I’d Say ‘I Do’ All Over Again

November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to raise awareness about the role of family caregivers and recognize their support and selflessness. Many people with essential tremor are supported by a loving caregiver who assists them with daily tasks and provides emotional support as well. Lorena Rogers is a caregiver for her husband, Donald. She shares her perspective.

By Lorena Rogers

“Is this what you signed up for?”

My husband asked me this question recently and, truthfully, I wasn’t sure how to answer.

Donald has had essential tremor (ET) since his early teens. When I met him, the tremor made him kind of quirky – part of his personality, even charm. The excessive twitching, shaking, etc. when he would get over stimulated was a bit humorous. That is until you truly understand what is happening to him.

Lorena and Donald Rogers

We sometimes joke around about the tremor – because how else do you get through the day, really? Other times we talk about it/to it as if it were a living entity of its own. “How’s the tremor today? Oh, alive and well!”

Donald asked me recently, “Is this what you signed up for?” and it was hard to answer him. At the time of his proposal, I really didn’t know what essential tremor was or how it progresses. If we could see the future and were presented with the choice of being with someone who would be healthy for their lifetime or someone who will need daily care perhaps we all might rethink our decisions.

So … you may ask would I have changed my mind? Absolutely not! Essential tremor does not define Donald as a person and if I had said no to his proposal I would have missed out on knowing a truly amazing individual.

Next year will be Donald’s and my 25th wedding anniversary. We have known each other for 27 years and hope to have many more years together. Thanks for all the adventures, Babe – and yes, I am glad I signed up!

3 thoughts on “I’d Say ‘I Do’ All Over Again

  1. So glad you found each other. My tremors came on about 10 years in with my husband and have gone from very mild to so extreme I can’t take a drink on my own and everything in between. My husband has been my rock – taking everything in stride. Mine vary from day to day but our running joke is that when they get really bad, we will go on a diet of M & M s – meringues and martinis (shaken not stirred) It’s so important to be able to remember to laugh even when things are rough. :)

  2. I have essential trimmers and have done for some years I am 72 years old and some days it’s really bad some days it’s really mild. Because I’m from the older generation doesn’t mean it’s easier. I believe it’s harder because other things on my body are deteriorating so the tremors is just another thing I have to try and manage I get embarrassed in front of other people when I know I’m shaking. I have tried many things to help control the shakes from natural remedies to prescription remedies none help. I am concerned when I get in my 80s I am going to be out of control but what can you do, nothing, it’s just a problem that increases after time of course it’s difficult with a computer with my phone and just simple tasks how lucky are we to have good Google speech to text. I cannot write any more I can’t even decipher my writing let alone other people again thanks to Google speech to text I am thankful I don’t have severe physical faults so really I don’t have much to worry about I can still think I can still do my gardening and gardening is important to me.

  3. I not only take medication but also have had brain surgery (DBS) to help my tremor on both my hands. I can still sign things but certainly don’t write letters or make a grocery list. However I use my iPhone to do this. I can now eat comfortably including soup and salad.
    I am also lucky in that my next door neighbor as well as the woman behind me has Essential Tremor. These two make me feel more comfortable in my community.

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