How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Pauline Your Own Question

Pauline
Pauline, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 8631
Experience:  Medical Doctor & Registered Pharmacist. Worked as Community pharmacist for 17 years.
659881
Type Your Health Question Here...
Pauline is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

met a very great guy 4 months ago, we clicked and had a connection

Resolved Question:

I have met a very great guy 4 months ago, we clicked and had a connection straight away. I love his personality, we share the same values and I love his family. However, not long ago he told me that he has multiple sclerosis since 17 years old. I felt like I got hit by a bus, and the world was shutting its doors on me. I don't know what to do. He's really interested in us getting married but I am very concerned for the future. I don't know what to do? I love him but I don't know if i can make such commitment knowing that there is a possibility he will acquire a disability and i may be his carer. He says he is fine, and until now he's doing well, but I know that multiple sclerosis gets worse over time. I need some advice.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Pauline replied 2 years ago.

Pauline :

There is no doubt that a diagnosis of MS can be very frightening.....we have a number of treatments that are used at different stages of the disease, but we cannot say that a patient will not end up with some restrictions to their life. However for those people that need a lot of help, then there are usually support agencies available for help with caring and practical needs.

Pauline :

The key issue for you is your love for him. You need to think about how you would act should he be injured in a car accident, or have a health issue when he was older....such as diabetes, heart attack etc.....would any of these change your feelings for him?

Pauline :

Then assuming not...you should not let his current diagnosis affect your relationship.

Pauline :

If you find that you are thinking more of the diagnosis rather than him and the pleasure you get in his company...then does that mean your feelings are not solid?

Customer:

Thats a good point, i must admit it will be hard, and i don't think it will affect my love for him, but that also depends on whether he will change as a person, will he become more depressed, distant, in denial? especially that he prides himself on being an athlete now.

Customer:

i'm also scared of blaming myself later on taking the plunge knowing that he has MS. If he does get into something like an accident later God forbid, and we are already married, isnt that a different story? because anything can happen to any of us, and my choice to marry him was based on what he was, and that plans do change. however how would i feel when he gets worse knowing that I was aware of this before marrying him and then realising its too much to take

Pauline :

Life as a married couple can be full of highs and lows. The key is whether you fight those things as a couple or whether adversity splits you up. There is a possibility that he could come more depressed with time, especially if he finds that he is less able to do the activities he enjoys however people also develop depression for other reasons and can be treated with counselling and antidepressants..

Customer:

especially that marriage is not easy, with all the responsibilities of everyday life, kids, bills, mortgage, not to mention the hospital visits he will need. Can i handle all this?

Customer:

true

Pauline :

the problems that tend to affect MS patients long term include mobility and bladder control etc but many people live with a disability and have a full life with children and a job.

Customer:

he keeps telling me that he will be fine, he will be alright, he will always provide, is this normal? is he in denial?

Customer:

also affects sex life

Customer:

i know that 90% of men are affected by it to some degree

Pauline :

You need to be aware that at some point he may not be able to work full time, or may need change his occupation...but as a couple you will be sharing finances and responsibilty for income. There are many ways to enjoy intimacy without necessarily having intercourse in the traditional way.

Customer:

he does have a positive outlook on life

Customer:

but until when? he tells me that he doesn't care what happens to me in the future, he just doesn't want to lose me.

Pauline :

If you feel that you do not have the capacity to cope with change and give him the emotional and practical support that he needs, then that is a big thought. On the other hand....you may find that you can cope with more than you realise. The changes occur on a long term basis....and you make gradual changes and accomodation along the way.

Customer:

What can we do to prevent the worst case scenario?

Customer:

How can i knwo whether i can or not?

Customer:

thats what i need to know

Pauline :

It is a shame to make big decisions based on what might happen rather than the reality of being a couple who face adversity together. You can help him by working with him on his physical fitness, as that helps long term. And you can ensure he takes his medication and seeks help when he gets a flare up.

Customer:

and how can i prevent at looking around me at others and comparing and thus feeling better

Customer:

i mean bitter

Customer:

How can i know whether i have the capacity to cope with that change and still provide unconditional love and support?

Pauline :

A good relationship means you look at the best bits you have....the fun you have together and you do not tend to look outside. No one can predict what can happen to any family...and you will be surprised what you can do when times get tough. Life changing events can give your character strength to deal with the adversity.

Pauline :

You may want to plan for children early...if that is something you both want, but otherwise you should just get on with life.

Customer:

ok

Customer:

well he has had ms since 17 years old and he is 31 now, he has only had a total of 4 relapses in his life

Customer:

last one being 2 years ago and onlly lasting less than 2 weeks

Customer:

all of his relapses were numbness and tingling only

Customer:

on the left side and once causing a foot drop

Pauline :

It may be that he has a less severe form, but you need to be aware that things may change over time. You would need to ask yourself.....if he was in a wheelchair when he was 50..would you walk away?

Customer:

we had an mri scan, and it shows about 5 bigs lesions near the corpus collusum and one near the back of his brain

Customer:

true

Customer:

thats what i need to ask

Customer:

thats such a hard question...

Customer:

seems stupid, but how do i find out?

Pauline :

So, over time his balance may become less good but that will not change who he is inside.

Pauline :

The only way is to risk it.....continue your relationship and do not cross bridges until you get to them. If you are looking very hard at the moment, then you risk losing your relationship now, on something that may never happen.

Customer:

true

Customer:

sorry to ask again

Customer:

he does not take meds as they have nasty side effects

Customer:

he tried beta-feron when he was first diagnosed but stopped it after less than a year

Customer:

as it was making him very unhappy and causing tingling and other unpleasant sensations

Customer:

he has not had meds since

Pauline :

Most MD patients in the early years only take meds during flare ups, and then use more if the condition causes problems such as muscle spasms...although it is a pity that he did not get on well with betaferon.

Customer:

i know that alot of the meds for ms suppress the immunity making the patients more prone to infections or even cancer

Customer:

is that true?

Pauline :

The ones that work on the immune suppression...but regular observation of skin moles etc is usually enough.

Pauline :

The benefits outweigh the risks.

Customer:

also he got electrecuted when he was two resulting in amputation of half his right index finger and defects in his left index finger and thumb. Electrocution can cause neuropathy. Is there a chance that would have contributed to his MS?

Customer:

what are the benefits of these meds?

Pauline :

No...the electrocution has nothing to do with the MS

Pauline :

The benefits of some of the immune modulators are that they shorten flares, and in some cases can cause the time between flares to be longer.

Pauline :

He should see a neurologist on a regular basis

Customer:

ok

Customer:

thank you very much pauline

Customer:

its a very hard decision, and i must admit is causing me alot of unrest

Customer:

but you have helped alot and I just hope things turn for the better

Customer:

I must admit it makes me look at the future in somewhat a gloomy light

Customer:

but maybe this will resolve over time

Pauline :

I hope this has been helpful...but you need to think...what if you had an underlying problem like diabetes, would it change his love for you?

Pauline :

As a couple you need to stand together...and you can get through a lot of trials if you have each other.

Customer:

thank you alot pauline, I know that whatever happens to me, he will be there for me no matter what, and thats what makes me feel more guilty about the way i feel. I understand what you are trying to say, but i feel like diabetes is not comparable to MS

Customer:

My father has diabetes and its very manageable, we don't even feel that he has it and certainly don't fuss over it

Customer:

and it certainly does not affect his mobility or his personality

Pauline :

Some people with diabetes end up with an amputation....but as you can see from your father not everyone does. So try to look on the MS as something to work through. Not everyone will end up in a wheelchair with MS either.

Customer:

Im not gona take much longer i promise

Customer:

alright, thank you alot pauline, i really needed this chat. And you have been great.

Pauline, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 8631
Experience: Medical Doctor & Registered Pharmacist. Worked as Community pharmacist for 17 years.
Pauline and 2 other Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Nurse Milli, RN

    Nurse (RN)

    Satisfied Customers:

    4043
    20 years experience in many areas of Nursing. Both Hospital and Private Practice experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NU/nursescare4u/2013-3-31_03429_JApic.64x64.jpg Nurse Milli, RN's Avatar

    Nurse Milli, RN

    Nurse (RN)

    Satisfied Customers:

    4043
    20 years experience in many areas of Nursing. Both Hospital and Private Practice experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/agketch/2008-7-14_184046_drketchresized.jpg Dr. Ketch's Avatar

    Dr. Ketch

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    102
    Medical Degree, Former Assistant Professor at School of Medicine at Yale University
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FA/FamilyPhysician/2013-8-31_191624_JA550x500Photo.64x64.jpg Family Physician's Avatar

    Family Physician

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    5622
    Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/drphophalia/2007-08-23_095626_dr._arun_phophalia.jpg Dr. Arun Phophalia's Avatar

    Dr. Arun Phophalia

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    17025
    MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VA/VANP/2012-6-6_235535_Skye2.64x64.jpg A. Schuyler, NP's Avatar

    A. Schuyler, NP

    Nurse Practitioner

    Satisfied Customers:

    12170
    Board Certified NP, MS, RN. Private practice & hospitalist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TA/tazechip/2012-6-7_135230_drpic.64x64.png Dr. Chip's Avatar

    Dr. Chip

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    10029
    Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/neurosurg/2009-10-06_120923_profile.jpg Dr. Mark's Avatar

    Dr. Mark

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    6234
    U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery