keep both of y'all in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Even without physical symptoms - the emotional aspect of dealing with the uncertainty of the disease can take it's toll. I know that is my biggest struggle - to live carefreely and not constantly focus on the "ifs" and "whens" MS will strike again. I have to make sure to "take a sabbatical" as you put it!

I really do enjoy your posts. I hope all is well with your wife - congrats to you both on your anniversary!