A Country Girl's RRMS Story
- by Julie R.
- August 29, 2016
Julie R. is a paid Advocate for Teva Neuroscience, Inc.
From the time I was a young girl, I always knew I wanted to travel and sing music all over the world. I also wanted everything that came with that life; recording albums, visiting radio stations, meeting and singing with my idols, and even attending CMA awards shows with my Mama. You can pick just about anything in the country music world and I dreamed about doing it! Anything that had to do with a career in country music, I wanted to achieve it and I thought about it day in and day out.
About a year after my dreams began to come to fruition, I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). I was so determined not to let that diagnosis halt my lifelong dreams that I chose to ignore it at first. (A choice which I know now was not the smartest decision to make for myself.) The NMSS (National Multiple Sclerosis Society) recommends beginning a therapy for MS as soon as you are diagnosed.
Unfortunately, MS does not go away, and in 2010, I was reminded that I still have the disease as new and old symptoms appeared as well as more lesions on my MRI scan. I decided then that I needed to learn how to take care of myself so that I could still travel and sing on stage.
It is important for me to surround myself with a great support network of friends and family. My Mama, my family, and my friends all support my dreams and know that I can still shoot for my dreams despite having RRMS. So, if ever I am having a day where I just don't feel like getting on the trails, instead of making me feel guilty, my support group tells me to get back to it after I am rested from my travels.
Traveling through different time zones often leaves me feeling tired. If I arrive in a city and feel exhausted at all, I make it a point to exercise for about 30 minutes and then take a nap. I always wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world! Listening to my body and giving it what it needs really keeps me going.
I have also learned that finding a great network of healthcare professionals is important when living with and managing RRMS. I have a neurologist whom I trust and with his help, I have found a disease modifying treatment which helps me to manage my RRMS.
Finally, my faith/spirituality is the most important part of my life. I have always had a strong faith and believe with all my heart that God will always provide. He gave me my dreams as a young child and He is always there with me, every step of my journey.
In summary, there are many ways that I personally manage my RRMS. We are all very different and what works for me, may not be ideal for another person living with RRMS. It's important to find those things in your own life that bring happiness to you, energize you, and that help you manage your RRMS so that you can keep on keeping on in your life!
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