Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Introduction and Involvement

After being a bystander, and reading the blogs from my wife's fellow MS bloggers (and online friends) I now feel comfortable to offer my thoughts and supportive efforts to those of you who share your first-hand MS experiences, but more so, to those who share their lives with, and support their mates as only true loving, caring, and optimistic partners in life can.

My wife, Kelley, has been: surprised and shocked, shaken and slowed, and finally, strengthened and spirit-filled. No, these word-paired adjective emotions didn't occur quickly, but over a year of minutes. You all know these world changing steps (and trips); you all have hit the depths, and overcome them; you all have (or will) survive, and show those around you what a struggle, and a determined success are.

And, I hope and pray, that you each had an empathetic and encouraging partner to assist you through those sometimes ungainly steps; and who shall continue to be there to further strengthen your future steps, no matter how much shortened or unsteady they become,

I am so happy (yes happy) to be here with my wife at a time when she needs someone to push, hold; beat with closed fists of frustration, and to reach out to. Even someone to cry with, and to weep together while in separate rooms.

Before some of you yell out loud to that empty room: "That self-indulgent, egocentric ass!", let me clarify these phrases, now that I have your attention.

No, those who stand by (close by, not just nearby) are not the victims. We do not feel the pain, fear and frustrations, as our MSers do, but we do share it; but it is not our place to feel sorry for our partner, nor for ourselves. It is our responsibility and duty to make our lives better for us and all those around us.

We do that by researching, learning, and using our new found knowledge as well as our already strong love and respect for our loved one, to assist and, once more bring about new life changing adaptations.

Learning to both share the good times between events; to make small modifications in daily jobs and chores, scheduled and non-scheduled responsibilities, lovemaking and rest, and most important: laughing in the face of MS, and enjoying the closeness that this all brings is the method.

After going through the "steps" mentioned above, and attending the many visits to the cold, chart-filled Doctor's examining rooms exhibiting nerves, brains, cells, ventricles, and "fingers"; after watching the prods, manipulations, MRIs of hell, and, oh yes the needles (lots and lots of needles), and attending the seminars and courses offered by caring specialists and practitioners, I have come to a singular revelation: MS is scary.

MS causes more than physical problems. MS causes the lives of otherwise normal and functioning couples to break down, break their bank accounts, and even break up. And unfortunately, it is often the non-MSer of the pair that is the facillitator of these breaks.

After meeting so many of these troubled MSmates, mostly men, I have come to the conclusion that my efforts to make MS more manageable for affected couples is to find ways to assist these loving and "lost" husbands to deal with their new found situation as they move forward with their old loves and their new lives together. Together is the word.

Please offer to me any and all suggestions, support literature (I know I haven't read it all!) and your own stories of success, so that we can help others like us. We men are often too proud, too responsible (feeling), and to stubborn to ask for help. Those of us who have "made it" and those who have not yet, can meet here, to share, discuss, cuss, and recommend. We can help our mates and our future lives together if we lower those false, societal walls, and just talk. Thats my hope.

I look forward to meeting all of you, and learning so much more from my fellow loving MSMMs (MS Male Mates!).

Thats my introduction.