My Experience With Multiple Sclerosis- An Outsider's Perspective

I want to state for the record that I, Tru3, do not have Multiple Sclerosis. My mother does, and she has been living with the disease since 1985. I have seen what it has done to her firsthand and the worst thing for me is not watching the physical debilitation the disease has caused but rather the effect it has had on her spirit.

While I am seriously affected by watching her slowly lose her ability to walk, not having any feeling in her leg or taste or saliva production in one side of her mouth, or being legally blind in one eye the thing that gets to me most is the diagnosis of clinical depression.

She can still be happy but more often not she is unhappy and easy to anger. She knows it is not her fault but at the same time is almost constantly in some state of sadness or depression. I love to see her light up when I come home to visit. Another psychological effect that really bothers me is that of her inability to have an appetite. She often cannot bring herself to eat because she doesn't want to. It kills me, she watches herself waste away and still thinks she is overweight, when in fact she is under.

Growing up in my household I had no real serious idea as to what MS was until I was may be 17 years old. Up until that point my mother was just a depressed bitter woman that sometimes it was really hard to be around. My brother, myself, and my mother would often get in fights and it would often end very badly.

I write this brief dialogue to express one, what I believe to be, simple fact. MS does not affect the person afflicted singularly. It also has a profound impact on the family and friends of the individual diagnosed. I will continue to stand by my mother's side and appreciate her for the strong woman that she is. There is nothing I can do in my position to help her other than that. She is taking the industry leading drugs and she still volunteers at the hospital and with the red cross. I take all the chances I can to go home and see my parents but being out of state and in school it is difficult.

Anyone out there in a similar situation, and I suspect there are many of you, please know that you are not alone. We are all in the same boat here and we all have a deep emotional stake in whatever happens in the future.
Tru3Flight91 Tru3Flight91
26-30, M
2 Responses Jan 23, 2013

Your story just happened to cross my eye and I have a similiar story. My father was diagnosed when I was 5 and I am now 21. I have seen my fathers MS affect not just him but my mother and I as well. My father is now 66 and after being diagnosed with MS he has become a different person. Depression is something that has affected him after being diagnosed. He seems to feel down most of the time because he is not able to do things other people can. I am a senior in college now and being away from both my mom and dad worries me because we can no longer afford the medicine that was helping him and I see this disease affecting him more than ever now.

I am responding as I think your mother would- she would like to say she is sorry that things turned out the way they did, but probably your early memories of her angry and bitter may just have been fear and distrust because her world was spinning out of control. Early on in this disease nobody tells you anything about what,s happening to you- lots of tests and no answers and maybe more than one doctor says its all in your head, and she's got this young family depending on her. I bet she was scared shitless and just tried thru the sheer force of her will to make things right, and when you're fighting like hell to survive sometimes you forget the warm fuzzies. Maybe she thought if she showed some emotion she'd scare you. Better to be thought of as mean rather than weak. And having ms could have very well left her angry and bitter. Stronger people have caved under less. And your right- it robs the whole family in someone they love, right I front of your eyes. But if your mom can't find the words to tell you I will- she has raised a wonderful son, one worthy of love and happiness. MS may have toughened you up earlier than most of your friends, but being tough isn't such a bad thing. You deserve the very best life has to offer. Good luck and prayers.