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.
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Myocia | December 21, 2016Thank 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, 2016We’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, 2016So 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, 2016What an inspiring story, Nadine! We appreciate your contribution to the community.
Deb Parmeggiani | December 21, 2016A 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, 2016That’s great to hear, Deb! Having the support from family and friends can make all the difference.
Mildred | December 21, 2016What is this rms?
Teva's Lift MS Team | January 09, 2017Hi Mildred, if you are looking for more information on relapsing multiple sclerosis, you might check here: https://www.copaxone.com/about-relapsing-ms/what-is-relapsing-multiple-sclerosis
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms, please reach out to your health care team. Best wishes!
Noreen | December 22, 2016Yep no one gets it you have to live it
Teva's Lift MS Team | December 22, 2016It 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, 2016God 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, 2016Thanks for your kind words, karen! Comments like yours fuel our efforts to build a helpful community.
Kim | December 22, 2016Having 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, 2016What a wonderful description of someone who understands his wife's illness & needs, while helping her still enjoy the holidays! God bless!
Lisa | December 22, 2016Christmas 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, 2016We 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, 2016Steve R.
You are Truly one of God's ANGEL'S✝Judy is Blessed
For You and Your's in 2017💝