I have shared stories about my divorce (MS & Divorce: Did MS End My Marriage) have told a bit about my “preparations” to re-enter the dating world as a 40 year old single mother of three (My Booty Call) and delved into the topic of sexual dysfunction and Multiple Sclerosis (Multiple Sclerosis & Sex: A Cure For My MS Symptoms.) Although I tend to find the humor (reasons to laugh and smile) at the things that happen as a result of having this “fantastical” disease, I realize that each story I share is “my story” told from my perspective and shaped by my past and present experiences.
I love to have the opportunity to hear other’s stories and I love when I have one of those “EXACTLY!!!” moments, when I hear something from someone else’s life that clicks with me. Even though each of our lives is unique and MS is so different for each of us, there is that underlying thread that can be caught here and there, that ties us all together. Whether male or female, young or old, single or married there are moments, thoughts and emotions that we have in common and I love finding them!
This past weekend, I had the honor of being a guest on the Mess with MS: Brain Injury Radio Network show, hosted by Lisa Dryer. The topic of the show was M.S. and Relationships. Lisa had six guests on the show – highlighting “Different people with different experiences of M.S. and Relationships.” Each of the guest’s had their own story to share, living through different phases of life, with their own unique perspectives; currently going through the process of divorce (Belinda Oiler) , divorced (Kix Peace) and me, remarried & 30 weeks pregnant ((Suset Marcantoni) and a couple that both live with Multiple Sclerosis while raising their children (Jesse & Matt.)
****There are a few connection blips at the beginning but really worth the listen if you are wanting to hear from other MSers and their experiences in regards to relationships*****
Some of the questions that Lisa asks her guests include:
- How has pregnancy been?
- Do you have any worries or concerns for your children about Multiple Sclerosis?
- Did you get into your relationship because you both have MS?
- Do you think it helps your relationship that someone knows everything about MS?
- Do you think about the fact that one of you might get really sick and the other one might not be able to care for the partner?
- What happens when you feel you are being blamed for having MS?
- How does everyone feel about how sexuality effects your relationship?
- Has the panel ever experienced someone wanting to date them because (you) have MS and they are one of the people who chase people with disabilities?
- As far as friendship, did you…experience losing friendship before you were diagnosed or after?
- What is the relationship mistake…that you have experienced and that you wouldn’t do again?
Some of the awesome quotes from the show:
- “I learned that it’s not me, it’s him.”
- “We were both single parents, we were also single with MS, so it was difficult to date…but now we have leaned on each other and have so much in common that it just works.”
- “For me, what I discovered is women like sex just as much as men.”
- “There is something about having MS that matures you – because you grow to understand so much about yourself.”
- “…at the end of my divorce, I made a booty call. It scared me, but I wanted to know, if it didn’t work, was it the MS? Was it him, or me? I just wanted to know before I got into a relationship or put myself out there.”
- “I am in such a good, stable relationship and I am so thankful…”
- “I pray that I find what y’all have one day.”
- “You only live once and…you should do things that make you happy. Be around people, be with someone that makes you happy.”
- “You can’t let someone’s opinion of you ruin you day. If someone doesn’t want to be with you because you have MS, then screw them.”
It was SUCH an awesome group of people and a great conversation! I highly recommend you take the time to listen. The great news is that there will be a PART TWO to this segment – so stay tuned for more great stories and words of inspiration! I’ll let you know when it is scheduled to air!
I thought I would leave you with one final quote from the show – from the hostess with the mostest, Lisa Dryer.
“Marriage can be a wonderful thing, and tattoos can be fun. But I wouldn’t recommend getting someone’s name tattooed across you chest.”
I am definitely planning to share these wise words with the three kids – especially Sam, given his newly discovered love of ink!