If you’ve ever flown, you’ve probably heard a cabin attendant do the pre-flight commentary and say,

“in the event of rapid cabin depressurization, oxygen masks will descend from the panel above your head”.

Then you’re instructed to put on your own oxygen mask first before assisting your fellow passengers.

Hearing that simple directive always gives me a guilt twinge — I’m a caregiver at heart — even though I understand the reasoning behind it. If I pass out from lack of oxygen, I’ll not be able to care for my fellow passenger.

My wife has Multiple Sclerosis and I know first hand that caring for an MS patient can frequently cause “rapid cabin depressurization”. Grabbing my own oxygen mask first still gives me a twinge of guilt. But I believe the comparison is valid; an MS Caregiver must first don his or her own mask before assisting their fellow passenger. This is the only way to consistently make it through the continuous series of “depressurizations” one experiences when caring for an MS patient.

MS is a difficult disease to experience.  Providing care for an MS patient is stressful and it’s important that you care for yourself, too.

My goal for this blog is that it become a helpful resource for other MS Caregivers.  I hope you can use what I share to improve your own life.  And in making the caregiving lifestyle easier for you, I believe it will be easier for you to be more helpful to the one for whom you care.

I think one of the best places to start reading this blog is the article, Finding Caregiver Support

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406 Comments on I’m an MS Caregiver

  1. Nell says:

    My son is 19 and diagnosed 2 years ago. he cant do any of the things he wants to do, he doesn’t have his license yet due to his symptoms, he only got to go to one year of high school so he has no friends. He is going thru depression something awful. It tears me up to see my child go thru this. What can I do to help him?

  2. Marge Slobodzian says:

    Jackie, if you can get a order for occupational therapy and have your friend evaluated for transfer procedures they could come out to her home after an evaluation to assess her needs and help show you and her how to transfer properly. They can also evaluate if she needs a lift, gait belt, transfer board, side rail or any other equipment that might be needed. Medicare will pay for an evaluation but you need a Doctors order. Hope you can get this approved and help your friend gain more independence.

  3. Diane Judd says:

    I am a 54 year old woman who relocated from Florida (resigning from my job) to Ocean City, NJ to help my elderly mother take care of sister who has MS . My sister is in a wheelchair. I do everything for her. Lately it is getting more and more difficult to help her on and off the commode, wheelchair, bed, etc. Her husband dropped her off at my mother’s house over two years ago and I just want to be able to take better care of her. She gives me money weekly for this. Any suggestions on being able to lift my sister better? I have scoliosis so any help would be appreciated without bringing in any outside help. Thank you.

  4. Amy says:

    Hi, I’m just wondering if anyone has advice or just feels this way. My husband is going on year 4 with progressive MS.He also had a stroke 6 months ago and is only 38. Does anyone else as a caregiver feel lost and stuck. I don’t have the ambition that I used to I just feel numb. With the MS came the cognitive challenges and moodiness and then the stroke which brought more cognitive issues along. Does anyone feel like their partner with MS could be doing more. I feel like a jerk but I don’t understand why he doesn’t fight harder. Also and once again I feel like a jerk saying this but sometimes I feel like he can do things when he wants and then uses the illnesses as an excuse to get out of things. I don;t get it and just wondered if anyone else went through these feelings.

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