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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, 2:16 pm CDT

Watching and crying

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!



May 30, 2007, 2:20 pm CDT

MS is not the end...

I want to encourage the wife with ms. I would love to email with her- can I get my email to her. I was diagnosed in 98 with ms. I have 3 sons. At the time they were 8, 9 1/2 and 11. I'm sure I was starting with ms when they were babies and then I was hit head on in an auto collision between baby 2 and 3....


I was worried. What would my husband do. Would he leave? I used to go to bed at was all that I could do. Now, I am much stronger. There are many things that you can do to help. The progression will be different for everyone. Maybe there will be no more progression.


One of the best things that we did, was move to a 2 story, where my room is on the main floor and there is a laundry chute. That is an energy saver.


The main vitamins that I take are vit D3, B 12 sublingual and the omega 3. Liquid minerals have been a blessing for energy too.


I would also suggest checking for heavy metal toxicity, lyme disease...and if you drink diet pop...stop....


My kids are now 17,19 and 21. My husband and I have been married for 22 years. We are learning to make adjustments.  A wheelchair can get me to places where I cannot take the long walks. Then I still have energy.... We have actually learned how to make this fun at times. It is a challenge too.... but mostly we are growing closer.


It gets easier too as the kids grow and they can help more. They can also learn to make the best at whatever life throws your way. They can grow into caring adults, instead of the selfish kids we see more and more of in the country.


The dad has to stop acting like one of those selfish kids too...Life is hard. Everyone has challenges. Now learn to overcome.....


Please contact Dr for my mail. I would love to be your ms friend. I am always believing for overcoming this illness....and also, making the best of the life that I have.....


This is NOT the end, but a new beginning....


Be well and God Bless



May 30, 2007, 2:22 pm CDT

living with MS

I am in my 18th year of living with MS.  Each person is different as different areas of the CNS are affected.  I consider myself to be very lucky.  I still walk and talk and live my life fully....yes...i have had to make major adjustments, but life is good. I was one whose marriage did not survive the illness.  It was my choice to divorce and it was a good decision.  I jokingly (?) tell friends that i couldn't get rid of one pain so i got rid of the other.  He is actually much more supportive as an ex.  Dr. Phil hit the nail on the head talking about the guilt we feel.  The guilt i felt with my ex is NOTHING compared to the guilt i feel while dealing with my kids.  They are great 12 and 13 both boys are maturing and growing into their role as kids of a disabled mom.  (i have been on total disability since 2000)  The most difficult thing i have dealt with was probably having to give up working.  My identity was totally wrapped up in being a nurse.  One thing i have learned is that i can't give my kids everything i would like to give them....but i can give them plenty of love...and what more do they need really? 
May 30, 2007, 2:22 pm CDT

05/30 Ask the Authors

Quote From: miselainis

Stacey, I think it's great that your illness is manageable. Oh that everyone with MS dealt with it this well. But you have to understand that MS affects everyone differently. It's not necessarily progressive, but even the relapsing-remitting form of it can knock people on their butts. Me, for instance!


I think when you say MS is not a big deal that you are only looking at the disease from your own perspective. It's not a big deal for YOU. I don't think it's true that MS is the easiest of all neurological diseases to deal with. It depends on the progression of the disease and how it is manifesting itself in each person. It can cause blindness, it can cripple you, it can cause loss of bowel or bladder control, spinal problems, MAJOR fatigue, and it can make it impossible to care for yourself if you have multiples of these symptoms. I mean...think about it. Your own immune system is attacking your central nervous system. Most people I talk to don't even know what MS is. When I explain it them like that, their mouths drop. They have no conception what we experience until I explain what the disease is actually doing. I share my disease because I want to educate people about it.  


The husband on Dr. Phil was being fatalistic because he is scared, and he does not know what to expect. He is right. Neither of them have any idea how her disease will manifest. It could stay benign or RR, or she could go a few years and then it could go progressive. The only way to deal with this disease is to take things one day at a time and cope with things as they come. But he's already having a difficult time doing that. That's why this show was necessary.


I was diagnosed in June of 2005. And although I have been remarkably lucky, my life has experienced a marked change. I used to walk 6 miles at a time to keep myself in shape and loved walking nature paths and traveling. I used to garden in 104 degree Texan heat and barely feel it. Now, I can't be outside between May and October here. I literally melt because I cannot handle the heat. I begin to shake and shiver. Now, I have a handicapped placard, and when I walk great distances, my legs feel like bugs are crawling all over them and they refuse to work. I hate the fact that I have to wear glasses all the time because I can't see anything. My husband has been so wonderful with this disease, but I know that my loss of sex drive really affects him. I wonder what shape I will be in in 10 years. But I refuse to think about it. I live my life now, and try to get the most out of every day. I've found a hobby that keeps me going. If I didn't have it, I'd get fatalistic.


This show addressed a real issue.  I was grateful for it. Just please understand that your situation is not that of everyone with MS.

Stacey, I don't think you can compare your situation to everyone else with MS.  I have been diagnosed for 9 years now and it is not the easiest.  I am tired all of the time, I forget even the simplest things that I am doing, I can't write my name anymore, I can't clean my own house, and so on and so forth.  I am glad you seem to be doing very well but trust me, we are not all in your shoes.  Like the doctors told me, "the most predictable thing about MS is that it is so unpredictable".  That would scare anyone.  Good Luck!

May 30, 2007, 2:24 pm CDT

05/30 Ask the Authors

The first guest that was on the show really upset me. For the past two years my husband and I had been dealing with his heart condition-Lone Atrial Fibrilation. His heart would go out of rhythm, race up to 140+ beats a minute, and his blood pressure would shoot up off the charts. He finally had a procedure called Ablation which took care of it. For those two years I worried, stressed, and cried a lot because I was scared. I hardly ever showed that to my husband because he needed for me to be strong. I was up in all hours of the night when his episodes happened, spent nights in the hospital with him, and worried if he was going to have a stroke or heart attack. Last October I had a severe kidney infection followed by losing my vision in one eye, not being able to walk straight, losing my balance constantly, and be completely exhausted all day every day. In November I was diagnosed with MS. I had began losing vision in my other eye as well. I couldn't drive for 8 weeks because of all my problems. I now take a shot every other day that I have to give my self. Not once has my husband ever said, deal with it, get over it, buck up, or felt that I have been manipulating anything. I feel guilty because I am always tired and I feel that it holds my husband back on doing things. But he would rather I get the rest I need than try and force me to do something that I am not up to. MS didn't happen to him and it didn't happen to the husband in the first couple, it happened to the WIVES! She needs help not argument, support not pity, and love not anger.
May 30, 2007, 2:28 pm CDT

Sal,Truly, I have been there...

Nicole and Sal:

I'm writing to you from experience(s). And I'm not sure I could possibly say all I'd like to. But first Please realize that there are several different types of M.S. with very different outcomes. One of my brothers was diagnosed with M.S. in 1978 at the age of 25. He is married, has 4 (now grown) children, is a grandfather, still works Full-Time, and does many of the chores around the house. He has one type.

Now sadly, I will write of a much more personal experience. In 1983 I met a wonderful women who I feel madly in love with. When I mentioned us becoming more serious, her reaction frightened me. She was hideing something that she was terrified to tell me. After many attempts asking her to  "Please Tell Me" and her saying, "I just don't know how to say it. I'm afraid you won't love me anymore". I finally said, "Will you just shut up and tell me?" (I seldom spoke to her in that manner). But finally she said, "I have Multiple Sclerosis!" My response was, "I have a brother who has it and I don't love him any less because of it. It's not his fault he has it, nor yours, so what's the problem?" We were married!

The sad part is that hers turned out to be 'Chronic Progressive M.S.' For the first 10 years of our marriage I was able to work outside the home. For the last 5, I became her 'In home personal care provider'.

I could tell you so many stories, some sad, but many wonderfully happy ones as well.

Sal, if you love Nicole, and I don't doubt you do....realize that it's NOT HER FAULT. She doesn't like it anymore than you do. Take this and realize that BOTH OF YOU have a common enemy, M.S.! Don't fight each other! Truly join together educate yourselves about M.S. and FIGHT IT! NOT EACH OTHER.

Sal, there was a part in the show where you were afaid that Nicole might end up in a wheelchair. Well, the truth is that you might end up in one before her. You might be in a car accident, (God Forbid). But my point is, do you worry each day that You might end up in one? Don't put her there now! Don't waste time fearing what hasn't happened because it may well NEVER happen. My brother is still working and he's not in a chair!

And Sal, you mentioned that you fear that you may not have the strenght to care for her if she does end up declining. From the bottom of my heart I'd like to tell you this....If you love her and your children, realize that God Will Provide you with that strenght. He did Me. (Please don't think me some religious fanatic, I just Believe and leave the rest to HIM)!


Nicole and Sal, I can't promise you that it will go like my brother. But if it would end up like my dear wife and I, I can promise you that there are still many absolutely beautiful moments to be had. Yes it may be difficult. But struggling through it together brought us closer than I doubt very few other things could have. Oh there are so many wonderful stories I could tell you.

Truly, having M.S. as our mutual enemy gave us something to fight. We didn't need to fight each other. We were united in our battle with it.


And Sal, you mentioned that it wasn't fair. Well, 5 years after my wife passed away I was diagnosed with Adhesive Arachnoiditis! A very painful condition affecting the nerves in my lower back and both my legs. It's Chronic, nothing can be done for me. And it's progressive.

I am in pain 24hrs/7days and that's been for 4 years now.

Is it Fair? I don't know!

And, "Why Me?"....NOT!!!!  The Truth of the matter is....."WHY NOT ME?" It has to happen to someone! I do NOT blame God! Instead I just figure there must be a reason and I'm left to do the very best I can, helping others when possible. As long as I can find Joy and Beauty in each of my days, who am I to complain. And it's part of my job to Look for that Joy and Beauty.

Heck, I have my memories of my beloved wife don't I? And that alone is all the Joy and Beauty I would ever need if I never found more!!! All of this at the age of 51.....


Love One Another and Hate the M.S.!


I wish you both the very best

With Love


May 30, 2007, 2:29 pm CDT

I acknowledge your suffering!!

Quote From: whatmeworry

OK, not me, but I'm referring to the 1st couple (the wife had MS.)  While I can not know exactly how she feels, I can relate to her situation.  I'm a Type 1 diabetic (dx'ed in 77.)   I have kidney failure, hypertension, hypothyroidism, severe peripheral neuropathy, severe (& inoperable) carpal tunnel, and am legally  blind.  I also sustained a back injury in 2000.   I have little energy/stamina to do anything.  Yet, to look at me, you'd never know otherwise.  I am bombarded all the time over how "healthy" I appear.  I've lost every friend I had, simply b/c I'm no fun to be around.  Can do anything, can't go anywhere.  I'd dump me too, if I weren't myself!


If that man wants to help himself & his wife (& I completely can relate to his frustration,) all he needs to do is tell her he acknowledges her suffering, & wishes he could do something to help.  I'd give anything to hear 1 person tell me that.

 Wow, you have so much going on.  I personally jsut watched the MS story and thought that that woman has what my friend Ann would call a "white girl problem."  I have been suffering from a disabling condition since I was 15, and had a lot of diagnoses before my current one. I am NOT married, never have been, essentially because I have been too sick to get married.  My only child was stillborn.  My life has been struggle, poverty, death, illness, abuse, molestation,  with a gruesome episode of dismemberment thrown in for fun.  So to have a husband that is not as supportive as you would like?  White girl problem.  I have no one to really lean on.  I get by by being grateful that my 10 year old car runs well, I don't have to live with my mother, and my family can help me with financial stuff like keeping the utilites turned on.  Really, there are people who don't even have those things.  Truth be told, considering all the stuff I've had to endure, I've held up extremely well.  But that woman who wrote "Lean on Me" made me sick.  She obviously  enjoys a lifestyle that is way beyond my  ghetto neighborhood comprehension.  It's easier to do the things she's done when you don't have to worry like I do.  If I can't get it doen around the house, it doesn't get done.  I can't pay anyone to do things for me, and I live alone.  And both those women have beautiful children...I never once asked "why is this happening to me" until my sweet baby girl died inside my body when I was 36.

And the thing about MS is you never know what course the illness will take.  The "Lean on Me" woman was obviously very lucky.  I feel like that old song they used to sing on Hee Haw "If it weren't for bad lcuk I'd have no luck at all."  And after 25 years of it I'm just tired.  I use gratitude as a tool.  I try not to dwell on my misfortune.  But I'm severely depressed, and I really jsut want it to be over.  I see no reason to expect anything other than the pain I have known.  I am jobless, mateless, and not raising any children, all because of my misfortune.  All I ever wanted was to be normal.   You can't know what this is unless you have been here or you work in the field.  So don't tell me to "enjoy the little things."  Depression is a physical illness of the brain.  And I'm tired of it wagging me around.  I do my part to keep it from being worse than it is.  But I'm jsut tired.  So tired.

So hey, I can relate to you.  People look at me and think "what is her problem."  That's the thing.  They can't even imagine living my life, but they talk to me as if they  have soem clue about it.  Just listen and don't judge, liek you said.
May 30, 2007, 2:29 pm CDT

So glad this is getting out there...

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...

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


May 30, 2007, 2:38 pm CDT

Living with a disease

Watching your show today about living with disease really hit home.  At age 30 I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus.  I had 3 young children at the time, ages 5,7 & 8.  I have a loving husband that is so supportive that I really felt for the woman on your show.  It is hard to get someone else to understand a desease that hides itself so well as lupus and MS.  Most people think that there is nothing wrong because you don't have a phisical injury that shows on the outside.  They have no idea what you are going threw on the inside.  I have lived with this health issue for 20 years and have a very full life with 5 grandchildren and a wonderfull family.  Don't let people tell you what you can't do, go out and learn the things that you can do and enjoy your life in whatever capacity that you can.
May 30, 2007, 2:49 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.




 Please post "Understanding What Having MS Means", I would love to have it to help others understand my life.  I was diagnosed with ms in 1986.  I retired on social security disability three years ago. 
Thank you,
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