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.
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Mary Ann | November 08, 2016I have MS. My husband has also told me that we both have MS. He helps with my injections, exercises, housework, he is right there. I really liked your article. Thank you for sharing.
Sue | November 08, 2016Steve, I really like and appreciate that you are partners with Judy in this disease. Although ours is a different disease, Terry and I made a similar decision. Life has no rosy guarantees for great health for any of us. It's how we love each other day-to-day that counts! Blessed to know you both!
Gail kinyon | November 11, 2016My husband is in 19 yrs of m.s. I do not know what to
Do some days, it is so hard.
Teva's Lift MS Team | November 14, 2016It sounds like you’ve been through a lot, Gail. We’re glad you’ve reached out for support. Let us know how we and the community can help.