The couples seminar in Arkansas was really eye-opening. It is part of the Relationship Matters course from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. When we arrived at the hotel, GH and I were informed that we had won the random drawing for an upgrade, at no additional cost to us, to the Presidential Suite! Awesome! The suite had a sitting room, kitchen, bedroom, two bathrooms and a Jacuzzi. Wow! We had a nice relaxing time in the hot tub.
The seminar itself was to teach us about peaceful conflict resolution. At one point, the couples were divided into two rooms, those with MS and those who were the spouse. Of the ten or so couples, the female of each couple had MS and the males were the caregivers. Surprising. GH told me that the conversation in the spouse room could have been the script of a movie scene, in that these men really let down their guard and spoke of some very emotional subjects. My dad was even moved and he's usually the stoic one who makes wisecracks to lighten any emotion-laden situation.
Bottom line, if you can attend a workshop of this nature with your partner, I highly recommend it. Although GH and I have our disagreements, we learned that we communicate much more than the average couple. We also learned that our life is a picnic compared to others dealing with MS. But we already knew that, and we are so grateful that everything is okay right now and we are realistically prepared for whatever may come our way.
New subject. GH and I are throwing a joint birthday party for our dads this Saturday. His dad will be 90 on St. Patrick's Day and my dad turned 70 last Friday. We will probably have about 50 people through the course of the day. We spent last weekend shopping, cooking and housecleaning for the party. Although I took everything at a slow pace once we returned from shopping, I was grounded for about 48 hours afterwards. I didn't even do any of the heavy lifting, as GH dusted the ceilings and ceiling fans, shampooed the carpets and other difficult tasks while I went through some of my "piles" of stuff to reduce clutter. I woke up on Sunday fully intending to go to Mass, but my legs were heavy AND cramping, so I turned off the alarm and stayed in bed. The most productive thing I did was make a ton of spaghetti sauce for baked spaghetti while GH sliced the brisket he had smoked the day before.
I am happy to have this party, as I love both of these men dearly. GH's dad will probably move in with us in the next 6-12 months, although he is still very independent and still drives. However, he gets lonely, as he is still getting used to being a widower.
Here's the thing that really pisses me off about other people. Why are some people so selfish? A particular person in GH's family kept saying he wasn't sure if he would be able to come, as he has to work. We gave him a month's notice about this party! This is someone who we did not ask to help with the expense of the party, just show up to make GH's dad happy. That's all. It's only a four-hour drive. GH and I have gone to that town and back home in one day to fulfill family obligations before, so why can't he? And others in GH's family have not even bothered to reply to let us know if they will or will not show up. I find that incredibly rude. In short, they are all acting like a bunch of spoiled brats who can't part with any of their precious time to do something nice for someone who loves them dearly. I makes me so effing angry!
That's another issue. Pre-MS, I was always a very patient and tolerant person. Seriously. Now, my fuse is incredibly short and I have no tolerance for behavior like this. My question is, can this be the "MS personality" that I have heard/read about? I witnessed this to a much worse degree with my mom who eventually went into a horrid clinical depression. Or, am I just getting older and crochety? ;) Any comments are welcomed!
4 days ago