My True Partner

  • by Judy R.
  •   November 28, 2016

Judy R. is a paid Advocate for Teva Neuroscience, Inc.

How my husband became a wonderful partner for managing my RRMS. 

In sickness and in health… When we exchanged those vows during our wedding 43 years ago, we were both young, healthy, looking forward to our future and so much in love. The thought of one of us having a chronic illness never crossed our minds. We have had many healthy years and felt blessed.

When I received my relapsing-remitting MS diagnosis in my 50s, my husband, Steve, seemed to accept his role as my care partner as he did most challenges in his life. He "just dealt with it" with patience, love and kindness. We had our moments of fear of what the future might hold, but we learned that with RRMS, you have to take it one day at a time — and that became our goal. 

Initially, Steve may have been "overprotective" in some of his caregiving, but we were navigating uncharted territory in managing this new challenge in our lives. We sat even closer on the couch and held hands a lot. We pulled together as my RRMS ebbed and flowed over the years, and we developed a routine depending on what was happening in our family, work and other activities. I went from being an early morning riser to a not-so-early riser. My energy level would wind down early in the day, especially during the warmer seasons. I had relinquished more and more of my former household responsibilities, and Steve had accepted them without complaint. For example, Steve would stop by the grocery store to pick up a few things on his way home from the office whenever I needed him to. He has never been a complainer, but I was feeling guilty and wanted to do what I could, when I could, to feel more productive. I know I am blessed to have a willing, loving care partner. Because of Steve's loving care, I am able to do the things that are important to me. 

My new normal is not always the same. Some days, I have to ask for help a little earlier than I would like… when that happens, Steve steps in to pick up the slack. On days where I have more reserve, we make the best of it and I do more – we celebrate that "more!” 

It's sometimes difficult to accept that some days you're the "doer" and some days you are not. I have a care partner in Steve, who loves me right where I'm at, and I am thankful every day for that.

Judy R.

RRMS Patient

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11 Comment(s)
  • Penny | November 28, 2016
    Thanks for sharing. It is encouraging to hear someone else's story. I too have blessed with a wonderful husband. You are right none of us signed up for this MS life.
  • Tonya  | November 28, 2016
    What a beautiful story 😊😇 And a huge kudos to your husband and you go for sticking together and working as a team because it definitely takes that to make it work properly like that👍🏽❤️ To make love work like that, many people forget that nowadays that's why there's so many divorces unfortunately I am one of those people but that's OK I have the support of my boyfriend and he helps me a lot☺️
  • Beth | November 28, 2016
    Thank-you for sharing. I was diagnosed with RRMS at 52. Many medical people like to doubt and say that people usually are much younger at the time of diagnosis. It's hard. I'm glad you have such wonderful support!
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | November 29, 2016
      An MS diagnosis can be an emotional experience. It's great that you're here and we hope you find others in the Lift MS community, who can relate, Beth!
  • Rod haug | November 28, 2016
    That's what the vows say but doesn't work for every one needless to say ms and couple other thing's screwed mine up but life is great and I live day by day all we can do
  • Pat | November 29, 2016
    Yes, Judy, that is your Steve. Thankful that you have each other.
  • Jonel | November 29, 2016
    You are very blessed. My husband walked out 9 years ago, as it gave him an excuse
    I now am dating a man who cares and is there for me.
    It brings me hope to hear your story and how you have a bond with your husband,willing to face all and stand by you
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | November 29, 2016
      Thanks so much for sharing your story, Jonel.
  • Angela | November 29, 2016
    That's such a beautiful story. When you get diagnosed with MS you can feel so alone and useless. It's wonderful when your partner tries to understand and comforts you even though it is hard on them too. I'm praying for anyone going through this. I'm 4years into my MS diagnosis. Just trying to remain strong. Keep moving as long as I can. 😉
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | November 29, 2016
      It sounds like you’ve been through a lot, Angela. We’re glad you’ve reached out for support. Let us know how we and the community can help.
  • Neta | November 29, 2016
    I am amazed how beautifully and courageously. you and Steve have maintained your joyful attitude, remaining trusting examples and servants of Our Lord in spite of the disease! You are truly an example and pattern of Jesus.
    God Bless You Both!
  • Vera | January 05, 2017
    This insites into other peoples lives gives me encouragement. Unfortunately, I do not have a husband for a care partner.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | January 06, 2017
      We understand living with MS adds extra challenges to life, Vera. We’re so glad you’re here and hope you find helpful support.
  • Tom | January 06, 2017
    Great story Judy. I also have a True Partner. Married 1977, lost eye sight 1978, age 22 due to optic neuritis, eye sight mostly returned. 8 years to the point of almost not walking to get the diagnosis of RRMS. I wanted out, did not want her having to be a caregiver for the rest of her life. Oh, how wrong I was. 40 years of marriage this year. Both you Judy, and myself are very lucky people.
  • Ray caregiver  | September 02, 2017
    My wife was told she had M.S. at 51 that was 11 yrs. ago, since then I have done things I could never have dreamed I would do. but in 1973 I said those words for better or worse and we have 43 yrs 2 girls 4 grandkids 2 great grandkids, and I can still make my girl laugh,
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | September 04, 2017
      Thank you for giving us a lift with your story, Ray!