Thursday, October 4, 2012

You’re okay. I’m okay. We’re okay.

Kelly Nieuwejaar

 “Are you okay?” If my husband had his way, he’d never hear me utter these words again. I can’t help it. If he coughs, I ask him. If he looks puzzled, I ask him. If he stretches, I ask him. No matter what it is, I’m convinced it’s a symptom of multiple sclerosis. I’m a woman obsessed. I’m sure he’s completely exasperated by now. I’m even irritating myself at this point.

I wasn’t always like this. When Khoren and I first started dating, I was pretty cool about his disabilities. If he had to walk 30 yards through a crowd to get somewhere, it didn’t bother me. Now, a walk like that ties my stomach up in knots. I keep looking after him and waiting anxiously for him to return. I wonder if he’s fallen, and if so, if anyone is helping him. I wonder if he’s somewhere needing me and I’m not there.

I think at first my concern was probably endearing. But now it’s just too much. He’s the one with MS and I’m the one totally freaking out. Initially, I just freaked out on the inside and now, well, I think I’ve already painted that picture. I want to go out and do things, but I’m so afraid it will be hard for him, so I find myself making excuses to just stay home.

Could I be dragging his MS down? I have to find a happy medium. I’m fairly certain I’ll never go back to my quasi-cool ways, but I have to at least try to get halfway back there. I can’t always protect my husband from getting hurt. I can’t always make things easier for him. And that really bothers me. I have to learn to let go.

It sounds corny but maybe having a mantra could help. The next time I start to hail the crazy cab, I’m going to try to tell myself (multiple times if I have to): “He’s okay.” 

14 comments:

  1. Agree that he will let you know if he isn't.....as a person with MS I hate it when my husband treats me like I am made of glass. We have agreed that I will let him know if I need to limit what we do and he understands he needs to take me seriously. Keep talking is the answer. My best wishes to you both.

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  2. I have been married 33 years, diagnosed about 6 years ago. I am on disability, my husband is not reired. One thing that helps me is the 'life alert' call button I wear when he is not home. It would help both of you to have that peace of mind. I have fallen while alone, have been able to get up, but the call button is there if I need it. Most people with MS do not want attention drawn to them, and certainly do want to be 'bbabied' or have their spouse stressed out, we need to know we can count on our spouse when necessary. So, hopefully you can depend on your husband to let know if he needs help, but let him decide on his own...good luck to both of you.

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  3. one other thing, do not 'learn' to let go, he needs to know he can count on you. I am curious to know how old you both are and how long married. You both may want to read "Potty Mouth" , a true story of a real lady's struggle with MS.

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  4. "Are you okay"? Well, if you are there and you care it makes it so much easier. Sometime the stress of coping gets stretched to the breaking point and we just stand there looking over the expanse below. He is okay. Yes he is.

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  5. I've was diagnosed with MS in 1999. I don't know what is worse coping with MS with someone who constantly asks if you're okay or living with MS and someone who never bothers to ask. I'm pretty sure I'd prefer an abundance of "Are you okay."

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    Replies
    1. I know what you are talking about. Been there

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    2. I know what you are talking about. Been there

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    3. I know what you are talking about. Been there

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    4. I know what you are talking about. Been there

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  7. Just like your husband, I was DX with MS in 2010. Just like you, my wife is very supportive and well meaning. I can not count the amount of times the she has asked me "are you ok", but I really do appreciate each one. When I was DX, my wife(27 yrs married) decided to learn to run a 1/2 marathon out of nowhere. She wanted me to keep moving by helping her train (as you can tell by my picture, I have to ride a bike). There have been a few falls on my bike which has completely left my wife "unerved" when I am not in her sight. She actually says that she prefers that I stay in front of her so that she can see me. Well, as any man will tell you, it is a pride thing that we must be able to try to do what we can first. But I will tell you there are times when I put my pride aside and am happy to see my wife here for me.... This is so important to me and it helps me make it thru each day.... Take care and allow him the just keep moving the best that he can !

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  8. Your cousin Kierston, is like a second daughter to me. She was my daughter's first friend when we moved to NH. !! I have had MS for 35 years, and, am holding my own--really hate the fatigue and weird sensations that come and go--but-I can not complain !!

    I wonder if we met at her wonderful wedding in Gilmanton ??

    Stay in touch !!

    Polly Sears

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  9. I have to say, that I agree with the posts that said it is better to be asked "Are You OK "-? than never asked. I am a single woman-live alone and, wish that I was asked occasionally "How are you "? Only my younger sister does, and she lives 8 hours away.--I think it scares my daughter to think I am not OK--I was always the strong single Mom, and, now, she has her own family to keep her busy. I guess it is what it is !!??Anyone else feel that way ??

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  10. Speaking from the perspective of a person with MS, with a (soon to be ex) wife that never asks how I'm feeling, I find your active dedication to your husband's health and needs remarkable. I would certainly prefer to be asked than to be ignored. It is so difficult on partners and spouses to deal with the inevitable physical and emotional affects of MS on the relationship. It takes a very special person to see through the obvious physical limitations of this hideous disease. Keep it up!

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