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Thankful for MS?

In as much as it’s the Thanksgiving season, I was thinking about the impact Multiple Sclerosis has had on our lives and trying to think of reasons why I could be thankful for MS.  What comes to mind first, of course, are all the challenges but if I really focus I can think of several rewards I have received related to this condition. Here are a few.

Our Relationship

Coping with the challenges of MS has made Lynn and me closer.  Before MS, we were two married, independent partners. We each functioned well alone so there were many aspects of our lives that were not shared.  Due to his dependence on me for just about everything, we are truly one now. We share thoughts and fears, good times and bad as a team rather than as two people with their own agendas. It has made us recognize our own unique needs and struggles and we have more respect and admiration for each other as we recognize how each of us sacrifices for the good of the other.

For the People I have Met

In many cases, there is an instant bond when I meet another person who has MS or is a caregiver for someone with MS.  Instantly, I know the challenges faced and perseverance required every day just to get by if they are dealing with this complex condition. Though that understanding, there is a connection that does not exist with those who have not had to face those same experiences. I now have friends I’ve met through blogging that I expect never to meet in person but who share with me their concerns and offer support for mine.  I’ve also met many health professionals who have been awesome and who have offered so much assistance and encouragement to both of us. I am thankful for each of them and the efforts they have made on our behalf.

For the Support of Family and Friends

When Lynn’s condition deteriorated to the point that I had to start working from home because I needed to do so much for him, many of our friends jumped right in to offer their support.  One friend prepares meals for me to freeze;  another buys bottled water for us; two others come type for him; and the church has been more than generous in helping us to get adaptive equipment to make caring for him easier for me and more comfortable for him.  Though at first I admit we were reluctant to accept their offers of help, I found that not only did it bless us but it also blessed the one giving the assistance. Each time I could see how helping us made them feel good. As one of them said to me, “Please let us help.  Don’t steal from us the blessings we receive in giving.” Well, when she put it like that, how could I say no?

For the Blessings I’ve received from Giving

Though physically and emotionally draining, I feel very blessed to be able to take care of my husband.  I am challenged to find ways to make his life better and to support him in his daily needs.  I appreciate the gratitude expressed by Lynn to me on a daily basis for sharing my time and energy to be with him.  I’ve actually found that it truly is more blessed to give than to receive.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • mario lobo
    5 years ago

    Hi Donna.
    As I was pushing my wife in her wheelchair into the house after a hectic day of running errands last Saturday, out of the blue she turned to me and said, “I’m a really lucky woman.” A lucky woman? She deals with a host of lousy MS symptoms, ranging from immobility, vision loss, hearing loss, cognitive problems, fatigue and random pain, just to name a few. Yet she considers herself LUCKY? That made me realize just how lucky I am. I don’t suffer from the maladies that MS unfairly and arbitrarily imposes on my wife and others who have the condition. I have a life partner who loves me, harbors no resentment, just rolls with the punches of her maladies, and is a cheerful, optimistic, grateful woman, who has a smile that is contagious and that lights up the room. Wherever we go, I get the most amazing smiles from the people we see. They’re not smiling at me. They’re smiling at my wife, responding to her smile and the positive energy she exudes.
    So, Donna, thank you for bringing up the topic of feeling thankful and reminding us care givers that we have much to be thankful for. You are a great care giving role model, and an inspiration to your reading audience . I’m thankful that you took the time to write this article 🙂
    Mario (a member of the audience)

  • Donna Steigleder moderator author
    5 years ago

    Thank you Mario for sharing as well. Being a caregiver is hard; no doubt about it; however the rewards are amazing as well. Hope you have a great holiday and a new year full of many blessings.

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