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    My ex-step-father was diagnosed with MS 15 years ago. My brother and I are the only family he has around, and even though we technically aren't related to him, we love him.

    Three years ago he was blinded in an accident, and he can't see anything at all. His MS has also progressed considerably in the last few years, and with him being blind it has really complicated his care.

    My brother and I moved him into an assisted living home that he absolutely loved when he was blinded, but we still visited with him several times a week and took him groceries. We also brought him to our homes and took him to doctor's appointments. Everything worked well for a few years.

    Then in June of this year he was hospitalized for 4 months, and spent much time in the ICU. He had all kinds of complications related to MS. I have medical power of attorney, and I was having to make decisions that I didn't feel qualified to make. We thought he was going to die on multiple occasions.

    When he was released, he could no longer go back to the assisted living facility. We had to move him to a nursing home. He hates it. The care there is very good, and it is close to me, so I can visit almost daily. He is having so much trouble swallowing that his doctor asked about a feeding tube, but we aren't going to pursue that.

    It is so hard to watch him suffer. He often chokes on drinks and food. He is doing physical therapy and is still on copaxone, but is confined to a wheelchair. We're going to bring him to our home for Thanksgiving, but I'm not sure how, yet.

    I teach high school, and have two sons who go with me to visit him all the time. They are wonderful with him, but it's very hard for them, too. They remember the grandpa that used to be able to do so much more, and it's hard for them to watch him suffer. They also worry about me. My husband helps, too, but he works a lot.

    It's a hard situation for everyone, especially for my step-father. I'm so sad.

    Dear texasangela~ I am saddened to hear about your step-father and what he has had to deal with - and that includes you and your family too! I imagine being a caregiver would be one of the hardest and most heartbreaking thing imaginable. It's a tough position to be in.

    However, I am also heartened to hear how you have taken such good care of him, however hard it has been. My heart goes out to you and your family. I can only pray that when and if my time comes to this, I will have a loving family who will step up to the plate - even if that means making tough but loving choices.

    I'm not sure what state you live in (Texas perhaps?), but here is a site you might be interested in for caregiver support called Family Caregiver Alliance. Click on your state and read up on what is available. It sounds like you already have a good plan in place, but maybe you could gleam something else for help from this site.

    I wish you well and thank you for being a caring daughter. I am sending prayers for you all
    1st sx '89 Dx '99 w/RRMS - SP since 2010
    Administrator Message Boards/Moderator


      I am so sorry.


        Bless you for being so loving and supportive.
        He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.