By Carlos Perdomo
Any given family goes about life working, raising kids if they decide to have any and when time and financials allow it, taking a break of the inescapable routine. Then, out of the blue, an unexpected sickness attacks one important member of the household and their lives, all of sudden, are turned upside down.
Think about any serious disease, multiple sclerosis (MS) for instance, comes without knocking at the door; in a short period of time all activities of the family are centered in the affected and there is no more space for enjoyment.
Life as it was, is no more; especially if the ill person is the main provider. Very soon, financial problems start showing their ugly face due to the fact that earnings take a plunge and the standard of living has to be completely changed.
Soon after, the partner of the unwell has to deal with their mood swings, depression and desperation. The weight of all tasks, little by little becomes overwhelming causing the minder to develop similar of worse symptoms that the indisposed.
As the months go by and the disease continues its development, the parties start falling apart.
The communication between them ceases, one blames Nature, God or else for his health condition, the other without expressing it loudly, accuses the sick of not telling before hand what was in store for the future.
Only strong ties, a real love and care, will allow the relationship to survive otherwise the guardian may begin to think about abandoning ship.
There is a point in which the eyes of the sick become empty; there is no more regard, expectations or hope in life. Especially when the doctor informs the patient about the prognosis and the terrible tasks waiting ahead:
- Spending the days in a wheelchair or bedridden
- Waiting for a caregiver or a member of the family to clean them up, because the person lost control of bladder and bowels
- Not been able to go out for a short distance due to the fact that fatigue sets in almost immediately after starting pulling the wheelchair; particularly, if the person lives in a dwelling that is not disable friendly
What steps can you take if a member of your family is affected by a critical illness
The example above is just one of many scenarios that may happen to a family; there is impossible to predict how any given case would evolve.
Despite the fact that when in stressful situations we are unable to think properly, there are a few measures than can be taken in order to be better prepared for this ordeal.
As soon as the Specialist confirm the nature of the disease, if you’re a partner, children or a close relative, contact your family doctor and ask for a referral to a Psychologist.
“The unpredictability and progressive nature of the disease, the changes and sacrifices that might be required and the impact of some symptoms are all obstacles that make it difficult for both the person with MS and their partner to cope. It may be useful for a couple to seek help from a counsellor.” [https://www.msif.org/living-with-ms/family-life/]
- Research for all institutions that provide help for people that have a loved one facing a critical illness
- Learn about the condition that is affecting the member of your family, knowing the facts will help in time of crisis;
- Do not give up on your routine as much as you can, surround yourself with friends and participate in activities related to the illness whether physically or on line. that way, life becomes more manageable;
- Most of all do not give up on your loved one, taking this approach you also will be not giving up on yourself.
Have a good health!