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MS Caregiver

If you are an MS caregiver you can relate to our story. As a caregiver, you face your own set of challenges, just as I do. Watching a loved one slowly (or sometimes quickly) progress to the point of disability, can be very difficult.

I find myself feeling helpless when there is nothing I can do other than be there. Which in itself is enough sometimes. Caregiving can be draining emotionally as well as physically. What can you do, not only for your loved one, but for yourself?


One thing that helps me get through the rough days, is knowing that I love Cir and always want the best for him. That makes all the difference.

When you love someone, you are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to help them be all that they can be in spite of what they can or cannot do. It may seem like a simple statement, however, it's a true one.

MS caregiver - a 24/7/365 job

Caregiving is a 24/7/365 job. And as a spouse MS caregiver, you will do anything from what you normally do already as a spouse, to taking care of your loved ones every need as well as your own. How much and what you do depends on your spouse or loved ones level of disability.

Cir is somewhere in the middle of the disability scale. He can take care of many of his needs by himself depending on the day. On a bad day, I may need to help him transfer from bed to chair, and all the way up to helping him go to the bathroom.

On good days, he can do most of those things for himself. I will just be there to cook, keep his area clean, fetch things for him and spot him during transferring. This I do along with taking care of our daughter (who's 16 and almost maintenance-free), and keeping up with the house.

Update: At the point of this update, we are empty nesters, and our youngest just turned 30 in December of last year. Yes, the old cliche does apply here - my how time flies... And Cir is still having many more good days than bad, if you're wondering.

Take care of yourself


There are several things you need to learn as an MS caregiver. One is that you will need to take care of yourself. Without you, your spouse or loved one will be left out in the cold. Well not literally, but they will be left without a vital person in their lives and on their healthcare team.

You are possibly the most valuable person on their team. The one who makes sure that their needs are met. The one who has their back so to speak. The one who knows them the best. The one who can relate to others what they're going through.

Cir often encourages me to take my blood pressure medication, exercise daily, eat well, and do things like daily meditation. Because I have heart problems and have had past abdominal surgery, he expresses his fear that I might eventually become too sick to be his caregiver.

Acts of self-care

He's definitely right that I need to take care of myself. That's a given. I do occasionally forget to exercise everyday and sometimes I just don't feel like it. That is something that needs to change, though. Even if I don't exercise every single day, if I do something every week, that's a good thing.

And every act of self care helps. If it's not exercise, work on eating more healthy. We are now following a plant-based lifestyle. We don't like to call it a diet because it's actually more of a way of life where we eat mostly plants.

We aren't just doing it to lose weight, which is what most diets aim to do. We want to reverse or at least reverse our health problems, and losing weight is a great side effect of eating plant-based.

Another act of self care which I try to do regularly is meditation. After doing it for a few months, I noticed that my blood pressure was lower and I was less stressed. When I don't meditate, I notice that I'm more tense - my shoulders and back are tight and believe it or not, I'm not breathing.

Well, I am breathing obviously, I just don't always breath correctly, or should I say efficiently. Breathing efficiently is especially helpful for many of the things that ail us, and not just the fact that we're getting much needed oxygen to our cells.

So remember to take deep cleansing breaths every so often throughout the day. This is a stress relieving, calming, and overall health producing practice. Try the breathing exercise in the video below.

Here's a link that may help with your journey as an MS caregiver (opens in a new window).

Do you know your limitations as a caregiver? Click here to go to Part 2.

Go back to the Living with MS Family.

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Cir & Akrista

You are reading original content written by Akrista or Cir L'Bert of Life in Spite of MS. If you enjoyed reading this blog, please consider following us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. See you there!

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