One thing I had to do when Cir eventually became disabled to the point where he couldn't work was allow myself to grieve. Why would I do that, you ask? When we married we had dreams, like all young couples.
At first they were put on hold. Maybe Cir would be one of those people who went into remission. Maybe he would get better. Or maybe researchers and scientists would find a cure and wipe out MS. Maybe he really didn't have MS.
But those scenarios never played out. Cir progressed until working a full time job wasn't possible. So the dreams we had were not just put on hold, we had to let them go. We would not be making them happen the traditional way.
So I grieved. Our dream home. Traveling. I gathered all our dreams, put them in a box, and put them in the attic. Maybe somewhere down the road I could pull them out again. But not now.
Now we needed to focus on Cir. Finding out what his treatment options were and managing his symptoms. Keeping him as healthy as he could be in spite of having MS. We had always been a team and we wouldn't stop.
As a caregiver, your role is satisfying in the sense that you know the person you are caring for is being helped. Whether you are a spouse, family member, friend, or an aide or carer, you along with the other caregivers can become closer because you share a common goal.
So remember to take care of yourself. That way you will be healthy, both physically, mentally, and emotionally, when you are taking care of your spouse or loved one.
This is by no means a complete article about what it takes to be an MS caregiver. Stay tuned for more about what it means to be there for someone who has multiple sclerosis. And if you'd like to add your own caregiver story, fill in the form below.
We know you have a story to tell. You live your life with someone who has MS. And let's face it, sometimes it's hard. By reading your story, other visitors will realize that they are not the only one.
We'd love to hear from you, and so would our visitors. Knowing how you cope with your role as caregiver, can help others learn to deal with day to day issues as well. Even if you just need to feel that there is someone out there listening; it helps.
So go for it! Share your story. Be a part of this valuable resource we are building for others living with multiple sclerosis.