Julie’s Diagnosis Story
- by Julie R.
- December 26, 2016
Julie R. is a paid Advocate for Teva Neuroscience, Inc.
My life was on the path I had always dreamed it would be when I received the diagnosis of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). I was recording my second album and was spending my life on the road playing country music.
When I received my diagnosis, I had only met one person in my life with MS. She was a young woman in her 30's living in a nursing home facility full-time. When I received my own diagnosis, I made the wrong assumption that I would also spend the rest of my life in a full-time care facility.
I went through a period of denial about my RRMS that spanned over five years. I thought if I didn't say "I have MS" out loud or tell anyone, aside from my Mom and younger sister, then it would go away. During those years, I never read about MS or tried to learn about the disease. My mind was shut off to RRMS, and I wasn't open to learning anything about it. I thought if I didn't acknowledge RRMS, I was putting it out of my life for good.
My denial was brought on by fear. I was afraid to tell anyone I worked with in the music industry what was going on with my health, because I thought opportunities in my career would be taken away from me. I also lived with my own fear of MS robbing me from being able to continue to do what had defined my entire life up to this point: performing country music.
Acceptance and educating myself on MS eventually came when my family was forced to face a trying period in our lives. During that stressful time, I began having the same symptoms I had experienced five years earlier. I knew I needed to acknowledge these symptoms, because my disease actually had not gone away on its own like I had hoped it would.
I went back to my neurologist, who encouraged me to begin a therapy right away. Finally, I was ready to learn all I could about living with RRMS.
Until then, I didn't know my options. If I had, I would not have lived in fear for so long and would have instead faced my RRMS head-on the moment I was diagnosed. Keeping that secret for so long was difficult, and now I know and understand that remaining un-educated about MS for so long was not the best decision.
As I have learned about RRMS, I came to a realization that I am very fortunate to live in a time which gave me the opportunity to manage my disease, and I stopped living in fear.
Six years after coming to terms with my RRMS, I am still playing music shows and living my dreams!
Once again, I am defining my path and loving every second of it.
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.