How Caring for Others With Disabilities Helps Me Cope With My Condition

I have a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis. It causes tumors to grow on nerve endings externally and internally. Two of my daughters also have this disorder, and it has caused them several medical issues. Life with this disorder is often not easy. Depressionanxiety, chronic pain, learning disabilities, deformities, and cancer can be a few of the side effects.

I have struggled with jobs most of my life, until I got into caring for those who need help caring for themselves. I found caring for those with physical and developmental disabilities to be rewarding. It helped me take the focus off my disability and provide love and care to people who needed my help. I have learned more from those I care for than anything I ever taught them. I have seen way too many friends I cared for pass on over my many years in the field.

Just because you yourself have a disability, that does not mean you cannot help someone else. We all share in the pain and the joy, and often we can share empathy because we understand what each other are going through. What I’m saying is, don’t focus so much on your own disabilities, but rather see how you can help someone else. By doing so, you might just see how strong you really are.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Neurofibromatosis

professional camcorder on the tripod, selective focus on nearest part

The Portrayal of Neurofibromatosis in the Media Needs to Change

I am part of a community of rare families. Everyone of us has a loved one with the genetic condition neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF). It is a condition that affects only 1 in every 2,500 births — so when any mention of it arises in the media, we want to share like crazy to bring awareness. The [...]
Jeannie's daughter smiling in their yard

The Moment I Realized Apert Syndrome Was Here to Stay

The first two weeks after Sarah’s birth, I was swimming in a sea of denial. It was so deep, however, I denied my denial. Every morning I would wake up and wonder, “Maybe this has all been just a bad dream.” I prayed she would be healed of Apert syndrome. I asked our lives would resume to a steady, [...]
sad pensive girl profile on black background, monochrome image

It's Not OK to Compare My Pain to Someone Who Has It 'Worse'

As hard as it is to believe, I am actually in chronic and debilitating pain despite my youth, but I’m not a hypochondriac, drug seeker or attention seeking. Pain is relative, whether it be physically or psychologically — which means that every pain that can be humanly experienced is felt differently by any individual. This means it is literally [...]
woman coping with a migraine headache

What Gets Me Through My Migraines

More than 38 million people in the U.S. cope with migraine headaches, according to the Migraine Research Foundation. I am one of them. While most people with migraines experience an attack once or twice a month, others can experience them “15 days or more days a month,” according to the American Migraine Foundation. Either way, migraines [...]