Even Caregivers Need Help Sometimes

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by Carlos Briceño |

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Happy New Year!

Now that 2021 is in the rearview mirror, I have a simple wish for 2022: a cure for Huntington’s disease, which my wife and daughter are gene-positive for.

As much as I hope for that, I also spend a lot of time thinking about taking care of my wife, especially as her disease progresses. But Jill reminded me that it is equally important for me to take care of myself. Otherwise, I won’t be around to help her when Huntington’s starts affecting more of her life.

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Because she loves me as much as I love her, I am happy to point out that she does a great job of taking care of me. One recent example is that she made an appointment for me to have my annual physical. If she hadn’t called, I never would have thought to make the appointment of my own accord.

Because I’m working longer hours these days, I haven’t exercised in months. My diet isn’t healthy, either, so it makes sense that my bloodwork came back with a less-than-positive result: I have a high A1C level, which means my blood sugar is elevated. This led to me being classified as prediabetic.

Growing up with a father who had diabetes should have made me worry about that more. I didn’t, mainly because I don’t smoke or drink and am not overweight. However, my recent lack of exercise and my love of pizza, chocolate, and ice cream all contributed to my elevated blood sugar levels.

In other words, if I don’t change my lifestyle and eating habits, I will probably become diabetic and may develop cardiovascular disease.

As I wrote in a recent column, Jill discovered she also needs to exercise more and change her diet after noting her cholesterol levels on the results of a blood test. We have now embarked on this path together.

There are many positive aspects of sharing a healthier lifestyle and diet with your spouse. We inspire each other to stay on track. We don’t bring in food that is unhealthy for one or both of us. We also exercise together. All of these changes will help keep her mind sharper and her body stronger to fight Huntington’s disease.

We plan on fighting Huntington’s with everything we have, and being healthy together is the first step. I must point out that change is difficult. But here’s my challenge to other caregivers: Do your best to become healthier this year. If it’s too difficult, ask someone you love to do it with you.

Even caregivers need a little help sometimes.

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Note: Huntington’s Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Huntington’s Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Huntington’s disease.

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