Step sons Mum has MS and I need help

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Step sons Mum has MS and I need help

Postby Quinn » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:16 am

My step sons mum has MS and has had it for more than a few years. I'm not entirely sure which one she has but she has relapses if that helps. I have been having concerns over step son (12) and what he has to do in the house when she is unwell and bed bound. He only comes to us for 2 weekends in a row and then we don't see him for 3 weeks. We have always said he can come here for extra time but this has never been taken up. I don't know if it is getting to the point where we need to say, you are coming here when your mum has a relapse or is too unwell to get out of bed.

He has told us that he feels he does too much for his mum for a child of his age. I don't really understand MS and therefore don't know if I am being over protective. I don't know if it is something that gets worse, I don't really understand how it affects her. I could speak to her but I don't want her to feel that I am being nosey as we are not really close.

Any help or advice greatly appreciated.
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Postby jimmylegs » Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:13 am

hi quinn, it does sound like mum needs more help than her son can or should have to provide at his age. do you know if there is a larger support network in place?
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Postby Quinn » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:20 am

jimmylegs wrote:hi quinn, it does sound like mum needs more help than her son can or should have to provide at his age. do you know if there is a larger support network in place?


Hi,

She only has her mum who doesn't live far but she doesn't drive and as far as I can tell grandson doesn't go there or come here when I feel that he should. The nan hasn't been round there the past 3 days when mum has been having her relapse. She does have a partner and they have been together for about 4 years but they are not living together so he is not there permanently. It has taken us 3 years to get some sort of truth out of step son as to how he feels about things as he just tells you what he thinks you want to hear. I feel that the MS is taking it's toll on him but he won't say anything to mum so not to upset her.
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Re: Step sons Mum has MS and I need help

Postby HarryZ » Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:37 am

Quinn,

This kind of situation is very difficult for everyone. I am going to suggest that you contact the local MS Society and ask them for assistance here. They should be able to provide various ideas as to what help is available. Good luck.

Harry
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Postby SarahLonglands » Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:49 am

Quinn, to my mind, you ought to take it upon yourself to find out more about MS and possible treatments, then be brave and contact your step son's mother. You have made the first step by writing here so you must be a caring person. More women than men with MS end up without a partner so to end up without a son as well would be too much for her so both need help. Many people might say that you and your husband need to apply for total care of the son, since his mother often isn't capable, but that would be totally wrong: imagine if you were the unfortunate woman left alone and helpless whilst her son was enjoying his life with his new family.

You don't say in which country you live, but you should be able to find the national MS society easily enough, then they will direct you to the local society. If you are in the UK, there are many local MS therapy centres who have minibuses to collect and deliver people who need them. I guess many other countries have similar. Who knows you might well end up very good friends with you step-son's mother and she will be endlessly grateful.

Sarah
An Itinerary in Light and Shadow Completed Dr Charles Stratton / Dr David Wheldon abx regime for aggressive secondary progressive MS in June 2007, after four years. Still improving with no relapses since starting. Can't run but can paint all day.
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Postby jimmylegs » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:10 am

ditto.
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Postby hannakat » Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:04 pm

Ummm...am I the only one who feels 12 is not too young to take care of parent when the need arises. Apparently it is not 24/7/365 so insisting that your stepson stay with you or anyone else during a flare isn't particularly right.

Can't tell you how many people I know who raised younger brothers and sisters, took care of parents, etc., at a young age, some even younger than 12. It certainly didn't hurt them and it won't hurt him either.

What can hurt him is your obvious feeling that he is too young and incapable of being responsible and helping.

I say let him know how capable he is instead of making him second guess his mother and himself. Now that, I feel he is too young for...taking on your limitations and insecurities.

Yep...my 2 cents folks.
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Postby SarahLonglands » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:13 am

Hannakat, you are too right: twelve is not too young. I say that the father and step-mother are worrying without reason and the son needs to be congratulated for being so caring about his mother. He stands every chance of growing to be a fine young adult and I hope he reads this thread.

Sarah
An Itinerary in Light and Shadow Completed Dr Charles Stratton / Dr David Wheldon abx regime for aggressive secondary progressive MS in June 2007, after four years. Still improving with no relapses since starting. Can't run but can paint all day.
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Postby HarryZ » Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:59 am

I think we have to clarify what we mean by "take care of" when we speak about a 12 year old looking after a parent. I speak from the experience of looking after my wife for over 10 years as her MS worsened.

I believe a 12 year old can certainly do certain tasks to help make life easier for a parent who is suffering an exacerbation and/or has the MS progressing. But to expect the child to become heavily responsible in the care giving is wrong. It is a responsibility that should not be placed on someone this young, especially for any length of time. I think that if you check with the experts, they would agree.

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