WE have RMS: A Caregiver’s Perspective
- by Steve R.
- November 07, 2016
Steve R. is a paid Advocate for Teva Neuroscience, Inc.
After 28 years of marriage and getting two sons raised, married and into their careers, my wife, Judy, and I were anxiously awaiting the next phase of our happy lives. Little did we know what lay ahead. Never in our wildest dreams did we consider a life that included relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS).
When Judy was diagnosed, we discovered how little we really knew about MS. The only people who had MS that we had ever heard about were doing poorly. An acquaintance of ours had full-time care for his MS-afflicted wife. As you might imagine, our minds raced ahead to all the terrible potential outcomes.
At that point, we made an important decision that has shaped our lives ever since. We decided that, in our lives, we BOTH had MS. Obviously, I don't have disease symptoms, I don't take the medications, and I don't suffer from the limitations imposed by the disease. But, I have the ability to plan around the symptoms, help with the medications and be a source of encouragement during times when the limitations become a burden.
Above all, we have made a promise to one another to improve all levels of communication. MS has given us opportunities to do more things together. We have become active in local and national MS groups. And, we have each, in our own unique ways, made it our goal to first love and encourage one another and then pass that love and encouragement on to others in the MS community.
Rather than give in and give up activities that we love, we have made a goal of discovering alternative ways of continuing to enjoy favorite activities.
For example, we love to travel to Santa Fe, New Mexico, for the art, food and relaxed atmosphere. But Santa Fe is not a very well-air-conditioned city! And Judy suffers from heat intolerance. So, we travel either in the spring or fall and find other activities during the hot summertime.
Let me close this first blog attempt with a word of encouragement to all you caregivers out there. You and your MS patient now have a common purpose. Use that as an incentive to love more, communicate better and encourage others.
COPAXONE® (glatiramer acetate injection) is a prescription medicine that is used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), to include clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease, in adults.
Do not use COPAXONE® if you are allergic to glatiramer acetate or mannitol.