Caregiving During the Holidays
- by Ruben A.
- November 11, 2019
The holiday season is approaching quickly! It’s the time of year when people gather and enjoy celebrating with family and friends. It’s also a time to reminisce about the past and make plans for the future, whether you’re living with relapsing MS (RMS), or supporting someone who does.
Living with RMS has been challenging; however, it would have been near impossible without the support of my caregivers. These three individuals have not only supported my daily walk with RMS but have also taken the time to proactively help me manage the symptoms that come with the disease. My caregivers are my wife and two children.
Hosting large gatherings, both personal and professional, is a part of our holiday cadence. It’s amazing how open, honest conversations with guests regarding my RMS uncovers the “invisibility” around, and misconceptions about, RMS. All three of my caregivers not only support my openness to discuss my journey, but they have also become very comfortable and confident in sharing how I’m feeling with others. “I was speaking to your son, he said things are going well for you. That’s great to hear! So, what did you think about that game?” How awesome is that?! It’s wonderful to have others both support me, and spread positivity during the holiday season.
Of course, there’s a lot that goes into the holiday season. Planning a few dinners a week — whether it’s my family and me hosting or attending — can lead to stress, which can lead to a challenging RMS day. Sometimes, you need to take a break and say “Sorry, we can’t make it.” While this happens from time to time, the cool part is when the missed dinner is replaced with a family activity. For instance, a movie night can lead to a relaxing night with the family, creating joyful memories.
A caregiver’s role can look different for many people, but one thing applies to all of them: it’s a role that never ends. My wife has to be reminded to be selfish and take some time for herself.
I could share many examples of the important role a caregiver plays and the immeasurable difference it makes in the life of somebody living with a chronic, neurological disease like RMS. I know it’s made a huge difference in mine.
To all the caregivers — a big hug and a sincere thank you! Happy Holidays to all!
COPAXONE® (glatiramer acetate injection) is a prescription medicine that is used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), to include clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease, in adults.
Do not use COPAXONE® if you are allergic to glatiramer acetate or mannitol.