How Telma’s husband helped her to Demand More from life with MS

How Telma’s husband helped her to Demand More from life with MS

 Inspiring stories · Article

Multiple sclerosis can be challenging, both for those living with it and their loved ones. But the right support from family and friends can make a huge difference, as Telma found after her diagnosis.

Not long ago, I was chatting with my friend Dilma and I said to her, “Sometimes people think that a miracle happened to me to be as I am, but that’s not what happened.” Dilma knowingly replied, “People see your smile, but they didn’t see your tears, and what they want is to smile when they have something to cry about.” She is right—sometimes we have to look back at what happened to understand how everything makes sense today.

A few years ago, my husband, Filipe, said to me repeatedly, “Your headaches and this tiredness isn’t normal. Go and see a doctor.” Every time he said this, I just shrugged it off. Eventually, I could not ignore my MS symptoms any longer as numbness took over the entire left side of my body. At that point, it was just Filipe, me, and our 2-year-old daughter, miles away from either of our families. You could say these were tough times. In a cry for help, I asked my parents for assistance. After all, I had a 2-year-old daughter who needed a lot of attention, which I just was not able to give at the time.

I remember one day, I stood behind the door, listening to my husband talking to my parents. He said, “I’m asking you to take care of your daughter and granddaughter because I’m going to have to work for the 2 of us, and, as much as I want to, I just can’t help her.” That sentence still hurts me today. At the time, I thought he was going to leave me, but I was wrong. Over time, I realised that this Man, man with a capital M, was doing all that he could to get us through one of the most difficult storms we would face.

When people are first diagnosed with MS, we often want people to do things in a certain way, and it is easy to think we are the centre of the universe at the time because we think our pain is greater than the pain of others, but we are wrong. Those who are by our side and love us, suffer with us.

“Today, I thank him for absolutely everything. And, bit by bit, I’ve started to smile again”

I’ve lost count of the amount of times Filipe clenched his fists, hit the table, said, “Get up. You’re alive, aren’t you? Thank God for that and fight back!” and went running out the door. I realised he ran out because he was crying, and he could not bear to see me give up on life.

Today, I thank him for all the times when he refused to keep quiet and forced me to fight. There were so many nights, and there still are, when we shared our fears and became closer for it. He was the one who made me look for a nutritionist to keep an eye on what I was eating and encouraged me to go to the gym. Today, I thank him for absolutely everything. And, bit by bit, I’ve started to smile again.

Strengthening Relationships
MS can change everything, but that doesn’t mean everything it changes has to be bad. Telma learned a lot about her relationships because of MS. What about you? Challenge your perceptions of living with MS or step outside your comfort zone by taking on our game of Truth or Dare!

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