About Lovey Ray

Diagnosed in 2014, Lovey is an active local volunteer and group coordinator for a local support group and since diagnosis has befriended people all over the US. She says “MS is not a dead end, but an unexpected left turn that my GPS didn’t warn me about.”. She is a busy mom of 4, an avid artist who crochets and works in a local chiropractic office. Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/lifeoflovey

My buddy, my pal, my friend.

As a parent, you work had to protect your children and give them a childhood free from the challenges and responsibilities that come from adulthood until it becomes time -preferably when they turn 18 and leave the home. But for me, I never thought the tables would turn before I reached my 35th birthday with the diagnosis of my MS.
My life story may be long and complicated, but the real hero of my story has been my daughter, Becky. I never realized how important she would become to me, not only as a 20160229_193909friend but as a caregiver to me and her brothers. As a child she witnessed me being abused by my ex husband, she saw me struggle as a single mom that was homeless with 2 young children while trying to get back on my feet. Then I received my diagnosis 2 years ago, and she was the one who came to the rescue to help me when I had a husband who was dealing with his own demons. She cooks, cleans, manages to keep straight A’s and prepare for high school next year while keeping up with her 3 brothers -2 have ADHD and require constant supervision. From the very beginning I chose to be honest and open about my diagnoses. She went with me to pharmaceutical dinners, I provided her books from the NMSS that were geared towards teenagers to help her understand what I was going through and how it would affect her. She has had the hard task of explaining to her friends why she can’t hang out with them sometimes or why she has more responsibilities then they do. Never once has she complained how hard her life is. I have moments of guilt with her doing so much for me, but I love her and give her more freedoms as reward for her hard work. I’ve had a long talk with my daughter about her life and learned the hard truth that my life has been MS first and family second. My own daughter felt unable to tell me how she felt and be selfish with her life because mom has always come first.
MS is part of my life but it doesn’t have to be a us priority. We need to never forget that our children are “living” with MS too. They may be hiding their true feelings because they think we are too tired and don’t have time to listen to them. Take time to have mommy and me time. Do something special for your younger caregiver to show that they are loved and appreciated. <3

Why I Connect

share_Lovey_25238_20150308_1829_124016I immediately felt alone and scared when I received my diagnosis last year. My first instinct was to drop everything in my life and hide. But I’m a talker and for my family I knew that keeping this news to myself was not an option. I needed to find others who have been experiencing this monster longer than I and could offer me support that I would not be able to receive anywhere else.

It has been over a year and I have befriended people all over the US– even my own mail carrier connected with me through a group!  Getting involved in conversations that have either helped others or myself. These new friends have given me the strength to continue on with life and realize that MS is not a dead end, but an unexpected left turn that my GPS didn’t warn me about. The loneliness has gone and I wake every morning knowing that I have friends to talk to no matter how I feel. These ladies have become closer to me than all the other friends I have outside of the MS World.

I’m so excited that Moms with MS is a place I can come and visit with other moms through chats, message boards or local get-togethers. It is a place where other women accept you for your quirkiness and cry with you when there is a curve-ball in your life. No one should ever feel they have to travel the road alone.

Have you made a connection with others to receive support or are you content with fighting the war alone? How can we help you reach out and create lasting friendships with other moms?

 

 

 

From Denial to Supported

LoveyIt started with a car accident on my way to work. I go in to see the Dr. about the pain for several weeks and realize I’m starting to lose my vision in my left eye. Am I going blind from a concussion? What’s happening to me? I visit an eye Dr who says, no.. I can’t see anything, see a Neurologist. My first visit to the Neuro said that I had optic neuritis and she mentions MS but wants to do an MRI and spinal tap to be 100% sure. I had never heard of MS before and was in complete denial that I could have a disease like that anyways. But after researching, going through the stages of grieving, I finally accepted that this was going to be my life from now on.

Not one to keep things to myself, I told friends, family, church family, found support groups and immediately begin to surround myself with others who had been in my shoes and knew what I was experiencing and could support me. Friends who didn’t understand or I felt pulled me down, I let go of and filled their vacancies with positive friends. 

I lost my job and not wanting to remain depressed I took up crocheting for friends and family and even made a mini business out of it. It is a way to ease my mind while being creative at the same time. I started volunteering to help others and give back to those who have helped me. 

As a mom I face the struggle balancing children while trying to save my “spoons” and sanity. I try daily to run a stress free home and with 3 boys-that’s not happening anytime soon, but we do our best.  

My advice to you, be patient with yourself and don’t be afraid to tell other so that they can support you. There you will find strength to make it through each day. Out children are our biggest fans so include them in your healing process and lifestyle changes. They will in their own way let you know they care- even if it’s just with a kiss.