I have been living with multiple sclerosis (MS) for a little over a year now. I am adjusting to my new life and the effects MS has had on my body. I knew my physical and mental health would be impacted by my diagnosis, but I did not realize how my condition would affect my loved ones. I’ve realized it’s crucial to acknowledge that, while dealing with your MS diagnosis can be challenging, it is also hard on those close to you. They go through your illness with you, although their struggles are often left out of the narrative. It has been difficult to figure out navigating everyone’s emotions and changing roles, but we are learning that with compassion and empathy as our guides, we will find the best way forward.
Everyone has their own timeline. My diagnosis came out of nowhere. One day I was healthy and the next, I was sick. Everything happened like a whirlwind. I was lost, and those close to me were, too. We were all in shock. We knew nothing about MS. Suddenly, we had to become experts on this condition. Everyone was trying to manage their grief while trying to be supportive of me. It felt unfair that my life was causing them so much pain. Yet, I had no control over it.
My friends and family struggled to accept my diagnosis. It took time for everyone to absorb what was happening, and they reached that acceptance at different times. Of all my loved ones, my mother, Cevan, took my diagnosis the hardest. We still cannot discuss my condition without her crying. She often tells me, “I feel a lot of guilt that maybe I did something in the earlier stages of your life that caused this condition to occur.” There’s not much
The impact of MS on your loved ones
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