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.

Julie R.

RRMS Patient

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28 Comment(s)
  • Deborah  | December 29, 2016
    Bless you glad you r okay I've had it for 36 years diagnosed on 2000 though
  • Stephanie Ashley | January 08, 2017
    I am struggling with my diagnosis.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | January 09, 2017
      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, Stephanie!
  • J. | January 29, 2017
    Im glad you are able to continue and are functioning well with your ms. I would love to be able to attend one of your shows. I live in arcadia fl. Was diagnosed in 2004 but Drs think i have had it all my life. I used to fall up the stairs and parents called me a clutz. They never took me to be examined to find out why i would fall all the time. I get no support from my family do get support from h
  • Johnnie | February 15, 2017
    I live with ms,2005 until 2017, you have to take one day at a time, don't have any problems, I thanks god.
  • Patricia  | February 16, 2017
    Good Luck! Keep moving forward! Stay positive! U can do it! I have MS too! I graduated a long time ago! BS, 1990, Chemistry, MBA, too! I married at 30 and had 2 beautiful children ! I sometimes bobble when I walk. No other problems! Stay positive! Don't ever give up! I am now 49! 😊
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 17, 2017
      What an inspiring story, Patricia! We appreciate your contribution to the community.
  • Tina  | February 17, 2017
    What kind of symptoms did you have when you first noticed that you had MS
  • John | February 20, 2017
    I was diagnosed with relapsing ms 2 weeks before Xmas in 2015, I knew there was something wrong with me due to the way I was feeling,( fatigued, headaches, emotional, blurred vision.) I just did not know what to do, till finally went to a neurologist and was diagnosed. I am under treatment, still learning how to live with this illness. I am trying to finish my associates at forty nine years old.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 21, 2017
      We are so glad you’ve chosen to share your experience with us, John. Please keep us posted on your progress, and best of luck!
  • Tracy | February 23, 2017
    I was diagnosed with MS 14 years ago. I use a wheelchair now. I live in a non wheelchair accessible apartment building. The elevator rarely works. I'm suffering now but I refuse to give up. At least I managed to get in 18 years of work before my diagnosis.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | February 24, 2017
      It sounds like you’ve been through a lot, Tracy. We’re glad you’ve reached out for support. Let us know how we and the community can help.
  • Lynda | February 24, 2017
    Thank you for your beautiful story about facing our fears and moving on.Good for you. M.S. might make us sick but it also makes us more compassionate caring people.
  • Juli | March 01, 2017
    I was diagnosed with RRMS in 1990 due to optic neuritis diagnosis. Stay positive! Keep up your treatments. A productive life is possible.
    MOTTO-ATTITUDE IS
    EVERYTHING
  • Ron | March 10, 2017
    Ellie passed feb 20. She was diagnosed 42 years ago by her opthomolist. Pneumonia n other complications took her from us. During those years ellie fought courageously and lived a full and meaningful life. The challenge of ms was always with us as a family. At the end of her life she became it was clear to us all she overcame her test in life. She was a true champion.
  • Jill | March 11, 2017
    Whoa! I almost have chills with how similar Julie's story is to my daughter's. She isn't a musician but her livelihood is in front of audiences. After 6 years symptom-free & then an experience so similar to what Julie wrote- she has now accepted and is facing the RRMS with such grace and trust in God. Much love for all who wake up every day to life with MS.
  • MNA | March 16, 2017
    Denial is because you fear to face it, but if you have faith & trust in God, u can leave it that way. In due time, it will follow the course to a solution & will guide you to make remedies & finally face the battle to combat it. That, you made the decision to fight it & win, if you do it with the help of the ABOVE AUTHORITY. Put your heart & soul on every performance. GBY.
  • Barb | March 18, 2017
    Think how many people you can reach out to. Thank you for your story
  • Rosalind  | March 19, 2017
    Hi Julie,
    I was diagnosed with RRMS in 1993. Yes, you can still live a full life. You may be slower and tire more easily but just rest awhile to build your strenght back up. I'm thankful I'm here to see and interact with my 6 great grand kids.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 20, 2017
      Thank you for sharing and being a part of what makes this community great, Rosalind.
  • Zandra | March 21, 2017
    Hi Julie, I have Relapsing and Remitting MS for 16yrs. I had an unusual response when I was diagnosed. I wasn't upset, I was more like ok, now what. I went to work for a whole week, blind in one eye, before I went to the doctor. Everyone thought I was crazy. I truly don't rattle that easy. That's how I deal with things. My biggest problem now, is my memory, especially my short-term memory.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 21, 2017
      Thank you for sharing your experience, Zandra! We hope you continue to lean on the community for support. Best wishes!
  • Ramona | March 21, 2017
    I am so happy for you! May God bless you on this journey!!
  • Blake | March 23, 2017
    I understand, I have RRMS and have lived with for 20 years. Management of this disease, and it is a disease, is very important. You can lead a productive life if you knuckle down and develop the mindset of I'm not going to let this control my life. Have a good support system and also have a strong faith.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | March 24, 2017
      Thank you for sharing with the community, Blake.
  • Maude  | April 01, 2017
    I have taken care of clients with MS professionally and loved being able to help,God bless.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | April 03, 2017
      That’s wonderful to hear, Maude.
  • Danzo | April 01, 2017
    Good for you Julie ! Stay well !
  • Rachel | April 21, 2017
    Thank you. I am in denial too. Last fall diagnosed.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | April 24, 2017
      We are sorry to hear that you are struggling, Rachel. You might benefit from Teva’s patient services program. Learn more by visiting https://www.copaxone.com/shared-solutions. We hope this helps.
  • Susan | May 05, 2017
    My daughter was diagnosed with MS while in her twenties. Her symptoms are usually mild and infrequent. She's a CPA and has gone from a small firm to large firms, and now, 20 years later, owns a property tax firm with two friends. She's married, has two children, and travels for business and pleasure. I believe regular checkups, medication, prayers, and determination are all part of her success.
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | May 08, 2017
      What an inspiring story, Susan! We appreciate your contribution to the community.
  • Tracy  | May 09, 2017
    My husband was diagnosed with ms in 1991 while on active duty in the army. He retired in 1995 after serving 22 years. He has continued to work full time since then, but is struggling. He has balance and coordination problems, major short term memory loss and personality changes. I think the internal problems with ms are mostly ignored because they are not obvious
  • Joyce | May 10, 2017
    You are doing great...I was diagnosed w/RRMS in 1992, still not in a wheelchair( my greatest fear) ! MS gives all, two choices...please try to stay positive but I also know sometimes it's hard to do. I have MS-but it doesn't have ME ;) Take care & God bless...
  • Songaya | May 11, 2017
    That's really good that you chose to conquer your fears by finding out all you could about MS. I am almost always afraid of the unknown and am very thankful when the light shines full circle so that I may be reached and be enlightened.
  • william rees | May 19, 2017
    I have a step-daughter who has MS for about 30 years now and in stage four, but she is like you she won't let it keep her down. She had a son who now is married and is expecting their first baby. So keep on fighting and may God Bless your career in music, I am a musician who has been playing professionally for over 50 years and I had a cerebral stroke in 1999, that side line me God will bless you.
  • Tami Cloud | July 16, 2017
    It's a struggle for sure. I just feel that taking the best possible care of ourselves and staying active is so important.
  • Maggie Gasperi | July 23, 2017
    God bless you. I will keep you in my prays