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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, 6:42 pm CDT

You're not alone

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 have been having multiple symptoms for over a year now. I have not been able to work since Aug. 06. I have had brain, c-spine and lumbar MRIs, CT scan, x-rays, and bloodwork. The only thing was a pineal cyst and low-lying tonsils (which is part of your cerebellum hanging down into your spinal column) BUT my neurologist and my pcp both say that's not the problem. They did think MS but can't find any lesions. SO......I wait??? I'm not giving up! I bug the Dr.s to do more even to the point that I think they get mad, But this is my life and I want it back!!!


If the couple who was on the show today is reading this ... As soon as Sal said that he had no one to talk to... my husband said "He can talk to me"  My husband gets very frustrated. So do I. I think not knowing what's wrong is the hardest.



May 30, 2007, 7:03 pm CDT


The segment dealing with "Just One More Day" underscored for me the gift I am experiencing in caring for my 100+ yr old mother. When my only sibling (sister) died almost 3 1/2 years ago I experienced a roller coaster of emotions. Because I had always assured Mom that she would not have to spend the last of her life in a nursing home/assisted living atmosphere, there was only one choice when she was no longer independent ('Amazing' Grace has Macular degeneration, arthritis and  osteoporosis. She has no need for prescription medicaiton.) After the death of my sister, I moved in with Mom so that she has stayed in her same bed, room, house, neighborhood. With the help of Comfort Keepers, Inc,  I have been able to maintain some outside activities. The last 2 years especially, after I managed some growth, I have been able to sincerely reassure her that she is not a nuisance, and to enjoy her still intact sharp humor. I am able to enjoy this woman, even though she is becoming someone I am learning to know. Of course, her short term memory is fleeting and she does depend on me for facts that now elude her. Together we enjoy, (besides your show) Nova, the History Channel, National Geographic, Great Performances, etc. She is absolutely fascinated by the cosmos and all the speculation about UFO's. I am truly blessed to having a long string of "One More Days". We are able to tell each other of our love and joy in each other while maintaining some healthy boundaries. I cried for the others on your show, with their regrets. A wise person once said to me (No, not Mom) to be sure to let every person who is special know what their life has meant to you and this will help when they die to relieve some of the pain of separation. In our case, it is all the same life, and it will be continued when we are together again in heaven. So far I am able to work through any regrets and this is important as it could well be a few more years!!

May 30, 2007, 7:15 pm CDT

My Daughter Has MS and is in Remission

I want to tell the lady on the show today with MS that there is HOPE.  Five years ago my daughter at age 32 was diagnosed with MS and had two small children.  Her original MRI showed a large BRIGHT spot on the brain and many small white spots indicating myelin cells destroyed.  Through research she found the Dr. Roy Swank MS Diet book.  He was a neurologist who specialized in MS many years ago.  He is now 98 and living in Portland, OR.  She has followed this diet along with supplements, exercise and a great attitude along with her Christian faith.

Today she had another MRI in April 2007.  This MRI showed the large bright spot had faded to the point it looked foggy and ALL of the small white spots were gone.  Her MS is in remission.  She has not taken any of the MS drugs currently on the market. 

May 30, 2007, 7:21 pm CDT


Please, please, please listen to what Dr. Phil is saying.  I see myself in you.  You are at the age of rebellion, and you need to realize that your mom is only speaking from experience and the knowledge that comes from being an adult.  She is not on your case because she is trying to be mean.  One thing we learn as we age is that we didn't know everything we thought we did, and we want so much to keep our younger counterparts from making the mistakes we made.


I grew up with a single mom, and we were in counseling by the time I was 15.  I just refused to listen and I did NOT like authority.  The counseling was great for us, although we did discontinue it as my mom was ill, and I was a real pill between 16-18.  Just as my mom and I were becoming friends, she died when I was 20.  That was it for me.  I had no choice but to grow up.  I regret so much that now, at the age of 40, it still breaks my heart. 


Please take school seriously, and take what your mom says seriously, because all of it is for YOUR benefit.  Good luck to you both.

May 30, 2007, 7:22 pm CDT

Nicole & Sal

Ten years ago, I married a woman 21+ years younger than I am (she was 36 and I was 58). When we first became involved one of her best friends asked her if she loved me enough to take care of me when I got old. Obviously she decided she did. As it turned out, due to a car accident when she was a teenager, her health deteriorated and she was in a wheelchair for the better part of 3 years. Of course, this wasn't what we expected and "I didn't sign up for this", but God gave me the strength and good health to be able to take care of her. Her physical abilities continue to deteriorate (although for the time being she is not in a wheelchair) and I have been by her side through several surgeries (with 2 more coming up this year) and her daily pain.We don't know God's plan but we know he will give us the strength for the days ahead. We know that God is up there laughing at the plans we make because his plans for us are perfect!

May 30, 2007, 7:57 pm CDT

05/30 Ask the Authors

Quote From: tvholstein

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. 

"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. "




I can't imagine what it would be like to lose a child, but from what I've heard and read, it is a grief like no other ever experienced.  I am truly sorry for your loss and for the loss of such a vibrant young adult just starting out in her life.


Although my situation is different than yours (I lost my dad in 2003), my only sister's first son was born exactly a week after we buried Dad.  Someone at the funeral had said that Dad was going to bring the baby to earth, and that was just a sweet way to look at it.  It was sad that my sister's children were never going to know their grandfather (and when my sister was pregnant last year with my second nephew, her husband's dad died, so now they have no grandfathers).  I'm not going to tell you to focus on the good times, because you said that's not helping you, but maybe you would feel a little better if you thought that Tracy was with each of your grandchildren when they were born.  Maybe you will see personality traits in your grandchildren that will remind you of Tracy.  And, you have to remember that Tracy is alive somewhere, in your heart, and that will never change.  God is just holding her for a while until you meet again.


I hope you start to feel better and can work through your grief.

May 30, 2007, 8:03 pm CDT

The Mother and Daughter

After I saw the mother and daughter and the issues that they faced I saw my daughter and I. She and I can not see eye to eye on anything. Our conversations are yelling and screaming as well. I try really hard however we can't go for more than one day without fighting, and  at times we go for a complete day without talking at all. I at times think it is better that way. She is 17 and will turn 18 in eight months and she too is counting down the months when she can leave and in her opinion never come back. I get really bitter because she treats me like trash she constantly belittles me and slaps me in the face with words that cut like a knife in reference to my past. She demands all attention be on her and not our other two which are 18 and 14 both of which are girls, and the relationship I have with them is great. With that all being said. I do plan to try not to yell and try talking if that does not work within the next few weeks or months then Dr. Phil I will be at my wits end and praying that you help us. I can't take it much longer the yelling is killing me but the silence is deadly...


May 30, 2007, 8:03 pm CDT

AMAZING show! Are there Dr. Phil camera's in MY house???


I have Lupus and Crohn's disease (also auto-immune diseases, like MS) and within the  past few years have had to stop working. Since September I have been hospitalized 6 times and was LITERALLY told today that if this next round of medicine doen't work then "we just don't know what to do with you cause that is all the treatment options we have"

ugh!  who says that to a patient???  ridiculous!   anyway, I am 32 years old and I live in Arizona.  I am happily married (for 10 years) and have been raising my husband 3 daughters (actually one of them lives with their biological mother) for 10 years and my husband and I took legal gardianship of my 15 year old brother 5 years ago because my parents are drug addicts. (so that brings the kid total to 4 aged 12, 13, 15 and almost 16)  they are awesome kids and I am very blessed.    My father is passed and my mother, well she is the drug addict (along with my step-father) so I have no contact with them.  I do have a grandma in So-Cal who I am very close with however, I'm 7 hours away from her.  So my only family is my husband and children and the "family" i have within my church.   luckily my husband is very understanding about my illness, but I think there is never too much knowledge about it so I WILL be getting the book for us to read.  But it is VERY hard on him of course, especially when I am in the hospital, or when he comes home from one of his 2 jobs to me laying on the couch and a filthy house and no dinner and teenagers that need to be driven here or there, I imagine it's very stressful for him.  Luckily he doesn't project that onto me... however I DO have my own guilt about my illness - I am forcing the kids to be too grown up in their responsibilities or I am not contributing to the household, or the laundry isn't done, etc.  I was crying from the beginning of this episode!  I could completely understand where they were all coming from.   and then the teenager part - well!  of course my brother/son is 15, which is hard enough, but a few months ago he told me that his anger (which IS explosive) was getting out of control, he knew it and needed help - so we got it for him right away and he was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder (which our mother also has along with many other family members) and he has been happily participating in counseling and coping skills since - it was a huge blessing in our lives.   but it IS good to hear what we should NOT be doing with our teenagers - cause they don't come with manuals.  Plus I got all my kids not from the start!  (not that they pop out with manual, but still) mine came with issues and then add my health issues onto it and I'm amazed that they are all as good as they are.   I hope that this book helps ME deal with my feelings of inadequecy (sp?) I want to be a good mother and a good wife and I make myself a ridiculous amount of lists trying to do just that, lists that i think will help me and actually end up making me feel horrible about myself when nothing on the list gets done becaues I literally spend all day in the bathroom or on the couch or in bed.  it makes me feel like the biggest loser on the planet.  I hate it when my sweet daughter asks what she should make for dinner - not that I think that it would kill her to occasionally have to make a meal, nor would it kill any of the kids - but she should not HAVE to do it so that the family can eat - and she does.  I promise that I"ll take care of the laundry, and it goes undone because I can't lift the baskets.  floors don't get washed, the list goes on and on.  And I am not willing to throw in the towel simply cause I am sick.  there has got to be a better way to live with a chronic illness and there has got to be a way to do it so that I don't damage my sweet, wonderful children and my hardworking and understanding husband.   so Thanks for the show - it seemed to be talking right to me!  And I hope that this book helps! Katie Mesa, Arizona
May 30, 2007, 8:19 pm CDT

What a wake up!

WOW!  I just saw myself on your show. I cried the entire first segment.  I have been plagued by these "strange" crippling symptoms since my early 20's.  I am now 39.  I have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder.  One Dr said it was MS but the MRI showed no brain lesions.  Another said thyroiditis, another Sjogren's, another possible schleroderma and last but not least Restless Legs Syndrome.

I have spent a small fortune on diffrerent tests and doctors and honestly can't afford to anymore.  I've accepted there's nothing that can be done, just treat the symptoms and save the money for the kids.

I, like the lady on your show today can barely get through the day.  I have to force myself to walk.  The pain and heaviness in my legs is so bad and getting harder to handle. 

I lost count of how many medications that I'm suppose to be on.  I only take the ones that I can afford and the ones that make it easier to get through the day.  Which narrows it down to 5 prescription meds per day.  I have gained over 100 lbs since 1999.  I don't eat very much, so I know it's part disease and part inactivity.

I understand what she means by accepting her disease and wants to help her family to also.  I still do not know what EXACTLY mine is but I've accepted the fact that I will most likely be handicapped before I'm 50.  My husband says that he's accepted it but he still expects me to do everything. (cook, pick up take out, bills, grocery shopping, take kids everywhere, work full time, etc.)  We work opposite shifts, I'm home when kids are home from school.  He's home when we're at work or school.  So I'm like a single parent during the week.

My son told me last month that when he gets older and has children he will bring them back here to see their grandfather (my husband).  I said what about me?  He replied "Mom, you'll be dead by then." OMYGOSH  What do I do about that?  That scares me to death.

My 17 yr old daughter also shows many of the symtoms that I do.  I hope that I can find out what's wrong so that it won't be too late for her.  I'm adopted and the records are sealed so I am unable find out if this is a hereditary disease or not.

I look like nothing's wrong and try to act like nothings wrong.  I don't complain unless I'm in severe pain.  Therefore, people that see me on a regular basis think that I'm fat, slow and lazy because I can't move as quickly as I want to and my house is wrecked.  But, I'm not going to run around advertising my illness.  People take that as excuses or hypochondria.  So I just let them think what they want.  But the hurt, embarrassment and the guilt for not being able to be the wife and mother that I want to be, is alive and well.

Seeing all this on your show today made me realize that I'm not CRAZY!  She put validity on my feelings.


May 30, 2007, 8:27 pm CDT

I have MS too!!

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.




I was diag. with Multiple Sclerosis about 2 1/2 years ago. I'm finally getting adjusted to having this disease and not ashamed of it anymore. At first I was scared to death about the thought of having to give myself injections at all much less 3 times a week. I'm still having good days and bad days. I have a husband and 2 children. My son has always coped with the shots and such better than my daughter.  I know my husband deals with it better now than in the beginning. I finally learned to set my limits to the sun, heat, excessive,etc. Please send me a copy or telling me how to get a copy of Understanding What Having MS Means. I am always in the mood for encouraging  good news about this disease and more ways to cope with it on a daily basis.


Thanks a ton!!!

Kellys wife1

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