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Postby rich77 » Tue May 11, 2004 10:56 am

My brother has MS and has been living with me for about 6 months. He had steriod treatment about 5 months ago. He does not take his drugs correctly, is still very bitter if I try to help. He basically lies in his bed all day, talks to my parents on the phone. and only goes outside to have cigarettes. Any ideas on how I can help him lead a happier life?


Postby chrisf » Wed May 12, 2004 5:51 pm

The diagnosis, for me, 12 years ago was devastating. At the time, I basically pushed all those who wanted to help me away. I got over it, but it took me time and I had to come to the realization that life was going to go on and I had the choice of either dealing with it as best I could, or not. The first step for me was to find a neurologist who had a great attitude and was able to project a positive outlook and help to convince me that life wasn't over. I was shocked, terrified, and knew only of the stereotype that I was going to be wheelchair bound and inevitably on a slow and hopeless decline to a vegetative state. My second neurologist was instrumental in getting me to understand that that doesn't have to be the case.

Living in a state of despair and hopelessness will probably not do your brother any good physically. I am lucky; I respond well when I do the things that keep me healthy. I exercise, eat right, and above all, I take my medication as directed and when I'm supposed to. It is difficult to give you advice as to how you can help improve his life if he isn't willing to help himself improve it or allow there to be hope.
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Postby Aikika » Wed May 19, 2004 7:34 am

I'm a bit saddened that more people here have not responded to your call for advice. I expect that lots of us sympathise with your brother.
Maybe it would help if you tell us more about him.
How old is he?
What does he do?
If he can go out for a fag, he's probably better off - more mobile - than some of us.
What does (did) he like doing?
Has he got a partner? A pet?
Why's he living with you?
I don't know, it might help if we knew a bit more.
But it is horribly true that it's difficult to help someone who doesn't want help.
As I've said elsewhere, when I was first diagnosed, I refused to accept it and carried on with my life expecting it would go away through the sheer power of my will. To some extent my 'head in the sand' approach keeps my head together even now. Why has your brother given up so quickly?
The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts.
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Postby jicepf » Fri Jun 04, 2004 8:24 am

I know that when I was first diagnosed, I spent about six months in a haze, just going through the motions. I felt like no one could say the "right" thing to me.

For now, I'd just try to offer him as much sympathy (but not pity) as you can, and also see if he will go to a counselor. Sometimes it's easier to talk to a stranger about something so devastating.

His life will go on, and he will see it in time.
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