If you have had the same, unpaid caregiver – a spouse, relative, or devoted friend – for twenty-two years, like I have, you can’t help but feel guilt-ridden about 80% of the time. The other 20%, you are a team, working together, celebrating the small victories. But, day to day, there is so much done on your behalf by this person that you don’t think about. And when you do, you feel like crap.

There is an imbalance here that has to be mitigated in some way so you don’t foment resentment on your caregiver’s part or foment guilt or self-pity on your own. Writing in his definitive tone about the neuroimmune disorder, transverse myelitis, the genesis of my own paralysis, Transverse Myelitis Association President Sandy Siegel observed about the effects of TM: “TM complicates a good marriage. TM is going to obliterate a bad marriage.”

Read more on the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.