How MS Taught My Children to Be Tough

Marcia Denardin
Written by
Marcia Denardin

Being a mother and living with a disease is anything but easy, but it is not as impossible as I used to think. After my multiple sclerosis diagnosis, there was one episode that has stuck with me. One episode that happened so naturally and so suddenly that it caught me off guard. Everything was going as planned until one day when I had a sudden burst of MS symptoms and could barely move while I was home alone with my children. What happened that day changed the way I see life and my own ability to face the difficulties to come.

I remember saying I was not feeling well, that I was losing strength and movement and was terrified. To my surprise, my son, who was only 14 years-old, took charge of the situation. The first thing he did was tell me that I was having a relapse, which I had gone through before, and that I needed to stay calm.

The next few things happened in a blur, he called the doctor, to explain what was going on, and followed the instructions he was given. I needed to be hospitalized, so he contacted the hospital, packed my things, gathered the necessary documents, and somehow also managed to find a way to calm me down.

He found someone to stay with his younger brothers, called a taxi and carried me down the stairs in his arms. When we arrived at the hospital, he started reporting the situation, the guidelines he had received from the doctor and I started receiving care. He never left my side, always confident, giving me strength to continue fighting.

As I got better, I saw more strength in him than I could have ever imagined. As mothers we tend to think that our children are fragile, unable to solve problems if not with our help. But, as mothers we also learn lessons with our children, and through this episode, I learned a great lesson. That feeling of guilt for having to receive help from a son, for not being able to do everything his classmate’s mothers can do. Guilt this like is something we choose to carry on our shoulders, something we create in our own imaginations, perfectly disposable.

We must understand that we do not create children for us, but for the world, for a lifetime of challenges that will help them grow. And if this growth has to come earlier, we have to encourage them to move forward. I was afraid that my son having to take care of me would make him grow up too quickly, but now I realize that I will continue to learn from my children, as they learn from me.

Interested in seeing the Portuguese version of Living Like You (Vivendo como você)? Visit:http://esclerosemultipla.novartis.com.br/vivendo-como-voce/ for more great content.

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