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Topic : 05/30 Ask the Authors

Number of Replies: 235
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Created on : Friday, May 25, 2007, 01:13:05 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

Dr. Phil, along with authors Nancy Davis, Mitch Albom and Dr. Dan Siegel, share their secrets for living without regret and finding true happiness even when faced with a challenge. When you get married, it's '’til death do us part, in sickness and in health,’ but what if all of a sudden your spouse is diagnosed with an illness? When Nicole found out she had Multiple Sclerosis, she accepted her fate and learned to adapt. Her husband, Sal, has had a difficult time coming to terms with his younger wife's diagnosis. He says he wants to be supportive and help out, but is he really contributing to Nicole's declining health? Nancy Davis, who also has Multiple Sclerosis, shares her advice for helping this couple heal their marriage. Next, do you find yourself screaming, yelling and cussing with your teenager? Dana says her daughter, Whitney, changed overnight. Her grades went down, she started missing curfew, and she's been caught drinking and smoking. Dr. Dan Siegel shares the secrets for communicating with children and putting an end to the constant fighting. And, chances are you've read one of his nine best-selling books, seen one of his two critically-acclaimed films or tuned into his weekly radio program. Author Mitch Albom discusses his latest novel, For One More Day. Hear the story of a Dr. Phil viewer whose life changed after she read the book. Plus, Dr. Phil gives a previous guest a surprise that makes her already sunny smile shine even brighter! Talk about the show here.


Find out what happened on the show.

 

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May 30, 2007, 2:50 pm CDT

Boy do I understand where both ladies are coming from.

I am 45 years old and I too have an Autonomic Disease called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, which by the way, 70% of all MS patients develope RSD secondary.  I developed RSD at the age of 13 and only my Mother would believe I was in as much pain I said i was, everyone else said it was in my head.  Ironically by the time I got diagnosed, 18 years later, it had spread through my entire body and now was being controlled by the brain.  I could no longer walk and required the use of a power wheelchair.  My first husband was not sympathetic at all, it had been an abusive marriage all along.  I met what was to be my second husband on year before my diagnosis.  At first all seemed like it was going to go well, WRONG.  He couldn't deal with the rapid progressin of the disease and started becoming verbally and emotionally abusive the second year we were married.  Just this past January he phsyically ausaulted me and that was the final straw, protection order and out he went.  But guess who is still by my side, good old Mom.  I feel very lucky to have a great Mom who is by me for everything.  My suggestion for the first lady with the husband who is not coping is watch for signs that the anger is being turned on you too often.  If that starts happening, if he is willing get counseling together and separate, if not get counseling for yourself and separate from your husband.  Your main priority now is you and your children, I know it sounds selfish, but take it from someone who lives in severe pain, head to toe, 24/7, you need to take care of you.  If you ever want to talk please feel free to email me at:  originaljewelrybyphg@hotmail.com or call me anytime day or night at 610-530-7083 or 610-442-8047.  This is how I make sense of why I have RSD, I run a support network for those of us dealing with chronic pain.  Take care of yourselves.
 
May 30, 2007, 2:51 pm CDT

Educate and Understand each other......

This is for Sal,

 

I was in the military and a medic when I was finally diagnosed with MS.  It was a 6 year process to finally get that straightened out, and at the time I was a single mother with 2 growing boys.  The first thing I will tell you is to educate yourself in MS, make sure you go to proper websites and not just depend on someone else's journey to be the total picture.  Here in Canada there are MS Societies all over our country, I'm sure you have them there, that is a good place to start.

 

I am one with "RRMS" which is Relapsing Remitting MS, in plainest English it "comes and goes"  like your wife I don't look "sick" (not that I am anyway!!)  I spent years trying to figure this out, but I have come to the conclusion that everyone has their days, mine come more often.  I learned to let my ability that day determine what I would do rather than make indepth plans.  I have since retired from the military after 21+ years, and am now a stay at home mom of one in college and the other a senior in high school.  They adapted well once they truely understood that sometimes I did not have the energy.

 

I am still totally creeped out when I go to the MS clinic and see people in wheelchairs and at different stages in their MS journey.   I "might" end up on their path, however I have learned that not all of us will, which is the most frustrating of all.  There is no one path for anyone with MS.  The only thing we have in common is the name MS, each of us will go our own path with our own symproms.  It is not like any other disease where you will be outlined the outcome.  Hah, I was told, "if it lasts more than 48 hours then it could be a symptom, and if it lasts longer than 6 weeks it could be permanent"  Now that is progress eh??  (sorry the Canadian coming out in me)

 

Sal, be patient with your wife, as she needs to be just as patient with you.  I get frustrated when a pot will fall out of my hands spilling a freshly cooked stir fry on the floor.  I get frustrated when I can't lift the laundry basket and carry it up the stairs.  So I understand your frustration with MS, trust me it is just as frustrating for us with it.

 

Hang in there, and check out the sites online from official places, there are a lot of supposed "cures" for MS, do yourself a favour and learn as much as you can about it.  There a hundreds of us MS'ers out here online, find us and you'll have support beyond your wildest dreams, if Dr Phil gives you my email, I"d love for your wife to email me anytime.  I'm online regular.

 

Take care and get reading its a crazy rollercoaster ride we're on..................

Mary B

Ontario Canada

 
May 30, 2007, 2:54 pm CDT

One more day

Quote From: wmalan62

I relate completely on this subject. I lost my Mom 1 month and 3days ago. I miss her so bad, my life is so empty without her. I wish I had known the day she would pass, I would have made her life so special as she did all my days. I am so sad now not being able to say that one last I love you, now all I have left is I sit by her graveside twice a day just trying to feel our closeness one more day.
My mom died on December 31, 2006 and my husband's mother died on January 12, 2006 so this was just a double trajedy to our family.  As bad as it was when my mother in law died, I never expected it to be worse when my own mother died.  I still cry daily and everyday at work she left me a message on my machine and told me to call her when I got a chance.  Everyday I still look at that machine after lunch and will it to blink .  ( I might add that it stopped working after she died.)  I remember when she was in the hospital and asked me to spend a whole day with her during Christmas break but I was trying to be there for my foster children and keep their world intact ( they have enough turmoil in their lives.) and finish Christmas shopping for her and myself.  I knew in the back of my mind that I wasn't going to have her much longer.  The day she died we had 8 hours to spend with her in her hospital room because she chose Do not resucitate and wanted no more surgeries.   I couldn't stay in the room like my brothers and sisters did. I loved her and went back and forth but couldn't handle the gasping for breath and the pain she was in .  NOW I WOULD TAKE THAT DAY AND DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN.  ANYDAY.
 
May 30, 2007, 2:59 pm CDT

helping a adult child to move on with her life

 I am the mother of a 24 year old girl who is very sick and has been for a year and not getting any better and no one can figure out what is wrong.  We have been told its a  brain tumor and cancer and muscular distriffy and on and on and no one can figure it out.  We live in a very remote town where there is little heath care but I do not have a problem taking her where she needs to go but she is also uninsured.  One of the many doctors we have seen said the only one to be able to figure this outr will be the mayo clinic.  All the other doctors have just thrown up there hands and said I don't know any more.  We are on the verge of loosing our house paying for her medical bills and still no answer and then no where to live either.  Does anyone out there know of any place to take her to find a doctor who will work with us and figure this out and be able to let her move on with her life.  She is still very young and needs to have a life not just sitting on her bed at her parents house becuase she is to sick to do anything.  
 Her illness is very different she has seizures and that we know but the all over body aches and the muscle spasams and the fatique and the dizzy and the sick to her stomach and the massive headaches and the on and on.  It seems never ending right now becuase I do not know what to do anymore.  Any one have any ideas? 
She just spent the last year of her life in her bedroom for the most part.   She did finish her degree on line this year so she has that behind her but it was very hard and most of the time she could not even type on the computer to get her assignments into the teacher becuase her hands swell and she con not move her fingers.   the time she just sitts here is the worst thing she can do and I wish I could get her out and doing something I know it would be good for her but most of the time I am unable to get her out becuase of head aches or any one or all of the problems and I have not even listed them all. 
If you know of anyone who would work with us and be able to figure this out I would really like to find out who they are and how to get a hold of them.   I forgot to let you know that she is an uninsured person she is to old for our insurance any more and becuase of her seizures she can not get insurance and if we can its really expensive and then they will not cover pre existing conditions.  I hope to hear from someone with some new ideas.  Thanks
 
May 30, 2007, 3:00 pm CDT

05/30 Ask the Authors

I am responding to the mother dealing with the teenage daughter--I have a 14 year old son and I am dealing with some of those same issues.  I get to the point that I just don't know what to say or do.   It is very frustrating because yes we as adults, have been in those shoes and we know what the outcome will be but I learned that I have to let him learn on his own.  I tell him what I feel or believe and why school is important and that those friends that are so wonderful now will not always be in his life.  You can only guide them and coach them and let them make there own mistakes in life and let them know that they will have to deal with the consequences of thier decisions.  And remember you don't always have to like them--but you will always love them!!
 
May 30, 2007, 3:01 pm CDT

Living with Illness

I understand how difficult and downright scary it is when a beloved family member is diagnosed with a chronic illness.  Within a 6 month period I started a new job, my youngest child was diagnosed with a chronic illness, and my husband was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease.  There was no doubt in my mind that I would be his main caregiver--it was my privilege, and no other care giver could love him or understand him the way I did.  My children's greatest fears were not hearing him say "I love you" and not feeling his strong arms embrace them.  It was a huge adjustment to have this strong, active man suddenly permanently confined to a wheelchair.  It was hard on him because he loved life and was extremely active.  He was a middle school teacher who also coached football, wrestling, and track.  He was a leader at church and went on mission trips at least 3 times a year.  Even though he could no longer walk, his best friend arranged for him to go skiing one more time--there are wonderful facilities for sports enthusiasts who are physically challenged.  Without the support of family, friends, church family, and his school district, I firmly believe my husband would not have lived the 22 months that he lived with this disease.  My goal as his caregiver was to make his life as safe and as full as possible.  Was I exhausted?   Absolutely!  I went to my job after only 2-3 hours of sleep.  But so many people are willing to help in situations like these.  People brought food to our home for 2 years!  Would I do it again?  Absolutely!  Larry hated the disease, but he hated that it impacted our family and friends in such huge ways.  Is it fair?  NO, but we can't go through life thinking about what is fair to us.  All of us face things in life that just stink--that's life.  Instead, concentrate on what you can do for the person with the illness.  Or think about how you can use the situation you're in to help someone else.  You'll be surprised at the strength you find within yourself.
 
May 30, 2007, 3:07 pm CDT

05/30 Ask the Authors

Quote From: girlieduck

I can relate to this lady and her husband quite a bit. I was married to a man for several years and he made the same statement that this fella did. He said that he didn't sign up for this...for me to get sick this early in the marriage. Unfortunately, the foundation of our marriage wasn't strong enough to make it and he did walk away. He would always say that I looked good and so did his family. I gave them a great book called, "But you look good" - it is a great booklet that helps folks understand those of us dealing with cronic pain. You don't always wear your pain on the outside, so people feel like you must be faking it.

I still go through that at times because I don't want to burden my family and friends with my pain so they feel like I must be ok when I am in severe pain.

If anyone needs a place to look at some helpful info...http://www.myida.org/booklet.htm

This helped me a ton! Have a great day and I hope you realize that YOU ARE WORTH IT !!!

 Shannon

Thanks for the link.  I also suffer from a chronic injury.  After driving tractor trailers for 21 years I hurt my lower back; herniated discs and acquired chronic pain disorder from it.  Four years later I still deal with it.  For the longest time, other peoples' doubts were an obstacle to overcome.  I lost 35 pounds, got into great shape, looked so good on the outside.  I know there were people who thought I was faking it just to get a disability cheque.  They have no idea of the personal hell I have endured, with pain so severe and unrelenting that thoughts of suicide entered my mind.  Having an understanding family helped.  How could I hurt them by seeking an easy out? 

 

The worst of it is over.  The pain that still remains is manageable and I am now seeking to be employed again.  My advice to the couple dealing with MS is to stick it out together.  We are not going to be young and beautiful forever, nor is it written down somewhere that we will never get ill.  Buddy, you have to step up and be a man for your wife.  You have it within you; you just have to dig deep and you will find it.

 
May 30, 2007, 3:08 pm CDT

LIVING with ms

Quote From: beckycaddell

I was diagnosed with MS in November 2005. I know what kind of a toll it takes on not only the person living with it, but also the entire family. I really sympethize with the guest and her husband and know what they are going thru. My husband and mom told me when i first started looking in to the possibility of it that I was borrowing trouble. After I was diagnosed, my mom was all about reading up on and researching this disease so she could try to understand what was happening to me and how she could best support me. My husband thought and still does, that there is a magic pill out there they just aren't giving me because I don't have insurance. If i try to tell him what is going on with me his response is usually "Well I am tired too" or "yeah well i am in pain every day but you don't hear me complaining". A few months ago I came across a post called Understanding What Having MS Means. It was a big attention getter. I also sent it to friends and family. Most of the replies i received were "thank you for sharing this with me", or "I really didn't know MS could be that bad because you don't look sick."

 There are so many resources out there for people with MS and the spouse and kids who have to live with it. I have received help for utilities and rent from the local coalition and the MS Society. A Lot of the drugs needed for symptoms can be received free of charge or low cost thru the drug companies. My best advice is research all you can. Find out what is available from coping to medication. I also visit many online MS chat rooms and have made many new wonderful friends. It makes a person who rarely goes out in public seem much less secluded and alone.

 I would be happy to post "Understanding What Having MS Means" for anyone interested. The way it is worded helps people not living with MS understand a little more what it can do and just because you are "sick" doesn't mean that you don't want your friends to come visit you or that you don't want to hang out or do things with them, it just means that sometimes you may have to cancel things last minute or when you are tired it means you are tired now, not wait 15 minutes see how you feel then. It is very powerful and encouraging.

 

Thanks,

Becky

 Becky,
I would love a copy of "Understanding What Having MS Means".  I was diagnosed in February of 2004.  After accepting it myself, although I think that is an on going process, the most frustrating part of it all is the constant need to explain things.  My husband and two boys are awesome but they also seem  to forget that this isn't going away like a cold or the flu.  Something that has helped me is a quote that I read every morning.
   "I can be changed by what happens to me.  I refuse to be reduced by it."  Maya Angelou
Thanks sister,
Shelly
slandrasik@yahoo.com


 
May 30, 2007, 3:09 pm CDT

Can't get past her death

Dr Phil just said something that really struck me but I do not know how to do what he said.  He told the young lady that she should focus on the life her mother lived--all of the years she had with her, all of her accomplishments and the person she was and not focus on the one-time event of her death.  in October of 2002 my 18-year-old daughter Tracy died in a car accident just 7 weeks after she left for college at BYU-Idaho.  I had thought the death of my own mother four years previous was the worse thing that could ever happen in my life yet when Tracy died, the loss of my mother was dwarfed by the new emotions.  Nearly five years later and after much counseling with my doctor, being on medication to help deal with and overcome depression, I stiill feel like I am stuck in this grief process.  Tracy was a beautiful and vibrant young lady who at 5'4" tall was larger than life, never knew a stranger and did everything she could to make sure everyone knew they had at least one friend.  Try as I may, I can't seem to focus on the 18 years of her life that was such an incredible gift instead of the huge hole that has been torn in the fabric of my life.  I struggle to get past the feeling that I have been betrayed by a God that I entrusted the safety of my children to and the feeling that, while we had 18 wonderful years with Tracy, that I have been cheated out of the rest of her life. 

   My husband and I have five children with Tracy being second to youngest.  Since her passing we have been blessed with five beautiful grandchildren, our four other children have accomplished many wonderful things with their lives and I should be happy and enjoying this part of my life.  HOW do I do that? 

   Like I said earlier, I am stuck and can't move ahead. 

 
May 30, 2007, 3:11 pm CDT

In the same boat....

Quote From: dmerri

I have been disabled and unable to work since June of 03. I was originally diagnosed with MS, but then because my MRIs were negative it was changed to no diagnosis. I have difficulty walking when things are good, when they are bad I can't get around hardly at all. My memory has also been greatly effected, along with bladder problems, nerve pain and tremors. Everything else has been "ruled" out, so I am left with no diagnosis, and being made to feel it is all in my head.

 

My husband just doesn't know how to deal with it, he is only home on weekends, but even then things get stressful. Before I got "sick" I was a head nurse in a large labor and delivery unit, worked out 6 days a week and was a natural body builder. Now I can no longer work and do what I can at home. Over the last year I am doing alot better than I was the first year. The first year I was in a wheel chair to leave my house and hospitalized 3 times for IV steroids, because I could not work at all and all of my other symptoms were much worse to.

 

I almost feel like my husband is less supportive now than he was when I was worse. One problem I gained 60lbs from the steroids and lack of mobility, I have lost 40 lbs but am still about 20-25 lbs bigger than I was. Whether he wants to admit it or not I know he thinks I am doing more so I should lose the rest of the weight. I sometimes think he takes the anger about my illness out on me, but not intentionally. I saw so much of him in the husband in the story today, that is why as soon as I started listening I couldn't stop crying.

 

I get so frustrated with this that I can see why he does. I get doing better, and i am teased with the thoughts that maybe I will work again. Then whammo I have a flare up and those thoughts go right out the window. I know all things happen for a reason, I just keep waiting to understand why!

 

 

 I am 35 years old and have had rheumatoid arthritis since I was 27. Before that, I was an RN in a very busy job as well as a mother of one. I left my job and all i can say is that I saw my husband as well in the man that was on the show today. He minimizes my illness I think because he cannot deal with the fact that he can't fix it. I too have times where I am better (esp in the summer) and I think I can go back to earning the money I did before, but then the flares come and I rememver that I tried going back to work in an administrative job and all it did was deteriorate my health. I spent four years getting a Bachelor's and another 2 years in grad school (didn't finish because I got sick), only to have this happen. With only a year and a half experience as a nurse, nobody would hire me to teach or do insurance claims (not that I would have the ability to meet someone else's schedule.) I still have thousands of dollars in student loans because I took them out to support myself during college because I knew I would have money after graduation. Most days I feel like if it wasn't for my daughter I would commit suicide because I feel that my future holds nothing but pain, misery and financial struggles despite having a spouse with an income. I cry weekly and I am very resentful that I, a once very productive overacheiver, is reduced to running an online bookstore because I can't work a regular job outside the house anymore. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy selling books as it is at my own pace, but it only helps to make ends meet. I am sick of going to rheumatologists and having them push cancer-causing immune suppresant drugs on me. A little over a year ago I went off all the prescriptions and started taking fish oil and some vitamins. I feel better than I did on the drugs.

I agree that the worse part is the fatigue, and that people see you and don't "see" your disability. I can get out of my car fine and walk into a store fine, but a half hour later I come out limping and need my car close by. I had a handicapped permit for just such reason, and numerous people stopped to ask or see what my "handicap" was. I finally quit renewing it. Now if it is cold or rainy, I just pray I don't have to leave the house. I was once a ball of energy who juggled career, motherhood, school and even a gym, and now those days are few and far between.

I know that antidepressants help, but when you have to pay $40 to see a Dr. to get them, and they want to send you to a "counselor", and another $10.00 copay for the drugs, and they work for awhile then stop, you get real sick of it. I think anyone with a chronic debilitating illness shoulf be given antidepressants without having to be forced to see a psychiatrist. What can a psychiatrist tell me that I don't already know?

Sorry for the rant, but today's show touched a nerve. I can excuse the husband to some extent, because I don't know what he does for a living and maybe he has little knowledge of the disease, but my husband does the same thing and he's a degreed mental health counselor!!
 
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