A Caregiver’s Perspective: Coping with RMS and the Holidays Together

  • by  Steve R.
  •   December 05, 2016

Steve R. is a paid Advocate for Teva Neuroscience, Inc.

Learning to cope with holiday stresses together.

The holiday season! Shopping, cooking, grandkids, dinner parties and smiling all the time! All of this in addition to the daily pressures of coping with RMS.

As a care partner to both a “people pleaser” and somebody with RMS, it is my great honor to both protect my sweet Judy’s health and help her enjoy the holiday season.

Even though we have a small immediate family, we are blessed with a large extended family of friends, business associates and those from our church. All provide opportunities for social engagement as well as holiday stress.

In our house, the first order of business during the holidays is to prioritize seasonal opportunities and then decide what is most important and most practical. There is the potential pressure to cook all the right meals, buy all the right gifts, attend all the right events and make the holidays special for the immediate family, especially the grandkids.

The worst part of Judy’s RMS, in my opinion, is the unpredictable nature of energy levels and routine pain management.  My first priority during the holiday season is to take over routine duties like shopping, providing meals and running errands to allow Judy to conserve her energy.   

We are blessed with sons and daughters-in-law who have patience and are sensitive to Judy’s RMS, which allows us to have low stress family events. Internet shopping has replaced hours at the mall. Take out has replaced hours in the kitchen. Having the grandkids over to our home replaces certain social functions. I think Judy would agree that the most important function I perform is to give Judy permission to say “not now” when pressures build up and her energy wanes. And the full support of immediate family makes it all possible.

Our ultimate goal during the holiday season is to be available for fun holiday gatherings while being attentive to Judy's RMS challenges. I can honestly say that while not completely stress free, our holidays are loving, fun and an encouragement to Judy.

Steve R.

RMS Caregiver

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.

See Important Safety Information below and full Prescribing Information for Copaxone® (glatiramer acetate Injection).

COP-45225 June 2018
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10 Comment(s)
  • Myocia | December 21, 2016
    Thank you for the tips. This season has been especially busy, but will learn to ask for help. My problem is that I try to be all, do all, and do not ask for help.
    • Teva's Lift MS® Team | December 22, 2016
      We’re so glad to hear our community has been helpful to you, Myocia. You’re part of what makes this blog great!
  • Nadine | December 21, 2016
    So happy to see this! It has true meaning for me. I have a wonderful husband who is attentive and insightful to know when I am overdoing things and encourages me to slow down and enjoy the moment!
    • Teva's Lift MS® Team | December 22, 2016
      What an inspiring story, Nadine! We appreciate your contribution to the community.
  • Deb Parmeggiani  | December 21, 2016
    A truly respectful partner, I am also blessed with a husband and family that understands my limitations to avoid stress. Rest is key and he understands that while keeping our family traditions alive.
    • Teva's Lift MS® Team | December 22, 2016
      That’s great to hear, Deb! Having the support from family and friends can make all the difference.
  • Mildred | December 21, 2016
    What is this rms?
  • Noreen  | December 22, 2016
    Yep no one gets it you have to live it
    • Teva's Lift MS® Team | December 22, 2016
      It sounds like you’ve been through a lot, Noreen. We’re glad you’ve reached out for support. Let us know how we and the community can help.
  • karen | December 22, 2016
    God Bless, RMS ,has its difficult days, and its good days, soynds like tou have a great family to help you deal with all that. I take 1 day at a time,its a blessing to have family around,but not all understand,been dealing with this sinxe 1096., Best thing out their is Shared Solutions,love their meetings and the people I've gotten to meet through them. Merry Christmas Everyone.
    • Teva's Lift MS® Team | December 27, 2016
      Thanks for your kind words, karen! Comments like yours fuel our efforts to build a helpful community.
  • Kim | December 22, 2016
    Having MS since 1993, my husband married me anyway and has been a Godsend! I am so thankful for my supportive family esp. at this time of year. Happy Holidays!
  • Mavis | December 22, 2016
    What a wonderful description of someone who understands his wife's illness & needs, while helping her still enjoy the holidays! God bless!
  • Lisa | December 22, 2016
    Christmas shopping? I order from home! Not lazy, just can't handle the crowds, and would probably fall, even with my cane. Oh well, it's a good laugh for me, and everyone else! Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to all my MS family, caretakers, and everyone else. Don't celebrate too much! Love to all, and remember Christmas 's true neaning-
    • Teva's Lift MS® Team | December 27, 2016
      We understand living with MS adds extra challenges to life, Lisa. We’re so glad you’re here and hope you find helpful support.
  • Guadalupe Hoag | December 22, 2016
    Steve R.
    You are Truly one of God's ANGEL'S✝Judy is Blessed
    For You and Your's in 2017💝