Did you reach Multiple Sclerosis in Men Part 2 first and want to go to Part 1? Click here.
These are all legitimate concerns for men who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Each one can cause stress, which in turn can lead to increased relapses or exacerbations and even more mobility problems.
How does all of this affect you emotionally?
Hopefully, you have a strong support group in place when it comes to your family, friends, and your health care team. This can help you deal with everything that's happening in your life. But only if you tell them.
It may be very difficult for you to deal with the fact that you have MS. And even more difficult to talk about the things you have lost as a result of it. Don't be afraid or embarrassed to seek help. Throughout the years, Cir has sought counseling for depression and other past emotional issues.
The longer he has MS, the easier it is for him to see that this is a good thing. A chronic disease is one that you will live with for many years of your life. Day in and day out there is something going on - whether it's the symptoms, the emotional or cognitive issues, or the abilities that you have lost or that have been limited. Admit it. That can be very hard to do - alone.
Realize that you don't have to do this alone. There are so many people out there who are willing to help. If you aren't surrounded by family or friends, find some. I know it sounds a little funny, but it will help when you have people in your life who can help you. And your health care team is a good place to start.
Talk to them - each and everyone of your doctors. Learn, learn, learn. Find out every thing you can about this condition. In a way, that will help take away the "power" from your MS, and give it back to you. You take the lead. Remain in the driver's seat. You can beat this.
Learn about the disease and what you can possibly expect. Remain as healthy as you can by continuing to exercise and eating foods that are good for your brain and your body are some of the first steps you can take. Take an active role in managing your symptoms is another way of staying on top of any issues that come up. This includes dealing with things like depression, cognitive issues, as well as sexual, bowel, and bladder problems, as soon as they arise.
When one set of dreams is taken away, build new ones. Then figure out what you can do to make them come true. Do you have any hobbies that can be transformed into a business? Do you know something well that you can teach others? This goes for men as well as women.
If you hadn't noticed, this website is a culmination of what we know about living with MS as a couple. We built it together and now it is not just a website, but an online business. And we live on Cir's SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). It is possible to re-invent yourself – man or woman – even as you live your life with multiple sclerosis.
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Cir & Akrista
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