@erinlidia

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erinlidia

Supporting newly diagnosed boyfriend

Hi everyone :) I'm here to ask how to support someone I love more than anything. Sorry if this is long, I just want to set the stage. My boyfriend of 8 years and I moved in together a few weeks ago. It's been an awesome adventure so far, and we're so excited about the future. A few months ago, he started experiencing symptoms - significant numbness, muscle weakness, difficulty walking and using his left hand, light and heat sensitivity, etc. These symptoms eventually subsided. He saw a neurologist, got several MRIs and other tests, and went for the follow-up appointment two days ago. The MRIs found lesions and inflammation on his upper spinal cord and in his brain, some older, some newer, some currently active. He was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS, and prescribed Tecfidera. He is 27 years old. It's a huge shock, especially as we're just starting our new life together, and wondering what this means for the future. The medication is so expensive, there's no way we can afford it, we'll have to find some way to subsidize it - we live in Canada. I am very driven to research everything there is to know about MS, and to talk to him all night, and be extremely supportive, and plan for our shared future. I suppose this is my coping style. He is very driven to distract himself with anything and everything. He says he 'feels nothing' and doesn't want to talk about it. He's not in denial. He says 'it is what it is' and is willing to start treatment. But I think he's in shock, and understandably so. I don't want to force him to talk about it, or give unsolicited research-based advice, or treat him like a 'patient.' His family is already asking tons of questions and being very overprotective, and it's obvious he doesn't like that. Do any of you have advice on supporting someone newly diagnosed, especially if your loved one is a young man? Or, are you a young man with MS? What are some ways I can be supportive in the aftermath of the diagnosis and throughout the course of our lives now that MS has entered the picture? Any comments, feedback, suggestions or advice is hugely appreciated. I am absolutely committed to being the best support I can be, and tackling MS together as a team. Thank you! ~ Erin