I'm not going to tell you that you should go ahead and participate in your sister-in-law's wedding -- I'm not even going to begin to meddle in family dynamics!
But I will talk generally about the bigger issue -- you're going to encounter lots of people in your life -- family, friends, acquaintences, even people you thought were your best and closest friends -- who won't be able to see past the disease. At least your sister-in-law was honest -- she told you that she was uncomfortable around you, that she didn't know how to act or what to say. More often people just drift away, or slam the door in your face.
And you are right -- you don't have control over her actions, or behavior. Only your own. Have you done anything that might scare her off? I know that lots of people when newly diagnosed find their diagnosis the only thing they can talk about. It will consume them, and they'll talk specifically and sometimes graphically about what is going on with them, and talk about old symptoms, new symptoms, possible new symptoms, the "what if's?", the bladder issues...all that. When people ask, "Hi, how are you?" -- rather than taking that as a conversation starter, and answering, "Fine, thanks, and you?" they'll launch off into a litany of all the things wrong with them that day.
And frankly, nobody wants to hear that. At least not all the time. Even close and dear friends. What they want to hear is -- "I'm fine", most of the time, and only "Gee, I need some help" when you really need or want some help, or an ear.
And it's not always easy to discern the differences, there, when you're deep in the swamp and alligators (MS related stuff) is coming at you from all angles.
I don't know if you fell into that trap -- the "I'm awful and here's what's wrong!" trap, every time you talked with her. But if you did, that might be adding to her discomfort.
So -- maybe...and I guess I am stepping into family dynamics a bit, here...maybe now that it's been over a year since your diagnosis, you're more comfortable with it, and don't talk about it as much...and so she is more comfortable about it, and trying to reach out to you.
And there's the matter of -- it's her wedding. The biggest and most important thing that will happen to her...at least right now. She's consumed with all the planning, all she can talk about is all the planning, all the details, getting it "right"....just as some folks are consumed about their diagnosis. So that is all she can talk about right now.
Whether you want to participate in it with her, and see if you both can get past that, is entirely up to you. But that's my take on it.
I am so sorry that your sister-in-law has had that reaction to your ms. When I first started to use my wheelchair full time I got the same reaction from many people. They act like you're contagious or something. You know what, that's their problem. I am not going to try to excuse her reaction, but maybe she is frightened. If this could happen to her best friend, then how certain is anyone's future? You can't force someone to listen or to try to understand. If she sees you going about life as usual, maybe she will eventually come around.
As to participating in her wedding, that is something you will have to decide for yourself. Maybe you could explain to her that it would just be too much stress and too tiring for you to have an active part in the wedding, but that you are very happy for her and that you would really like to attend the shower. You can't let family and friends push you into doing something that you know will only stress you out and make you ill. This is your life and your body and you are the one who knows what is best for you. You can't please all of the people all of the time.
Hope things work out for you. Try to be a little patient with your sister-in-law.
This is a great thread. I think most of us have had to deal with this once diagnosed. I am sorry this has been so painful for you. Your story broke my heart and made me so angry all at the same time. I lost some good friends that I really thought were "life" friends when I was diagnosed. I found out that one didn't even beleive my diagnosis and was over heard saying, "Wow maybe she really does have MS!" when I was in the midst of a terrible flare. It was a sad time. I have had to re-define friendships since being diagnosed. But I have also experienced just the opposite. I have had old friends come out of the woodwork and show themselves as remarkably empathetic. I have also gained new friends that did not know me before MS. Those are perhaps the sweetest of all - those friends that have stepped in to love you even though your body is damaged. Those new friends enter knowing that your body has limits but somehow seeing your soul as more than enough (Thanks RB and PG I love you more than you know).
So go to that wedding and keep in your heart that you have a perfect soul. Your body just doesn't allow you to do what you used to do even if "mom and sister" don't see that you have limits and symptoms. That is the old "if I can't see it I don't believe in it" shallow thinking. Try to think of them with some compassion - they are not living THEIR fullest, most joyful life. You just cannot get all that life has to offer with that sort of shallow thinking.
Love and prayers,