When someone in the family is found to have multiple sclerosis, all the family members are affected in their different ways. Overcoming the challenges as a family does help in tackling and managing the disease. And because multiple sclerosis often affects women more than men, it’s usually the mom that’s diagnosed. As we well know, mom is the woman of the house and the favorite person that everyone runs to. Mom cooks the meals, does the laundry, and keeps everything in the house running. So when she becomes ill with multiple sclerosis, the whole household routine might probably be dislocated and disorganized. Needless to say, it doesn’t matter whether it’s mom, dad, or whoever in the family is diagnosed with the disease. The truth is that when MS is present in one or more family members, it is perplexing for everybody in the family.
Just like multiple sclerosis, how the family deals with it will be distinct from every other family. This autoimmune disorder is very unpredictable, to add to the fact that all families are more or less different from each other. Someone diagnosed with multiple sclerosis may present with fewer disabilities and don’t need much assistance. For another family, on the other hand, their loved one with MS may be extremely affected by her disease and needs moderate to complete assistance and protection in living her life and performing daily activities.
Helping A Family Member
Two of the most crucial things that families can do to support an MS family member are, knowing more about the disease as much as you can and communicating openly with them. Families who are efficiently dealing with MS are those who are capable of talking freely about it and can resolve problems and concerns as a family. If you can’t comfortably talk about it, it’s going to be difficult to deal with whatever circumstance that may come up. It’ll even be more difficult to get into a new routine than what you were used to before your loved one was diagnosed. Discussing what you can about the diseases allows you and the whole family to manage the condition and create an efficient treatment plan.
Talking To The Kids About MS
Discussing multiple sclerosis is vital, even though they’re young. If the symptoms of MS are not visible, you may be hesitant to talk to your kids because you think you don’t have to let them panic about something that they can’t see. However, kids of all ages nowadays are typically perceptive to changes in their siblings’ or parents’ behaviors. They’ll somehow notice when something isn’t right, even if dad or mom doesn’t look like they have an illness. If you don’t try talking to them, your children might worry that you have a problem that’s so dreadful to the point that you can’t discuss it with them.
When you decide to explain it to your children, use simple terminology that is age-appropriate and one that they can comprehend. Just lay down the basics so they won’t be anxious or afraid of what you’re not telling them. Hearing it from their parents themselves assures them that their loved one with MS is the same person – mom or dad – despite their illness.
Keeping It Together As A Family
When someone in the family is found to have multiple sclerosis, it can be overpowering, and the whole family may require the help and guidance in dealing with the medical aspects of MS as well as the mental and emotional aspects. Mental health professionals can aid families in finding strategies that would work for all the members of the family.
So how can all family members survive and thrive when one of them has multiple sclerosis? Here are some of the ways.
Make a plan. The randomness and instability of multiple sclerosis can make things all the more difficult to deal with family life. Nevertheless, the family can still enjoy and make wonderful memories together, and one of the best things that can help is by preparing a plan. For instance, if you are planning to eat out for dinner, be sure that you give a few minutes of extra time to travel to the movie theater. You can check ahead online or perhaps check out the place for accessibility.
Confront your problems head-on. The struggles of life with MS are most likely to persist, so it may help to find time for all family members to converse and solve the problems and circumstances that might arise.
Find support networks. Support groups are healthy channels for help, guidance, and inspiration. It’s an outlet that your loved one with MS can vent out his frustrations, which are not uncommon when a family member has been diagnosed with the condition. By connecting with families that are in similar situations, you can listen to others’ dilemmas and learn from them. You can also help and inspire others by sharing your story.